PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT AND CHILDREN
Physical punishment is only one form of discipline, and it works to inflict pain at the moment of negative behavior, thus creating an association between the behavior and the pain.
Physical punishment can include everything from a smack on the hand, to punching, beating and belting.
- Physical punishment can cause some children to experience feelings of anger and hurt so that they can no longer remember the reason they were punished.
- Physical punishment is often given out in the heat of the moment and allows the parent to momentarily lose control.
- Physical punishment can teach children that an acceptable way to solve problems is by using violence.
- The fear of physical punishment can encourage your child to lie and cheat to avoid the punishment.
- Children who are subjected to physical punishment may tend towards bullying behavior at school and/or with their siblings.
- Physical punishment is unlikely to permanently stop the undesirable behavior, as this type of punishment does not offer any alternative ways of behaving.
- Physical punishment can cause some children to become withdrawn, anxious, isolated, fearful, or rebellious.
That is not to say children do not need discipline – all children need discipline. Understanding the consequences of their actions is an important part of discipline and helps to teach your child responsibility.
Rules within your house are very important. You need to be very clear about the consequences of breaking these rules and enforce them at all times. If we, as parents list off the consequences of breaking rules to our kids and then do not follow through with these consequences, the whole concept of having house rules is null and void.
Ideas for Consequences;
- Should be short and definable – if she bounces a ball inside the house, she loses the right to play with the ball for a day.
- If you find her mobile phone/Ipad under her pillow – she looses the phone for 24 hours.
- Can be the logical outcome of her behavior – when your child loses her 3rd school coat, she has to contribute towards the cost of replacing it.
- Should be realistic – if she is rude/cheeky there is no point in saying you are grounded for a week – if you know you cannot enforce it. It is better to say you are grounded for 24 hours, when you know that you can enforce that.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of children understanding the consequences for their actions and parents enforcing these consequences.
“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull
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