Although punishment is only one part of instilling discipline in a growing child, it is an important aspect. Knowing how to effectively punish a misbehaving child is crucial to raising a mature and productive adult. A child who never learned the difference between right and wrong may have academic, professional, and even psychological difficulties in the future. Therefore, it is never too early to think of a fair but effective punishment strategy for your child.
Method 1 of 3: Learn Smart Discipline Strategies
Step 1. Be consistent
This is perhaps the most important aspect to remember when disciplining a child. Your child won't be able to learn the rules if they always change. Being consistent is crucial to getting your child to behave appropriately and to learn what types of behavior are acceptable and which are not. Punishing a child inconsistently or letting him avoid punishment will teach him that sometimes (or always) it is okay for him to misbehave. Here are some tips to keep in mind to punish your child consistently:
Step 2. Use the same rules to punish your child every time he misbehaves
Don't arbitrarily change the rules or modify the penalties for certain behaviors without a clear reason to do so.
Step 3. Acknowledge your child's bad behavior every time it happens and punish him if necessary
Don't ignore bad behavior when it is uncomfortable to deal with.
Step 4. Assign a reasonable punishment up front and stick with it
Do not choose a punishment and then allow your child to avoid it or change it for a simpler one. Don't let your child escape punishment by showing you his tears or his puppy dog look.
Step 5. Set very clear boundaries
Your child will have a hard time avoiding misbehavior if he doesn't understand what misbehavior is. You should give your child a basic idea of what is right and what is wrong from an early age, as he or she will be able to understand this difference from that point on. The way to do this is by setting clear boundaries. This means that you should clarify to your child why and in what way certain bad behavior is wrong and then punish him when the behavior is repeated. Also, you must be consistent about these limits.
Obviously, your children's ability to understand the reason behind your limits will change a lot as they get older. For example, a young child who has just learned to speak will not understand that he should not draw on the walls with a marker if you lecture him about why it is disrespectful to damage someone else's property. Instead, just say "no" in a firm voice and, if necessary, remove the marker
Step 6. Make the punishment fit the crime
Different types of misbehavior require different punishments. Small disrespects or first offenses may simply merit a clear warning, while willful disrespect or violent behavior may require a serious response. Try to be sensible about the punishments you assign, keeping in mind that children are not perfect and learn by making mistakes. It is also important that you make sure that the child understands that their misbehavior is inappropriate and will not be tolerated.
- As a clear example, punishing a child for a month is a bit harsh if all they did was forget to bring home a paper from school that you had to sign. A more suitable punishment would be to simply stop tipping until you remember.
- You should also make sure the punishments are age appropriate. Forbidding a young child to go out will not pay much. For a guide on what types of punishment are appropriate for children's ages, visit Parents.com for a punishment guide for children ages 1 to 10.
Step 7. Stay calm but be firm
Sometimes certain inappropriate behaviors of your children can be unbearable. However, getting too angry at your child won't do you any good in the long run. Parents who cannot control their anger have trouble making lucid and logical decisions about how to punish their children and may rely on their emotional outbursts (or worse) as a way to communicate their ideas. Also, getting your child to understand you through anger can set a bad precedent. If you get angry and yell at your child so often that it becomes commonplace, over time your anger could lose its meaning and cause you to get "even more" angry at your child for attention.
- Therefore, it is a good idea to control your anger when your child misbehaves. For example, if your child gets frustrated when he plays catch and starts to disrespect you, don't attack him. Instead, calm down and say, "You know you shouldn't talk to me like that. The game is over. You can start doing your homework." Stay calm if he gets angry. You don't want to teach your child that it can quickly make you lose your temper.
- To learn more about this topic, read the article How to Manage Anger or one of the various parenting guides available on the Internet.
Step 8. Work as a team with your partner
A traditional parenting recommendation that is still important today is to make sure you work as a team with your partner when disciplining your child. This means that both parents must agree to the family rules of discipline and follow them equally. Not following this rule can cause problems. A family in which one parent is firm with punishments and the other is flexible can encourage the child to go to the "easier" parent as soon as he does something wrong.
As a general rule, the importance of teamwork diminishes as the child grows. By reaching adolescence, most children understand that their parents can disagree with certain things without either of them being wrong
Step 9. Be a positive role model
Always remember that your children learn by watching you. The things you order your children are not as important as the things you show them. Watch your own behavior when you are around your children. Make an effort to be courteous, happy, loving, hardworking, and productive so that your kids will notice.
It is also important that you take into account what you do not do. Don't do anything in front of your children that you don't want them to do in front of you. This includes throwing tantrums, acting immature, or falling into bad habits. For example, if you point out the importance of good manners to your children but spend every Wednesday night cursing and yelling at your elderly mother on the phone, you will teach them that it is actually okay to have bad manners when someone bothers you
Step 10. Don't forget to reward good behavior
Punishment is only half the battle. In addition to punishing bad behavior, you should reward good behavior such as hard work, kindness, and patience. When your child gets through being good and working hard, encourage him to stay that way by showing love and attention. Once you are used to receiving this type of treatment for good behavior, not showing affection when he misbehaves can suffice as punishment.
Scientific research has shown that the power of positive reinforcement should not be underestimated. In one study, positive parenting techniques were associated with lower levels of antisocial behavior and drug abuse during the child's growth
Method 2 of 3: Use Fair and Effective Punishments
Step 1. Take away the privileges
Parents have different opinions about which punishments are appropriate and which are not. Some go for a strict approach while others go for a more moderate one. Although there is no single way to discipline a child, the suggestions in this section are intended to serve as anytime advice that can be applied to all parents. An example of a suitable punishment for all families is taking away privileges from a rude child. For example, if your child's grades have dropped because they haven't been doing their homework, you can restrict the time they spend playing video games on weekends until they show you a test with a passing or high grade.
In other words, you will only take away privileges from the child as a form of punishment and not their basic needs. Temporarily prohibiting your child from watching friends or watching television is one thing, but it is another thing to prevent him from sleeping, feeling loved, or receiving proper nutrition, as this is considered child abuse
Step 2. Use restitution (have your child do something to make amends for bad behavior)
In the real world, breaking the rules has consequences. If an adult does something wrong, he is generally obliged to amend his behavior in favor of the people he affected through community service, paying a fine, etc. Show your child the consequences of misbehavior by making him work hard to get things back to the way they were before (or better) he misbehaved. This is a useful tactic you can use when your child causes property damage. For example, if your child is intentionally painting your kitchen table, a good punishment would be to have him remove stains, sand, and varnish the wood to make it look like new again.
Step 3. Use the technique of temporary isolation if your child responds well to it
The technique of temporary isolation is a bit controversial. Some people see it as a weak, ineffective, and spoiled way of disciplining a child, while others trust it completely. Although some parenting experts believe that isolation technique is not effective for all children, many believe that if used correctly it can help calm mischievous children and discourage them from misbehaving. Experiment with the isolation technique. temporary for minor infractions. If your child is willing to behave after being alone in his room for a short period of time but becomes more restless or does not seem to be bothered by the punishment, you may need to use other techniques.
The amount of time you spend with the temporary isolation technique varies based on your child's age and the severity of their misbehavior. A good rule of thumb that you can apply to a minor offense (like responding insolently, not listening to you, etc.) is one minute of isolation for each year the child is
Step 4. Use natural consequences
Adults cannot act closed or selfish all the time. If an adult is absent from work to stay home playing video games, they could be fired. Teach your children the importance of self-motivation by allowing them to suffer the natural consequences of bad behavior. In other words, don't rescue them when they behave contrary to their own interests. For example, if a child does not want to stop playing for dinner, simply clear the table when you finish dinner and refuse to prepare more food afterwards. This type of approach helps children develop the self-discipline that will help them be successful in the future.
Step 5. Punish him by forbidding him to participate in his favorite activities
As children grow, they begin to form important social connections with their peers and spend free time with these people. Removing a child from these fun social relationships temporarily is a way to deter misbehavior, especially if the punishment prevents the child from attending an event that is important to them, such as a birthday party or dance. However, as with the temporary isolation technique, some experts believe that forbidding your child to participate in their favorite activities is not effective with some children, so use your best judgment and be willing to change strategies if you do not get results..
Keep in mind that you should not prohibit your child from participating in their favorite activities on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. Preventing a child from developing mutual friendships with others can affect his ability to function as an adult and is generally viewed as a form of abuse
Step 6. Force your child to apologize in person for serious misconduct
Although the power of honesty is often underestimated, personal apologies can be very important. For example, if your child destroys the neighbor's garden by playing tag with his friends, ordering him to come over to the neighbor's house and apologize is a good punishment. For an added benefit, you can order her to spend the following Saturday tidying up the neighbor's yard to make it look good again.
Having a child apologize face to face with a person they have affected not only forces them to go through an unpleasant experience as a form of punishment, but also prepares them for adult life in which they will have to apologize for their mistakes to maintain healthy relationships. Offering an apology in person is also an experience that will teach you humility and simplicity, which can help you control your ego
Step 7. Use safe and mild corporal punishment in moderation (if necessary)
Perhaps no topic about the discipline of children is more controversial than the use of corporal (physical) punishment. Some parents choose never to physically punish their children, while more traditional parents find it acceptable to punish children with spanking, spanking, and even slapping when they misbehave. If you decide to use corporal punishment, reserve it for the most serious offenses. However, if you only use that method, it could lose its effectiveness and teach children that it is acceptable to hurt people less powerful than them.
Although it is the job of all parents to decide the best way to discipline their children, the evidence suggests that using corporal punishment frequently is a bad idea. For example, some research associates corporal punishment in children with delinquency in adolescence and even violent behavior and emotional dysfunction in adulthood
Method 3 of 3: Avoid Using Harmful Punishments
Step 1. Never hit a child violently
Even parents who practice corporal punishment generally make a clear distinction between punishing a child by spanking him and intentionally spanking him. Hitting a child is never okay. Almost all child-rearing associations recognize it as a form of abuse. Furthermore, clear relationships have been established between violent physical abuse in childhood and increasing numbers of mental illnesses in adulthood.
Furthermore, certain forms of violence can cause permanent and even fatal harm to a growing child. For example, shaking a young child when you are frustrated or angry can lead to brain damage or death
Step 2. Don't be an emotional abuser
It's perfectly possible to be a abusive parent without lifting a finger at your child. Neglect, isolation, and bullying are ways to harm your child's emotional growth. Although raising a child can be frustrating, these behaviors are not appropriate. Not only are they cruel and unfair to a child, but they can also cause serious problems, including self-harm, drug abuse, depression, and even suicide. Below is a list of behaviors that qualify as emotional abuse. For a complete list, check out child abuse resources like the American Humane Association.
- Isolating the child from others to avoid normal social interactions
- Verbally assaulting you with insults, threats, and ridiculing
- Terrify you for not meeting irrational expectations
- Intentionally humiliate him
- Control it using fear and intimidation
- Ignoring him or neglecting his basic needs
- Forcing a child to do something wrong or unhealthy
- Do not show love, tenderness or affection
Step 3. Don't punish a child's curiosity
Children are naturally curious and learn by interacting with the world around them. Avoid punishing your child if his bad behavior is due to his honest curiosity. Punishing a child for doing something they did not know was inappropriate may eventually cause them to fear new experiences or even find misbehaving more exciting.
For example, it would be inappropriate to punish a child for asking friends about sexual intercourse. A better idea is to sit down with them, answer their questions, and explain why it is a bad idea to talk about explicit sexual topics in public. If you reprimand them without giving any explanation, they will probably be more curious
Step 4. Know the dangers of a severe and overly strict parenting style
It's easy to overdo it when disciplining your child, but you should work to avoid it. Holding your child to unrealistic standards and assigning him overly strict punishments can affect his ability to live a happy and healthy life. Always remember that your goal as a parent is to help him get to the point where he can discipline himself. You shouldn't force him to live his life exactly how you want him to.
It is also important for you to realize that harsh parenting techniques are generally ineffective because they prevent the child from having the opportunity to discipline himself. If a child constantly reacts to the punishments and demands of an overly strict parent, he will never learn to motivate himself
Step 5. Know the dangers of a weak and permissive parenting style
On the other hand, it is just as easy, or even easier, to go further in the opposite direction. Refusing to enforce punishments and letting your child overtake you will teach them that they don't need to behave well or work hard to get what they want. Having a habit of giving in to a fussy child or rescuing him from unpleasant things can also ruin his ability to deal with negative emotions in a mature way. In other words, doing so will create a spoiled child.
Again, this type of parenting is generally detrimental in the long run for a child. Most parenting experts agree that raising a child in an excessively permissive style can create an adult who has difficulty achieving life satisfaction and a positive self-image
Step 6. Get outside help for serious behavior problems
Unfortunately, some behavior problems are beyond the scope of normal parenting techniques and may require professional help. These problems cannot and should not be dealt with with normal punishment and discipline techniques. They may require medical solutions, therapy, or counseling that a common parent cannot provide. The following is a small list of problem behaviors that require professional attention:
- Crimes (theft, vandalism, violence, etc.)
- Drugs abuse
- Other addictions (Internet, sexual relations, etc.)
- Metal and emotional illnesses (learning disorders, depression, etc.)
- Dangerous behavior (risk seeking, car racing, etc.)
- Anger or outbursts of violence
Some children misbehave to get attention. Having the habit of ignoring tantrums and paying attention only when the child is behaving well is sometimes one way to encourage this type of behavior
- Note that punishing a child by spanking is illegal in 37 countries, including some in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. While punishing a child by spanking is legal in any state in the United States, in some it causes ongoing pain or Damage with a strap or other object is considered child abuse.
The penalty must always be adjusted according to the seriousness of the offense that the child has committed. For example: if his grades dropped to a normal level but he has not failed, the right thing to do would be to talk to him about the matter and motivate him (eye: do not demand) that can increase them.
Severe punishments for minor offenses can destroy self-esteem
- Always explain the reason for which you punish him.
- The best thing before any fault is always discipline.