These are just some of the most frequent phrases that parents use to blackmail their children, they use punishment as a form of extortion in order to make them behave appropriately. Of course, this is not a good educational strategy, although it should be clarified that punishment in itself is not negative, on the contrary. It all depends on how it is applied. The punishment, appropriate to the age and in proportion to the damage caused, can be educational, but disproportionate punishment coupled with physical or verbal violence can have profound psychological consequences.
To apply punishment correctly, it is not enough to forbid the child to carry out one of his favorite activities or to ask him to do a task that is not to his liking. If we apply it in this way, the punishment is only a corrective. However, its main objective is for the child to understand his mistake and reflect on it. Only then will it have an educational effect and will be transmuted into good behavior habits.
Likewise, punishment should be just one more educational strategy, not the only way that parents use to teach the child, otherwise it will lose its effectiveness. In fact, if the child is punished frequently, he will end up getting used to this method. Therefore, punishment should be used only when other strategies, such as reinforcing positive behaviors, reflection, and calling for attention, have not worked.
Before the age of 5 the child is not able to reflect much about his behavior because his notions about what is right or wrong are very diffuse. Therefore, it is useless if you punish him for several hours, a short and concrete punishment will work much better. In the same way, you should not postpone the punishment, but it should be used immediately after the inappropriate behavior, otherwise the child will not understand the connection between his behavior and the corrective one.
To punish a child of this age, it will be enough to remove a toy, especially if it has been related to negative behavior. Another alternative is to ask him to go to a quiet place where he cannot do any activity so that he can think for a while. To get their attention you must use a serious and firm tone of voice, young children are usually very sensitive to the tone of the voice and manage to capture through it what they cannot understand with words.
At this age the most important thing for the child is play and socialization with his friends. Therefore, you can be punished by banning video games, surfing the Internet or going out to have fun with your friends. However, contrary to what many parents think, the punishment does not need to extend over the entire week.
When punishment is properly applied, one day is enough since at this age children have developed good reasoning skills and have acquired a series of moral notions that allow them to reflect on their behavior. In fact, it is recommended that before applying the punishment, you explain why he is being punished and what he has done wrong.
At this age the child is almost an adolescent and, although punishment continues to work, it must be complemented with other educational techniques, which tend to be much more effective, such as negotiation and dialogue. As at this age the most important thing is autonomy and the relationship with friends, punishment should be aimed at limiting these activities.
However, in adolescence it is essential to explain the reasons for the punishment, how long it will last and its rules. It is also essential that, once applied, it is fully complied with, if the adolescent realizes that the punishment is flexible, they will not respect it.