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Do Kids Need To Be Punished?

Hey parents, what’s your method of disciplining your child when he/she is in the wrong? How were you taught or reprimanded by YOUR parents when you misbehaved as a kid? Not that we’re being busybodies, but do you know that how you discipline and reprimand your child is very much a reflection of what your parents did in the same situation when you were younger?

In this part of the world, it’s not uncommon to hear the “rotan” being brandished for naughty children, or even slaps or very loud scolding because of our culture and tradition. However, it has been found that these methods of reprimand may have negative consequences to the child, such as:

  • It creates mental scarring within the child;
  • It creates a distance/rift between parent and child;
  • It dents the child’s self-confidence and esteem;
  • The child can be even more mischievous in the future; and
  • The child might learn to solve problems with violence.

Instead, why not try these positive reinforcements to educate our children about rights and wrongs? Not only do they learn from their lesson and are able to discern the effects of their wrongdoings, they are also able to pause and think twice in the future about their actions and consequences. It requires a lot of patience (even when we are boiling hot inside) but truly, if children learn about their mistakes via positive reinforcement rather than the punishment method, they are emotionally happier, and tend to be more confident in life.

  • Educate them the impact of their actions, especially towards other people;
  • Tell them it’s okay if they don’t know it is wrong, but tell them it is wrong nevertheless;
  • Elicit nicely an apology from them so that they know how to say sorry next time – put it kindly like “what is the right thing to do right now since you know you’ve made a mistake?”;
  • Always be aware of their age levels and don’t overdo the pep talk; and
  • Reassure them that everything’s okay in the end, and they should move on and learn not to do it again the next time.

So there, educating children via positive reinforcement instead of reprimands require a lot of shift and change within ourselves, especially if we ourselves were raised in a totally opposite environment. However, the benefits of educating children mistakes are plenty, and it certainly helps to enhance their self-confidence and the bond between parents and children as well.

Remember, children are humans too. They have feelings, and often don’t know any better. Lead them to the right path, be kind and gentle to them and they shall reciprocate with their love not just towards you, but to their own children in the future. A loving family environment for them starts with us as parents today!