Child Discipline Strategies

Creative Punishments for Children

Elinda Harrison's image for:
"Creative Punishments for Children"
Image by: 

Creative punishments for children...

I don't like the sound of the punishments for children and am afraid that the message this is sending may be harmful for children. I believe the term discipline for children is easier for me and perhaps easier for the child or children involved. Although I feel this is a difficult subject, I do believe it to be a necessary one. In our society, our children are expected to follow certain rules and guidelines that are usually provided to them by both parents and environment (societal surroundings).

An example of these rules are as innocent as a child having to brush his/her teeth before meals and/or before bedtime to no fighting, no biting, no stealing. As children age, they become more sophisticated and usually the rules and/or guidelines will change. I recently read an article in the publication "Cyc-OInline by John Stein (June 2005) that states, "In psychology, any stimulus that reduces the strength of a behavior in some measurable way is a punishment for that behavior. Punishment is something that happens to behavior rather than something that is done to a person."

Punishment, creative or otherwise, is introduce to children early in life in most homes (environments). This is usually the consequences of doing bad deeds and getting caught. Many parents have used time outs as punishment, or have made the child go to their rooms without dinner or without tv, etc. Sounds old school, out-dated, mundane, all of the above?

Ask yourself, "How creative are these tactics?" The answer you may find is "all of these tactics lack creativity." Often as a result of doing something wrong, the child is naturally punished long before we may even get wind of what the misdeed was. Huh? Have you ever done something wrong and the guilt of whatever it was became more of a punishment than what your parents considered appropriate for the deed? Experts have stated that these are natural consequences (natural punishments) and they may be the types of punishments we attain far more benefit.

In today's world or technology, cell phones, games, and musical gadgets, I believe we can have very creative punishments. I believe these creative punishments hurt a lot more than what was deemed creative in my day (as a kid, teenager). Today, taking a kid's cell phone for a few days, or taking the ipod away, is absolutely devastating! Let's forget for a moment that a 13 years old has a cell phone-Hello.

Why does a 13 year old have a cell? Because he must have it. She must have one. Every girl on the block has a cell and calls his/her "bff" all the time. Or OMG, she/he will die without the latest music on the Ipod. Not only do I find this ridiculous, I also find it sad that we believe this to be good parenting. Creative punishments? Tell the child "NO Textmessages for Two or Three Days, Starting now!"

The look you will get will prove that your child thinks you are a bad parent, but not an abusive one! Be in charge and find ways to discipline. All we do is for our children and what we feel is best for them. Right?

More about this author: Elinda Harrison

From Around the Web