Tag Archives: Punishment

How Can We Teach Personal Responsibility?

As a mother, a teacher, and now as a grandparent, I realize how much children want and need sensible limits. I also appreciate that the way adults set limits and redirect behaviors makes a big difference. I want my grandchildren to recognize that life works on a system of consequences. Even more important, I want the children to learn ways to manage their own behaviors. Consequences and solutions toward self-management go together.

The last time I wrote about behavior management, I suggested that consequences that make sense to children produce much better results than punishments such as spanking or yelling. Punishments produce resentment. Consequences should connect to behaviors in ways that seem reasonable to the child. A consequence provides a way for a child to learn and take responsibility. The child realizes, “When I do ____, ____ results.” Matching the consequence to the behavior makes the difference. However, solution thinking beats both punishment and consequences. Continue reading

What Do You Mean — No Punishment Needed?

Logical and Natural Consequences

One of the most cherished beliefs in parenting and in teaching insists that we must punish children. Punishments require little thought. However, when children fail to see a relationship between their behavior and your punishment, they feel resentful. On the other hand, consider the following idea.

Although we do not need to punish children, we must help children make connections between actions and resulting consequences.

The more that consequences (negative or positive) fit behaviors, the greater understanding children can gain. Most parents and teachers want to promote self-responsibility in children rather than to force compliance through fear. When your consequences make sense to a child, you provide a learning opportunity.

The following examples demonstrate the differences in natural consequences (which occur with no action from you) and logical consequences (which require some participation on your part). Continue reading