1 Answer | Add Yours
Somewhere between “Spare the rod and spoil the child” and “My displeasure is enough punishment” is a middle-ground stance for raising children, and that stance is rewarding good behavior with long-term rewards (not immediate “sweets” but with promises kept “The circus next week”) When a parent pulls a child’s arm or slaps him slightly on the back of his hand TO DEMONSTRATE AVOIDANCE OF DANGER (fire or traffic, etc.), no-one would think that that was unnecessary punishment. The line is crossed when physical punishment is a parent’s angry reaction to the parent’s own frustration, not a thought-out response. A middle ground is simply the rejection of emotion and the use of mature reason. To cause a child to fear physical pain as a parental reaction is to teach them that emotional damage to the harmony of the household means nothing. Nature herself (gravity, rain, scraped knees, etc.) teaches the cause-effect relationship between certain behaviors and pain—the parent’s job is to teach the cause-effect relationship between good behavior and household harmony. “Happiness is obeying the first time.” Finally, there has to be drawn a difference between “wrong” behavior and simply “undesirable” (by the parents) behavior. This comes as the child’s moral sense develops later in childhood.
We’ve answered 319,865 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question