The usefulness of punishment

The use of punishment ... or is positive reward better?
Let stickers be earned or a time-out on the penalty box in the hallway? Can a corrective tap do that or not in 2017? Children look for boundaries. It is up to you, as a parent, to give them those limits.

Punish and reward

The purpose of punishment and rewarding is to adjust the behavior of your child. By punishing, undesirable behavior is discouraged and good behavior is confirmed by rewards. This way your child learns how to behave. Desired behavior depends on the (sub) culture in which the family lives.
Punishment and rewarding is a method that produces quick results. You avoid discussions in the future because your child clearly learns what the boundaries are and what is expected of him. It is important that penalties and rewards are done consistently and that both parents apply the same rules. The most common methods are the time-out and the taking of privileges.

Educative method

Which method you apply depends on your method of education. Your education method is determined by your personality, the situation in which your family is sitting and the goal you want to achieve. Here the goal is a very important factor. For example: how do you see your child when it is grown up? This largely determines how you respond to certain situations within parenting. Punishment and rewarding fits within some parenting methods and helps your child learn the rules of the family and society. This is especially the case with parenting methods where social adjustment is central.
In situations where behavior has to be adjusted quickly, punishment and rewarding can also help. In a dangerous situation, for example, as a parent you have little time to listen to your child and you have to respond quickly.

Doing what you say is important

There are all kinds of ways of punishment. As a parent you have probably looked at the well-known programs like "the Nanny" or "First Aid: First Aid for Educating". There you often see big dangles in the most adorable little angels. In these programs too, punishment and remuneration are used.
To be and remain consistent is very important. As soon as you deviate from the agreed rules and leave too much to celebrate the reins, your child can take over "the power" again.

Be consistent

Do what you say when you warn your child. For example: You see that your child shows behavior that is intolerant to you. Warn your child and tell him what it does to you and when it occurs again, what consequence is attached to it (think of a time-out to give the child time to think about his behavior). It is important that you actually do what you say. Carry out the consequences immediately and exactly as you have just said. If you do not do this, you leave room and your child is lost. Speak clearly during the execution of the consequence why you act in this way and tell the agreed consequence again.


Use a penalty spot for a time-out. This can be a mat, a chair, the stairs or a corner. Make sure you use one spot. Clarity is very important to your child at all times. After the time-out it is important that you discuss the punished behavior together with your child and that you offer your child the opportunity to apologize. Accept those excuses by, for example, cuddling your child. This way your child notices that you are not angry and that it can be made good again.


Reward works just the same. You reward the good behavior. You agree with your child in advance how he can earn points / stickers / marbles. This may be because your child has not started a conflict all day, but also in helping to perform certain household tasks. By offering a reward in prospect, the child is encouraged to keep to the rules. For example, you can agree that with ten points / stickers / marbles a 'gift' may be selected.
Of course you can also choose not to reward with material things, but with attention. This way you can reward yourself with staying up longer, playing a game, playing outside for longer or simply rewarding with compliments. Finally, a child's hand is filled quickly.

Giving compliments to your child: the do's & don'ts

Alternatives for punishment and rewarding

However, rewarding can also be a form of manipulation. By rewarding your child with a candy, you hope that your child will behave well again next time. The result, however, may be that children start to show a certain behavior to earn sweets, not from an inner motivation. The book "Growing up in confidence" provides explanations and examples and deals extensively with alternatives for reward and punishment. Each chapter ends with exercises.


To influence your child's behavior without punishing or rewarding is possible. It requires a lot of effort and time. Empathy is central to this way of parenting. If you listen to your child, it will also listen to you.
Listening to your child does not mean that you obey your child. By listening to your child you know what is going on in your child and why your child exhibits certain behavior. By talking to your child and telling what is happening in you, you make it clear to your child why you expect certain behavior. It is important that communication takes place at the level of the child.
You can learn socially acceptable behavior from your child by giving insight into the emotions of others. You can do this, for example, with a role-play or puppet show where you reproduce a certain situation in which the child showed undesirable behavior.

Accept your child as he is

Know why your child reacts in his own way and accept your child as he is. For example, some children become aggressive when they are hungry, while others become quiet. Sometimes, certain situations can also cause undesirable behavior. For example, a busy store can make your child nervous and unmanageable, causing it to exhibit unwanted behavior. But also tired children can be aggressive towards each other. For example, by distracting the children with a quiet activity, you prevent them from hitting each other or being intolerant.
So be alert and know what is going on in your child's head so that you can act accordingly. By intervening in good time, you prevent unwanted behavior.
Finally, it is very important that you put time and energy into the bond between you and your child. Do something fun with regularity so that the bond of trust grows and your child will listen and obey you faster.

Punishments of that time

In our parents, the punishment often went different than in 2013. The families were often larger. The youngest in the family were often raised by the older children, because many parents were often both at work. Also, house arrest, for punishment to your room, without food to bed and the corrective tap in that time more often used, while those punishments in this time little comes across.

What is better?

Do you have to punish or reward positively? What is the best method for your child?
There is no one way of parenting that suits everyone. Every child is different. Listen carefully to your feelings and treat your child with respect. Watch and listen carefully to your child, so that you can see who he really is and what he needs.

Hee Kleintje - 50 Reward Posters

You can choose to reward your child through reward posters. Apart from the fact that these from Hee Kleintje look very cute, they can also have a positive effect on your child.

You can fill in the posters you want to practice with your child or you want to reward him for. Consider, for example, the rewarding of peeing and pooping on a potty, sleeping through the night without falling down or playing love. You can make it as personal, as easy, and as specific as you want. That makes the posters suitable for everyone and for children of many different ages.

At the top of the poster, enter which behavior you would like to reward and explain that a sticker can be earned for every time it goes well. You also agree together what reward there is in front of a full poster!

These posters (40 and 10 countdown calendars) are for sale for 12.99 euros at Bol.A.

Video: Should Teachers Use Corporal Punishment On Students? (HBO)

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