When you get angry at your children for their misbehavior, the easiest way to “teach” them, is to use any kind of punishment — like sending them to their room, taking away their favorite toys, or even spanking them. Although it might seem to you that you’ve reached your goals and stopped bad behavior, psychologists believe that punishing only brings temporary results. Instead, they suggest using other effective ways of raising your kids that could help you in the long run.
We at Apegeo found out why you should never punish your children and how you can deal with them instead.
Why punishment is bad for you and your children:
1. It means that you’re overreacting.
© Chris Jackson / Getty Images © Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Usually, you feel the urge to punish, when your child, consciously or unconsciously, hurts you with their actions. In this case, it’s very hard to stay calm, so you start striking back with your punishing methods in order to make them feel this pain too.
These outbursts of negative emotions affect both you and your child and may actually lead to some serious consequences, including physical injury.
2. It’s a lazy behavior.
Punishment is the easiest form of communication with your children — they do something that you don’t like and you do something that they don’t like in return, no negotiations and no explanations. This could be really tempting since it doesn’t take any effort from your side, but this is definitely not the right way of raising a happy and healthy person.
3. It stops your child from developing self-discipline.
The main goal of parenting is to raise a person who will be ready to make their own decisions based on their experience. But if you often punish your children and don’t tell them about the consequences of their actions, they won’t be able to understand what’s right and what’s wrong using their own mind in the future.
These children usually don’t have any self-discipline or sense of empathy because nobody taught them these essential things. They just know that there is a part of them that is undesirable or bad, and their parents don’t like it.
4. It doesn’t change your child’s behavior.
Children can’t learn when they feel afraid, disrespected, or rebellious. And that is exactly how they feel when you’re punishing them. So even if you might think that you’re teaching them proper behavior with your punishments, you’re actually sending one simple message to them instead — “you did something wrong and this is the consequence of behaving in a bad way.”
This message puts a child in an uncomfortable position when they don’t know how to figure out the right behavior on their own. Due to this, their negative emotions can get stifled and pop up later when the situation repeats itself.
5. It lowers your child’s self-esteem.
In most cases, children respond to punishment in the following way — “My parents don’t love me and there must be something wrong with me.” Even if you do not intend to make your child feel like this, your punishment does it anyway. It’s no wonder that this can damage the mental health of your offspring and leave them with serious psychological issues for the rest of their life.