What is approriate discipline for an 8 year old boy that raises his voice and yells at his mother?

I have an 8 year old that has been challenging my wife with increased frequency. She is allowing this to continue. He raises his voice and yells at her. What would an acceptable form of punishment be?


The child needs a reality check by learning that one’s actions always have consequences. Selfish or inconsiderate behavior warrants an unpleasant loss of some good that the child prizes. It can be as mild as a time out or some stronger deprivation–the duration of which will be determined by the seriousness of the offense. What does he like a lot? Say it’s a favorite electronic game. With the next voice raising, remove the game for half a day or a whole day, whatever is appropriate.

Letting the child get way with such behavior, reduces his attentiveness to the rights of others, making him less self-centered. If the child is not taught to be considerate and respectful of others by his parents, who will teach him?

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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