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The flaw is that we morphed from reward/consequence to reward/punishment, and the earlier children suffer even tiny consequences for their behavior the better off they are. I mean things like not immediately replacing toys they break running out of clean clothes because they don’t use the hamper, suffering with defeat, or what happens when they don’t save their allowance, or even something like not reacting when they fall and skin their knee, but helping them clean it up and put on their own band-aid. Watch what happens when a small child falls down. They will look at you trying to figure out how they should respond. Jump up and grab them, make a big deal out of it, and baby them and they remember. If they look at you and you just smile, they will usually brush themselves off and keep playing. We have five kids. When I take them places alone, I let them follow me. Yeah, I looking over my shoulder every two seconds and I’m scanning parking lot traffic from all directions, but I work hard to teach them it’s their responsibility to keep up and not get too distracted. I’ve even gone around corners in stores so they’re suddenly alone and then spied on them to keep them safe, and watch them figure it out. Now they understand, and the youngest just turned four. When we all go out together my wife shepherds them all from behind and complains because I’m not doing the same. The kids know the difference.

Punishment is rarely necessary. Logical consequence on the other hand, is absolutely necessary.

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