Parents Need To Punish Their Kids

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Not too long ago I wrote a article on the most horrible case of a child being locked in a cage by his parents. That child after a long time of being abused eventually died. But now I feel as though I must also write an article from the other end of the spectrum. There are those like the parents that kept their kid in a cage where punishing their children goes to such an extreme that it is serious abuse but not punishing your children at all can have just as dire consequences in this day and age.

Children should have set boundries and be made aware of what is right and wrong. If they do something they know is wrong they should be punished. It is up to their parents to decide the level of punishment. My suggestion is that the punishment should fit the crime. There is no excuse for parents not punishing their children when they are doing wrong other than laziness. It is as much about self discipline of the parent as it is about the child. You must have a structure to it and outline the boundries and follow through with punishments each time they are crossed. If you don't the child will eventually lose respect for you.

I can offer several different examples where lack of discipline led to serious issues.

During my childhood I had a friend whose parents had split up at an early age as he grew a little older and his parents passed him back and forth the father would use him to vent his frustrations against his former wife constantly giving him things that she forbid. Letting him do things she would not and despite her best efforts to discipline and bring him up right over the years his father made him resent his mother.

I remember several times when we were at his home, another when she took us to the library where he would insult his mother to her face. He would call her worthless, swear at her, contradict everything she said. My brother and I, who were brought up to respect our parent even as kids felt awkward and sorry for her. By the time he was in his mid teens we were not really friends anymore but we heard that he had pushed his mother down the stairs. She ended up with a broken leg, hip and apparently two broken ribs where he had hit her with a baseball bat.

He was taken to juvenile hall (kind of like kid jail) when he eventually returned he lived with his grandmother a short time and eventually moved into a ghetto apartment. He now spends his time drug dealing and collecting welfare. But with the proper discipline and support of that discipline by both parents would have made him a different person.

Other examples I can see beginning in some of my children's friends one girl in particular that plays with my daughter is spoiled by her mother. Her mother purchases her cell phones, big screen TVs, stereos and more but is unable to truly punish any wrong doings. When she is caught lying, stealing even once punching another child in the face at school her mother will give a punishment but once the girl begins crying she rescinds the punishment.

This has caused her daughter to become petty, selfish, rude, has caused even more lying and deceit. She has no respect for her own property let alone someone else. She once called our home 9 times in the same day for my daughter to visit her going from asking nicely for her to come over, to crying on the phone, to becoming angry. This is the point where we realized that associating with this child would be bad for our daughter and we began taking her to visit other friends and they now see very little of each other, only really at school.

Another instance that is a little more basic is that of a mother of a five-year old who came into the bus station while I was waiting for a bus. The station had sliding doors and the mother was trying to hold the hand of her child but the kid was throwing a tantrum. She began to let him walk around himself and he walked right out of the sliding doors of the station at which point she ran after him and brought him back inside. After doing this several times and her bringing him back in several times he eventually walked outside and was almost run over by one of the buses.

The parent immediately began yelling at the driver of the bus. But another gentlemen that had been watching her kid run outside over and over for the past half hour cut in and told her straight out that is she had simply kept a hold of her kid instead of letting him run outside over and over she wouldn't need to worry about him getting run over and that if something happened to him it would be her own fault. Suffice to say she was speechless, insulted she stormed off with her kid to catch her own bus.

But the gentlemen was right. If you haven't taught your child enough self discipline to stick with you. Do not let him go as he may end up somewhere dangerous. If you want to raise your voice with a stranger why not with your own child and let him or her know their behavior is unacceptable.

In this day and age there is a strong view that punishment of children is the same as abuse but I tell you it is not. If you expect your child to grow up, have self discipline and become a fully functional member of society this involves punishing them when they are wrong so that they understand these things for their future lives. It can mean the difference between growing up and having the self discipline and ambition to become a business professional or having no self discipline and degenerating into a criminal, drug dealer, prostitute, etc. You make the early choice for your child, choose well.

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Comments 30 comments

PrettySunflower profile image

PrettySunflower 5 years ago from Malaysia

Well said. I could not agree more. It takes a lot of guts to discipline a child but when you do it out of love, protection and sincere desire to help your child to grow into a healthy, well adjusted adult, you got no choice.


breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 5 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

A swamp is stagnant, foul-smelling. A river gives life and usually is surrounded by beauty. The difference? A river has boundaries - its banks. A swamp does not.

Well written. Maintaining discipline is challenging and can be exhausting at times for me -- I have five children. When in the past I digressed in consistency, my children's behavior reflected the lack of discipline on my end. I actually asked for their forgiveness, explaining to them that I have to enforce boundaries for their own good.

Voted up & useful. :)

Warmest regards~


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

I agree, well said. I wonder why it is not OK for a parent to discipline an unruly children (not abuse) but it is ok for a cop to beat at a unruly adult or young adult senseless. When children receive loving guidance and correction they grow into confidence and loving adults.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

PrettySunflower I'm glad we can agree, your comment sums it all up for me :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

that's a pretty cool comparison to the swamp and river breathe2travel, very cool indeed


NessaMetharam profile image

NessaMetharam 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I agree. There's a difference between abuse and discipline. Other people should understand and see that.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Dee aka Nonna I totally agree and NessaMetharam I'm glad were on the same page as well, thank you both for reading.


strategicsuccess profile image

strategicsuccess 5 years ago

This is a good post, so the parent would be aware how to properly discipline their children without abusing it.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

strategicsuccess thanks for the vote of confidence I appreciate it :)


feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hello, terrektwo,

My father died when I was only eight years old so my mother had to raise my younger sister and me all alone. And she did a terrific job. Quite often, she was very tough on us and she never hesitated to use the "rod."

My mom departed from this realm in 1986 and today, my sister and I are in our sixties and leading very successful lives. And quite often, we tell each other how grateful we are for the terrific upbringing that our mother gave us.

Also, I must say that this is a useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting post. Thank you very much for writing and publishing it. In my opinion, you performed a public service.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

feenix, I thank you very much for your words. When I wrote this I wasn't 100% sure so many would agree with me but I am happy to see so many do. My father died when I was in my 20s so myself and most of my 4 brothers were grown or almost grown. My Dad used the belt but I have never had anything but respect and love for him. He was very reasonable and did so only when he knew it had to be. We were a household of boys as well and if he had not used the belt he could have lost control of the household. I never considered him strict but he was firm and I am glad he was. We were tough and he had to keep us in line and as you said I am also grateful to my father for the terrific upbringing he gave us. He did not spare the rod and he also took an interest in our lives made time for us even when he worked long hours day in and day out to support his family. I feel that without his guidance I would have been a very different person and none of it good. I miss him very much but try to honor his memory with every decent action I do on a daily basis.


cherylone profile image

cherylone 5 years ago from Connecticut

Sadly, I have seen children "beaten" by their parents for small infractions, and I have seen children actually hit their parents because they wanted something. The fact is the parent who knows the difference is tops in my book. A child needs to have boundaries, rules and schedules so that they grow up knowing right from wrong and the consequences thereof. A parent needs to also have boundaries, punishment for the sake of punishment is horrible. When a parent moves beyond caring and loving discipline, the child sufferes dreadfully, but then so does the child whose parent refused to punish them because they might "hurt" them. I agree with this article wholeheartedly. Well done!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Hi cherylone your right of course there does need to be balance. I think a parent always needs to be sure they are punishing their children because they must be punished, because they have done wrong and not simply out of anger. Some people are abusers and should be held accountable, but others really care about their children and do want them to better themselves. To a true loving parent the old adage holds true, "This will hurt me more than it hurts you."


iamholm profile image

iamholm 5 years ago from Florida

Very well said with spot on examples. Discipline is too often confused with abuse. How is one to shape a child for his or her future if boundaries are not set through the use of consequences? Each of us had to learn at some point in our lives that living in a society of individuals comes with rules, effort is rewarded, and anything that is free usually isn't worth the price. Self-discipline, taught to us by our parents with loving guidance, will take one as far as one wishes to go. Indulgence and a lack of consequences will produce the next generation of life-long welfare recipients.

At times I wonder if not teaching children self-discipline has produced a generation of children diagnosed with ADHD. After all, what is ADHD but an unwillingness to do a task you do not care to perform? Just as with any diagnosis, there are some who truly suffer the effects of this disease and some day I hope there is a complete cure, but the astonishing growth rate of this diagnosis tends to make one wonder if the symptoms aren't just masking a lack of discipline.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

You have added a wealth of knowledge and additional points to my comments iamholm, very thought provoking I agree and will certainly take the time to reflect on your words, thanks again :)


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 5 years ago from Georgia USA

Amen!!! This is the truth and I am thrilled you shared it with all. Thank you, very sound article.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Ladybird33 well thanks for reading it :)


Ann Marie Dwyer profile image

Ann Marie Dwyer 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

I am a firm believer (and enforcer) of discipline, which necessarily must include punishment for offenses. The touchy-feeling parents who read Dr. Spock raised a generation who think saying "no" hurts the psyche. I say, "*&((&@)#*". I raised well-adjusted adults by being consistent with the rules and the consequences for infractions. No beatings, no starvation, no solitary confinement. Just honest punishment.

Thank you for your hub. Very useful.

Red.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I couldn't agree more! As a part time tutor, I can tell the differencde between the kids who get punished (aka, well behaved ones) and the ones that don't (aka, brats!) Good HUB. Wish more parents weren't afraid to punish their kids (then again, sometimes I don't want to punish my dog, so, maybe, as a non-people parent, I'm casting stones!

Good hub


Chapu2011 5 years ago

Tv has to have some or a lot of the blame! I hate when parents give their kids what they want just to keep them quiet or calm. Then I see the same kid talk back to their parents or even hit them. Some parents just need to read some parenting books or take some advice from other parents on how to raise this generation because our criminal activity rate is going to go way up in the coming years.

Good Hub.


raburcke profile image

raburcke 5 years ago from Fuengirola, M├ílaga, Spain

Well said. This so-called "doctor" Spock should have stuck to Star Trek.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

PDXKaraokeGuy - I understand what you mean, there's a big difference between the kids that are punished and those not. I guess with the dog it would really depend on if you think he would understand why he was being punished. The punishment should be a something he learns from, if he doesn't understand enough you may have to try something else.

Chapu2011 - I think you are right the criminal activity has the potential to go off the scale. Giving in when kids act up isn't the answer like you said it will only encourage bad or worse behaviour next time. When they're goo you let them know it, when their bad let them know it as well through punishment not reward.

raburcke - Doctor Spock, yes I know just what you mean.


Ann Marie Dwyer profile image

Ann Marie Dwyer 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

Benjamin Spock was a looney. Look him up. One of his most "acclaimed" child-rearing strategies were not telling children "no" until they were two. Can you imagine your child headed for the stove and saying, "Oh, come here, dear," instead of screaming the show-stopping, "NO!"?


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

or if they were running into traffic, or anywhere else dangerous, at that point their very life could depend on their obedience, you make a good point Ann Marie.


thewahm profile image

thewahm 5 years ago

Great article. I too agree that children need discipline. As a parent of five children I want my kids to grow up to be great citizens and understand the differences in right and wrong.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

glad we are on the same page thewahm good to meet you too :)


ShawnB2011 profile image

ShawnB2011 5 years ago from Arizona

Great article terrek, I wonder though if it's the parents fault or our new abuse laws that govern the actions of both the parents and the child. I have been in law enforcement for approx. 15 years. Within those 15 years I have seen it go from routine disciplining by parent, some worse than others but parents then were not so worried about going to jail for spanking their kids. Today, kids absolutely know that if a parent touches them in any way, the chances of the parents being arrested nowadays are high. Both the parent and child know this fully therefore parents are confused as to what they can and cannot do in regards to disciplining their children and the child acts out more knowing their parents won't touch them as a form of discipline. I have dealt with numerous amounts of parents who called us just so we the cops could do the punishments for them just because they don't know what they can get away with no matter how subtle the discipline might be. Great hubs BTW and thanks for joining mine. Cheers!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

You make some good points ShawnB2011 the law and public opinion has shifted a lot in the direction that says you can't punish your kids. I think in some cases it may be that parents are afraid to discipline due to that but I'm more writing about those that simply don't because they are to lazy or just have it in their minds that it isn't effective. What people who are afraid need to keep in mind is that in Canada or the US it is completely legal to spank your children. In some states it is actually still legal for children to be spanked in school (although it is not done quite as often as it used to be). I thank you for your comments though, what you say is certainly something to think about for sure.


debbie roberts profile image

debbie roberts 5 years ago from Greece

A really good hub that I hope people take note of. I think that if parents took more time to reprimand their children properly and teach them right from wrong then a lot of the antisocial behaviour we see today could be avoided. Our main responsibility as parents is to bring up our children to become decent respectful adults and that cannot be done without applying some sort of punishment for bad behaviour and acknowledging good behaviour.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

debbie roberts - right you are I'm glad were on the same wavelength.

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