Is the decision to punish a child the best?
I guess it means what we are talking about when we say “punish.”
Gosh, parenting can be hard, can’t it?
So I think the point here is to try and let
consequences guide us more than raw
Take a simple example. You are getting the kids ready for school in the morning. You want to leave the house on time. But the kids want to do what they want to do – which is not listen. Instead of yelling, instead of lecturing, instead of threatening, what if you just stopped?
What if you just let them be late? Let them be late and get detention.
That would be a natural consequence instead of a “punishment.”
You could even do the same thing with a jacket. You could take them their jacket that they forgot to school so that they aren’t cold. And, well. You could let them freeze for a day so they don’t forget their jacket next time. You could.
These are easy examples, I know.
But there’s no reason this principle can’t be used in a broader way.
For a time oblivious teen you might say: “We are leaving to eat a steak dinner at 7. You can come with us if you are ready then.”
Or, for a teen who insists on talking back you might say: “No you can’t borrow the car. I don’t usually help out people that were rude to me earlier that day.”
I mean, dealing with disrespectful teenagers for too long, you might forget to turn the WIFI on for a day or two.
I remember asking Dr. Ginott, “At what point is it all right to punish a child who ignores or defies you? Shouldn’t there be consequences for a child who misbehaves?” He answered that a child should experience the consequences of his misbehavior, but not punishment. He felt that in a caring relationship there was no room for punishment.
-Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Amazon)