The topic of punishment is a hot topic of debate for parents. In this Episode 105 we explore punishment and whether it is good or bad. We had our own debate in Episode 33 where we talked about punishment. This topic has come up more and more with the dads I talk to and recently in some additional parenting classes I am attending. I can here it now…”When I threaten or do take away my son’s video games, he behaves. Well, I bet he does. It seems quite difficult for people to accept the idea that punishment isn’t the answer to solving your children’s issues, getting them to do something, or when they do something “wrong”. For context here, I’m primarily referring to situations where you may “ground them”, take away their electronics or toys, or provide a long or severe punishment. Telling your child to go to their room can simply be a technique to cool off, both for them and you. The key is the follow up and we’ll touch on that later.
So why do we typically punish our kids? Here are a couple of reasons:
– We want to teach them a lesson
– We want them be accountable for their actions
– We want to correct their behavior
That is what we want the punishment to do. The problem is that punishment doesn’t result in any of those things. So why do we punish our kids? Why do we have the perception that punishment works?
1) We don’t know what else to do?
2) It makes us feel better’
3) It does and can provide a quick fix…focus on the quick fix
4) It’s easy to do – punishment is easy
So what do we do then if we are not going to punish them? …