CNN highlights Katherine Lewis’s “The Good News About Bad Behavior.” Lewis shows why punishment doesn’t work and outlines various approaches to helping kids learn self-control.
Elissa Strauss writes (excerpt):
“Punishment is something imposed on a less powerful person by a more powerful person. It sets up our children to want power and control,” she said. “Consequences teach us a lesson, and allow children to learn by the situation. What happens when I forget my sweatshirt? I am a bit chilly. It’s a cleaner lesson, and works much faster.”
For younger children, who tend to have worse judgment than their older counterparts, Lewis recommends creating a consequence contract. Together, parent and child can identify the bad behavior before it arises and then the child can suggest what he thinks the repercussion should be.