How To Punish a Child

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As kids grow and change, so does their behaviour. The child who doesn’t throw tantrums at two may sass you at seven, and give you major attitude at 12. The best way to understand your children’s behaviour is to understand what they’re going through developmentally.

This knowledge will help you with disciplining children without resorting to yelling, threatening or having a meltdown yourself.

Punish? And for what?

What is punishment good for at all? Some parents hit the child to relieve themselves. It is not good reason. Use the punishment when some rules have been broken, it is necessary to arrange a remedy or continue to prevent similar behavior from happening again. To use the punishment correctly, you need to know and follow a few rules.

Punishment Rules

  • The punishment should be proportionate to the child’s situation and age and should follow immediately after the offense.
  • The punishment should be understandable, the child should understand to what for he received it.
  • The punishment should not cause the child anxiety and fear.
  • Don’t punish a child if you are uncomfortable with it. In affect, you utter a punishment that will be disproportionate.
  • Don’t punish a child for something he didn’t want (meant) to do.

But be careful, it is not always necessary to punish. If a child inadvertently caused something or tried to do a good thing and ruined it, punishment is counterproductive. For example, if child wanted to help mother to water the flowers and spill water, the child does not deserve punishment. Punishment should only be used if the child does something he already knows he is not allowed to do.

Sad child crouching in a corner

How & When To Punish?

Punishment should follow immediately after the offense. This is especially important for younger children to be aware of the link between crossing the border and the subsequent punishment.

There are several ways to punish a child. Undoubtedly, physical punishment is one of the most controversial. There are many discussions about whether they should be in education at all.

Physical punishments are justified, but we should use them rather symbolically. By punishing, we close the problem, and we no longer remind the child of his transgressions. Physical punishment is a clear message for a child that it itself has exceeded the limit,” says psychologist Šárka Slabá.

According to her, we should not physically punish children under the age of 12 or 18 month, respectively, who do not yet fully understand the connection between their actions and punishment.

But we can also punish the child mentally. We let the child know that we are angry. For example, by not communicating with him. But be careful. Here is also necessary to know certain extent. Otherwise, the child might get the feeling that you have stopped loving him because of what he did.

Prohibitions as a punishment are especially suitable for older children. It is certainly not good to ban children from their sports or cultural interests, and according to experts, labor penalties (i.e. work for punishment) are not right either. The child can thus code that work is always a punishment.

The child accepts the reproach

Punish Maybe, Praise for Sure

Don’t forget the praises and approach child just as consistently. A punished and disapproved child may suffer from inferiority complexes and will not believe in yourself enough. In addition, the positive motivation praises even the youngest children to do what is right (it is definitely not necessary to mention the familiar cheering over the puddles in the potty).

Praise should always be more than punishment.

5 Tips on How To Do It

  1. Explain the rules to the child patiently. Even though he is still small and cannot fully understand the meaning of everything you tell him, from a certain moment he begins to realize the meaning.
  2. Use praise. It’s the best way to get very young children to follow the rules. Make it clear to him that what he did is right.
  3. If a child breaks the rules, don’t be distracted, the child would also get upset and not learn. But insist without anger.
  4. Be consistent. If you implement a rule, consistently demand its fulfillment.
  5. Sometimes let go – for example, you are not allowed to shout at home, but if the child is playing in the garden, why not shout here.

>> How To Effectively Praise Your Kids

Unacceptable Punishment

  • ridicule, irony – But you’re a jerk. Come on, you fat man. You can’t do it, etc.
  • threats – I don’t want a naughty girl like that anymore. I’m going crazy about you.
  • punishment by silence, inattention, insult – I don’t want to see you. Don’t ever come to me again!
  • vulgar words, sream
  • intimidation – If you’re angry like this, the devil will take you. Wait, I’ll tell Daddy when he gets home, he’ll take you.
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