How to punish a child is an important concern of every parent!
In its original sense, discipline is referred to systematic instruction given to disciple to train them as students in a craft or trade, or to follow a particular “Code of conduct” or “order”. (Wikipedia)
In today’s time, warmth, love and understanding are necessary for children and are the best way to discipline kids and teach them how to behave. Children need guidance more than punishment. The way you punish your child depends on his age. You cannot expect a one year old kid to understand the difference between good and right but when your child reaches 2 and ½ years old he should be capable to control himself and should understand the consequences of bad behavior.
The most important is to remember that your child needs guidance that helps more than a harsh punishment. Whatever your child age is, it is very important to be consistent in your discipline. You have to stick to your rules even if your kids don’t like them.
Here are some rules that you have to follow:
Start discipline at an early age when your child is just crawling. A simple calm “No” is a good start to teach your child to move away from dangerous things. At the age of 3, timeouts are very effective. Put your child in a place that you designate, away from any distraction, every time he behaves badly. Experts say that 1mn timeout equals to one year of age.
No spanking. Spanking can physically harm the child, makes them fear you and teaches them that hitting is ok when you’re angry.
Communicate with your child and explain the consequences that result from bad behavior. Show them the house rules and clarify the reason of punishment. The earlier you establish the rules the better your kids will follow them. Don’t forget to reward them for good behaviors.
Be fair and realistic with your punishments. Do not imply unrealistic ones as “You are grounded for a year”. When you threaten a child with a punishment, execute it. For example, if you asked your child to stop jumping in the car or you go back home, return home if he doesn’t comply and lose the day. One time punishment can be a good lesson to teach him that you are the person in charge and he has to obey the rules.
Be clear, consistent and fair. When you punish your child, explain to him clearly and with simple words why he is punished. Don’t overreact or shout.
Do not set your expectations very high. Allow your child to express his feelings, make him feel liked and successful and give him the opportunity to take decisions when you want to. Make your decisions out of warmth and love; after all you want the best for your child.
Children need love, guidance, and boundaries. Be consistent in what you do. Make sure that you and your spouse agree on the same rules. Do not argue in front of your kids. You are the role model of your child. You may leave a strong impression on his behavior.