Punishing Kids is Never Easy as a Parent

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How do you punish children properly?

This simple question has no real solution as dealing punishment is a very personal decision to each set of parents and family.  There are many books and subject matter experts who have recommendations, opinions and then there is an equal number of “experts” who refute or counter those books.  So ultimately it comes down to how each parenting unit decides they want to formulate punishments.  If there are two parents in the same household (hey, this is a new age and there are fewer traditional family units) then you need to make sure there is open communication on punishment styles and how you feel about the various punishment methods that people use to try and discipline their children.

My wife and I were on the same page from day one and that means punishments shall not involve hitting, spanking, or any form of physical or emotional damage which could be taken to far or borderline as abuse.  Now, if your child is in the middle of the street about to run into traffic, you have no choice but to grab them and pull back immediately.  This also doesn’t preclude the occasional swat as any mother Lioness or Tiger would do to their cub once in a while.

Recently our kids (who are so privileged and are completely unable to recognize it) are picking up some bad habits, particularly with each other.  This stems in part from the oldest being on summer vacation and having too much time around the youngest.  They fight like monstrosities and it is escalating to hitting each other and one of them gets hurt every time.  This is normal, I myself fought with my brother quite often growing up and don’t really see this as abnormal for the most part.

In order to try and convince the kids to evaluate the behavior we have started stripping privileged and this started with taking away the computer from the oldest and removing the Wii and Television from the youngest.  My oldest kid is so smart, funny and knows where his faults lie and what he does wrong and knows he must correct his behavior to earn privileges back.

Meanwhile, I hate having to discipline them and often don’t know if I am being too harsh or justified in trying to stop behaviors before they get worse.  My wife of course feels the same way and we go back and forth on the issue frequently.

Disciplining kids is the least fun aspect of parenting in my opinion, I hate having to punish them yet all parents to do to help get children to correct their behavior.

-Justin Germino

Updated: July 27, 2010 — 7:29 pm