The AAP policy statement, “Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children,” highlights why it’s important to focus on teaching good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior.
Research shows that spanking, slapping and other forms of physical punishment don’t work well to correct a child’s behavior.
How can punishment be effective?
Punishment is effective to subdue unwanted behavior, and it is usually painful, physically or psychologically, so people tend to avoid punishment. The effectiveness of punishment depends on several factors: Frequency of punishment, immediacy of punishment, and positive reinforcement on positive or good behavior.
Why is not using punishment effective in correcting children’s behavior?
Punishment even at its best, does not develop the positive behavior the parents wish. That is, it does not teach the child what to do, but may momentarily suppress the undesired behavior. Developing behavior does not come from merely suppressing unwanted behaviors.
At what age does a child understand consequences?
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.