The main purpose of punishing a child is to train them to make a different decision next time; after all, children are able to learn from an early age (if you teach them from an early age) that they will constantly be faced with choices, and that there will be a distinctly “right” choice and a “wrong” choice. Of course, life creates plenty of opportunities for natural “punishments” to occur as a result of a wrong choice, but as a parent, your job is to train your child to keep from making these “wrong” choices by punishing them when they have made such a choice.
Although you might send your child to their room with the idea that this will cause them to “think about what they did,” what often ends up happening – when your child goes to their room – is that they move on with their life, forgetting all about what they did to “get in trouble.” After all, they are probably banished to their room along with most of their favorite toys, and even though they might put on a face of remorse when you tell them to go to their room (and when you talk to them afterward), this is usually not much of a “punishment” at all!
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Many parents have found that a much better method is to talk to their children about what they did wrong, and then to make the child sit on the stairs (or on a specific couch in a specific room) until the designated time when the “punishment” is over. This will keep your child from being separated from the family and feeling “humiliated,” and your child will also not be distracted by all the toys and games they might have in their room; instead, they will truly have to sit there, thinking about the wrong choice they made, and resolving to avoid that wrong choice next time!