Ah, kids. All of them at some point in time will act up in some way, shape, or form. This is a fact, we all know it. I just had a meeting with my own kid’s school about her behavior and how it’s affecting her grades. It’s something we know, sooner or later, will happen. And often, it’s just little things.
My kiddo has issues with sitting still and not paying attention to her teacher, and rushes through her work. Other kids may have issues with yelling or shouting, and other kids may have more serious issues that need to be discussed in length.
One thing that needs to be discussed is why do we punish? Well, punishment is a term that is often used in place of discipline, meaning often when people think of disciplining their child, they’re thinking more of punishing them. Discipline always teaches a lesson. A punishment is a consequence to an action, hence why it’s so important to note the difference.
There are many punishment techniques out there that work for a variety of kids. (And this is not a debate about which form of punishment is more approved of.) Some people choose to spank, others choose timeout, and others take away items of value from the child. Whichever one is chosen, it’s best to keep in mind that it has to work for the child. If the punishment in question does nothing, then there’s no use doing it.
But, what exactly requires a punishment? Well, we’ll get into that now.
15 Getting Into Fights
Fighting rarely solves anything, and definitely deserves a punishment of some kind. When kids fight, someone always gets hurt. It leaves them with cuts, bruises, and swollen body parts, and can lead to them getting suspended in school and treated like a bully, which is not ok.
Sometimes, it comes down to self defense, which is understandable and ok, but children should always be told that fighting is a last resort and if they’re starting the fights, they’re looking at some harsh punishments when they get home.
Adults go to jail when they fight, because society has determined that fighting is not acceptable. Thus, why would we teach our kids that fighting is ok, when in a few short years, it could lead to juvenile detention or jail, especially if they are tried as an adult, which has happened before. Kids need some kind of punishment for fighting other kids, so they learn that it’s wrong.
14 Being Rude To Others
I don’t know about you, but I don’t tolerate rudeness in my home. Being rude is not the same as being disrespectful, because a child can be respectful and still be rude. But children being purposefully hurtful and rude shouldn’t be tolerated. For example, a child telling someone they’re ugly without any hair.
That’s not honesty, that’s rudeness, and that child has no idea what that person is going through.
We live in a society that is viewed as ‘sugar coated’, but in all honesty, there are some things that do not require a comment. Rudeness needs a punishment of some kind, especially if it’s done on purpose. Some kids have no filter and blurt anything they think out like word vomit, and especially once they get to school, that has to stop.
They need to think before they speak, so that they don’t hurt someone’s feelings. It’s just not necessary.
13 Not Listening In School
School is important, no matter what anyone else seems to think. It’s a necessary thing, and it can help teach children skills they will use for the rest of their lives. (English language, anyone?) Kids need to pay attention in school to learn what they will need, even if they don’t think it’s necessary to know.
For example, we may not think that history class is all that important, but it teaches things like how our government works. Would we want future citizens making judgment calls on something like elections without a clear understanding of the system? Probably not.
Teacher’s jobs are hard enough without having a class clown who doesn’t want to pay attention. Kids need to learn that there are times they have to pay attention and listen, even when they don’t want to. It’s a valuable life skill. And purposefully not paying attention requires some kind of punishment to teach the child that they need to listen.
12 Being Disrespectful
I do not deal with disrespectful children. Why? Because my children have been raised to show respect to people, even if the other person is being disrespectful to them. Why? Because it’s something kids need to know how to do: show respect. They don’t need to bow at people’s feet, but a nice yes ma’am, no ma’am, please, thank you, excuse me, they can all go a long way.
And people generally have a better view of children who are respectful. We were taught to respect our elders, so why aren’t we teaching that to our youth now?
Disrespectful behavior, for example flipping people off or rolling eyes at someone who angers them, and being disrespectful in speech, needs to have some sort of negative consequence, whether that’s grounding or otherwise. It’s something we should not be tolerating from children who are old enough to know and be taught better.
11 Swearing And Cursing
I understand that some people have a different view on swearing, but what need is there for a young child to be cursing with every other word? There is none, and it needs to be handled early, because, hate to break it to some people, but that potty mouth isn’t going to be tolerated in school.
So unless they want their kid to end up suspended A LOT, they need to get on the bandwagon and start punishing the little sailor mouths when they spout off their foul language.
Kids have to understand that they cannot speak like this and expect to not get in trouble in some way, shape, or form. Kids can end up suspended or expelled, young adults can be fired from their jobs, as can older adults. Swearing is something that has it’s time and place, and that is something that kids have a hard time grasping.
Save the swearing for when they’re older, they’re already growing up faster than we think.
10 Being Mean To Animals
Purposeful cruelty to animals is something that is morally and legally wrong, and should not under any circumstances be tolerated. For starters, some animals cannot fight back to defend themselves. Second, it’s just wrong, and can show some underlying issues that need tackling. Third, the child can get hurt by animals that CAN defend themselves.
Some dog attacks on children? (Some, not all) Due to the child being cruel to the animal.
It’s one thing to not know that an action is mean, but once the child has learned to be nice to animals, then there is no excuse for cruelty. It can lead to animal cruelty into adulthood, which is a criminal offense. Some children and their parents have gotten fined for this kind of behavior.
Nip it in the bud now. Animal cruelty needs some kind of a punishment, before it gets worse and before an animal gets severely hurt.
9 Running From The Parents
I’m not just talking about running away from home, but I’m talking about running off in parking lots and things like that as well. Kids who like to be escape artists, who are NOT special needs because that is a whole other ball game, need to face some kind of consequence for their actions. Running off in a parking lot or into the road can cost a child their life.
I’ve heard stories of children who threw a tantrum and took off across the parking lot, and into a four lane road, and wasn’t caught until they hit the median before going into another four lane road. This was in Florida, in a busy area. That’s incredibly dangerous, and the child, who I cannot go into detail or mention in detail because I know her personally, is lucky to be alive with the way some people drive. It needs a consequence.
8 Writing On Walls
A child being creative is one thing, but when it becomes a habit, then it’s time to break out the punishment and try and get this mess under control. Kids are smart enough to understand after a certain point that crayons and markers are not for the walls, they are for paper.
But, it takes teaching them and punishing them when they do otherwise for them to understand that fact and stop doing it. And it’s not like they will be allowed to write on the walls as adults, last time I checked, that’s called graffiti and can land a person doing community service.
It may not seem like a big deal, but it needs to be taken care of early so that the child gets a firm understanding that this is not ok. It doesn’t have to be a harsh punishment, but there needs to be something so that the child learns that this is unacceptable behavior. Remember, we’re there to teach them, they’re not there to run all over us.
7 Purposefully Making A Mess
Not accidentally making a mess during craft time or anything, but I’m talking about purposefully making this hurricane of a mess, with no regard for anything else in the house, and refusing to pick it up. Nope. Not in my house, you make the mess, you clean it up. Mom is not the maid. And if there is refusal, then there will be consequences.
It’s not the act of making the mess that’s the biggest issue here, but the blatant refusal to pick up after making the mess that is the problem. Kids need to clean up after themselves. Mom is not going to be around forever to help them clean up their messes, no matter how much we’d like to think otherwise. Having them clean up their own messes teaches them valuable life skills.
And like I said before, moms are not maids, and kids are fully capable, even by age 2, to pick up after themselves to some degree.
6 Stealing From Others
There is a large difference between borrowing and stealing, and that groundwork needs to be laid down at a young age. Stealing is not only just plain wrong, but it’s illegal, and can get a child put in juvenile detention if they’re old enough and haven’t learned that this is wrong. It needs a punishment to teach them not to do this.
It is never ok to steal from another person or from a store, and for whatever reason some children are not taught this.
Stealing as an adult can land a person in jail. It can land a person in prison if the crime is severe enough, which is not hard to achieve. Why would we set a child up for that kind of punishment later in life when we can teach them never to do this as children? It’s wrong, and therefore deserves a punishment, before it’s too late and the system decides to hand out punishment for us.
5 Bullying Other Kids
This is becoming a major problem in schools and online nowadays, and it should never be tolerated. Bullying can lead to suicide in the victims, and thus, the bullies themselves need a strict punishment the first time they are caught.
Honestly, we need to be teaching our children to not be bullies to other kids anyhow and to be nice to each other, but that doesn’t always happen because, let’s face it, kids can be cruel. But once we know about it, it needs to be stopped.
This behavior in elementary school can lead to the same, if not worse, versions of it in high school and beyond. No one wants to get that call that their child bullied another child so badly that they committed suicide… And as laws begin to catch up with the times, bullying is becoming a punishable offense in the eyes of the law.
In other words, it can lead to more than a guilty conscience, it can lead to jail time or juvenile detention, whichever a court deems more worthy.
4 Leaving The House Without Permission
Here is where we get to running away. Leaving home without permission causes a waste of resources to locate the child, who may very well just be at a friend’s house playing and didn’t ask, thus worrying the mother to death.
If the child is not taught early on that they are to get permission to go out, then there can come a time later where the child takes off with someone who is not their friend, someone who aims to do them harm. This kind of blatant disregard of the rules and for the judgment of the parent deserves a harsh, strict punishment.
It’s not just about respecting the rule of the parents, but it’s about safety. Parents are responsible for the child’s safety, so not keeping track of the child enough times can lead to CPS becoming involved, which is never a good thing when it comes to situations like this.
3 Having An Attitude
When a child is 5 going on 15, with a smart mouth and eye rolling up to the moon, then there’s a good need to step in and punish the kid for being a smart aleck. An attitude is not necessary, especially when a child is asked to do a basic chore, such as put away laundry, feed the dog, or pick up their toys.
Eye rolling, huffing, yelling, all of these and more are not needed and deserve at least a grounding, since the child wants to act like they’re big and bad.
Kids should be able to express emotions, but having an attitude problem is another thing entirely and, as long as nothing is going on which would cause the child to have an unusual bad attitude, it needs to be punished and handled. A bad attitude will get a child nowhere once they’re grown up and trying to get a job.
2 Spitting At People
Spitting is a disgusting habit in general, but when said spit is aimed at other people, that’s not acceptable and needs to be punished. Spitting can spread germs around, it’s all around unhygienic, and it’s something that we as parents should not be tolerating.
Sometimes, such as special needs children, there is a reason behind it, but in a healthy, neurotypical child, there is no reason to allow a nasty habit like spitting on people to go untouched. Stop the spitting, before someone gets sick.
Spitting is considered a form of assault as an adult and can lead to jail time. If it’s unacceptable with the risk of jail as punishment for an adult, why is it acceptable for a child? It’s not, and it needs to stop. It’s all around nasty and deserves some form of punishment, at least a time out. If we don’t teach them that this is gross, who will?
1 Being Mean To A Sibling
Not the worst thing overall on this list, but to a doting sibling, this can be the most heart wrenching, especially if the sibling is younger and doesn’t understand that the sibling is being cruel. There’s never a reason to be mean or cruel to a sibling, and while some fighting will happen, being purposefully antagonistic and cruel is not ok and needs to be stopped, before it leads to resentment.
Name calling is not ok. How would the child being mean feel if they were called stupid or dumb? Probably not very good, so why is it ok to say that to their sibling?
Younger siblings adore their older siblings, often to the point of being clingy to them. And as parents, we understand that this can get annoying, but there are alternatives rather than being hurtful to the sibling who loves them. It deserves some kind of punishment, because being hateful to a sibling that loves them is not ok.