When Disciplining You Children Give Realistic Punishments
Several months ago, our family and another family were invited to a friends house for dinner. One of the kids at the meal started misbehaving and accidentally hurt his younger brother. The parents jumped up, walked over to their son, and said in a very stern voice “If you misbehave one more time, we’re taking away your Nintendo DS for MONTH!! You understand?!” Five minutes later the boy misbehaved again so the parents walked over to him and took away his Nintendo DS. He got it back less than ten minutes later.
When we give out punishments we evaluate their severity from our point of view. This is a mistake. An effective punishment doesn’t have to be so ridiculous.
I can’t stress this enough. When you are disciplining your children your punishments have to be realistic. Otherwise your kids will quickly learn that you don’t follow through your threats. Not following through with your punishments could lead to bigger behavior problems further down the road.
Leave out the extremes. Here are just a few examples of exaggerated punishments:
“No TV for you for a month!”
“I’m taking away all your snacks for the week!”
“We’re going to lock you in your room for the whole night!”
Don’t threaten your kids with something you have absolutely no intention of following through with. There’s no reason to. Children, from ages two and a half to at least seven can be easily punished with without going to extremes.
Here are some examples of non-exaggerative punishments that are effective:
“You just lost 15 minutes of TV time tonight!”
“I am taking away one of your your snacks for tomorrow!”
“If you don’t keep quiet, we are going to close the door to your room for five minutes!”
Children don’t like punishments. Its more the fact that they are being punished that gets their attention regardless of how mild the punishment may be.
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