Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Parenting tools:Punishment, reward and incentives (part 1)

punishment as a tool for disciplining a child

As parents we oftentime used these three tools in  disciplining our kids. These tools are rewards, puishment and incentives which are distinct from one to another but plays important role in teaching our children the importance of discipline.

Reward is something extra parents give in to bribe  children to change behavior while punishment is enforced when the child misbehave. The two tools are used by dictators parents to enforce their orders. Children are put in line of doing what parents want them to do with a promise of rewards and punishment when they misbehave or go against what is expected of them. Although these tools have been proven effective thrugh the years, in the present society where equality is supreme, these tools seem to be more of a distracting tools than constractive when used in disciplining children.

In our days when every child has his own right, rewards and punishment may not work. But what should be done to enforce discipline ? This is where incentives take as the better tools. Incentives is built into the consequences and is connected to events. While events are  enforced, incentives let children have a choice. It gives children their right to assess the events and what to do in order to improve their behavior.

Punishment may work in the short run  but when children are under the htreat of punishment, it may not be effective in the long run. It is like hurting someone and giving hinm the unspoken right to hurt back someone.

Disciplining using incentives is explaining the consequences of the events to a child and about the negative behavior associated with it. This will help him understand what change is expected from him. It imay  not  be easy but clear information and communition can help.

Explaining to a child that his right of choice bears logical consequences and incentives motivate him to make his choice positively. This can make him start a change that is more attractive to him. which is more likely to be towards a positive behavior.

Next : The dangers of incentives turning to  punishments

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