Which is Better for Your Child’s Development – Reward or Punishment?
What should we do to discipline our children – reward them or punish them? It’s is a debate that has been raging among parenting gurus, teachers, and parents. But in a sea of studies, surveys, and research, parents are left wondering what truly works for their child? After all, each child is a unique individual, and no prescribed method can bear the same result for a child. The same holds true for the rules of reward and punishment. Both these parenting approaches have their pros and cons, thus adding to the dilemma of disciplining a child by using either or a mix of both methods. So which approach is better?
In recent surveys, it has emerged that the reward approach does have more benefits. In this approach, parents give the child a small treat as a ‘reward’ for completing a task. Now this task can be anything from doing one’s homework, cleaning one’s room, or doing household chores. Just like the task, the rewards can also be varied and different. Many parents think that ‘reward’ here means monetary compensation, which is also why the ‘reward’ approach has its share of naysayers. Parents believe that their child will only work when ‘rewarded.’
But social experiments have shown that this is not true. Using reward as a means of behaviour modification in children does not create ‘materialistic’ children. You can choose an award based on your child’s existing behaviour and interests. This modification can go a long way in making this process work. The ‘Reward’ approach also helps your child understand the value of an incentive. This value helps the child respect the reward, and more importantly, the time and effort it took to gain it. This attitude, when carried into adulthood, helps create well-rounded, responsible, and humble adults who don’t take things for granted.
On the other hand, the punishment approach instills bitterness, fear, and anxiety in the child. When the result of an incomplete task is verbal or physical force, then the child feels threatened. When you use this approach, you are also teaching the child that using force will help gain the desired outcome. The child may carry this approach into his/her adult years, leading to problems with authority and violence. That’s why the reward-based system is a more holistic approach for a child’s development.
At DPSG Palam Vihar, the staff, faculty, and management firmly believe in creating a congenial environment for growth and learning of our wards. The reward-based approach is always preferred when it comes to disciplining a child. In case of any unruly behaviour, the student is first counseled and is then asked not to repeat the action. Hence, the lack of punishment becomes the reward.
Moreover, at the DPSG School in Palam Vihar, we believe that children have an inherent sense of right and wrong. When figures of authority refrain from resorting to punishment, the child respects the approach and refrains from repeating the same behaviour. After all, a happy and secure childhood leads to a fulfilling adulthood.