Tom Gloger on Punishment

I used to think my thoughts below were about discipline, but I have come to realize I had punishment and discipline mixed up.  Still, I have a few things to say about punishment and when it’s needed.

I think I found the fol­low­ing art­i­cle on on July 2, 2012, who attrib­uted it to, who attrib­uted it to Judy Wright Helm[sic] and dated it June 7, 2012.

How to Discipline Your Kids: 5 Tips for Dads
By Judy Helm Wright

Find out how dads can be firm while bond­ing with their kids.  Many fathers assume dis­ci­pline means yelling, threat­en­ing or spank­ing children when their behavior is unac­cept­able.  How­ever, dis­ci­pline can be inter­preted in many ways and dealt with dif­fer­ently among dif­fer­ent fathers.

The first thing to know about dis­ci­pline is the two ways it can be inter­preted.  Some men may be con­fus­ing dis­ci­pline - which means lov­ing guid­ance and teach­ing - with pun­ish­ment.  Pun­ish­ment is puni­tive and harsh.

Their own fathers worked long hours and the mother did most of the par­ent­ing, some­times with threats such as, “just wait till your father comes home!”  Con­se­quently, some men grew up with­out a strong, car­ing father.  Those men may not be sure how to par­ent or how to get coope­ra­tion with­out punish­ing or yell­ing.

If there is a blended family, or the children are in two house­holds, it is very impor­tant for dads to be con­sis­tent in giv­ing kind, firm guid­ance and discipline.  Be con­sis­tent.  If one par­ent is per­mis­sive and the other is puni­tive or strict, the comb­ined meth­ods cons­ti­tute a mixed approach.  For a child, this is like liv­ing in a coun­try where two dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ments are oper­at­ing simul­tan­eously.

Children figure out quickly when the rules are dif­fer­ent between two par­ents, and they learn to play one against the other.  This mixed, or incon­sis­tent, approach brings out the most extreme reac­tions in par­ents and child­ren.  So, as a dad, make a deci­sion that your method of parent­ing will be con­sis­tent and re­spect­ful.  Once your child knows what your expec­ta­tions are, he or she will more eas­ily rise to meet those guide­lines and trust you.

With that being said, build­ing a trust­ing rela­tion­ship with a child is key to pro­per dis­ci­pline.  Here are five tips fathers can use to dis­ci­pline a child, while also build­ing a strong father-child bond:

  1. Be firm, kind and respectful in setting boun­dar­ies.
  2. Try to say yes, more often than no.  “Yes, you may have a cookie ... right after din­ner.”
  3. Use logical consequences to cor­rect inap­pro­pri­ate behav­ior.  “If you leave your bike out­side on the side­walk once more, we will put it in the gar­age for a week.”  And then do it.
  4. Be a role model for integrity.  Your child will learn much more from what you do, rather than from what you say.
  5. Hold fam­ily meet­ings to allow every­one to share ideas and sug­ges­tions, on how to make the family con­nect more closely and the house run smoothly.  Make these meet­ings a pri­or­ity and make them a joy­ful time, not a time of cor­rec­tion or con­flict.
Be a role model.  Being an effec­tive and lov­ing Dad is one of the high­est hon­ors a man can have.  When you build those strong con­nec­tions and trust with your child, you will have gained a leg­acy that you can both be proud of.
This has got to be my weakest sub­ject, because every child is dif­fer­ent and I’ve only had two.  Two very dif­fer­ent ones, I might add.  Both girls.  So your mile­age may vary.  But here goes.

So, say your toddler knows the knobs on the ent­er­tain­ment center are off-limits.  But he goes there any­way, and starts to reach for them.  You say “No!”  He looks at you and smiles, but keeps reach­ing.  If you’ve already spanked him once or twice, chances are all you have to do is start to stand up, and he’ll get the mes­sage.

Once a child gets older, reduc­tion of priv­il­eges is more effec­tive.
When a child can be brought to tears, not from fear of pun­ish­ment, but from repen­tance for his offence, he needs no chas­tise­ment. When the tears begin to flow from grief at one’s own con­duct, be sure there is an angel nes­tling in the bosom.   Horace Mann

Anger can make almost any­one exag­ger­ate.  I found when I was angry, the best thing was to call a time-out for both of us, dur­ing which both sides should con­sider the valid­ity of their posi­tion. This was often fol­lowed by a rea­soned, if edgy, discussion of the differences, and sometimes at least partial apologies from both sides.  It is import­ant that you dem­on­strate for your child­ren the pro­per way to han­dle being wrong.

Last updated 27 April 2020.  Still needs work.  Dif­fering opin­ions are wel­comed.