8 Ways to Punish a Child That Won’t Damage Their Self-Esteem

According to statistics, almost every single parent is convinced that they are doing the right job raising their children and teaching them lessons. But in fact, it’s not all that simple and smooth. Most of the time, adults can’t control their emotions and punish their children more than they deserve. This, in turn, has negative consequences for the children: they develop fears and stereotypes that make everything harder for them.

1. If a child didn’t have bad intentions, they shouldn’t be punished.

Most of the time, children aren’t trying to harm anyone, they just want to discover things. And when a child is just trying to learn, they should be supported even if their actions led to something bad. The same goes for situations that were complete coincidences. Sympathize with the child and tell them how to fix the situation.

When punishing children for accidents, parents risk raising an indecisive person. They can do things on command really well because they are used to behaving in the presence of someone powerful. But this adult can’t make their own decisions, and they are also not very responsible.


2. Suggestions and orders are different things.

These situations are called stereotypical actions. Most of the time, parents think that traditional ways of upbringing are right. Adults’ thinking goes like this: “because it’s right” or “because my parents did the same thing.” There is a huge difference between saying “Maybe, you shouldn’t play games?” and “Don’t play games.” The first is a suggestion, and the latter is an order. So, you should only punish your children if you’ve ordered your children to do or not to do something.

If a child is emotionally strong and stable and they get punished for going against a suggestion, it will be okay for them. But if they are sensitive, it can hurt them. When a sensitive child grows up, this could make them want to follow the orders of all people they respect because they are scared of the consequences.


3. Punishment should not be emotional.

If a child doesn’t want to obey, some parents get really angry and they can’t control it even though they love their children. It is often caused by huge expectations for children. And when these expectations meet reality, parents become unsatisfied. These emotions should be suppressed.

If a child is easily impressionable, they might have problems in the future because of all the screaming. Psychologists say that they may be dependent on people who have a high social status.


4. Public punishment is unacceptable.

Public punishment makes children embarrassed and angry. Psychologists don’t recommend using popular phrases like “what will other people say?” By the way, pretty much the same thing happens when children are rewarded in public, they may become too arrogant.

A child who is often punished in public always feels humiliated and expects the situation to repeat. In their adult life, they can turn into a person that totally relies on the opinion of the majority and they won’t be able to make their own decisions.