Small child

Natural penalties. Advantages, disadvantages and doubts

Natural penalties. Advantages, disadvantages and doubts

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Natural punishments, called by many "no punishments", arouse controversy. Many parents combine this term with "stress-free upbringing" and hence the simple way to say that nothing good will grow out of such a "punished" child. Unfortunately, stress-free education is still a scary thing for many people. The term used as a substitute for non-violent upbringing (you don't hit? You raise a screaming monster) and upbringing without punitive angles and other places of forced isolation (you don't use “proper” punishments? You don't set limits. You raise a monster). Is natural punishment really allowing a child to get on his head?

Natural, or what?

One that is the consequence of a deed committed by a child, results from it, shows its consequences. For example, if a few years old in a fit of anger spoils a toy, the natural punishment will be its lack. Of course, it is the parent who must make the child realize the loss. It is not a good idea to buy a new toy as compensation for damaged loss. But the explanation, showing that the damaged item went to the trash, that from now on it will not be a great way to teach a child respect for his own things.


One of the biggest advantages of this method is no sense of regret for the parent. Children punished by sending back to the room, taking privileges, slap or other traditional methods have a sense of harm. They regret not so much what they did but that the parent punished them.

Who has not yet forgotten what it is to be a child, certainly remembers what he felt locked up in punishment in the room. Anger, helplessness, a sense of harm and "I will show you" for good measure. I will not mention beating, it never arouses love and respect for a parent, despite the clichés repeated by some adults (I am grateful that my parents beat me, because thanks to this I grew up "on people").

Meanwhile Natural punishment "happens" without a parent. Her task is to explain the cause-and-effect relationship, show proper behavior and (which is not so easy) to let the child feel the negative effects of wrongdoing. The child does not perceive such punishment as unfair because it is logical.

Effectiveness. Yes, as a representative of adults brought up "traditionally" I am surprised by the effectiveness and wisdom of such "punishment". Children's intelligence can be underestimated. A 2-year-old suffering the consequences of his behavior catches the flight, which pays off more for him. How it's working?

When my daughter saw the puddle on the way to the playground, I couldn't pull her away from her. The translation that he was wearing sneakers and not wellies did not work. Finally she jumped into the middle of the last puddle in the yard. The shoes soaked in the blink of an eye, and we, instead of going to the playground, returned home. There was no crying about returning home, because the baby's splashing shoes caused discomfort.

Of course, I could change shoes and leave again, but instead I organized a demonstration of washing dirty sneakers and a talk about the types of shoes and their use.

We can't go to the playground because your shoes are wet - it's a simple message that the toddler understands. And easy to remember. A puddle admirer never made that mistake again. He still loves wading in the water, but he pays close attention to whether he has the right "equipment" on his feet.

Long-term effect. A child who has understood that a given act is damaging to him / herself will not commit it in secret. Many kids, for fear of punishment by their parents, "make" after making sure that mum or dad will not learn about the mischief.

Natural punishment "works" regardless of whether the parent is watching or not. Contemporary observers regret the fact that today's kids do not play alone in the yards. Five- six- seven-year-olds from the "old days" ran in groups, away from adult eyes. They were more independent, solving their conflicts themselves.

If there was a child in the group who could not cooperate - beat, broke the rules of play, was punished by other children by exclusion: you do not play with us because you cheat / beat / take. Foreclosure was an extremely painful and effective lesson. The child knew that playing unfair does not pay.

Today, this type of situation is almost impossible. Adults watch over each of these packages. Preschoolers, teachers, parents will not let any child feel rejected for a moment. Adults alleviate conflicts, suggesting regret that the child did not feel: you are sorry, you did not want, right? Apologize. Now have fun. The rest of the kids, even if reluctantly, accept the culprit, unable to refuse the adult's request. What does he learn from such a lesson guilty? That his behavior has no "side effects."