Growing up I hated the whole punishment process even though I knew I was wrong in doing something I wasn’t suppose to do. All to often I would say that I would never punish my kids the same way I was punished (i.e. grounding, spanking). Its funny now that I think about it that even though I was determined not to do the same with my kids I reverted to the same things I hated as a child. Many parents and social workers look to timeouts, or reflection time as its often called. Apparently, they don’t realize that what works for some kids doesn’t always work for others. I hate the thought of spanking my kids so much so that I only use it as a last resort. Most people disagree saying that spanking a child will teach them that it is okay to hit or be violent. I, however, disagree with that sediment. I got my fair share of spankings as a child and not once did it make me think that acting out or hitting was okay. I learned through those spankings as I got older that they taught me to do as I was told or there will be consequences that I don’t want. Do I use spankings as the only punishment for my kids? No. I do try the timeouts. Sometimes those work and sometimes they don’t. My daughter got so into the timeouts that when she misbehaved she would put herself in timeout and therefore, that punishment became ineffective with her. I’ve been told to take toys away but in this day and age with all the toys kids get taking toys away isn’t as effective as I’d like it to be.
My solution: Use spankings as a last resort only when I run through my list of punishments and they are not effective. Although I constantly hear from one kid to the other “That’s not fair” when one child is punished differently I still stick with the same things. I learned from my kids and their different personalities that although a timeout may work for one of them it doesn’t always work with the others. On the brink of giving up and not knowing what else to do, I finally realized that I should use to my advantage the things they dislike doing the most. For my preteen I have come to use chores as punishment whereas with my 7 year old son I take his electronics from him since doing chores is something he enjoys. Most would argue that it isn’t fair that those punishments are so different but most parents would also know that not every child is the same when it comes to anything in the parenting world. The only thing any parent can ever do is raise their child the best they know how and hope that their child grows up to be a successful person. I personally don’t believe that the way a child is punished, if done correctly, will turn out to be a great person. There are too many examples of kids who come from excellent homes that don’t grow up to be good people. There are also examples of kids who had a horrible childhood that grow into successful people who have their life on track.
So, do punishments, if done correctly, impact a child’s life for better or worse? I think that it just depends on that child and what decisions they choose to make as they grow and become adults. Every person has choices in their life and it is ultimately up to them what path they choose to take. As for parenting and punishments; I just do the best I can, the only way I know how, whether others view it as fair or not, and pray that everything decision and punishment I made or gave out helps my kids grow to be successful, loving people.