The popular bend in parenting these days is not to punish, something which I agree with in principle, but find very hard to carry out in my own life. Because sometimes my kids are nasty or naughty in some way. And by sometimes, I mean at least three times a day.
And you’re saying, well, of course people punish. What do you call time out and counting down and natural consequences and all that noise. It’s called discipline, apparently (at least according to my copy editor in the parenting section of Global Post). But to me, it’s like tomato / tomato. Like potty training / potty learning. (No offense, potty learners.)
So, how do you punish your kid?
While I find the terminology somewhat cagey, what I can definitely agree with is the pushes behind the techniques used today, those being to single out the actions that are wrong and base discipline on actions, not on the child.
I, personally, take it another step, because I just like to talk a lot, I think.
But I’ll thoroughly explain my reasoning behind each punishment. If you’re in time out, it’s because of this action, which probably stems from the fact that you’re tired / hungry / in a bad mood, whatever.
I add on that extra section because I want my kids to start understanding their own emotions (something we have a problem with in this house. The girls get very emotional, and let the emotions carry them so that they do not attack a problem rationally, but instead flop on the floor like dying fish.)
So, here it looks like, “You are doing this now, because I said so (authority), because you did such-and-such (action-based), probably because your tired/cranky/hungry (emotional background state).
In this way, hopefully they’ll soon associate how they’re feeling to how they will act and how those actions will result in my reactions. Hopefully.
They will also (again, I hope), come to understand that these things are not punishments, but resets. After the time period, we can all try again.
I’ll let you know if this ever works in the long-run.