How to Punish Kids Without Hurting Them
Using harsh punishments on children can hamper their overall growth and development. Let us take a look at how to punish kids without hurting them.Punishment is sometimes indispensable as it becomes the only way parents can stop and make kids identify bad behaviour. It is important for kids to be effectively disciplined without getting hurt in the process. Here are some ways of achieving the same.Facing ConsequencesLetting kids experience the consequence of their actions is one way of disciplining them without punishment. For example if you see your kid repeatedly watching TV instead of doing homework then issue a gentle reminder "if you do not switch off the TV and do your homework now then you cannot watch T.V for next two days". If your kid still does not switch off the TV then switch it off yourself and follow up on what you have said. Doing what you have said is important as it is only then that kids will begin to understand the consequence of their actions.Administering Time OutsTime out is not good when it is administered in a cold or a dark room as a form of punishment. Time out is effective when it is administered with the goal of helping the kid control raging emotions like anger, frustration etc. Little kids can be quite unruly at times and controlling negative emotions might become an issue.You can take your child to a safe and non threatening place where he or she can try controlling the bout of anger or indiscipline. Explain to your child that the time out is because of the bad behaviour of your child and can be reversed if good behaviour is displayed in future. Make sure that the acceptable behaviour of your child is duly praised when the situation arises.Stop the Inappropriate ActionIn case your kid is about to run around on the road, gently and firmly restrain by holding the hand. In case your kid is going to hit a stray dog with a stone then firmly take away the stone. If your toddler is about to touch the table fan or hot plate remove him or her from the area of danger. Often non threatening actions (those which do not hurt) speak much louder than words. If you repeat this restraining action multiple times, sooner or later your kids will get the message. This is a safe and effective way of punishment without hurting your children.The TalkA good way of letting your kid understand that something is wrong is by having a good conversation with him or her. Make sure that you do not use a loud or a rude tone of voice as this will only frighten your kid and not let him or her get the message. Use a level and unemotional (if possible) tone of voice that conveys your disappointment without letting your kid feel disturbed. The purpose of the conversation should be setting future expectation levels, defining acceptable (and unacceptable) behaviour. Say a line like "the way you spoke to grandmother last night was not acceptable and I can see that you have not yet realized your mistake. In our family we do not talk to elders like that".Taking Away AgencyChild psychiatrists define "Agency" as control over one's own life. If you analyse you will realize that agency is something that kids crave a lot and yet it is mostly denied to them. If your kid has agency to choose the kind of dinner he or she wants then taking away that agency right is a good way of punishment.This kind of action will let your kids understand that bad behaviour can lead to withdrawal of benefits and the right to enjoy them. Next time your children will be more careful about breaking rules or displaying bad behaviour.Why are punishments necessary? What the ways to punish kids with hitting or hurting them? How to inculcate good behaviour and manners in kids? Discuss here.