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If it doesn’t go the easy way, it won’t go the hard way. What to do instead of punishment?

kidsparents2 yearschild3 yearsFeuilletonchildrenkidLenka Míkovcová4 years5 yearsmotivationRespect and be Respectedrelationpunishment

It’s true, I really didn’t write it incorrectly. Imagine this situation: “Come already or I’m really going to give you one you’re going to remember.” Would you go? Probably not. And if you would, it would be out of fear. In both cases, what does your statement achieve? First, it makes the person angry and he will disprove of you and voice a rude comment. Second, your relationship will go out the window. Additionally, he will think to himself that you’re not worth anything if this is how you treat him. And finally, he will get the impression that using a physical threat to achieve your goal will be the norm if you want something from him.

The negative effects of forcing your will upon someone else are therefore enormous.

So what should be done in place of threats and punishment? Let the natural causes of wrong behaviour take their toll and then help him set the things right. The entire situation could be as follows.

You came late into the dining room yet again, on your way to your weekly afterschool activity. You are both hungry, but it’s already closed. … “It really annoys me, that we came late. I have been expecting that you were not going to play around when we’re in a hurry. You know, if we come at the right time we can eat calmly and without having to wait in line. Now we’re going to have one roll on the way home.” After the activity and while returning home we go back to the topic same topic. “What do you propose we do, so that we can arrive on time? You can take some toys with you and play with them right before the activity or we can wake up earlier in the morning and make a cold snack instead of a warm lunch and not be in a hurry.”

The next week, the situation repeats itself. The late arrival to the dining hall is inevitable and you haven’t agreed on making a snack. “You know what, from now on, we’re going to buy a plain roll on our way. Next week there will be no more lunch in the dining hall. When you get the feeling you want to have a proper meal before your activity, I’ll help you make a snack and we’ll agree on when we will purchase lunches in the dining hall. “

The following advice is taken from the book Respect and Be Respected*

  • Show your child that you are agitated by the situation and make your expectations clear.
  • Ask him to take part in the solution and if possible, give him a choice to improve the situation.
  • If all previous procedures have failed, take additional measures and give him another chance to make things right.

*Respect and Be Respected, Pavel Kopřiva, Jana Nováčková, Dobromila Nevolová, Taťjana Kopřivová, Pavel Kopřiva - Spirála, 2008

Author: Lenka Míkovcová

Translation: Marek Hubbell