Punishment: What to do Instead

Last week we found out what punishments really teach children.  So what are we suppose to do instead?  Below is the same list with alternatives to parent positively.

  • If your child hits another child, do not hit them as punishment.  This only teaches them that it is ok if you are bigger than they are. Instead, use your words and inquire about the incident.  Most children hit out of frustration.
  • If your child hurts another child, do not force them to hug/kiss, say “I am sorry”, it isn’t genuine and it only teaches them that it is ok to lie.  Instead, explain to them that hurting other children is not appropriate.  Tell them to use their words instead of hurting them.
  • If your children are bothering you, do not send them to someone else.  They learn that you can’t handle them.  Instead, explain to them the reason why they are being sent to someone else.
  • Avoid comparing  your child to another child, they will then compare themselves to others.  Instead, tell them what you want them to do.
  • Don’t tell your child to “be nice,” or “be gentle”, it is too vague. They may think they are being nice.  Instead, be direct and tell them what you want them to do.  For example, change “be nice to the dogs,” to “please pet the dogs softer”.
  • If two kids are fighting over a toy, don’t take it away.  They will never learn how to negotiate that way.  Instead, be the mediator.  Help them solve the issue and share the toy.  Or ask them how much longer they want with the toy. Put a timer on to measure how many minutes they said.
  • Avoid using food for anything other than nurishing their bodies.  This puts value to food and could cause eating disorders.  Food should only be used as a source of fuel.
  • Avoid using any physical punishment, it only shows them that violence is ok.  Instead model the behavior that you want.  If you don’t want them to hit, then don’t do it yourself.

How do you handle some of these situations?


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