Ideas to educate children without rewards or punishments

If we want happy children we must educate children in freedom and responsibility. That means that parents should not punish, and that we must explain the consequences of the acts to the children; The good and bad. They with their freedom must choose; thus, it is the children themselves who punish or not, or rather freely decide to perform good or bad acts. This is one of the keys for children to carry the reins of their lives from childhood. Parents accompany in the task of life.

If we have already begun the education of our children with rewards and punishments, we still have time to correct ourselves and educate in responsibility. It is a matter of time, quality and quantity, hours of communication. The luck with the children is worked, it is not a lottery; to be or not to be important and much.


Generally, we set the rules and limits in advance but what do we do if someone has exceeded a norm that we had not raised? For example, what do we do if a child raises a father's hand? The limits are different at each age, with each child, in each circumstance of our lives.

Although there are rules that have not been raised to the children yet, that does not mean that they should not be respected. If they did not have prior notice, the first time is explained, they are encouraged to apologize and the consequences of this act are notified for later times. If it happens again, we are firm in the consequences, without being disturbed, simply by being faithful to the given word of the consequences of repeating said act.


The Self-control is essential to succeed in education, it is desirable for children and also for their parents; even if it's just for not throwing stones on our own roof, let's grit our teeth before such threats, take a deep breath and act accordingly.

Keys to educate in responsibility

1. Establish norms: Behavior guidelines are established from the beginning. They have to be appropriate at each age and very specific. For example, it is difficult for a young child to assimilate something as generic as "being ordered", but he can understand that the toys have to be in place and the clothes are left in the agreed place. A teenager can not be asked to "be a good student" but he can complete all his tasks before going out to the park with friends.

2. Set limits: they are given by the norms and they are the borders that should not be crossed.


3. Teach to look for consequences: When a limit is passed and a rule is breached, we must have previously determined what consequence it will have. The consequence can not be a punishment, but a commitment that involves an effort and that is directly aimed at improving compliance with the rule violated. If a young person has arrived home later than the committed time, the consequence may be to arrive before another day to learn the value of punctuality, responsibility and commitment. When they are small, the consequences are difficult to negotiate, but when they are older, it is convenient that they handle them alone, under the premise that they serve to improve.

Educate without rewards and punishments: if everything goes wrong ...

- If we have already begun to educate according to the model of punishment or, on the contrary, without rules: any moment is good to correct us, to apologize to our children and to start over.

- If a child violates a rule or exceeds such a serious limit that we had not previously established: we act immediately and we explain that the behavior is very serious. But if we find that our reaction is driven by passion, it is good to mark well that we are angry but to postpone the establishment of a consequence until a moment when we are more relaxed.

- In the face of constant faults: There are ages, such as adolescence, in which it is worthwhile to overlook the transgressions of limits on some specific occasions to avoid excessive deterioration of relationships. We were all teenagers.

- Faced with a clear lack of responsibility: It is advisable to always go to a specialist. The schools usually have good orientation teams. You can also use a family counseling office to solve problems involving all members of the household and recover the means of communication.

Alicia Gadea

Video: Parenting Without Punishment or Rewards with Alfie Kohn


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