One of the hardest things to do for many parents, is sticking to the punishments they give out to their kids. It is easy to see why this is; many parents don’t want to feel like they’re being horrible or too harsh on their children. The reality is however, that if you child didn’t do something wrong in the first place, then you wouldn’t have to punish them.
Why Sticking To Your Word During Punishments Is Important
So, why is it important you stick to your word when it comes to punishing your kids? One word; consistency. In order to have your child listen to you and take your seriously, you have to have your actions match up with your words. So for example, if you consistently tell your child they will be grounded for a week but you only end up grounding them for two days, there’s a good chance they won’t take your grounding seriously any more. Why would they when they know they will be out in a couple of days?
When you punish your child, it’s meant to act as a deterrent so that they don’t do it again. If they don’t mind getting punished because they know you won’t stick to it, they will carry on doing the things they know they are not supposed to be doing.
How To Stick To Your Word During Punishments
So, what are some good ways to make sure you stick to your word during punishments?
- Remember Why They Are In Trouble.
Your child has done something wrong, and you are helping them see that their actions weren’t acceptable. If you ever think about letting them off, remember why you gave the punishment in the first place. You punishing them is helping them to learn what is and is not acceptable, so if you don’t keep the punishment up, they won’t learn from their mistakes.
- Ignore The Tears.
Kids will naturally do anything to get their own way. You will find that they will try and get out of their punishment, using tears if they have to. Instead of giving in and stopping the rest of their punishment, instead let your child calm down and then explain to them why they are in this situation. After a while they will carry on with life, and ride out their punishment by keeping busy in other ways.
- Explain To Them Why They Are In Trouble.
As I briefly touched on above, it is important to explain to your child why they are in trouble. If you simply put them in trouble but it’s not clear to them why this is, they will carry on making the same mistakes. They will also get the feeling that “it’s not fair”. When they feel like this, it takes longer for them to accept they have done something wrong, and essentially calm down.
If they are clear about why they are in trouble and don’t bug you about it however, you become under less pressure to let the punishment slide.
Sticking to your word despite resistance gives your child more time to think about what they have done. It also makes it less likely that the same thing will happen again, as they will realise that they can’t get out of it any time they want.
If you want your child to learn from their mistakes, when they’re in trouble, make sure you stick to your punishments.