As parents, it's natural to wonder what the most positive and effective punishment is to discipline your child.
When you have a particularly boisterous child, it can be tricky to determine the best way to discipline them. You want the discipline to be effective without it being extreme. The more stubborn the child, the harder your job becomes. One of the methods that people tend to use is positive punishment.
You may think that positive punishment means that it’s always good, but this is not the case. While some forms of positive punishment have proven to be effective, others do more harm than good. Positive punishment simply means that you’re responding to negative behavior with a negative consequence. Think of it as two negatives making a positive.
There is a nuanced difference between positive and negative punishment. Positive punishment means that there’s a negative consequence for negative behavior. Negative punishment means that you are taking away something desirable in response to negative behavior. For example, grounding is a positive punishment because you are adding a negative consequence, but specifically taking away the ability to go to a party would be a negative punishment. As you can see, the differences can be extremely subtle.
As a parent, the difference probably isn’t that important. You just want to know what works best. If you have problems with your child’s behavior, know that you’re not alone. Roughly 8 percent of all children have been diagnosed with a behavior problem. If your child has been diagnosed, this is a good thing because you can begin to treat the issue at home.
There are many positive punishment techniques that you can use in your discipline strategy. It is always a good idea to make the punishment fit the crime. If the negative behavior is minor, a scolding may suffice. If the negative behavior is more serious or frequent, a sterner punishment may be required to break the pattern. Here are a few techniques to consider:
Consistency is the key to effective positive punishment. Studies have shown that positive punishment is only effective if it is consistent. This means that the same consequence should apply each time the negative behavior is displayed. A lack of consistency will make the punishment less effective.
It is also important that you use other parenting tools like positive reinforcement in conjunction with positive punishment. If you use positive punishment too frequently without the benefit of a rewards system for good behavior, the child may decide that they are only getting negative feedback regardless of what they do. Then they’re likely to act out further. In that case, the positive punishment will be much less effective.
Always be sure to explain your expectations to your child. They can only know what they should do if they’re aware of the rules in the first place. They need boundaries, and they need to know that you aren’t disappointed in them if they happen to mess up. Let them know that you love them and support them no matter what. This is imperative, and it can strengthen your bond with your child.
If you think your child might have a behavior problem, you should consult a child psychologist. Advice, resources, diagnoses, and treatment are readily available through online counseling. If finding an adequate child psychologist is an issue in your area, rest assured that online counseling has repeatedly been shown to match in-person results.
If you need this type of support, consider speaking to one of BetterHelp‘s counselors. They have years of experience assisting many people with parenting issues. Whether you want advice or simply need to vent, our counselors are here for you with an unbiased, judgment-free ear. Read the reviews below to see what other people have to say about their experiences with BetterHelp counselors.
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No matter what, the fact that you’re reading this article shows that you’re trying to be a productive, healthy parent. With the right tools, it’s possible to have a loving relationship and still teach your kids right from wrong.