Why I Don’t Like Rewards and Punishments

Gentle discipline. That sounds pretty progressive, right? Not spanking or hitting children IS still a pretty progressive concept in our society.

In my opinion, it’s disheartening that we’re still not collectively at a place where hitting kids is just accepted as absurd, archaic, and wrong.

But I digress.

This post is about the ways in which we are moving forward, but in very small, still-misguided ways.

I am willing to acknowledge the ways in which we (collectively and personally) are still held back from relating to our kids from a place of love and trust, instead of fear and control.

Parents often use rewards and punishments when they are working toward a more gentle way of relating to their kids.

“Hey, the kids did what I told them to, there was no yelling or hitting (which is spanking, don’t kid yourself), and everything is great!”

Well, yes. But no. There is much more going on with rewards and consequences than just the immediate behavior changes that are effected. Continue reading