Griffin, author of the new book Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment, doesn’t believe in spanking, yelling, negotiating – or even giving children time outs. Griffin doesn’t think any of these punishments work.

‘‘Punishment doesn’t do anything to teach the child how to behave a different way in the situation,’’ she said.

At first blush, it may sound as if Griffin advocates a hands-off parenting approach, but her strategy for getting kids to behave is exactly the opposite. Griffin said parents need to set firm non-negotiable limits for their children, explain to their kids what those limits are and then help them follow through.

And if – or should we say when – kids try to test those limits, parents shouldn’t talk. Instead, they should avoid discussion, expect their kids to behave and take action to make sure they do.

If a child is supposed to turn off the TV and come to dinner, for example, don’t call him 10 times and tell him repeatedly to turn off the television. Tell him once and then step over and turn off the TV, Griffin said (…)

For example, if your two kids always fight over ‘‘Candyland,’’ Griffin said it’s fruitless to yell at them, threaten to take the game away or put the kids in different corners while they’re in the middle of an argument. Instead, she would advise a parent to let the children know the main rule before they start the game: If everyone is having a good time playing, we’ll keep playing; if we’re having trouble, we’ll put the game away.

‘‘Since human behavior is predictable, you can prevent challenging behavior,’’ she said. ‘‘Why put your children in situations that you know won’t go well?’’ (…)

‘‘People are flabbergasted that it works,’’ she said. ‘‘If you talk during a situation that’s not negotiable, your child sees that you have a side and your child wants to talk about his side. The minute you start talking and saying, ‘You need to do this,’ you’ve opened the door to a power struggle.’’ (…)

‘‘If she starts to get frustrated and scream, I will sit down in front of her and be quiet, not talk about it, but give her a nonverbal cue, like pointing to my ear to show her she’s being too loud,’’ Renaud said. ‘‘It took a few times, but after that she learned to get better control of her emotions. It really worked. Every parent could use a little bit of Lynne.’’ (…)

‘‘When children don’t have fences at home, they’re trying to find where they are. It’s classic for children to ask for more: more treats, more TV, more time to stay up, one more game. The reason children are always looking for more is that they are wondering, ‘How far can I go?’ They actually want parents to give them fences.’’ (…)

Source: The Patriot Ledger, MA