Last week we were talking about the different punishments that parents can apply to their teenage children to change their character. Today we will mention a new one: verbal punishment.
Verbal punishment, yelling at them, criticizing them, repeating the same thing to them, constantly intimidating them, insulting them or giving them long speeches, and telling them things that do not make them feel guilty, ashamed or fearful, go into this category. However, this is a very ineffective punishment, is not effective especially with adolescents.
Many boys learn not to pay attention and completely ignore their parents ‘ way of speaking or shouting abruptly or incoherently; it enters them through one ear and out through the other.Some boys even develop resentment and anger towards their parents when these tactics are used, while others become more distant in dealing with their parents.
Another form of punishment is physical punishment; beating them, spanking them or another form of physical punishment such as these are within this category. This may also refer to controlling the boy through intimidation or fear, in other words, the boy will be told: “I am greater than you and therefore I can make you do what I want.” I believe that numerous other forms of discipline can be used more effectively with adolescents and that this form of punishment must be avoided.
How to Punish Your Child
Punishment is a parent’s way of acting that can be used to change the behavior of teens; however, there are certain things that need to be kept in mind so that when the punishment is used it can be effective and the problems that may occur at that time can be minimized. Using the punishment along with other ways to treat your teen, is very important.
There are three main ways to discipline your teen that can be used: punishment, rewarding them for certain accomplishments and ignoring certain behaviors. Punishment is most effective when used in conjunction with other methods of discipline when it is used as the main method of control is less effective than when in some cases punish the boy and in others, you give a reward for some achievement or some good behavior.
Taking away privileges from the boy or restricting activities that he/she likes will be more effective or given rewards for certain accomplishments or privileges for certain behaviors. The more you use it in your dealings with your boy, giving him privileges and rewards and encouraging him for the things he does well, will be more effective when the punishment is applied.
For this, it is important that you learn to define expectations (“if you do this, then you will have this”) and not only expectations but also rules. About this, we talked about earlier, basically, it means that parents should avoid ambiguous expressions, like “I want you to be good, Well-behaved or better at school”, and you should define exactly what it means by good and well-behaved.
You must also avoid applying the punishment to them only from time to time, and deciding what punishment they will get until after the rule has been broken or disobeyed; before the boy disobeys the rule, they must be told the consequences to come. For example, before the boy arrives at 2 o’clock in the morning he should be told: “if you arrive after 12 o’clock at night, then you will lose these privileges”
Also, tell him/her what the punishment consists of and when it ends, he/she must know how long the punishment will last and what he/she can do to get out of it. For example, you can ban him from using the phone for a week, this clearly defines how long the time is or you can tell him:” you can’t talk on the phone for two days, but after that every afternoon you come home and do your homework without arguing, you can use the phone after dinner.” This allows you to know what you can do so that the punishment will be taken away from you.
You must clearly define the behavior for which he will be punished, mention to him at the same time what the rule is, what the consequence is if he breaks or disobeys it, how long he will be punished and how he must behave so that the punishment will be taken away from him. Try to establish the rule and consequence the first time you see the behavior, in other words, avoid punishing a behavior the first time; youcan’t alwaysdo it this way, but this principle can usually be used.
The Use Of Warnings
It’s important to set dates for certain activities and use warnings when dealing with your teen. Most parents use warnings, but often these warnings produce negative reactions in teens such as yelling, bullying, or discomfort. The use of appropriate warnings can make things softer and avoid constant irritations between the parent and the teen.
Parents must set dates and time limits for adolescents to engage in certain activities, for example, “I would like that the car was washed on Friday at 6 in the afternoon”, “I want this room to be clean before you start your favorite program”, “please, take out the garbage before the dinner is served” “I want this done right now.” Instead of saying, “I want you to pick up your clothes right now” say “I want you to pick up your clothes before dinner,” or “your room has to be clean by Friday at 5: 00 in the afternoon so you can get your privileges.”
It is also very important to individualize punishment; the interests, values and preferences of the boy must be taken into consideration, as it may be a punishment for him, although it may not be punishment for another. If the punishment is individualized, it becomes something standard and monotonous, like a single rule, but we are not quite sure to understand what works with one teenager or what works with another.
We must punish behavior, not the boy; when you use punishment you must talk about behavior and not the boy as an individual. If a boy fails an exam at school does not mean he is stupid, it probably means that he did not prepare properly; and if a boy hits his brother does not necessarily mean that it is rude, but this behavior is unacceptable.
Stay calm, it is easier to say what to do but when the punishment is applied the parents should try to remain calm and undisturbed.Treating or punishing behavior should be done in a very practical and emotionless manner; if a child loses privileges, parents should avoid excessive bullying, scolding, or discourses, they should simply apply the consequences of behavior.
Do not use too much punishment, you must define certain punishments for certain behaviors, for example, when the boy is punished for using the car, it should only be for certain behavior and not for each violation of the rules of the house. If a boy is constantly restricted from using the phone for different behaviors, soon not using the phone will become a lifestyle and the punishment will lose its effectiveness.
Do You Want An Effective Punishment?
Try to punish the boy immediately; in general, the importance and effectiveness of the punishment depend primarily on how quickly the punishment is applied to him once the behavior you are trying to control or change is presented and not the duration or hardness of the punishment. Punishment does not have to be hard or long for it to be effective, one of the main factors that control or change behavior is not how severe or long it is, but is applied whenever the behavior occurs.
A practical rule to keep in mind when trying to determine how long the punishment will be, is to be closely watching the boy and see how he reacts. Notice how long it takes to engage in other things or to give less importance to punishment; the effectiveness of punishment is determined by how fast and how often the punishment is applied once the behavior is presented.
However, there will always be problems that will be faced when using punishment as well, this is because of the normal changes that occur during adolescence, for example, withdrawal from family activities, poor communication and interaction between parents and adolescents, spending more time with friends, etc.
In general, many parents tend to be punishers, paying more attention to their children’s mistakes, failures, and misbehavior than to their achievements and successes. This attitude is more seen during the teenage period and many teens complain that the only time their parents talk to them is used to criticize them, give them long speeches, mark their mistakes, or tell them what they should do and what they shouldn’t do. Because interaction between parents and adolescents decreases and most parent communication involves negative attention or punishment.
Problems That Arise Because Of The Misapplication Of Punishment
When the negative attention and punishment are the major methods of control or interaction with the adolescents, problems such as those described below can occur, and normal behaviors in adolescents may be amplified in an important way. Just as children grow physically, parents must also change, preventing the use of certain types of discipline; although we are aware that children grow physically as time goes by, many of us tend to forget this normal process when dealing with teenagers.
Many forms of discipline used by parents are based on fear or intimidation, if this is the largest method of control that has been used since the child was young, during adolescence parents will be able to lose control or enter into physical conflict with the child.
This method can work well with young children but is not helpful during adolescence, which is the time when you need more control over the child. You should not controlit through fear or through intimidation because these are not effective means to handle a boy, particularly a teenager, because many of them are physically bigger than their parents and are not afraid of them and even like to face their parents physically.
Anger, stubbornness, and rebellion can intensify, these are some of the typical behaviors that manifest during adolescence; however, if the boy is frequently criticized, or receives negative attention these feelings will become more intense.
Sometimes the feelings of anger that are hidden are expressed not directly but through a variety of passive-aggressive ways such as opposition, resistance, stubbornness, rebellion, and challenge. For example, if you say something is black, the teen says it’s white or does the opposite of what you’re telling him to do. In addition, this anger can be seen through other situations that manifest themselves by fighting or showing anger to your brothers, friends, and others who represent your authority.
Another problem that can manifest itself is a distancing of his relationship with the father; within the normal process of adolescence, a distancing of family activities is manifested and the links with his friends and schoolmates become stronger, therefore, a distancing in the relationship between the father and the adolescent manifests itself automatically.
However, if excessive punishment or negative attention is used, this separation or distancing can become greater and a great abyssin communication is created. The boy only talks to his father when necessary and separates himself from the relationship with his family, spending more time alone in his room and minimizing contact with the family.
Another problem is avoidance or escape behavior, we all tend to avoid situations that produce negative tension, that is, criticism or scolding. If every time you do a certain job and the result is a negative experience or if every time you prepare a certain meal you receive a lot of criticism from your family, you will probably avoid doing that job or cooking that meal.
Teens often show the same feelings and behaviors when punishment, criticism, or scolding are the main features in their relationship with their parents. For example, if the parent does the homework together with the child usually causes him to yell, fight, give long speeches, criticize or scold him, the child will tend to reduce the amount of time he spends on the task.
Lying, manipulating, leaving home or not telling the whole truth are evasive behaviors that are frequently manifested by experiencing these situations. When you see a boy who doesn’t tell the truth, who tries to manipulate his parents or who constantly threatens them by saying he wants to leave the house, look at how you’re dealing with your teenager or how you relate to him regularly. If the punishment, the rebuke, criticism or negative attention is the main method that you’re using this may be the reason why those behaviors manifest themselves in your teen.
The Importance Of Personality And Example
Punishments, critical scolding, and negative attention can be ineffective and may even worsen the situation. As adults, you and I treat our friends and other adults according to each other’s personality, this ability is often lost or ignored when it comes to our boys. For some personality types, punishment is enough to control or modify behavior, but for others, punishment, scolding, or criticism may not work at all or may only work for a short period of time.
This is a reality mostly in stubborn personalities, those who always do what they want and constantly seek pleasure; in these cases, other ways to treat teenagers such as using rewards or ignoring certain behaviors should be used because, in this case, punishment as the main method of control will not be effective.
Children usually develop certain types of behaviors when they grow up; those little ones who seem to be so good, who always listen, who never stir up troubleand are very obedient, at some point between the ages of 11 and 14, that behavior of extreme obedience changes dramatically. The boy no longer cares about his parents’ instructions and the anger that has been developing for years suddenly comes out and is expressed through the passive-aggressive behaviors described above.
Besides, it’s important that you learn that the boy can act like you. My answer to the parents who tell me, ” every time I hit my son, he hits me back, what should I do?“or ” every time I yell at my daughter she yells at me “and I would tell them that,” don’t hit your son, Don’t yell at your daughter.” Boys learn certain behaviors by observing other people, this is the theory called ‘learning model’.
In other words, parents serve as a model for the behavior of children and boys exposed to certain behaviors of parents will imitate them and later use them when trying to solve problems and interact with others. If you talk to your teen or your wife screaming or arguing, your boy will learn to talk to you, his brothers, or his peers in the same way; if you hit him or use fear or intimidation to control him, they will also use those techniques with you. Many boys who show aggressive behavior have found that parents have used the same negative methods to deal with them.
It is not that the boy is behaving in a certain way to get scolding or punishments, but that he acts like this to obtain a certain reaction from the parents; constantly opposing parents, stubbornness, resistance to obeying and saying things through their mouths are passive-aggressive ways of expressing anger.Behaving badly, in a certain way, to get a reaction from parents is sometimes not consciously planned. One method to deal with this type of behavior is simply to ignore it.