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How Do You Punish A Child For Bad Behavior?

How do you punish a child for bad behavior?" Well, bad behavior definitely needs to be corrected. But I don't punish bad behavior. Now, that doesn't mean they're not corrected and they don't earn negative consequences. I just don't love the word punishing. I don't use that word a lot because it usually means kind of vengeance, vindictiveness. 

Parents are getting the too emotional feeling like they need to pour down their wrath upon the child. And that just isn't necessary. I'm Nicholeen Peck and I teach self-government. Self-government to children, self-government to parents so that full families can be united in love. 

In this article, we're going to talk about how you can better correct your children when they have bad behavior. No child is perfect. But I'm not in the business of making perfect children in my house for anywhere else. I decided years ago when I was doing foster care for treating children ages 12 to 18 that I couldn't make perfect children. 

Those don't exist. But what I could do is I could help change hearts so that they could become joyful adults who knew what their mission in life is and couldn't wait to fight for it and had solid relationships with God and family. That's the type of child that I'm making at my house. And it requires self-government. So, what is self-government? Self-government is basically the process of learning how to analyze yourself, plan for the future, and act deliberately on those plans. 

The definition of self-government is being able to determine the cause and effect of any given situation and possessing a knowledge of your own behaviors so that you can control them. When a person is self-governing, they have to see cause and effect. That's vital. 

Good should equal good. Bad should equal bad. But it doesn't need to feel like someone is being mean to them. It doesn't need to feel like fear or intimidation. There are a lot of punishments out there. People hit their children, people yell at their children. People call their children names, they talk bad about their children behind their backs. They pout. They complain they cry. 

They isolate, they don't talk to their children. Give them the silent treatment. Those are all manipulations. People can call and punishments if they want to. But they're manipulations. And if a person is going to learn cause and effect, if they're going to learn self-government, it's got to be honest. Honesty teaches, honesty touches hearts. And the true process of learning self-government is having a change of heart. 

So, how do we change the hearts of our children? Let's get into that. If we're not going to use punishments, what do we use? --Consequences. Consequences suggest they've been tied ahead of time and then it's just something that someone follows through with. That's the biggest difference. 

When a parent says to a child, "1, 2, 3", those are manipulations and they are punishments meant for intimidation. But when a parent says to a child, "I'm going to teach you how to follow instruction. These are the steps to the following instruction." You look at the person, keep a calm face voice, and body. Say okay or ask to disagree appropriately. 

Do the task immediately and then check back. And when you choose not to do that, then I will do a correction which sounds exactly like this and they know exactly word for word well I'm going to say in the correction. Then if they don't follow the instruction and I do the correction, part of that correction is to earn an extra chore. 

That's the consequence that they have to accept. Well, why an extra chore? Because Samuel Smiles who was a philosopher and writer back in the 1800s wrote a book called CHARACTER. I highly recommend it. In this book, he says work is the antidote for a sick character. So, if a person is disrespecting their parents, being selfish, their character is sick. 

That means they needed to work. Also, that type of consequence is something they can accept themselves. It's not something you impose upon them in a dominating way. You say, "You have earned an extra chore. For your extra chore, you need to wash the bathroom sink, okay?" They have to look at you, keep a calm face voice, and body. Say okay or disagree appropriately and then go and do that extra chore. Check back and drop the subject. 

Which means no whining about it, no complaining, no talking about it anymore, no pouting. The whole time they choose to be okay. Extra chores are quick repentance. They aren't things that follow them around all day like losing certain privileges or taking certain things away from them. They are quick things. They can shift and move on. Which is what they need to do. 

Now, some of these things I'm explaining to you might be wondering where they come from. So these children's books right here teach the 4 basic skills that all people need to learn for self-government. When they are accepting a consequence, they need this book called Big Win for Quin which teaches the skill of how to accept consequences. 

That skill has six steps to it and I just told you what they were. Now, these books are based on my teaching self-government parenting program which goes into more detail about how to correct and things like that. This is what it sounds like when I correct my children and I want you to notice how different it is from giving a punishment. 

In fact, I want you to notice words I say such as "you earned" or "you chose". And how I help them know the right things to say. Before I even do a correction, I often do a pre-teach to remind them of their skill that they know which is how to accept a consequence. And I say to them, "Right now, we're going to have a corrective teaching moment. 

Do you remember how to accept a consequence?" Then they'll say, "Yes, these are the steps to accepting a consequence." And they'll tell me those steps. Then I will praise them and say, "Great job. You really understand how to accept a consequence." Here is the correction: "Just a few minutes ago I gave you an instruction to take the trash out and you walked away from me when I gave that instruction. 

This means you didn't look at me you didn't keep a calm face voice and body. You didn't do the task immediately or check back." You did not follow instructions. And when you did that you chose for us to have another conversation about the trash. And to practice doing things the right way. 

What you should have done was you should have done all 5 steps to following an instruction you should have looked at the person kept a calm face voice and body said okay or ask to disagree appropriately because if you have something else you need to do, you can always talk to me about it. 

Then do the task immediately and then check back. Since you chose not to do those 5 steps for following instructions, you have earned an extra chore, okay? At that point, they say, "Okay." And then I praise them, "You did a great job of keeping a calm face voice, and body and saying okay. 

I know you're choosing to accept a correction right now and a negative consequence was just going to take more of your time and you wanted to go back out to play. But you're making the right choice. For your extra chore, you get the opportunity to wash out the kitchen sink, okay?" Then they'll say, "Okay". I'll praise them and then we will do a practice. 

So, we practice doing things the right way. We'll probably do 3 roleplay practices of following instructions. And then the child gets the opportunity to go take out the trash and wash out the kitchen sink. They check back for both of those things. I praise them. 

Tell them what a great job they did and then they get to move on to play with their friend like they wanted to in the first place which was why they were walking away from me when I tried to give them an instruction to take out the trash. 

Do you feel how positive that is? How uplifting and motivating that is? That type of correction is different than punishment. That type of correction touches the heart of the person and the mind. It helps them choose different behavior for themselves and take ownership of their own behaviors. 

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