Things to do before punishing the child

How many times have we said or heard the phrase ... "until I scold or punish my son he ignores me", "I have already punished him with everything and he is still the same, he ignores", "it does not matter if I punish him, It seems that it does not matter to him, after a while it is the same, it does not work.

Punishments are generally not effective on children. We punish them without a TV, without a tablet, without a bicycle, without toys ... We can't take any more from them, and even then they continue to have behaviors that we don't like. It is time to change tactics and do other kinds of things before punishing the child.

Punishing the child has negative consequences on the child, and also does not usually help us achieve what we want, which is for the child to stop doing something or change a behavior. When I punish the child I teach him that he is "bad", I give him negative data for the construction of his self-esteem and his self-concept (I am bad, I am a pig, I am selfish, I am a pegón). Children often act according to what they believe about themselves, and if they think they are bad, they will misbehave, because they are like that.

In addition, punishment tends to frustrate a child a lot and does not help you improve your behavior, as usually he will be more angry and "behave worse". Which can lead to us punishing him again, we get even more angry and punish him excessively, (a week without watching TV, not going to a friend's birthday ...). And overpunishing the child is negative because in the end, they get used to not having anything, therefore they don't mind if we leave them another week without a bicycle.

The effective alternative to punishment is in the rules, the limits, in establishing consequences for their actions and of course, and most importantly, reinforcing their appropriate behaviors so that they are the ones that are repeated.

Children often misbehave to get our attention. Children can make associations such as, "every time I hit my little brother Mom and Dad listen to me, so for them to listen to me, I have to hit my brother", although paying attention to him means scolding and punishing him, the case is that has the attention of dads. Therefore, we must adopt a preventive strategyThat is, when the child is at home playing, or in the park and is calm, we will reinforce this behavior, congratulate him for how calm he is, or because he has left a toy. That is to say, pay close attention to positive behaviors and reinforce them, instead of looking only at negative ones, (because that way we can only reinforce them).

When we punish the child, we usually have the clear objective that we do it so that the behavior does not repeat itself, that the child learns that this is not done. But more positive than punishing, is helping the child achieve goals and objectivesIn order for him to get them, he has to know what we expect from him or what he has to do at certain times (if I call him to come, eat everything, pick up the toys).

Another important point is to establish consequences for children's actions, (consequence is not the same as punishment). For example, if we don't pick up the toys tomorrow we won't be able to play with them, they can play with the ball, the bike, they can watch TV, but they won't be able to use the toys. We do not punish without playing, (so that he gets bored and learns), but he will not be able to use that toy, but others will. Or, for example, if you take 20 minutes to brush your teeth before falling asleep, you will lose story time. We do not leave you without count, but if it takes more than a certain time, that time is lost from the next activity.

Therefore more than punishing the child, You have to teach him that what we do has consequences and I must accept them, (like when I skip a traffic rule and get fined, for example).

In summary, before punishing the child, I must stop to think about what I want to achieve, and how I can achieve it without having to go to the extreme of punishing the child, which also does not help us to change behaviors.

Some guidelines:

- Tell your child what you want him to achieve / do. Set goals.

- Reinforce positive behaviors and correct negative ones.

- Set clear rules and limits and consequences when those limits are crossed.

If I change the perspective, if I reinforce the positive, if I set clear rules and limits and coherent and appropriate consequences for children's behaviors, we will avoid punishing the child, getting angry and reaching situations that are usually unpleasant and frustrating for everyone.

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