My Children and Punishment


For my last post I wanted to talk about punishment and how I as a new father can utilize this effective learning tool as my children grow. I like the conditioned suppression theory and how instead if trying to target eliminating a specific behavior, we can instead change the emotions behind the negative behavior, so our children know to associate that behavior with something negative. For example, if my child knows to have a meltdown in a restaurant when she doesn’t get what she wants, if I am able to change her emotional response to this action, she will inherently stop said behavior. These punishments on my end must be consistent however, if I only choose to call out her behavior when I am in public and embarrassed, she will not correctly correlate the emotional response I am working to change to that behavior.

These noncontingent responses will have an adverse effect on her, if my responses to her behaviors fluctuate between not caring and laying down the hammer, she will never connect the punishment to that behavior. If I am not consistent in the morals and values I am trying to instill into my daughters, they may unfortunately learn to become helpless, quitting at and sight of hardship or struggle. As the texts states, delivering punishments in a immediate, consistent and sufficient intensity is a must on my end.

Finally balancing the use of negative and positive punishments will be important in my approach to handling different behaviors and emotions I am trying to inflict on my child. Such tools like time out and response cost will be important in my negative punishment toolbox. Utilizing the different tools to get the best response possible is important. I understand that what worked for me as a child was different from my sisters, I cannot try and beat a dead horse or simply give up, I must identify the punishments that work and those I need to change or adapt to achieve the positive outcome I am looking for in my child.


  1. My mother also conducted that research with me, looking at various methods of discipline and taking into account the psychological effects it had on me. It is true that discipline should be applied carefully and consistently to assist positively mold behavior over time. Find what is most effective for your child's growth and development by continuing to learn and adjust.


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