Do you discipline or punish your kid ?

February 5, 2007 10:35am CST
My child sometimes behave untowardly and also is developing some bad habits . I end up spanking and getting angry .I know it harms . But I am confused . This led me to study many sites dealing with child care and psochology of child . All of them advice to avoid punishing a child and to to discipline instead . But i found it difficult to distinguish between the to . Can you feel and follow the two and act accordingly ? ACCORDING TO YOU FEELING , DO YOU PUNISH OR DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILD ?
3 responses
• Philippines
16 Feb 07
Kids don't understand anger and punishment. But they understand caring and loving words from parents. I'm a single mom with 2 kids (8 and 5). I learned from a seminar not so long ago that kids will respond more to calm explanations rather than loud angry voices. If for everytime your child does something wrong, just explain to him what he did was wrong and make an impression that he will remember so he won't do it again. And then let it go. If he does it again, still remain calm and tell him that what he did was wrong again and then again let it go as if it's no big deal. BUT if he does something good, even the simplest task of putting away his toys, or throwing his candy wrapper in the trash cans, make a big fuss and congratulate him and just simply make a big deal out of it.Your child will eventually catch up that for every good thing he does, he gets your loving approval (never equate his good deeds with anything material or monetary though) and that the wrong thing he does, doesn't merit your attention. So far, it has worked for me and my kids. But before you can really discipine your child the way you want, you first need to discipline you and how you react to your children and their ever changing moods and behavior. It was hard at first, especialy when they break your priceless china, or tear up your reports, or spill their chocolate milk on their sunday dress, or create a fuss in the midst of guests, but it will be a true measure of which is greater your temper or your love for your priceless gems. Hope this little bit helps. GOOD LUCK!!!!
• United States
5 Feb 07
My wife and I are looking forward to our first child. I have attended multiple bible studies on this topic and learned from some of the best Christian parents out there (either in person or in printed material). The key to teaching children is to not consider them "just kids" and to really think about what you would do/think in their situation. They are real people, just younger, therefore more impressionable. Let's think about how you would like to be treated by someone in authority over you. I would like someone to: a) Tell me their expectations, so that I know what is expected of me b) Gently remind/correct me when I forget something or make a mistake c) Help and show me how to do something rather than try to tell me d) Be honest, especially in regard to risk/reward, i.e. if they say "if you do this, you'll get that", whether "that" is a positive, such as a present, or a negative, such as a spanking, if I do "this" I want to actually get "that" every time. There are/were studies that stress not to punish one's child, but more important are the studies that discuss not disciplining. A parent that does not discipline their child does their child an injustice. Society has rules, ex. if you kill someone (and are caught) you go to jail. Your house needs similar rules, ex. if you tease your sister, you'll have to sit in the corner for five minutes. Your rules must have consequences, or a child will not foolow them. Most Americans travel over the speed limit. This is because their is very little risk of getting a ticket, or in other words, they consider the consequence of an occasional ticket to be worth the reward of getting places faster. Children will do the same thing. If, you have a punishment that is not bad enough, the child will still do the crime. More importantly, if you do not follow through with the punishment, the child will be more likely to do the crime in the future because they will expect to again not be punished. I think where your question comes from is that you know you want to train up your child in the way that they should go, but you do not want to hurt, confuse, or torture them. The key to this is expectations. This is actually true in all relationships, but it is most important with your children. You have certain expectations for your children. Believe it or not, when they are born, they don't know what these expectations are. You have to tell them, or, preferably, show them. The reason "punishing" is "bad" is whne children are punished for something that they didn't think they would be punished for. As an example, say that you allow your children to have their shoes on in your house. Your child goes over to a friend's house whose mother does not allow shoes on the carpet. When your child gets there, he does not take off his shoes. The other mother sees him walking on her carpet, gets upset, and punishes your child. This is bad for the child because he is punished without understanding. Though my example contains two different parents, it more often happens with the same parent. A parent has a rule but does not enforce it for a while. Suddenly, without warning, the child is punished for doing something they have before not been. Another example is having to tell a child multiple times before disciplining. The example I have heard is this: it is about 30 minutes before you need to leave with your son to go somewhere. You tell him that he needs to clean up his toys because you are leaving soon. 20 minutes later, you see that he has not started to clean up his toys. You get upset and raise your voice to tell him to clean up his toys. 10 minutes later it is time to leave, and your son has not cleaned anything yet. Now, you are very upset, you yell at him, and even after he does clean up the toys, you are late. After you get back, you are still upset and send him to his room. The alternative is this situation: when you have 30 minutes before you leave, you let your son know that he has that amount of time, but all of his toys need to be cleaned up by then. Also, he must have clear view of a clock (and know how to read it well enough to know when he needs to be done by.) At about 10 minutes before hand, you are not upset at all because your son has done nothing wrong, but you gently remind him that he has only ten minutes left to clean up his toys. If at the end of the allotted time, the toys are not cleaned up, you still do not need to yell, but instead simply discipline him in wahtever way you see fit, which may be to leave now, so that you are not late and then punish him when you get back, but this is only a good idea on older children. On younger children, have an accpetable punishment that can be done either (a) in the vehicle, or (b) in a very short amount of time so that you are not late. These two scenarios seem very similar, but the response the next time will be very different. If you treat the child with respect by telling him exactly how much time he has, after a couple times, he will be more than willing to finish before that time. Why? 1. Every time that he is not done cleaning by the allotted time, he is punished. In the first situation, you tell him the same thing 3 times but only punish him once. Therefore, he is likely to get the idea that on average, he will not be punished. 2. It must be better to spend the time cleaning than to have to suffer the punishment, this is according to the child's perception. 3. He also learns time management. He must have something done by a certain time, he is autonomous in determining how much time he must use on this activity. He can do that first, or he can continue to play and do the cleaning later. It is his choice, so it also develops learning of how choices have consequences and, eventually, planning ahead.
• Canada
5 Feb 07
of course i discipline how else will they learn. you can't just let kids run wild. my form of discipline is the time out chair. my daughter is 3 and it works very well so far.