Tag Archives: raising offspring

BRIEF REVIEW OF GOOD AND BAD PUNISHMENT!!!

As parents we often are uncertain whether a punishment is working or is effective or we are uncertain whether a threat of punishment or threat of withdrawal of a privilege will work. Ways of punishing are many and you should refer to books for detailed information on the subject. I highlight general reasons why punishments can be effective and why they sometimes are not.

My young son threw a loud temper tantrum in the supermarket when the family went shopping and I immediately physically carried him out to the car and had him calm down. When he did calm down I asked him whether he was ready to go back in and behave. We went back shopping and everything was fine again.

This is just one example of immediate effective punishment for young offspring which is nonviolent and does not involve loudly shouting “no!” or “stop that!” in a public place.

 

 

PUNISHMENTS ARE MOST EFFECTIVE WHEN THEY ARE-

Appropriate and thoughtful:

Consistently enforced:

Enforced immediately following the behavior:

Helpful in teaching what to do:

Not sources of additional wanted attention:

 

Appropriate and thoughtful:

This should mean that the punishment

is adjusted to the severity of the misbehavior timewise and/or

is (emotionally impactful and/or harsh) to the right degree and/or

is a consideration of the effectiveness of previous similar incidents and/or

is the right time, place, or circumstance to be enforced

Appropriate: v. to add and/or to subtract a subset(s) necessary for a different subset(s) and being normative and acceptable for the circumstances

 

Thoughtful or Thinkad: adj. silently and mentally verbalizing and trying to make correspondences between the subsets of one’s own knowledge and/or experiences and using as much logic as possible

Harsh: adj. unpleasantly intense and/or shocking to the senses

 

Another general statement which can be made is that the punishment fits the crime and/or misbehavior.

This means that the length of time the punishment lasts can be short, medium, or long depending on the circumstances.

The emotional intensity felt by the offendor can be extreme, medium, or low intensity hatred and/or mental pain or anguish and/or unpleasantness.

You should consider whether the punishment should be changed if previous attempts a dealing with the misbehavior have not been effective and the misbehavior continues to recur.

The kind of punishment can be

forceful,

withdrawing a privilege,

demanding a repetition of corrected behavior more than once,

demanding completion of an unpleasant task,

a threat of future punishment, or

a loud threatening order to cease misbehaving.

 

Consistently enforced:

Consistently: adv. repeating at different starting points in time

 

Repeat: v. to do an event(s) more than once with or without duration(s) in between

 

If the punishment is not severe enough then we may be consistently punishing the same way but the punishment itself is ineffectual. If this is the case then the punishment must become more severe since consistency is not enough to guarantee successful obedience. More severe punishment means that it is made to last longer, is more repugnant or devastating to the offendor, and is a privilege removed which is more highly valued such as the removal of cellphone usage.

As a parent you may not be present every time the misbehavior happens so poor supervision may be the real reason why a misbehavior continues to exist because the misbehavior is done frequently when we are not looking or supervising. We may think that we are being consistent when in fact our assumed consistent punishment really seems and is ineffectual because it is really inconsistent.

 

Enforced immediately following the behavior:

Immediate punishment which can merely be a loud “no!” is desirable for very young offspring. Delayed punishment is bad for very young offspring because they are much more impulsive in their behavior and must immediately be disciplined for maximum impact or effectiveness. With older offspring some delays are inevitable because it may be the wrong time, place, or circumstance and the punishment will have to start at a later or delayed time.

 

Helpful in teaching what to do:

Teaching the right behavior by an example to be imitated is one approach to constructive punishment. Giving a reason why it is appropriate behavior beyond saying it is just the correct behavior is another approach to constructive punishment.

Reasoning, you can say that yelling or shouting is not right in this circumstance because it annoys, disturbs, or shocks other humans or it steals their right to a peaceful, calm environment without unnecessary stress. It steals their right to a secure and predictable environment free of potential danger or threats of danger since shouting sometimes causes fear reactions. It is not the right time, place, or circumstance to be loud or yelling.

 

Not sources of additional wanted attention:

Some offspring are starved for affection of some kind which is rarely given and prefer punishment to no attention at all. Others just like to be noticed or be the center of attention. For these among other reasons offspring may misbehave to attract the attention of other siblings, parents, peers, and hopefully not law enforcement officers.

Daring one to misbehave is sometimes viewed as a brave or courageous act of rebellion against behavioral norms and is valued by gangs, cults, and deviant individuals. Of course a dare can also be a means to get another human into trouble with authority figures so it can be a plan to harm or injure someone intentionally.

Dare: v. to courageously do a subset(s) without permission and/or a legal right

 

PUNISHMENT DOES NOT WORK WHEN IT IS:

Mindless or inappropriate:

Sources of anxiety, pain, rage, or fear:

Inconsistently enforced:

Delayed:

Dependent on the presence of the enforcer:

Unclear or do not teach a lesson:

Sources of additional attention:

 

Mindless or inappropriate:

This is when the punishment

is not adjusted to the severity of the misbehavior timewise and/or

is (emotionally impactful and/or harsh) to the wrong degree and/or

has no consideration of the effectiveness of previous similar incidents and/or

is the wrong time, place, or circumstance to be enforced.

 

Sources of anxiety, pain, rage, or fear:

This is highly inaccurate since a fear of punishment to some degree is necessary for a punishment to be effective especially when a threat of punishment is communicated. If there is no fear of punishment then the badness or wrongness of the misbehavior does not register mentally to the degree necessary to effectively stop future similar misbehaviors.

Physical pain is only rarely necessary to effectively stop immorality or repetitive lying or stealing in very young offspring. If the child rages or has a temper tantrum then it is a specific individual reaction to a stimulus or circumstance and rarely the fault of the parent.

Rage: n. very intense anger which frequently includes a violent behavior(s)

 

If your offspring rages every time that you punish then there is something emotionally unstable or wrong with them. If your offspring fear your punishment then you are probably using abusive punishment tactics or maybe hitting them too hard or too often.

 

Inconsistently enforced:

Inconsistency can mean not punishing a misbehavior every time it exists or not being the same punishment in degree or kind.

As a parent you may not be present every time the misbehavior happens so poor supervision may be the real reason why a misbehavior continues to exist because the misbehavior is done when we are not looking or supervising. We may think that we are being consistent when in fact our assumed consistent punishment really seems and is ineffectual because it is in reality inconsistent.

Wild swings in the severity of the punishment for a given misbehavior or an unpredictable kind of punishment each time a misbehavior exists could be considered to be inconsistent punishment and can sometimes create confusion, uncertainty, misunderstanding, or irrational fear in the offendor.

 

Delayed:

Delayed punishment is bad for very young offspring but with older offspring some delays are inevitable because it may be the wrong time, place, or circumstance and the punishment will have to start at a later or delayed time.

 

Dependent on the presence of the enforcer:

It is a sad fact of life and human nature that the temptation to misbehave increases when not in the presence of an authority figure who can enforce the rules. This is why it is so important to teach moral behavior and cultural norms to young impressionable offspring so that they learn to impulsively behave the right way when they are away from an authority figure.

Neglected, undisciplined, misbehaving offspring are increasing in numbers because of bad supervision in their early formative years by parents. Teenage neglect by working parents is added to deviant peer pressure to misbehave and both are reasons for the increasing immaturity and irresponsibility of the younger generations when they become adults.

 

Unclear or do not teach a lesson:

Don’t teach what is the right thing to do is really all that this should mean. Unfortunately most parents do not often give rational explanations for why behaving is the right thing to do and misbehaving is the wrong thing to do.

Do it because I say so or because I am the rule enforcer and must be respected is good enough reason for very young impressionable offspring but the older they get the more important it becomes to start giving them rational or reasonable answers when they ask -Why should I do it your way? or Why is something which I am doing bad?

 

Sources of additional attention:

Bad behavior does attract attention as proved by some popular celebrities. They  would rather be talked about doing something bad or deviant then not talked about at all or ignored. Neglected offspring sometimes misbehave to attract parental attention, disapproval, and punishment which is apparently better than being totally ignored or neglected.

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