Punishment can be effective when practised correctly, experts say

By Mieke Vlok
10 August 2015

How should you do so and what is the best punishment for misbehaviour?

Whether you’re an indulgent parent or one who rules your children with an iron fist, the chances are good that at some stage you’ll have to discipline them. But how should you do so and what is the best punishment for misbehaviour?

Experts at the American Psychological Association’s 123rd annual convention say punishment is necessary, as long as it’s given correctly.

Among the researchers’ recommendations are the following:

  • Offering children a compromise is the easiest way of putting an immediate stop to misbehaviour.
  • Punishments such separating moody young children from the group apparently works well.
  • Remove a young child’s favourite toy or a beloved item temporarily to make them behave themselves.
  • Children whose parents reach compromises with them too often eventually stop responding to this sort of child management style.
  • Beware of decisions made on the spur of the moment when you want to punich your children. Rather tell your children beforehand what punishment they can expect if they break certain rules.
  • A second chance or a warning is beneficial when dealing with children with severe behavioural problems.

Source: American Psychological Association, sciencedaily.com

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