The quickest way to get children to correct unwanted behavior is to punish them. But it’s not the best way.
Punishment instills fear. It doesn’t help children develop their own sense of right and wrong. Nor does it instill responsibility.
Responsibility develops when children face the consequences of their behavior.
To do this, make sure you:
- Let natural consequences do their job. Of course, rescue your child from danger. But if he:
- Leaves a toy outside and it gets broken, don’t replace it.
- Forgets to bring something for show-and-tell at preschool, let him have nothing to show.
- Enforce other consequences that are logical to your child. Let your child help decide how to make amends for a misdeed or accident. For instance, if he:
- Fails to put away a toy, it gets put away for the next day.
- Spills juice on the floor, he cleans it up.
- Doesn’t go to bed on time, you take away television time the next day.
Copyright © Parent Institute