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Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidance for parents and other caregivers to use effective discipline strategies for children that do not involve spanking, other forms of corporal punishment or verbal shaming.

The change in AAP policy is due to an increasing awareness of the effect of corporal punishment for normal child development. Corporal punishment can bring on a cycle of escalating poor behavior and more severe punishment. AAP’s new policy, which will be published in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics, updates 20-year-old guidance on child discipline. This latest statement stems from a body of research that was unavailable two decades ago.

Read AAP’s statement here.

So what are healthy strategies for dealing with challenging behavior?

Talk with your pediatrician and child care teacher to help identify age-appropriate discipline and guidance. Rewarding positive behavior, setting limits and expectations, and redirecting behavior can be effective strategies.

thread has a variety of resources and support to help families along the way:

  • ParentTALK Workshops and other family events statewide.
  • thread line – Offers support for parenting techniques, child development and connection to other appropriate resources and agencies in the community. Call 800.278.3723.
  • Help Me Grow Alaska Call Center – Connects children and families with the services they need to bolster healthy child development.  This service is currently available in Kodiak, Mat-Su, and Norton Sound. Call 907.301.3321.

Parenting is hard work. If you are in the midst of a parenting crisis or need more comprehensive social service assistance, contact the Alaska Parent Line by calling 2-1-1 or visiting

Additional community resources are:

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