A child will not change quickly because he is afraid of the punishment. Fear has been mistaken as the key ingredient in parenting, when in fact it is not. A child that is given positive time and positive attention from his parent will seek to follow his parent’s directives faster than a child that is learning to fear and be distant from his parent. To add to this, a parent needs to give a consequence in love by explaining the reason for the consequence and then show an increase in love after the consequence is given. This is so the child can understand that he is not hated and the parent is not to be feared. The child has simply broken a rule that is unbreakable and with every rule in life there is a consequence.

Another part of showing love is following through on promises that you make. The child will learn to trust your decisions if you demonstrate that you are a responsible person. If you give promises to your child that you do not keep, your child will see you as irresponsible and uncaring. They will be less likely to follow your directives.

Poor Example:

          Jackie had three little children whom she called her “little terrors.” Jackie tried to stay on top of the children’s behaviors. When they acted out, she beat their bottoms until they cried. She didn’t believe in soft spankings. She spanked them hard so that they would think twice before doing it again. Sometimes the youngest children would ask for a hug after they were spanked. She did not hug them during those times. She would turn them away and tell them that she did not want to hug them because they were being bad. Jackie did not want to be too close to her children. She kept what she described as, a healthy emotional distance. Jackie often told her friends that if she got too close she might not be objective enough to discipline them appropriately.

          Sometimes when things got bad, Jackie would promise to take the children out someplace fun. This promise would quiet the children down for a little while. Jackie would also promise them gifts if they were good. Jackie would always intend on fulfilling her promises, but never got around to doing it.

          Gradually, the children began to resent their mother. They did not always believe that their mother would fulfill her promises, so they began to turn a deaf ear to her. The children began to see themselves as being a separate group from their mother. It became the children verses the mother. The children soon became sneaky and manipulative. As long as they were not caught, they did not care what they did. Their mother expected them to be “little terrors” anyway.

Good Example:

          Bethany enjoyed spending time with her children. She used consequences to remind her children that every behavior in life has a consequence. Bethany would always explain to the children why they were receiving the consequence. She would also let the children know how much she loved them after she gave the consequence. Sometimes a child would ask for a hug after completing a consequence. Bethany always gave the child a hug and took the opportunity to explain how consequences are a natural part of life. Sometimes Bethany would give the children a positive consequence to look forward to. She would offer to take them on an outing if they acted good. Bethany always followed through on her promises.

          The children looked forward to pleasing their mother with their behavior. They did not like the consequences they got for not following the rules, but they did not like disappointing their mother even more. The children soon learned that consequences were a natural part of life. If they exhibited good behavior, they would receive positive consequences in life. If they exhibited bad behavior, they would receive unwanted consequences in life. They also learned that their mother loved them, no matter what they did. The children worked hard to make their mother proud.