Legins,The main problem seems to be that you believe that the boy is so precious that he not should suffer consequences for anything. But that is the point of discipline - children are SUPPOSED to suffer in some way for bad behavior. That's how you weed the bad behavior out of their system. Whether it is the temporary pain of a spanking, or locking up one of their favorite toys, or not being able to watch TV - bad behavior must be met with undesirable consequences.Do NOT worry about him feeling bad for a while when you discipline him, he will get over it and learn something from it. The point of discipline is that they are SUPPOSED to feel bad in some way for being out of line. In fact, if a punishment is not unpleasant it loses its effectiveness. For example, if a child doesn't like to watch TV anyway, preventing him from watching TV would not be likely to have an effect on changing bad behavior. You are his mother, you know what he likes and doesn't like, it is up to you to use that knowledge to affect his behavior.You say "And if I'm trying to protect him from all the hurtful things he'll experience in the world, would it be fair for me to inflict misery upon him in his own home - where he should feel safe and secure?"But he should NOT feel safe and secure about behaving badly. He is SUPPOSED to feel nervous about hitting you. He is SUPPOSED to feel bad for throwing a tantrum. He is SUPPOSED to be afraid to climb up on the bookshelf or play with matches. I don't think anyone here means to say you should beat him for every little thing to the point where he feels afraid in his own home.I'm sure the few smacks your parents gave you and your siblings didn't turn them into insecure human beings. Loving him is not about being caring about his feelings so much that you allow him to continally get away with extremely unnacceptable behavior. Loving him is about molding him into wonderful respectable human being, despite the displeasure that you or he will have to endure sometimes during the process.You also say, "If they can't stand up to you do you really expect them to challenge the rest of the world?" Children are NOT supposed to stand up to their parents!!! Did you expect your own parents to allow you defy them? If YOU can't stand up to HIM, how will he ever respect you and want to accept your direction for becoming an upstanding human being? People don't respect others who they can walk over, and that is what he has been doing to you. YOU are the boss of the house, not him, you know what is good and bad behavior, it is up to YOU to lay down the rules. They learn to challenge the world by seeing that YOU are strong-willed and how YOU challenge the world, not by you allowing them to stand up to you.Discipline does not mean hitting all the time - that should only be reserved for the extreme instances such as when he hits you. But it means setting limits, defining the consequences for breaking those limits, and being CONSISTENT with discipline whenever those limits are broken. If you tell him that climbing up on the table will result in locking up his Pokemon for the day, then you MUST lock up the Pokemon when he does that, and remind him why you locked it up every time he asks for it.
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