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Statistics show that most parents are convinced that they are doing a good job raising their children and teaching them lessons. However, it’s not always all that simple. Most of the time, adults have a hard time controlling their emotions and often punish their children more than they deserve. This has negative consequences for the children, causing them to develop fears and stereotypes, making their childhood scarier. Still, there are times when punishment is absolutely necessary. So here are recommendations from experts on how to handle punishments:

1. If a child didn’t have bad intentions, they shouldn’t be punished

More often than not, children aren’t trying to harm anyone, they just want to discover things. So, when a child is simply trying to learn, they should be supported even if their actions led to something bad. So, in situations like this, sympathize with the child, letting them know how to fix the situation. Keep in mind that when punishing kids for accidents, you are risking raising an indecisive person. They can do things on command very well because they are used to behaving in the presence of someone powerful. However, the consequence of this is that this adult cannot make their own decisions and they grow to not be very responsible.

2. Punishment should not be emotional

There are instances that when a child doesn’t want to obey, and this can cause some parents to get angry, to the point where they can’t control it even though they love their children. This is often caused by huge expectations from the children. And when these expectations fail to meet reality, parents become unsatisfied. Parents must remember at all times that punishment is not emotional, but logical and just. It should fit the crime, and it should not be given in anger. Parents need to wear many hats, and one of those is that of the impartial judge.

3. Public punishment is to be avoided

Public punishment causes children to become embarrassed and angry. For this reason, psychologists do not recommend using popular phrases like, ‘what will other people say?’ The same thing also happens when children are rewarded in public, they become arrogant. A child who is punished in public always feels humiliated and expects the situation to repeat. As a result, in their adult life, they can turn into a person who completely relies on the opinion of others, making them unable to make their own decisions.

4. If you threatened to punish, you should punish

If an adult said that they would punish a child then they should do it. A threat that you only promised, according to child psychologists, is worse than no punishment at all. Children quickly realize that parents just say words but then they stop trusting them. Consequently, their system of values becomes damaged. They can’t understand the difference between good and bad because they don’t have a regulation system. Still, you can neglect the punishment if the anticipation of it was already effective. If this is the approach you take, explain to the child that this behavior is not normal and it is only a rare exception.

5. When you don’t know who is guilty, punish everyone

If you are unsure which of your children is guilty, don’t just punish one of them. And if your child was with a friend, you should not criticize the other children at all. If they were with they were with their brother or sister, then everyone should be punished. Not using this technique may cause the person you punished to become a scapegoat in the future, while the other children will have an inflated self-esteem and a sense of full immunity that cannot have a positive impact on their future life.

6. Children should not be punished for past mistakes

The most important rule in dealing with punishments are punishment, forgiveness, forgotten. A child who is punished often for their past mistakes is unable to grow to be a strong person as they will be scared of doing something new and will prefer a routine. It can also be hard for them to learn from their own mistakes. So, instead of analyzing their mistakes, they will fixate on them. Timing is incredibly important when giving punishment or reward.

7. Punishment should be appropriate for their age and hobbies

Punishment should be clear and balanced. Do not give the same punishment for bad grades and a broken window. Small things deserve small punishments, while big things require a more serious punishment. Take the child’s age and preferences into account too. For instance, if they enjoy social media, limiting their usage time will be a good punishment. But if a child doesn’t use it and think of a different way to punish them. A child who gets the same punishment for different things cannot build a good system of moral values because they cannot tell the difference between the importance of things.

Author: TxNaturalPediatrics

By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives. In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.

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