Monday, June 14, 2010


I am having a parental dilemma.
How do you punish a child for something they knew was wrong when they did it in a fit of temper, but they came to you and confessed to all of it, including the fact that it was purposeful?
Don't get me wrong, she is being punished, she is grounded from life for the rest of the day.
Is that too harsh, considering she did confess without even being asked, and before I even knew she did wrong?
Maybe we will just call this the question of the day.


Elaine Shandra said...

I think it depends on how terrible the offense was. Typically I'd say that owning up to it may reduce the sentencing some. If it was one of my students then they would need to make retribution somehow. Perhaps I would even have them assist in what the consequence of their action should be. Time outs are good, but even better when paired with having to write an apology letter or something along those lines. Of course I can only tell you what I've done with students since my own children are still perfect, lol!

M-Cat said...

Good question. I think I always tended to error on the side of mercy. Especially if they owned up to it. I felt like that would help them to avoid lying in the future.

Go with your gut instinct!

Emily K said...

Confessing to the crime and realizing they did wrong are great! They should still be punished but be told that the punishment was not as harsh as it would have been if they had lied about it and then been caught. Praise her for telling the truth but don't use telling the truth as an excuse to justify what she did wrong.

Crazy? Who's Crazy? said...

A very good question. I feel the need to reinforce the truth telling as really important. But I know also it is important for them to still see a consequence to their behavior. I might say something along the lines of, "you know that hitting you sister means you go to time out. But because you came and told me, you only have to be on time out half the time you normally would have been. Thank you for telling me the truth, but next time, you need to learn not to hit your sister in the first place because that's still wrong." Then again, I never had that problem, so I'm just guessing. Love ya.

Sarah said...

I love your posts!!! I really admire you as a parent. and my name is sarah too!! check out my blog. you might like it!!

Katrina said...

Hi Sarah - love the name :)

I agree with most of what everyone has written already. It depends on the severity of the crime, so to speak. It is great that a confession was made. Sometimes anger drives us to do things we normally wouldn't do. Maybe a punishment and plus an exercise on controlling anger and frustrations also. But, whatever you decide, stick to it.


hannahbananajones said...

She sounds like she feels guilty about what happened and in a way wants to be punished. Atleast, thats what I normally end up doing. Maybe you could ask her how serious she thinks it is and on a scale of 1-10 how severely does SHE think she should be punished? Then you could adjust that to what you think and maybe come to a compromise?
Just a thought :)

ZiggyandFamily said...

Ditto to Elaine, Crazy, Emily etc who said what they did!!

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