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Stop punishing the kids

Does punishment really work?

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The easiest thing to do when the kid is misbehaving is either to give him a time-out or spank him. Anger is the immediate response to the kid’s misbehavior. Parents often say that kids need to be disciplined and punished . Disciplining the children and punishment  is grossly overrated.


Spanking may discipline the kids for a short while but it is guaranteed that it will not teach them any lesson. It just makes them more aggressive. Children learn from what we do and not what we say. So, when they see parents spanking or shouting, they subconsciously learn that shouting and hitting is okay.


It is always easier to shout at the kids when they are not listening –but extremely difficult to reason out their demands. However the right thing to do is to reason out with them


An excellent article on freeyourkids blog states say “no” to punishment. Saying “no “ to no disciplining or punishment works. For many, it might be hard to believe, as we are hard wired to rebuke the kids if they misbehave. It is an out-of-box idea not to punish the kids at all and worth trying. The guilt that the parents go through after scolding/spanking the kid is probably true with every single parent. Why go through such a useless emotion when a better option is there?


Now, how to handle the situation without punishing?


Parents will have to ignore the situation and gently tell the kid that what he is doing is wrong. It is also important to ask the child if his behavior is good or should he be making a different choice. For e.g.- your four-year has torn apart the $20 that was on the table. Of course you will get angry-that’s what you have known or seasoned to do. But take a different approach this time. The damage, anyway, is done already.

Ask him why he did it and perhaps the answer will surprise you. In a real case that happened –the 4-year-old had said “ it’s because I wanted to share my money with my friends”- Now think, if you would just have been angry and shouted or perhaps spanked because this was your hard earned money –you would have never seen this noble side of your kid.


Sometimes, when children are hitting other kids, it is extremely important to stop them. However there is a certain way that should be adopted. Again –a mere shout might solve the purpose but it may not be the right way. If it is a playful act of the child –you can choose to ignore and ask the child if there is another way he would like to play because this is causing pain to the child that is getting beaten. Even if he does not stop immediately –most likely he would have understood the point that you are making.


When parents shout or hit the kids they are just showing their frustration. They are showing their weakness of not able to reason out the situation. In most cases when kids belong to repressed homes –either they turn out to be rebels in their teen and adult years or simply learn that it is okay just to shout and hit when you cannot solve a problem.


Advice to parents –get creative in solving a problem. Do not punish your kid-it solves nothing in the long run.

Written by Suchitra Sharma


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