The Right Way to Punish Children
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New parents read magazine articles and books and believe they know it all. The real thing is slightly different.
Punishment for a child in America has changed over the years. Historically the law has always defined the terms of what punishment is and what is it not. When it is not it is criminal. There is a line between the two never to be crossed. The legal system has taken a lot out of the hands of parents and put it into the hands of society as a whole.
A number of parents feel comfort and relief with this knowledge while others feel invaded. This is a great discussion to explore. What is the right way to punish children? Taking into account a variety of factors makes the discussion a long one for some, while others see any reprimand in black and white making it extremely short for discussion.
What they need
Children need structure, rules and most importantly boundaries. When they deviate from the rules outlining all of these things a penalty is warranted. These things are established for their safety and welfare and in all fairness for the most part they are not difficult to live with. These are put into place to promote healthy growth morally, physically and to become good people and citizens as adults in the world.
What kids want is chaos. They are incapable of raising themselves and any care giver with a sense they are capable of the duty is wildly mistaken. This is not up for discussion. They need adults or the dynamic would not exist.
There certainly is no one overall universal penance for kids out of line with the rules. Just as every child is distinctive the same holds true for the consequences of their poor actions.
A variation to think about before reprimand is factors affecting the penalty for going outside of the limitations established for them. This is the rub when it comes to disciplining children in a healthy way. There is no guide book, but common sense is always to prevail.
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Getting good behavior from bad takes something more than spanking. In most cases this does not work out well
Penalties for falling out of line with structure, rules and boundaries are unique for the place where the infraction happened. If mom and dad elect to make it waver from place to place, kids will certainly take advantage. No child wants to follow the rules, they simply cannot help themselves. Giving them an out is a dangerous precedent. These are some examples and ways to handle the state of affairs.
Grandma’s versus home
This is a great example of fluctuation in where the misbehavior takes place and how parents react to it. Kids are wise to the fact the punishment at grandma’s house for the same bad action performed at home is lighter or none at all. Countless kids count on this. When they are wise enough to tell the difference things outside of the rules are done at different locations because the penalty is slight in comparison to others.
Parents are responsible to discuss with grandparents what is expected for punishment when infractions occur. This is a good idea to nip things in the bud as quickly as possible. Avoid a habit forming. Habits are hard to break.
Such as, talk about how time out is done and for how long. This is critical in situations such as these to getting little ones on the straight and narrow.
Wouldn’t cohesiveness work well to keep the little ones on track? Although there are different shades of grey in this area, never make it black and white. No punishment at Aunt Jen’s, but ramifications at home. Both places are the same as far as mom and dad are concerned for good and bad behavior.
What about school? This is an area where teachers really need help. They are restricted tremendously by the law and lots of parents simply do not have time or will not take the time to make certain kids behave accordingly in this atmosphere. Punishing them correctly for the specific circumstance and in this location is ideal to receive the best outcome. School is an important part of their lives.
More parents doing their duty to correct misbehavior in schools find better education overall. Improved grades, more relaxed teachers and less stress on the family at home are the outcomes. Following rules at school in this day and age is capable of being a matter of life and death for some.
Starting positive behavior is school at a young age results in post high school education in lots of cases.
Are sporting events turning into places where parents are misbehaving as well
Not the same people
Some parents used to have a code. The oldest was responsible for the actions of the younger children. Whether that was one or more, it didn’t matter. If a middle child went over to the neighbors to play video games without permission after school. The oldest was responsible and received a punishment as well. This is not only unfair; it is a great way to build resentment.
Each child is responsible for their own actions. Imagine raising a kid thinking he is able to do whatever he wants because someone else will take the fall. Older kids babysitting for younger ones are not holding the responsibility for their punishment if they get out of line.
Some kids are latchkey or are old enough to stay home alone or with one another after school. They are together until their parents arrive from work. These are usually conditions where kids are watching other kids. It is more than difficult for a 12 year old to physically make a 10 year old do as they are told if they resist.
Creating an environment where the oldest takes the sentence for the youngest is building hostility and possibly a physical confrontation between the two. This is not a good way to reinforce rules and see a punishment through.
Some parents punish but miss the lecture. The verbal discussions are always to accompany the sentence. This is a discussion between the parties about what the rule or condition was which was disobeyed. Without correcting the flaw in this manner, punishment is irrelevant in eh scheme of things.
Tell the four year old running into the street is dangerous because of cars. The kid is capable of mortal injury. No ice cream after dinner for this reason.
Scores of punishments receive a reprieve. If this is a new rule the kid was not aware of, take it easy on the blow back. If this is a change to the rule a second chance is in order in most cases.
A for instance is a kid has permission to ride their bike. The assumption was to stay on the block. Corner to corner, and go no further. Dad never specified this condition and when finding out Johnny went around the block it was out of bounds. However, Dad never specifically said stay on the block corner to corner and he deserved pardon of sorts.
A four year old gets a time out or misses her favorite afternoon television show while a ten year old gets to miss a skating party. The same action was done by both parties, but there are varying degrees of handling the situation. Both said a bad word, intentionally knowing it was out of bounds and the consequences. Both got the message.
Being a good parent means handling these situations appropriately and understanding the varying degrees of punishment children need for a positive outcome to the circumstance.
This venue has become an issue for parents along with kids. Sporting events for youngsters are developed to teach concepts such as teamwork, winning graciously, rewards for hard work and losing with honor. All of these things are lost in the muss and fuss which has become our sporting events for the younger generation.
Things such as cheating, using illegal substances to enhance or get an edge on the competition and disobeying coaching staff are all frowned upon. There are even players choosing to play individually for a team sport. This is a time to learn principles, philosophies and great traditions. Going by the rules helps make it an excellent experience to remember instead of waywardness making a painful memory down the road.
High school and college are the real culprits. In countless cases these youngsters look like adults on the outside, but are still children in mental and intellectual age. The guidance is needed more than ever being so close to making their own decisions when it comes to important issues and factors in their life. Keep them on the straight and narrow to assure they are bypassing incidents which have the capability of ruining their lives forever. Correct them when they are wrong in the right way. A little bit of respect is given in lots of cases if it is deserved by the child.
Is punishment discipline?
It is much easier to keep the idea of difficult life lessons to be learned are in the hands of someone else when it comes to your own children. Not being responsible for what is considered the bad part of being a parent sounds great. Not being the one enforcing the rules and handing out punishment. This is living in a fairytale land and unacceptable.
Great behavior and following the rules with younger kids means later in life the penalties, punishments and reprimands are not needed. Imagine putting a five year old in time out or not doing it and trying to correct the behavior of six foot tall, 210 pound high school boy for the same misconduct. If the job was accomplished for the disobedience young, the need is not there later on.
It is the responsibility of everyone responsible for shaping young minds into adulthood to take this seriously. This means teachers, grandparents, stepparents, aunts, uncles and maybe even the neighbor in some cases. All of these adults touching the lives of kids have a means of making a positive contribution. Most never understand it is through enforcing boundaries, rules and regulations great men and women emerge. Discipline is a need for children to create healthy adults.
Children misbehave in stores, restaurants and other environments where they feel an adult’s embarrassment. They understand the dynamic of having the power. To alleviate this situation, use the same punishment as if they were at home.
Do they throw cereal boxes on the floor in the kitchen? Do they scream and throw tantrums when they are refused candy or other items not needed? Certainly not in most homes so take care of it. This is not only ruining the trip to the store for both of you, but most times others around you are also involved. The negative actions are ruining their outing as well.
More instructions on no spousal abuse (both men and women) and respect go a long way for the rest of a child’s life clear into adulthood.
Moral teachings go along with the rules and boundaries set in place. These are sometimes soft ones such as not stealing and lying, but vary with a kid’s age. As children mature rules related to personal relationships between the opposite sexes are put in place. Even the responsibilities men have to women and women to men are learned in early adolescents.
Thoughts to consider......
Adults live by the same rules for penalty or punishment for moving outside of boundaries and rules. These are referred to as laws. Infractions are handled by what’s on the legal books, but in essence it is the same circumstances. Think about it.
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