Feb. 6, 2019

Punishing Kids: What Works and What Doesn't

What makes a punishment effective? Is the primary goal payback or providing insight? Can our discipline help kids make better choices- even when they’re not worried about being caught? Here’s what does and doesn’t work for punishing kids of all ages.

When it comes to disciplining our kids, having "the punishment fit the crime” seems like a reasonable goal. But what if the “crime” in question is hitting a sibling? 

And what makes a punishment good in the first place? Is our primary goal dissuasion or providing insight? How can our approach to discipline help our children make a better choice next time- even if they’re not worried about being caught?

In this episode we talk about what does and doesn’t work for punishing kids of all ages, and discusswhy once you’ve threatened a punishment, you have to follow throughwhy shaming is unproductive (and ineffective)why punishments for younger children need to be “logical and immediate"why punishments for older children need to go beyond taking their phoneswhy, once a kid has served the time for her crime, a parent needs to let it goIn the end, we think punishments work best when we keep our eyes on our longer-term parenting goals: teaching our kids accountability and helping them learn to self-regulate, while also ensuring domestic tranquility (and providing for the common defense). 

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