Let's say, for example, a 4-year-old deliberately pinches her baby brother on his face. The baby begins crying. She has been warned about pinching before and knows she has done something wrong. What will mother do?

Mother decides she has talked enough. Now she wants to link an unpleasant consequence with the unacceptable behavior. She has arrived at the point where she has to firmly but fairly enforce a reasonable limit. She tells the child that because she pinched her brother she will have to take a time out in a kitchen chair. She will have to sit there for 4 minutes, away from family activities, until a buzzer on the stove goes off.

Mother neither likes the idea of punishment nor enjoys the child's tears that follow. In order to emphasize her clear disapproval, though, she has to respond to the child's deliberate misbehavior with an unpleasant but reasonable consequence. The time for just talking about the problem, for the moment, has passed.

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