In episode 105 we talked about how punishing your kids doesn’t work. We discussed why people punish their kids and then provided some tips on what to do.
One of the things I wanted to expand on was talking about specific scenarios that happen with your kids and how we can handle them.
Parents often solve the problem with grounding their child. Grounding is probably one of the biggest parenting traps because we think that it works but the reality is that it doesn’t.
Let’s look at even a more crazy situation: prison. Did you know that around 77% of prisoners who are released, get arrested again. Certainly there are other factors but we certainly have to look at the fact that prison is not “fixing” people so they won’t do bad things anymore. Punishment doesn’t work.
Just like prison, grounding doesn’t work. When I was growing up, I noticed i was disciplined differently than many of my friends. I would knock on my friends door and find out they were grounded.
They were confined to their room or something like that and on “house arrest”. They weren’t able to play, use the phone, etc.
My parents took a different approach. When I did something wrong, my parents (especially my mom) would explain what I did wrong and we would figure out ways to fix the issue and talk about it.
I do recall when I was probably about 10 years old, my mom got really upset at something I did and told me to go to my room and that I was grounded. She then came back about 15-20 minutes later and said “forget what I said, grounding you is stupid” or something like that.
But they way it was handled for me, allowed me to learn right from wrong and make the decisions that were good for me. This is not giving myself credit, this is giving my parents credit.
So I want discuss some scenarios where your child might do something wrong and normally a parent my ground them. I’d like to discuss how it could be handled without grounding….and so that your child learns something:
1) What if your kid got in trouble at school for making out with their boyfriend/girlfriend behind the bleechers?
//If you ground them, they are just going to sneak around
2) What do you do if your kid hit another kid and got in trouble at school and went to the principals’s office? Your child wasn’t defending themself. They got angry and hit them.
//Grounding them doesn’t relate to the problem. I would talk to my child about how hitting is not ok. It is not the way to solve problems. I would require my child to apologize to the other child as well as do something nice for them and have them come up with a solution. r
3) Your kid steals something from the store. Doesn’t get caught from the store but you find it in their room?
//Grounding just makes them be better at avoiding getting caught. It’s a common thing with young kids as they learn about ownership. They may not really even understand money. You make them take it back to the store and apologize to the manager or store owner. You also discuss how stealing is not ok, and they can ultimately go to jail.
4) Your child talked back to the teacher and got detention.
//detention is the punishment. Ask what they can do to make it up to the teacher. Of course they need to apologize, but possibly right them a letter, or offer to help the teacher in class. Discuss being respectful and how if you want to be respected, you have to provide respect. How it’s not fair to other students for you to disrupt.
In all of these scenarios, punishment doesn’t really teach about what is right. The child just learn how to better avoid punishment. Many argue they will just do it again because there isn’t consequences. Many of them do have consequences: detention for school, and/or jail if its outside school. Jail is not a place you want to be.
We are all trying to raise ethical and moral children. Punishing them just isn’t the best way to get them there.