Parents are responsible to help their children develop into healthy (emotional and physical), happy, and productive adults. Isnâ€™t this the fair thing to do; you brought them here, so help them to make the best out of their time here? I admit, it isnâ€™t always an easy task (to put it mildly); but that doesnâ€™t exempt us from our responsibility.
A common situation that parents are forced to deal with is sibling hitting. A young sibling (about 6 to 8 years olds) â€œgets on the nervesâ€ of an older sibling (about 10 or 11 years old). The older sibling who has not yet developed proper social skills â€œsmacksâ€ the younger brother or sister in the face. What should you do?
Firstly it is very important to understand the difference between conditioning and education. Conditioning is training someone (or something, like a pet) the proper way to act in a situation. This is done by giving a good reward for good behavior (a candy, a good word, or granting a certain privilege) or something distasteful for unacceptable behavior (a spanking (for very young children) put to bed early (for a little older children), or taking away a certain privilege (for even older children). This is a great way to quickly but momentarily encourage good behavior and stop bad behavior .
Your job as a parent doesnâ€™t stop here. As a matter of fact, it hasnâ€™t really started yet! You have to EDUCATE your child and help him to develop into a healthy and productive adult not only condition her to be one. To educate means to explain to them, in a way that they will understand, why something is wrong and how to avoid such behavior.
For instance, ask after they calm down from the â€œconditioning punishmentâ€ ask them:
*Jason do you understand what you did to deserve getting punished?
*Why do you think that I think hitting brothers or sisters is bad?
*Is there something else that can be down when he â€œgets on your nervesâ€?
Listen to their answers carefully to understand from where â€œthey are comingâ€ and guide them to understand YOUR way of thinking. Youâ€™ll see that when you use conditioning AND education together your children will grow up to truly be healthy, happy, and productive adults.