5 best ways to punish a child

Some children while growing up can be naughty and can make the parent run around the house for several impossible things.

It’s time you put your foot down and be a little strict with them before they become spoiled.

And this means that sometimes, you will have to punish them if they misbehave but by punishment we donot mean that you should beat them. Spanking and yelling can have negative consequences.

It could cause behavioural and psychological problems in kids and in the long run, it can result in low self-esteem, aggression and stress related issues.

The aim of punishing your child is to teach the kids the importance of good behaviour

As parent while punishing kids, we often forget that punishment is not supposed to make your kids afraid of you, the only aim of punishing your child is to teach the kids the importance of good behaviour. So here are a few best ways in which you can punish your child.

These simple ways apply if you are wondering how to punish a child without losing your temper.

  • 1- Increase house “Chores”
  • 2- Make them go to bed early
  • 3- Apply TimeOut
  • 4- Marble in bottle
  • 5- Taking away some privileges.


The parenting can be a heavy job sometimes, especially when your kids are misbehaving and you have to think of different ways to make them reconsider and change their bad behaviour in the future.

The punishments are the most used ways for the shaping of the mind of the children but they have to be created wisely, in order to be achieved the right effect. Making the kid do the dishes, vacuum the carpets or take out the laundry are among the common punishments which the parents use every day.

This is a smart strategy which will either make the child more responsible or will end up making the little one even more rebellious than before.

That is why you have to consider all pros and cons of the punishment you are planning to give to your kid in advance, if you want to avoid dealing with the bad side effects of your decision.

Cleaning your entire home might be of great importance for the reshaping of the behaviour of your child. Since the good order and the presentable look of your property have to be maintained any way, making your kid participate in your daily or weekly cleaning routines will definitely teach him or her a good lesson and it will also help you in a way.

Before you make the important decision of burdening your children with various cleaning task or other household chores, it will be very useful to sit down and make a list with the pros and cons which come with your choice. In this article we will present to you some examples for the common advantages and disadvantages of using the different chores as a punishment tool.

Let us look at the pros and con that make house chores as a punishment for a child;

The Pros

In the category with pros of punishing your children with the performing of different household chores could appear several things. Undoubtedly, the most obvious pro is the fact that by helping around the house, even without wanting, the child will learn to be more responsible.

What will begin as a punishment might develop into an important habit which will help to the child later in his life to plan and accomplish easier the maintenance of his personal home.

Another pro is that in the course of the punishment, the kid will learn to work with various utensils, appliances and products. For instance, if you decide to punish your 13 year-old daughter with ironing the clothes, she might not like it but will definitely remember how to use the iron.

The punishing will definitely make the children respect you more. This will teach them that every bad decision they make and the following actions from it have consequences in life. Even though they might not realize that immediately, they will certainly understand you later when they are more mature.

The Cons

As good as the punishing with household chores looks to you, you have to consider also the bad sides of that decision and it certainly has such. One of them is burdening the mind of the child with negative experiences. If the kid has never done any work around the house before, making him or her do it by force might lead to the hating of this type of work in the future.

Another thing you should consider for your list with cons is whether or not your child will be able to handle the cleaning, the washing or some other type of household task you are planing to give. If your kid is too small, this type of jobs might seem too complicated and he or she might not even understand the meaning of the punishment. You should also think about whether or not it will be better and more productive to think of some other way to teach your little one a lesson.


Most parents believe that going to bed early is a good punishment. This seems like a good plan, but the Punishment is a negative consequence. When used properly, punishment eliminates or reduces misbehavior. Using punishment correctly is difficult.

It requires consistent follow-through. Too much punishment is harmful; it creates unpleasant feelings and drains energy. Punishment works, but it is not easy to use effectively. Most parents believe that punishing a misbehavior will stop the child from repeating the misbehavior. Sometimes this is true, but sometimes it is not!

Punishment works, but it is not easy to use effectively

When you overreact because you are angry, you may say things that you do not mean. You cannot ground a child for life. Do not punish when you are angry. You will be teaching your children that punishment is a form of revenge.

The purpose of punishment is to change a misbehavior and teach better decision making. Punishment is most effective when it is predetermined and planned. Punishment does not work well as an impulsive reaction. When you become angry, you are acting as a model for negative behavior. You will not be teaching your children to make better decisions.


This ways of punishment can be applicable to a different child age-bracket, because it has rule that fit in to a child when it comes to it consistency to change the child behaviour.

Ages 0 to 2
Babies and toddlers are naturally curious. So it’s wise to eliminate temptations and no-nos — items such as TVs and video equipment, stereos, jewelry, and especially cleaning supplies and medicines should be kept well out of reach.

When your crawling baby or roving toddler heads toward an unacceptable or dangerous play object, calmly say “No” and either remove your child from the area or distract him or her with an appropriate activity.

Timeouts can be effective discipline for toddlers. A child who has been hitting, biting, or throwing food, for example, should be told why the behavior is unacceptable and taken to a designated timeout area — a kitchen chair or bottom stair — for a minute or two to calm down (longer timeouts are not effective for toddlers).

It’s important to not spank, hit, or slap a child of any age. Babies and toddlers are especially unlikely to be able to make any connection between their behavior and physical punishment. They will only feel the pain of the hit.

And don’t forget that kids learn by watching adults, particularly their parents. Make sure your behavior is role-model material. You’ll make a much stronger impression by putting your own belongings away rather than just issuing orders to your child to pick up toys while your stuff is left strewn around.

Ages 3 to 5
As your child grows and begins to understand the connection between actions and consequences, make sure you start communicating the rules of your family’s home.

Explain to kids what you expect of them before you punish them for a behavior. The first time your 3-year-old uses crayons to decorate the living room wall, discuss why that’s not allowed and what will happen if your child does it again (for instance, your child will have to help clean the wall and will not be able to use the crayons for the rest of the day).

If the wall gets decorated again a few days later, issue a reminder that crayons are for paper only and then enforce the consequences.

The earlier that parents establish this kind of “I set the rules and you’re expected to listen or accept the consequences” standard, the better for everyone. Although it’s sometimes easier for parents to ignore occasional bad behavior or not follow through on some threatened punishment, this sets a bad precedent. Empty threats undermine your authority as a parent, and make it more likely that kids will test limits.

Consistency is the key to effective discipline, and it’s important for parents to decide (together, if you are not a single parent) what the rules are and then uphold them.

While you become clear on what behaviors will be punished, don’t forget to reward good behaviors. Don’t underestimate the positive effect that your praise can have — discipline is not just about punishment, but also about recognizing good behavior. For example, saying “I’m proud of you for sharing your toys at playgroup” is usually more effective than punishing a child who didn’t share. And be specific when giving praise rather than just saying “Good job!” You want to make it clear which behaviors you liked. This makes them more likely to happen in the future — the more attention we give to a behavior, the more likely it is to continue.

If your child continues an unacceptable behavior no matter what you do, try making a chart with a box for each day of the week. Decide how many times your child can misbehave before a punishment kicks in or how long the proper behavior must be seen before it is rewarded. Post the chart on the refrigerator and then track the good and unacceptable behaviors every day. This will give your child (and you) a concrete look at how it’s going. Once this begins to work, praise your child for learning to control misbehavior and, especially, for overcoming any stubborn problem.

Timeouts also can work well for kids at this age. Pick a suitable timeout place, such as a chair or bottom step, that’s free of distractions. Remember, getting sent to your room isn’t effective if a computer, TV, or games are there. Also, a timeout is time away from any type of reinforcement. So your child shouldn’t get any attention from you while in a timeout — including talking, eye contact etc.

Be sure to consider the length of time that will work best for your child. Experts say 1 minute for each year of age is a good rule of thumb; others recommend using the timeout until the child is calmed down (to teach self-regulation). Make sure that if a timeout happens because your child didn’t follow directions, you follow through with the direction after the timeout.

It’s important to tell kids what the right thing to do is, not just to say what the wrong thing is. For example, instead of saying “Don’t jump on the couch,” try “Please sit on the furniture and put your feet on the floor.”

Be sure to give clear, direct commands. Instead of “Could you please put your shoes on?” say “Please put your shoes on.” This leaves no room for confusion and does not imply that following directions is a choice.

Ages 6 to 8
Timeouts and consequences are also effective discipline strategies for this age group.

Again, consistency is crucial, as is follow-through. Make good on any promises of discipline or else you risk undermining your authority. Kids have to believe that you mean what you say. This is not to say you can’t give second chances or allow a certain margin of error, but for the most part, you should act on what you say.

Be careful not to make unrealistic threats of punishment (“Slam that door and you’ll never watch TV again!”) in anger, since not following through could weaken all your threats. If you threaten to turn the car around and go home if the squabbling in the backseat doesn’t stop, make sure you do exactly that. The credibility you’ll gain with your kids is much more valuable than a lost beach day.

Huge punishments may take away your power as a parent. If you ground your son or daughter for a month, your child may not feel motivated to change behaviors because everything has already been taken away. It may help to set some goals that kids can meet to earn back privileges that were taken away for misbehavior.

Ages 9 to 12
Kids in this age group — just as with all ages — can be disciplined with natural consequences. As they mature and request more independence and responsibility, teaching them to deal with the consequences of their behavior is an effective and appropriate method of discipline.

For example, if your fifth grader’s homework isn’t done before bedtime, should you make him or her stay up to do it or even lend a hand yourself? Probably not — you’ll miss an opportunity to teach a key life lesson. If homework is incomplete, your child will go to school the next day without it and suffer the resulting bad grade.

It’s natural for parents to want to rescue kids from mistakes, but in the long run they do kids a favor by letting them fail sometimes. Kids see what behaving improperly can mean and probably won’t make those mistakes again.

However, if your child does not seem to be learning from natural consequences, set up some of your own to help change the behavior. Removing privileges such as electronics can be an effective consequence for this age group.

Ages 13 and Up
By now you’ve laid the groundwork. Your child knows what’s expected and that you mean what you say about the penalties for bad behavior. Don’t let down your guard now — discipline is just as important for teens as it is for younger kids. Just as with; the 4-year-old who needs you to set a bedtime and enforce it, your teen needs boundaries, too.

Set up rules regarding homework, visits by friends, curfews, and dating and discuss them beforehand with your teenager so there will be no misunderstandings. Your teen will probably complain from time to time, but also will realize that you’re in control. Believe it or not, teens still want and need you to set limits and enforce order in their lives, even as you grant them greater freedom and responsibility.

When your teen does break a rule, taking away privileges may seem the best plan of action. While it’s fine to take away the car for a week, for example, be sure to also discuss why coming home an hour past curfew is unacceptable and worrisome.

Remember to give a teenager some control over things. Not only will this limit the number of power struggles you have, it will help your teen respect the decisions that you do need to make. You could allow a younger teen to make decisions concerning school clothes, hair styles, or even the condition of his or her room. As your teen gets older, that realm of control might be extended to include an occasional relaxed curfew.

It’s also important to focus on the positives. For example, have your teen earn a later curfew by demonstrating positive behavior instead of setting an earlier curfew as punishment for irresponsible behavior.


This form of punishment can come in a way that you keep a glass bottle or a jar of a preferred size with a mouth wide enough to drop marbles using a permanent marker and a measuring scale make a mark after every 2 to 3 inches. At each mark, there will be priveledge the child will lose. Now depending on the history of bad behaviour your kids has had, you can define how many marbles need to go into the bottle Everytime he mark thesame mistake. And every mark he crosses, he will lose a privilege. The child will be pushed to correct his behaviour at some point to avoid meeting the mark and losing his privileges.

Children need to be disciplined in a way that is not too harsh, encourage them to correct their behaviour and listen to their parent.

Punishment should not be humiliating for children; instead they should teach kids to make better use of their time and learn something new while learning the value of good behaviour.


Sometimes there isn’t a logical or natural consequence for a bad behavior — or you don’t have time to think it through. In this case, the consequence for unacceptable behavior may be taking away a privilege. For example, if a middle schooler doesn’t complete her homework on time, you may choose to take away television privileges for the evening. This discipline technique works best if the privilege is:

Related in some way to the behavior
Something the child values
Taken away as soon as possible after the inappropriate behavior (especially for young children).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.