clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Children are not little adults

Rachelle Cottle (Readers' Forum, Nov. 19) criticizes a child development expert when he suggests that "rewarding positive behavior is more effective" than dwelling on the negative. Her point is that when children enter the "real" world they will not have such kind superiors. But the expert statement in question is backed up by volumes of research, and nowhere was it said that parents should not demand a lot from their children. Ms. Cottle is not necessarily wrong, she just only talks about part of the equation. One mistake here is treating children like miniature adults. What children really need is a balance of demandingness and warmth. I might emphasize, "demandingness" does not usually involve focusing on the negative. It's simply making clear what the expectations and consequences are and being consistent about enforcing them.

Brandon Shaffer