Friday, 26 August 2016

Reasons to Discipline Your Kids and Not To Punish Them

Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

Punishment is about overreacting. The urge to punish comes from within when you feel hurt by your child's behavior—you're looking to strike back and inflict this same pain, often overreacting to the situation. In the heat of the moment, Mom or Dad might lash out in anger or impulsivity, even raising a hand to a child, instead of taking a deep breath and assessing the situation objectively.

Punishing doesn't teach lessons. Once you’re caught up in the punishment mindset, it's hard to think rationally or be compassionate. And it doesn't help your child learn right from wrong. What specific "lesson" does a yanked and twisted arm teach? But treating a child with respect, talking to him and getting him to thoughtfully discuss the situation turns his inappropriate behavior into a learning opportunity.

Parents and children are mismatched. A big problem with an adult punishing a child is that the two are not equals. Yet parents often don’t focus on this inequality or the incredible vulnerability of a child. When calm and rational, no one would argue that children are different than adults. They're not the same size or strength, and they have less knowledge and fewer life experiences. What’s more, when parents punish their kids out of anger, they teach them that it's okay to treat those who are weaker, smaller and younger with less respect. It’s an unfortunate example of parents modeling bullying behavior.

Children deserve the same respect as adults. Consider the dozens of interactions you have with others on a daily basis. Would you swat a co-worker or slap an associate because she didn't do a good job, spoke out of turn or disappointed you? Of course not! In any other situation, you would react with a degree of self-control. But, for whatever reason, some parents react to misbehaving kids by hitting them out of anger.

Punishment creates a fear-based relationship. Consider the type of relationship a parent develops with a child and the example set in regards to problem solving. If a parent frequently punishes a child, a relationship built on fear is established. If a parent is aggressive and unpredictable, the child will become fearful and worry about what his parent will to do every time he makes a mistake. Moreover, this fear and anxiety stays with the child later in life. He may be waiting to be hurt and for something bad to happen.

Moral Lesson: Learn ways to correct unwanted behavior in kids and teach positive behaviors using discipline strategies rather than punishment.