Alternatives to Punishment

Indrani Dihingia Saikia PGT-DHSS SCHOOL


Many parents recognize the harmful effects of physical and verbal punishment.  They know that yelling, slapping, hitting, and spanking teach violence, destroy self-esteem, create anger, interference with learning, and damage the relationship between parent and child

But knowing what not to do is only the first step. Parents wonder what they should do instead. Unfortunately, most current parenting books and articles recommend "alternatives" which in reality are merely alternative punishments. These include time out, denial of privileges, and so-called "logical" consequences.

All of these methods have much in common with physical punishment, and all give the same messages that the parent has no interest in the underlying unmet needs that led to the behavior, and is taking unfair advantage of his greater size and power over the child, Most significantly, these approaches tell the child that someone he has come to love and trust wishes to-cause him pain. This is a "crazy-making" message, because it is so alien to the child's intuitive understanding about what love should look like

Finally, all of these approaches miss the best opportunities for learning They sidetrack the child into fantasies of revenge, where he is too distracted to focus on the real issue at hand True alternatives to punishment are those that help the child to leam and grow in a healthy way. There are few greater joys in life than allowing our child to teach us what love is!

Here are fifteen alternatives that give positive, loving messages :
1.Prevent unwanted behavior by meeting your child's needs when they are first expressed. With her current needs met, she is free to move on to the riext stage of learning

2.We don't expect a car to start unless the gas tank is filled, and we shouldn't expect a child to function at her best if her "emotional tank" is running low Give the three things that fill a child's emotional tank eye
3*Provide a safe, child friendly environment. There is little point in having precious items within the reach of a baby or toddler, when they can simply be put away until the child is old enough to handle them carefully.
4*Apply the golden rule-think about how you would like to be treated if you were to find yourself in the same circumstances as your child. Human nature is human nature, regardless of age.
*Show empathy for your child's feeling s. Even if a child's behavior seems illogical, his underlying feelings and needs are real to him. A statement likes 'you seem really unhappy" is a good way to show that you are on your child's side.
*Validate your child's feelings so she knows that you understand and care, and that she will never be rejected for having any particular kinds of alings. For example, "That scared me too when I was little."
*Meet the underlying need that led to the behavior. If we punish the outward behavior, the still contact, gentle touch, and undivided attention
*Chamomile tea is very relaxing for both adults and children. Taken an hour before bedtime by a nursing mother, it can also help to calm her baby. Older children might like iced chamomile tea or popsicles
* Take a time out - with your child. A change of scenery - even if it's just a short time outdoors, can make a real difference for both parent and child.
* Pick a Parenting Card for inspiration and encouragement or create some of your own reminder cards,
*Offer a massage A bedtime massage can help a child to sleep more soundly, giving her more resilience and energy for the following day.
*Give choices. Children need to feel they have a voice. Offering choices, even if they seem unimportant to you ("Do you want the red cup or the blue one?") will help a child feel that he has some say over his life, especially if he has had to cope with recent changes
*Ask yourself "Will look back at this later and laugh?" If so, why not laugh now? Create the kind of memory you would like to have when you look back on this day.
*sugar levels stay high Frequent, small meals are best.
*Breathe! When stressed, we need more oxygen, but tend to take shallow breaths. Even a few deep breaths can help us to calm down and think more clearly
*glass" instead of "Be careful.
*Ask yourself "Will look back at this later and laugh?" If so, why not laugh now? Create the kind of memory you would like to have when you look back on this day.

In these ways, we can best bring about the genuine cooperation ti we seek at the moment. But our greatest reward will be a life-long mutually loving and trusting bond with our child
The family lesson
We hope you all are having family night once a week. If you are not, then now is the perfect time to start!
This is a family lesson which will have a great impact on your children. Sometimes we struggle with our children being mean to each other and calling each other names. The following lesson will show them how this behavior affects others.
Take a bowl of water and some pepper. Tell them that the pepper represents your family members and friends. Then sprinkle a whole lot of pepper into the water. Then say "Watch what happent if you are mean to others (bullying, calling names, not sharing). Then rub dish soap on the tip of your finger and stick your finger into the bowl. All of the pepper will go away from your finger towards the edges of the bowl.
Of course the little children were in awe, "Wow! That's cool! Do it again!" Then explain that, when they are not nice to others, then other people will not want to be around them. Thereafter commit. them to be more kind to one another.
Lessons like this are great reminders for our children and just the fact that you are bringing your family together at least once a week in order to teach them, will increase the love and harmony in your home.