Long Term Effects Of Punishment

I always get such a kick out of the way Jane Nelson puts this: Get rid of the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first you have to make them feel worse. Do you feel like doing better when you feel humiliated? Her choice of words seems to really resonate with folks.

Jane challenges us to take a new look at “time out”. Instead, think of it as “feel better time” or “cooling off”. Tell children in advance that we all need a “cooling off period” sometimes when we are misbehaving.

Teach your children about cooling off periods. Have everyone practice going to a separate area to do something to help themselves feel better. Tell them, “This is what I am going to do when I am feeling bad, and need to feel better.” Then use it by modeling it yourself during a situation. Be sure to problem solve later at a neutral time with mutual respect.

Proper timing is the key. It does not work to deal with the problem at the time of conflict because emotions get in the way. Use the cooling off periods, then work out the problem during a neutral time when everyone is feeling better. Have meetings to solve the problems. (More about family meetings in a later issue.)

Punishment may work if all you are interested in is stopping the behavior in the moment. Beware of the long range results of punishment: Resentment, Rebellion, Revenge or Retreat.

Natural Consequences when appropriate. According to the late guru, Rudolph Dreikurs, Natural Consequences are the most important means of maintaining order. Opportunities to let your child experience unpleasant results of misbehavior will arise in the natural course of events. Never spare your children of these natural consequences!

For example, Brianna refuses to put her shoes on in the morning. As a logical conscequence, Mom and Brianna can’t walk older brother to his classroom that morning (which Brianns loves to do), because she is wearing no shoes. There is no blame or shame related to this consequence.

Per Maria Montessori, during the approximate ages of 2 1/5 and five years, children enter the Sensitive Period of Social Development phase. A child explores and absorbs group and social behavior. Due to this sensitivity, a child needs to experience natural consequences for improper behavior. For example, a child should be removed from group nucleus if behavior is unacceptable.

During family or class meetings children can help decide on consequences. Back off, let them decide on and experience their choices. You or they can bring it up at another meeting to renegotiate. Remember to not use the word punishment, which does not work for long-range “good” results.

Top Boarding Schools

You have questions... We have answers
  • Q: I read on the website that these schools offer family therapy, but how does that happen when the school is so far away?

    You will participate in the family therapy by phone, and when you come for your family visits, you will then do face to face family therapy.

  • Q: Why are most of these programs in Utah?

    The original Residential Treatment Center was opened in Utah, and they have been improving their system ever since. There is an entire state agency devoted to overseeing and regulating these programs. The other reason is that in Utah, the legal age is 18, so you can force your child to get treatment until they are 18. Legal age varies by state but there are an increasingly high number of states where the legal age is 17 even if you are still financially and physically responsible for them until they are 18.

    As long as your child is under the age of 18 and you have custody of your child, then your child does not have to go willingly. You can force them to go against their will for their benefit.

  • Q: If my child won't go willingly, how do I get them there?

    There are teen transport companies we contract with that are highly trained and they will come to your home and pick up your child. There job is to escort your child there safely! This takes away the worry and the fighting. There is an additional fee for this service.

  • Q: Does insurance cover the cost of treatment or boarding?

    Insurance plans vary so much that there is not a solid answer. You can find out what your coverage is by calling them directly and asking about your in-patient mental health benefits. In order for coverage, it has to be medically necessary, based on diagnosis and most insurance companies require a pre-authorization.