How to punish inappropriate behavior in children

” Manuel is grounded, he won’t be able to go to the park today”; “Julia behaved badly with the teacher, I punished him without watching TV”; “Well, this weekend you won’t go out, you’ll be punished for failing your English homework”; and so on. When the children go to school. ..families also go to school.   When the children go to have fun. ..families are also going to have fun. When the children go to extracurricular activities …the children do it too. This because? Why isn’t there a certain autonomy? Should I punish or sanction?

The majority of families find themselves in these and similar situations for the simple reason that their children are MINORS , the (Spanish) law establishes that this will be the case until they are 18 years old. In this way,  parents and guardians find themselves in the need to apply “punishments” so that the child, in some way, “pays” for the bad things he has done.

If you have to reprimand your son or daughter for inappropriate behavior, think about the following:

– Delete the word PUNISHMENT . Try to talk about a sanction and, above all, it must be consistent with the offense committed.

– The goal is always to modify your behavior , not to feel humiliated or unprotected. Therefore, never scold him in front of other people.

– Maintain dialogue and communication on general topics (homework, friendships, drugs, dating, games, going out, etc.) this will allow there to be a guideline on which home education is governed.

– The rules and regulations must be very clear so that the children know that they have broken them and must accept a consequence. Remember that society also has norms and limits that they will then have to comply with.

– Sanctions should always invite reflection and raise awareness . That is, they must lead to behavior modification or it will be of no use.

– Do not exaggerate the sanctions . If he has skipped a class assignment and suspending TV for that day is very different from taking away his two weekend outings for answering a teacher wrong.

– If the child only understands what he has done and assumes the consequence , you should not punish him , because he may also have involuntary acts. For example: if while playing with the pet he trips and breaks a vase, he runs and looks for the broom to clean up the damage and also explains to you what happened to him.

– Sanctions with corporal punishment lead to nothing. And they are as cruel as psychological abuse, which is why it is advisable to avoid them as much as possible. Furthermore, they only manage to make the child aggressive and teach him that problems can be solved with blows.

– Never correct him while under the influence of anger or rage. You must speak in a calm but firm tone and not lift the sanction until it is fully complied with.
The education and upbringing of children is a very difficult task to carry out. Sanctions are what parents hate the most because they hurt their pride and because they require a very well-structured criterion to be able to impose them. The truth is that they are necessary and a very important test of what the sanctions imposed by society will be. If you have to sanction, try to use simple guidelines but that have strong corrective content.

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