my background is n science &, i m a big believer n the emperical method of obtaining reliable information, when feasable & practical. the following is offered primarily as an observation, a possible option that u may wish 2 explore & is not meant 2 criticize anyone s particular method of child rearing, o k? i confess, i m not a big believer n corporal punishment. corporal (physical pain) punishment has repeatedly been documented as 1 of the least effective methods of regulating behavior or implementing lasting behavior modification. while u (& i m using the generic u here) may not agree w these findings, i defy anyone 2 produce a university or independant credible research abstract thats been published, that demonstrates its effectiveness over other techniques. n every research paper i ve read that dealt w this, corporal punishment was more effective than only ONE other option: doing nothing. most parents could benefit immensly from attending a class or studying a mannual on operant conditioning. this is really just a fancy term for: reward. the major operating principle behind op con is this: behavior that ultimately produces reenforcement (or reward) is more likely 2 b repeated than behavior that doesen t. humans r above all else pleasure seeking organisms. now, u hv 2 read that statement carefully 2 get the picture, it says, above all else. the urge 2 avoid punishment or pain is second on the hierarchy. but that gap is significant because what that means is that f something provides sufficient pleasure, & f that postulate is correct, humans, yes, even little humans, will suffer pain n order 2 get 2 a reward. does this ever happen n real life? yes, it happens all the time, u just hv 2 know how 2 recognize it. bringing the messege a little closer 2 the topic at hand, what that means is this: u can produce greater changes & longer lasting behavior modification of children, dogs, cats, dolphins, & yes, even rats & men, by REWARDING them when they do good than u can by punishing them when they do bad. this is really a simple & cosmicly beutiful principle of life, but 1 that parents find difficult/impossible 2 accept. one of the major problems w it is that it flys n the face of how they, the parents, were brought up. 'my daddy (mama) spanked me (us) when we misbehaved, & c how well we turned out?' yeah, well, some of our parents also: grew up w/o indoor plumbing (go 2 the outhouse), watched a 14" b&w tv, f they had one at all, & drove a car that had a top speed of 50 mph, f they had one. i don t c anyone trying 2 hold onto those. i ve also had black parents tell me that this sounds like some white mumbo jumbo, or something that white households would practise, at which point i usu ask them f they think that we, black parents, should hv any less regard 4 the feelings of our children than they, white parents, do? it is simply a technique, an option, & it can b any color u want it 2 b. another problem is that its implementation requires a totally different mindset 2 administering dicipline. parents today, as a general rule, all 2 frequently ignore good behavior. but let something bad happen & the child becomes the center of attention. therein lay the paradox. every child craves attention. so, this type of pattern sets up a scenario where, under some circumstances, a child will intentionally misbehave b/c any attention, even negative attention, is better than being ignored. w operant conditioning u must gradually change the platform. good behavior must b attended 2 & rewarded & it is misbehavior that should b ignored. now, admittedly, watching 11 yo jimmy back the caddy out of the driveway n a downpour, during rush hour, while ur husband is laying underneath it, changing the oil, as u spot a highway patrol cruser coming around the corner will surely test ur resolve...... o k, just kidding. as w all dicipline methods there r limitations & exceptions. not all errant behavior can b ignored & some clearly shouldn t b. but the soundness of the principle remains. and although it should go w/o saying, i must add that the reward must b something the child perceives as a reward. rewarding jimmys good report card by allowing him the 'priviledge' of scraping off the encrustations on aunt patty s bunions is prob much more of a reward 4 her & unlikely 2 produce the desired effect n him. as u can c, this method does require a heavy time investment & is much less 'handy' than the nearest belt, but unlike the belt: it doesen t leave welts or bruises, u can t b arrested 4 it, it doesen t teach violence as a solution, it can b performed anytime, anywhere w/o embarassment 2 u or the child, and it is user & recipient friendly. there r an infinite # of ways the program can b set up. i know 2 parents that use the star method. good behavior is rewarded by placing a magnetized star (or whatever) on a level of the fridge that can b seen but not reached by the children. accumulated stars can b traded n 4 any variety of 'goodies'. there r even different sized stars that indicate different magnitudes of reward. misbehavior usu results n not getting a star. really egregious behavior can result n the removal of a star (u d b amazed at the pain & heartbreak this engenders). does this system always work? no, but n 98% of the cases where it doesen t, the problem is at the implementation (i.e. parents) level, not at the childs. remember that phrase that u ve seen around that says, there s no such thing as illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents? well, i can almost say the same thing when it comes 2 behavior & dicipline. there r actually hardly any bad children at all n the world, but there is an abundance of bad parenting & poor diciplinarians.