Child Psychology: Alternatives to Traditional Discipline: Clare Cherry

Child Psychology and Development Alternatives

Are you frustrated with traditional discipline methods that aren't working for your child? There are many alternatives to traditional discipline. We're sharing some of our favorite Child Psychology advice from Clare Cherry.

Child Psychology: Alternatives to Traditional Discipline: Clare Cherry
Add caption"Please Don't Sit on the Kids" by Clare Cherry.

Clare Cherry is a well known educator located in San Bernardino, California.  The Clare Cherry School was established in 1954. Ms. Cherry came up with this wonderful list for alternatives to punitive discipline. For more info click on the link above to purchase her book from or ask your local library for a copy. All parents and child caregivers should become familiar with this Magic List of Alternatives to Traditional Discipline Methods. The list works well with autistic children too.

Child development: Alternative to traditional discipline.
Child Psychology: Alternatives to traditional discipline.

The Magic List
  1. Anticipate trouble.
  2. Give gentle reminders.
  3. Distract to a positive model.
  4. Inject humor.
  5. Offer choices.
  6. Give praise and compliments.
  7. Offer encouragement.
  8. Clarify messages.
  9. Overlook small annoyances.
  10. Deliberately ignore provocation.
  11. Reconsider the situation.
  12. Point out natural or logical consequences.
  13. Provide renewal time.
  14. Give hugs and caring.
  15. Arrange discussion among children.
  16. Provide discussion with an adult.
I find all of these items very helpful. When working with other people's children, overlooking small annoyances and deliberately ignoring provocation do wonders for me psyche.  As for my own kids, injecting humor, distracting to positive activity, and hugs are my go to fixes.

How do you deal with discipline? Switching to a sensory activity is also helpful. We've outgrown time outs and are too young for grounding, so we need this list!

Recommended Reading:

Child Development Sensory Play Aids in Learning

Activities for Children with Sensory Processing Disorders

Creative Art for the Developing Child: A Guide for Early Childhood Education

Parents Please Don't Sit on Your Kids (Fearon early childhood library)

Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.