Disciplining children without punishment: Why & How

how to discipline children without punishment

Raising children is really a tough job and sometimes parents get frustrated and exhausted trying to deal with the children. It results in punishing the children for their little misbehaviours and indiscipline. Generally, we can’t think about disciplining children without punishment. But we often forget that every action of our children is most likely related directly or indirectly to our parenting style. Giving punishment is not a solution to a child’s misbehaviour. Some parents think that at an early age it is not possible to make a child realize the consequences of his wrongdoings. Physical punishment or spanking is an easy way to make them realize that they have done something wrong. So they will not repeat it in the future.

But is it really like that?  Does punishment make the children refrain from inappropriate behaviour? Do we actually teach them a lesson by giving punishment? I don’t think so. Punishment does not teach our children accountability. In our childhood, most of us got physical punishments from our parents and that was proved as an effective measure in most of the cases. It was also implied that if one of the siblings got punished then others also got a strong message about the result of their misbehaviour or indiscipline. But, the scenario has been changed now. Research has proved that kids who are punished often tend to make wrong moral choices.  So, we must make changes in our child discipline method.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE CAN’T DISCIPLINE CHILDREN WITHOUT PUNISHMENT?

  • Punishment has a very short term effect on children. As the real cause is not treated, it remains suppressed for some time and pops up again. As a result, they repeat the same mistake again.
  • Punishment creates a distance between the parents and the children. By getting punished, gradually children become stubborn and they don’t care about pleasing us anymore. As a result, we become disconnected from our children.
  • When we cannot discipline children without punishment, they hide their misdeeds from us in fear of punishment. So we remain clueless about their activities and owing to their inexperience they often take the wrong step.
  • In order to escape punishment kids start telling lies to their parents. This makes our kids dishonest.
  • Sometimes in fear kids blame other children for their own wrongdoings. Eventually, by practising this they grow up as irresponsible. They fail to care about how their inappropriate behaviour affects others.
  • Children make their parents responsible for their misbehaviour and don’t take responsibility for their own actions.
  • Furthermore, punishment makes a child angry and aggressive. In that case, punishment for kids bounces back towards the parents.

SO, HOW TO DISCIPLINE A CHILD WITHOUT HITTING AND YELLING?

In case of toddlers giving a “ Count of Three” is sufficient to make them follow our order. But as soon as they grow up disciplining children without punishment becomes a real challenge to parents. We have to learn and apply different ways if our old strategies don’t work out. All kids are different and all need different approaches to make positive changes in their lives. It is our duty to recognise the exact needs of our children. Here are some ways we can follow instead of punishment while disciplining our children.

CHILD DISCIPLINE METHODS WE CAN FOLLOW INSTEAD OF PUNISHMENT:

1. LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES FOR KIDS:

Some parents follow “Consequences” as child discipline method to respond to the misbehaviour of their children. This creative punishment for kids helps them to think about their actions and their results. Logical consequences help children develop understanding, self- control, and an urge to follow the rules. “Look, what have you done! Maybe it requires some help to fix things up. Would you be able to do this?” – this kind of approach preserves the dignity of the children. Punishment makes a child angry, ashamed, and resentful. But logical consequence helps children to learn from their mistakes.

2. BE THE ROLE-MODEL:

Children learn from parental discipline. We have to exhibit ourselves as compassionate, empathetic, caring, and responsible human beings. Unnecessary yelling on little matters, fighting over petty issues in front of the child must be avoided. It makes the child ill-tempered.

3. TREAT WITH COMPASSION:

Most importantly, if we become more considerate and compassionate, our success rate in disciplining our children without punishment will be increased. When my child shows a tantrum I give him a tight hug and express how much I love him and I want him to be the best child in the world.  I also make it clear how this kind of behaviour works as an obstacle to becoming the best. It takes him in the meltdown mode quickly. In my opinion, our unconditional love towards our children can do any wonder. We have to tell them about our expectations for them. Developing a healthy and happy parent-children bonding should be our first step in the child discipline method.

4. LISTEN TO THE CHILD:

As moms, we have the responsibility to find out the causes behind our children’s habitual misbehaviour. When they are in a happy mood ask them the reason for their misbehaviour. Maybe there is some logic in their point of view. We have to sort out the issues which are bothering our children. Listening patiently to our children must be our first priority. By doing this we can gain the trust of our children and it would help us to make them act as per our direction.  

5. OFFER REWARDS:

Children become happy with small rewards. If we praise their small efforts to do something good, it makes them happy. “Complete these tasks and I will allow you to watch TV for extra half an hour” or “Solve this while I am baking your favourite muffins” can make them act according to our wish. Our love and praise will help to reinforce good behaviour in them.

6. SET THE RULES: THE MOST IMPORTANT CHILD DISCIPLINE METHOD

If we set the rules of our homes and follow them consistently, children would learn self- discipline automatically. We have to give priority to their opinions while setting rules for them. This will make them follow the rules without any question.

7. TEACH TO APOLOGIZE:

Acknowledging our fault and asking for an apology is a great practice. If we admit our mistakes and feel sorry for it, our children will learn to do the same. This parental discipline style is very much effective and makes ways to discipline a child without hitting.

8. HELP TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY:

From an early age, we have to teach our children the consequences of wrongdoings and to take responsibility for it. We should make them understand that they are accountable for their deeds and consequently have to suffer the after-effects.

However, it is not so easy to raise children as disciplined and responsible human beings in the modern age. We have to be mindful in applying rules, disciplines, and consequences to our younger ones. After all, they are just kids. We have to keep in mind that punishment or consequences for kids, rules or rewards everything should be age-appropriate.

35 thoughts on “Disciplining children without punishment: Why & How

  1. Reply
    Kopal
    March 28, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    It was really knowledgeable💕

  2. Reply
    Flossie McCowald
    April 6, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    These are great tips overall. They have had varying degrees of success with our two kids – one has special needs that mean a lot of the usual methods you describe here don’t work well with her, but the logical consequences one has been most successful with her.

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      April 6, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you Flossie..I am happy to know that you can relate yourself to my tips. Plz share your experiences with us.

  3. Reply
    Single Mom Chapters
    April 6, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Great tips Sankhamala! I strongly recommend for parents to read this blog and know how to discipline their children without punishment. Thanks for sharing 💕

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      April 7, 2020 at 4:58 am

      Thank you for this appreciation…

  4. Reply
    Stephanie
    April 7, 2020 at 4:09 am

    Very thought out and to the point tips. Thank you for some good reminders.

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      April 7, 2020 at 4:53 am

      Welcome, Stephanie !!!

  5. Reply
    Renee
    April 7, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Great read! So much helpful information!

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      April 7, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Renee !!!

      1. Reply
        sankhamala
        April 7, 2020 at 2:37 pm

        Happy to help you!!

  6. Reply
    Beth
    April 8, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Great information. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Reply
    Jenn
    May 11, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    Ooh this is a tough topic, especially when you have a three-nager. I try to follow the steps you’ve stated, it’s hard but helpful.

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      May 12, 2020 at 5:58 am

      It’s great to know that you have tried the steps. Thanks Jenn!!!

  8. Reply
    Kristine | Smart Living Mama
    May 12, 2020 at 4:55 am

    What great tips on how to discipline with gentleness. Such a good article! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      May 12, 2020 at 5:56 am

      Thank you Kristine for your appreciation.

  9. Reply
    Ashley Newton
    May 12, 2020 at 5:16 am

    YES! I believe so much in these methods. WE must first approach discipline with love and understanding. Our babies are learning!

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      May 12, 2020 at 5:55 am

      You are right Ashley. We have to keep our cool.

  10. Reply
    Shannon
    May 12, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    These are some great ideas for things to do besides punishing your children!

  11. Reply
    Melinda Cummings
    May 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing.
    I am always open to learning new techniques and incorporating them into our daily lives.

  12. Reply
    Maria
    May 12, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Disciplining without punishment is definitely something most people can’t wrap their head around. Most of us were raised on being punished for misbehaviors, so it’s tough figuring out a different parenting model. And another part is that people have a hard time distinguishing punishments from consequences. And there really is a big difference.

  13. Reply
    Renee
    June 8, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    I totally agree with you here! Punishment is short-term for kids and doesn’t teach them the right way to do things. Great read

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      June 9, 2020 at 4:01 am

      Yes, Renee. Thank you.

  14. Reply
    Brittany F.
    June 9, 2020 at 2:39 am

    Very helpful information. As a first time parent with a toddler, I have been looking for information about disciplining. I like that this avoids harsh punishments.

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      June 9, 2020 at 3:55 am

      Yes, Brittany! I am always against punishing children.

  15. Reply
    Erika
    June 9, 2020 at 5:11 am

    Awesome post! I actually believe in talking to children and helping them understand certain rules. Communication is key, a child will understand better if you use a conversational tone instead of screaming at them. Giving rewards is also a great idea, it works when I do it but I find that continuously giving rewards to children for every act instills in them a belief that whatever they do in life requires a reward, therefore, I recommend doing it less often. Thanks for sharing and love your blog.

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      June 9, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks Erika for your valuable comments. You’re right. We have to reward them occasionally.

  16. Reply
    Maya
    June 9, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    I totally agree and love this post. We must have patience with our children.

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      June 9, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks, Maya!

  17. Reply
    Makayla Kane
    June 9, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    I definitely agree to be a role model. i have found myself acting more and more like my own mother than anything she ever disciplined me with. being how you want them to be is KEY! great post!

    1. Reply
      sankhamala
      June 9, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Thank you for sharing your views!

  18. Reply
    Shelley
    June 22, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Great post! Very informative!

  19. Reply
    Shelley
    June 22, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Great post! Very informative! 💕

  20. Reply
    Karin
    June 22, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Great advice! I learned long ago that spankings and time outs are short lived. Kids need something deeper.

  21. Reply
    Emily
    June 22, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips. I am not a parent, but I am a teacher and could definitely try to apply these in my classroom.

  22. Reply
    Amanda
    June 22, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Very informative post! Wonderful tips!!

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