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How to punish your child.      

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Psychologists advise that parents should give bad consequences for bad actions and good consequences for good actions. Bad consequences are grounding. This means all entertainment of the child is stopped. He goes to school, comes home and remains at home. He is not allowed to talk to his friends, play games, look at TV, phone or computer etc. This requires sacrifice on parts of parents also. They have to see that the child follows this. In some cases they may also have to not  see the TV. The parent may ground the child for a few minutes or many months. For small mistake, few minutes and for big mistake many months. The child must NOT be beaten or scolded or shouted at. Many people do the opposite. They ignore the child for a long time and when they get the result from school, beat the child so mercilessly and badly that the child wants to run away from home. Some parents think that criticising the child again and again will change him. They do not notice that criticising the child for past several years did not improve him at all. This is the definition of insanity or madness given by Mr. Einstein "Repeating the same action again and again and expecting a different result". At least use both criticism and praise and see which works better. If all your ideas fail, ask a good counsellor or psychologist, and follow his advice. If still the child does not improve, use a different psychologist.

If you do not want to pay any psychologist, here are a few suggestions. Children want to make their parents happy. Use this to make them do what you want. Use a mixture of praise and criticism. Experiment with these and change their ratios to see what works best. Give a reward may be once a year or more frequently. Some student should not get a reward for getting even 99% score and some child may deserve a reward for getting a B grade. You know your child. Use your judgement. If above methods fail, ground the child after giving prior warnings. If even this fails, then better spend some money and find a good psychologist.

I remember a very good parent. The parent had risen high by hard work. His children had many good habits. They scored high marks in school, were in school tennis teams and received several certificates in music. One reason I saw was that the father kept vacant space in the almirah for the TV. He had warned his children that if any child got poor marks in school because of laziness, immediately the TV would go into the almirah, the almirah would be locked and the TV would remain there till all the children passed the XII exam. The children were sure that this would happen besides other punishments. Once a child wanted to keep some clothes in that space. She requested her father, "Please can I keep these clothes here. When you want to put the TV here I will remove the clothes at once." The father was angry and scolded the child for a long time. No on dared talk again but they saw the vacant space through the glass doors in the almirah several times each day. Please note the parents also were willing to sacrifice. No one in the family would have been able to watch TV for several years if one child were lazy.

The opposite happened in another family. The father was in a high post. The mother was also from a rich family. Every day women from the neighbourhood would gather around the mother and talk nicely with her for several hours. May be she gave them gifts or promised to get jobs for their brothers, I am not sure. The children would listen to all this and would not concentrate on studies. The father arranged tutors also but the children were interested in what the women were speaking and did not listen to the tutor. The father was very worried and would often quarrel with the mother. The mother declared,"I do not interfere in what you do in your company and you have no right to interfere in what I do in my home." The child had to repeat class 3, three times. Once he failed and once he changed schools where the new school made him repeat the year 3 again.

Another example was given by a Hindu teacher of the president of Pakistan. When the president was a child, this teacher taught him. Once the child misbehaved and the teacher slapped him. The child's mother being from a royal family, felt insulted. She complained to her husband who was a top officer. The teacher explained the circumstances to the child's father. The father smiled and said "A slap will have no effect on a son of mine. Take this rod and use it the next time." The child (future president) was hiding nearby to know the result. After that he behaved correctly and never gave the teacher any reason to use the rod. At that time physical punishment was thought good. When the child became president, he remained grateful to the teacher. Later the teacher related this story in India.

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