Most of us learned about punishment from our own parents or guardians. Some of us employ the same methods while others learned to do differently. So, when your small child or teen does something wrong are you convinced that the punishment you administer fits their crime? Are you too tough? Are you too lenient? How do you feel about the punishments that you give to your kids?
I learned a lot from my mom; she was the one in charge of punishment in my house growing up. It was never “wait until your father gets home” it was “wait until your mother gets home” for me. I grew up in a blended family so-to-speak, with stepdad. So, I assume that is why.
My mom was tough. She was tough on me when I did wrong and especially if I lied. Now that I am a mom I look back on that. Sometimes I think she was too tough and sometimes I think she was just right. But one thing I can say is that I definitely learned from it all and remember it now as I have found at times I need to punish my own daughter.
What I have definitely learned not only from my own mother, but from friends with kids is that the punishment should fit the crime if we are to teach them the lessons they need to learn.
If the punishments are consistently harsh it will not necessarily have the same effect as if they differ according to the wrongful act. After all, the goal is to teach a lesson so that they do not perform the wrongful act again, right?
My opinion is this…a really bad grade or poor performance in school not warranted by history should not invoke a 3-month grounding. At the same time, getting in trouble with the law should invoke a punishment stronger than one night without a cell phone.
Who decides what is too much, not enough, or just right when it comes to punishing our kids? We already know there is no rule book or manual (unfortunately). So then, we are the ones to decide – as parents.
All I can say is that the punishment must fit the crime. Everyone’s view of what is “bad”, “wrong”, or “over the line” is different. But, as parents we must remember that if every punishment is fierce that does not necessarily mean our children will grow up to be “perfect” when making even the smallest of errors.
Everyone needs to make mistakes in order to learn. We all need to learn right from wrong, accountability, responsibility, and how to be an adult.
Standard punishments where every time our kids do something wrong they get the same punishment will definitely not teach them severity of their actions. At the same time doing nothing at all to let our kids know that they have done something wrong and need to “suffer” in some way will certainly never teach them consequences.
What are your thoughts on punishments? Do you have standard punishments and levels of those that you use? Do you come up with your punishments on the fly according to the wrongful act?
Share your thoughts below!