Bad behavior in children sometimes needs corresponding punishments to correct the misbehaviors done, but will it be the best way? Unnecessary and inappropriate punishment may not be good, since it can instill fear into the child’s mind, and this will not teach him to distinguish the right from wrong doings.
As a parent you tell your child, “What is it you plan to do to make amends with your brother after you kicked his butt yesterday?” What are you going to do with your sister after you picked on her at school?”
But implementing this method may not be easy. Punishment may only lead the child to clam up and may not admit that he had done something wrong. Instead encourage the child to open up, by showing the sincerity and understanding, and most importantly listen.
Praising the child and commending him for telling the truth about his misbehavior can be a good step. But let the child understand that saying sorry is not adequate, and he must do some steps to make amends.
You may also lead the child on for him to do something to make amends by saying, “Why don’t you get your sister’s slipper when she gets home and give it to her?” Or you could also tell him, “I think it’s a good idea that when your brother gets home, you ask him if he needs a fresh pair of PJ’s. Then get one and give it to him.”
This way, as a parent, you are helping your child come up with different means to make amends. But in the end, remember that it is he himself who must decide what to do.
There’s just one thing any parent must not do in this instance and that is to be satisfied with “saying sorry,” as if it’s some kind of making amends.
Sorry is merely an apology. Making amends is doing something to clean up the mess. It is an opportunity for the child to right the wrong, which happens to be the purpose of doing so.
Parents’ consistency is a key factor in this learning process. Parents must not only settle for saying sorry and asking for an apology. Making amends should be a good follow through in this process.
Every parent wants their child to grow and be a man with character and with good personality. And curbing bad behaviors and bad attitudes while your child is still young will be more suitable and a proper scheme.