Guidance vs Punishment: What works best?
Created by Deepti Thakur Updated on May 04, 2020
Whether to discipline your child through guidance or punishment is a question that disturbs every mom. It bothered me as well. But thanks to my stars my better sense prevailed and I realised that if I want to discipline my child I will have to be his guide and not tormentor – (that’s what I will be if I keep punishing him for small-small things).
To be really honest, I witnessed a scenario that left a deep mark on my mind and made me realise the difference between guidance and punishment. I am sharing that scenario here with you.
Scenario: Aarav is a 4 year old boy who just started his primary school. One day his mom got a complaint from his teacher that Aarav had hit another boy in his class.
Mom's reaction 1 (Punishment): When they came home, mom screamed at Aarav because he had a history of hitting children in pre-school too. She said, "How many times do I have to tell you to not to hit others? You don't listen, you are a naughty boy. You will get punishment for this, no cricket for next 2 days, and no TV or mobile. Then you will understand."
Aarav's reaction 1 (disappointment and depression): He will get further disappointed after hitting episode of school due to mom's anger. Plus, he won't be able to play his favourite sport for big 2 days. That's too much for him.
Analysis: You may think that mommy is right here in punishing young Aarav as he has a history of hitting other children. But did you even think about the young Aarav? What prompted him to hit another child? Did anyone even once asked him about the real reasons of hitting the other boy? No.
Now read the same situation with different reaction.
Mom's reaction 2: When they came home, Mom gave food to Aarav. When he finished his food, Mom held him in her lap, and gently asked him to tell the whole story. Aarav told that he and his friend wanted the same toy, and his friend was not giving him the toy. So, he hit him. He wanted the toy. Mom says, "I understand that you wanted the toy (empathy), I also loved toys when I was a child. But hitting him is absolutely wrong. How would you have felt if he had hit you?"
Aarav replies "I would have cried and asked for help from Ma'am." Mom says "Exactly, that's how your friend felt. Let's promise that no matter what happens, you are not going to hit anyone in future. Say sorry to your friend tomorrow."
Aarav's reaction 2 (mom understands the reason, mom’s not angry): He felt that Mom understood her even though he did wrong. And he will remember what Mom said. He will say sorry for his mistake.
In both the cases Aarav was wrong, but in the first case, Aarav doesn’t realise his mistake and instead felt that no one understands him, however, in the second case, Aarav not only realised his mistake, he also felt that his mom understood him.
Hence, remember that punishment may seem easy but they are not a solution for any problem. We need to raise our children in a manner that they understand their mistakes, and we have to help them to learn to fix their mistakes. It doesn't matter how many times we have to GUIDE THROUGH LOVE, sooner or later our guidance will sit in their minds and will start coming into their behaviour. And a child raised through gentle guidance will then guide other children the right way.
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| Apr 30, 2017
Hi all.. I have a 4 years kid... he is very very naughty nowadays don't listen to what we say and does many things which we say no! not to do. he is very restless to listen especially mom's word's he takes it for granted. He have a less attitude of sharing his belongings though I tried to my him share his things but still am unable,, he is very possisve about his belongings. He gets angry very quickly,,food habit is also OK not so good. Can anybody guide me how to handle him in a clam way. I am a working women and we live in a joint family.
| May 13, 2017
really good and nice way even i had to change my mindset that still there are lots of ways to make kids understand rather to scold and beating.. Love care amd understanding is the best heal and way we must proceed.. Who in this world doesnt make mistakes we so call educated parents do makes mistakes amd expect that we should receive the warm and soft way to correct amd realise mistake so are the kids ...my son is 5 yrs old even he do the same he is very stubborn and irritates us lot my creating troubles making shabby walls showing tounge to elders ...I dont say that everytime love is the only heal but for sure beating and scolding is not also perfect way.. Thanks for sharing such informative topics