Many parents and teachers rely on telling and/or lecturing as a discipline strategy. It certainly seems to be a better choice than imposing a punishment or offering a reward. But using telling/lecturing as discipline is equally ineffective. Following are six reasons why telling/lecturing is a poor discipline strategy, and what to do instead.
- After childhood, telling is often interpreted as an attempt to control.
- Whenever we tell people what to do, we convey a subtle, negative message that what they have been doing is wrong or not good enough.
- Even if you have an excellent relationship with the person, telling often creates defensiveness—even when the person feels that what you are telling is in the person’s own best interest.