Does punishing a child help? Why harsh punishments do not work

What is discipline

When we look at discipline as a process of teaching a child how to behave, the thorny question of punishment become less complicated. We can view punishment as one of the methods you might use to make teaching effective and also know when to control a child.

What research says about child punishment

child punishment
punishing a child

Experts who have studied the subject agree that the punishing a child may be useful to teach a specific prohibition don’t walk on the flowers; stay out of that tree.

Sometimes you need to teach such lessons quickly. The rule won’t change you want no exceptions.

Punishing a child may fix the idea, and keep a child from repeating that one act. But most of what you are teaching is more complicated than this.

Experts also agree that when punishment is harsh and painful, the child forgets what he is being punished for and remembers only that he wants to get even.

That’s a healthy reaction/ if he doesn’t dare to hit back directly, he may inwardly rebel. He may hand on his hurt to the smallest child or dawdle and show everything down. It’s a less his spirit healthy reaction if he is so overwhelmed that he loses his spirit, and is broken by the attack.

Parents who punish frequently and severely almost always admit frustration. They find that they have to increase the frequency and severity, and it does no good.

They despair because the child who is spoken for wetting his pants wets again the next day or that night. The child who is slapped for grabbing, grabs again or slaps to get what he wants. the child who is put to bed for disobeying disobeys again, when it is most inconvenient to put him to bed.

Shame or ridicule is the hardest to bear

Most parents feel they need to punish a child sometimes. Mild punishments make them feels they are doing something, mild physical punishments are much easier for children to take than endless scoldings, strained silence or the hurt air of being abused that on occasion parents adopts to make a child feel remorseful.

A mild physical punishment can actually relieve the child who wants shed his guilty feelings. When mother spanks him, the score is even. he is paid for his misdeed, and is free.

There will be times when your child steps off limits this calls for some kind of action on your part. Before you punish him, however you will want to find out why did something wrong.

Reasons for disobedience

  • Some children are disobedient through ignorance.
  • If your child misbehaves he will want to explain to him where he went wrong and help him make up for his misdeed.
  • Children are sometimes disobedient because temptation is simply too much for them there is the lure of the nearby creek when, in early spring, the weather seems to jump into midsummer.
  • There is the box of unguarded chocolate candy shouting “eat me” from the center of the kitchen table. Of course your child should not give into these temptations.
  • Perhaps explaining to him again, a little more firmly than the last time, why he shouldn’t swim in the creek (because you might catch a bad cold and then you want able to play baseball) or Eating chocolate (after your supper, you can have two pieces) may be just what your child needs.
  • If he persists in this misbehavior, then stranger methods of punishment may be warranted, the important thing is to punish your child with understanding as well as justice.
  • Some children are particularly naughty when they don’t feel or when they are upset about a secret fear or worry.

Check child’s state of health

If you are generally well –behaved child suddenly goes off the track you might check as to the state of health or the state of his feelings, poor appetite, restlessness, whining, and figure may suggest a physical problem. In this case, perhaps he should see a doctor.

Find out what bothers a child

  • Perhaps you can get at inner fears or worries that can cause bad behavior by gently suggesting to your child that he can talk to you about what is bothering him.
  • Sometimes you might think over what has recently changed in his life one 6 year old boy become very naughty after his grandparents live with the family.
  • Grandparents was given his room and he was rather hastily moved in with his sister he behavior straightened out after he freely expressed resentment and his parents give him more space for his things.
  • Some children are upset over a change of teachers or by moving from one neighborhood to another.
  • If parents are sympathetic and easy going for while, the child often gets used to the changes and settle down a youngster sometimes suffers sense of shame over a secret wrongdoing (such as taking money from his father’s wallet).
  • He may worry about what he has done. His worry can lead to more misbehavior or feeling guilty.
  • If you can find out what are bothering your youngster and treat the cause of his naughtiness, this is likely to be better than punishment when
  • Your child misbehaves because his naturally eager desire to be doing something hard to contain.
  • He wants to do what he wants to do and he wants to do it regardless what he wants to do may cause so much trouble that his activities have to be limited.
  • When you do apply these limits, it is best to do this right after he misbehaves. This helps to connect in his mind why what he is doing is the wrong thing to do.

Mild punishments

  • Some children can be checked by a sharp look or a few harsh words.
  • Children are a geared by such extreme measures as hard spanking it is best never to hit a child or hurt him physically, if this happens, children are apt to feel as if they have been treated unfairly and without love.
  • Also they can be so upset by harsh punishment that they fail to understand why they are being disciplined.
  • Severe punishment brings with it severely upset emotions and these get in the way of learning and thinking.
  • Punishment that fits the misdeed is likely to help your child learns his lesson more clearly. For instance, sally who puts red house paint on the steps, can be told to rub them with turpentine.

Punishment should be short and simple

  • Especially when your child is young. They should be keeping with his size and understanding as well as with his personality.
  • Punishment also should be something you can image, in the best of dismay over your child’s behavior, you might, for instance, rule that he can not play with his best friend for a week. That week can get dreadfully long and you might want to give him before it’s over.
  • If you say “no” to your child it is almost always a mistake to change your mind. He learns fast that sometimes you don’t really mean and what you say, and he pays no attention to your threats.
  • Therefore, before you try to control your youngster think again you will be sure you are ready, willing and able to follow through on what you say to do you will do.
  • Frequent punishments lose their effect. Children seem to build up a don’t care attitude.
  • If they are scolded over and over again. Some come to believe that they will always be in trouble with their parent, so they might just as as well act as they please, take their punishment and continue misbehavior.

Discipline is more than punishment

  • Punishment is far from being the total discipline story.
  • Discipline for your child includes the fact that, by word and deed, you set standards for him. He takes you standards for for his own more through and admiration for you than through punishment.
  • As he works, play, and talks with you and speaks up your knowledge, skills beliefs, and interests your standards’
  • If you rewards his good good behavior as well as correct his mistakes, he is particularly apt to want to behave well and to remember how he should behave.
  • Rewards don’t need to talk the form of presents treat or money, praise a loving word or hug a warm “think you” can mean more than money or gifts.


American Psychological Association