“Dolor complains that his son is way out of the line. She loses patience and applies corporal punishment. But, the behavior persists. She finds herself at the receiving end. Her son controls her.”

There is something in between that is very hard to balance. One side weighs heavier than the other.

For a parent raising a child with conduct problems, the search forIMG_9945 equilibrium can be so extreme when one is bombarded with negative events everyday.

When the child is behaving well, we tend to overlook it and disregard his simplest effort to be good. When the child misbehaves, the intensity of anger explodes. There is an imbalance between the two essential behavior modification tools.

To modify the behavior, explode rather with praise and joy for his good conduct. Sitting quietly, reading, playing peacefully, writing with much gusto, helping in chores, sharing thoughts are among the behaviors that Dolor should flood with praises without sarcasm and monetary reward.

On the other hand, if he misbehaves, explode not with words of IMG_9946ridicule but with techniques such as removal of privileges, toys, TV time, play and bombard him with chores, errands, more academic time with less litany of previous mistakes.

As Albert Einstein illustrated balance as if riding a bicycle, you have to keep moving forward to achieve it. Once the mistakes are done, apply these techniques, forget it and move forward. It may be easier said than done. But if we look outside of the situation, these are all you’ve got. Punish him and the vicious cycle will continue. Be passive and lenient and the boy can never be disciplined by you. Seek a path of true balance – a homeostasis.

* Dolor is a fictional character used for emphasis.