Balancing punishment and discipline with children

Parents of young children have the opportunity to teach them good behavior since they are still growing and learning.

Parents of young children have the opportunity to teach them good behavior since they are still growing and learning. Start by teaching your children positive things, providing them with the best possible parenting model and nurturing safe experiences.

Discipline vs. Punishment

Discipline

Discipline is based on the idea that children will do better if they feel better. The purpose is to teach children positive behaviors at each age.

It helps children to:

  • Calm down
  • Learn to solve problems
  • Learn to manage their anger
  • Learn to self-control their emotions
  • Learn what behavior is expected of them
Punishment

Punishment is based on the idea that children need to feel worse or feel pain, shame or humiliation to learn how to behave. Punishment controls behavior through power and fear. It teaches children to hide or lie about mistakes and misbehaviors. By focusing on the negative behavior, children learn to behave in a certain way in order to avoid a negative consequence or to receive a bride.

According to Michigan State University Extension there are seven tips for effective discipline.

  1. Be realistic and expect a child to act like a child.
  2. Choose a few simple, important rules for behaviors; explain them repeatedly to your child.
  3. Use a few clear words to explain how you want your child to behave.
  4. Show by your example how to control your anger.
  5. Use words, not-violence, to discipline your child.
  6. Use positive discipline methods, such as time-out, loss of a privilege, to teach good behaviors to your child.
  7. Don’t put your child down when they misbehave.

For more tips and tools contact a Michigan State University Extension Family and Consumer Science Educator in a county near you for classes on Nurturing Parenting and RELAX-Alternatives to Anger which is also offered online

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