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Question for the guys with kids

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April 11, 2020

Is punishment or reward best for teaching kids?

Say you got a bunch of chores for them to do but they're being disobedient, is it better to threaten to take away a luxury for them or incentivise them with a reward when they complete a chore. The kids leave shit fucking everywhere and I'm always picking up after them, I've tried teaching them to look after them selves which work for like 3 weeks then they start doing it again. They're 8 & 9 btw

Post Information
Title Question for the guys with kids
Author Jessor69
Upvotes 13
Comments 34
Date 11 April 2020 01:29 AM UTC (6 months ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/361696
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askMRP/comments/fytosx/question_for_the_guys_with_kids/
Similar Posts

[–]ju3h13 points14 points  (0 children) | Copy

Each kid is different. You've got to do the work to figure out whether each one responds to positive or negative reinforcement. Try making it a game or competition, too. Kids are just small, stupid people, and they're all different.

[–]theycallmenubs26 points27 points  (2 children) | Copy

Parenting only requires two things, it is so simple and yet so hard, just like most things in life.

  1. Unconditional love
  2. Teach them cause and effect

[–]Redrover8578 points9 points  (1 child) | Copy

I’ll add to this that without number 1 always being the top priority you’ll never accomplish number 2.

[–]PersaeusRed Beret3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

Your advice is sage, but this is in fact not a true statement at all. You can accomplish 2 without 1. You’ll just have other, worse, problems.

[–]KazoBanjooie6411 points12 points  (0 children) | Copy

Choice based. Always give them options. "Do you want to pick them up? Or do you want me to throw it away?" "Do you want to walk to your room, or do you want me to carry you?" Always frame it in a way that drives both options as desired results. They will ultimately feel in control while you are... Based from Parenting with Love and Logic and Loving Your Kids on Purpose. A lot off useful tools, but all in all... Punishment is not going to work in the long run. You can punish someone into obedience, but they'll resent you.

[–]matrixtospartanatLVRed Beret22 points23 points  (0 children) | Copy

I raised seven children. Six of them were boys. Remember the ultimate goal: to raise your children to be self-sustaining adults and good citizens of the community; or more specifically in my case, to get off my payroll and move the fuck out of my house, happily.

I wanted to teach my children what would happen when they didn’t do what they were supposed to do. When you don’t get out of bed and go to work, when you don’t pay your bills on time, when you don’t do the right thing, the good things in life seem to disappear.

When my children were preteen they were very little problem. But they hit their teenage years and they made up for it with me. So specifically with my boys, when they weren’t doing what they were supposed to do, I would turn off their phone.

After a few hours of noncompliance I would turn off Wi-Fi. After another hour or two of noncompliance I would turn off the power to their bedroom. That actually never happened more than twice with any of them.

When they hit the 16 and 17 year mark and started driving, one day one of them announced that they would leave the house and not care if I cut the power to their bedroom. I stood up, looked him right in the eye, and told him he hoped he still had a car to drive if he left the house without doing what he was supposed to do.

It wasn’t an empty threat. I had a 15yo son leave the house in a fit of anger one night when I wouldn’t let him do what he wanted to do. I called the sheriffs department and had him brought home. They knew I did not make idle threats.

So as creative as I could get to mimic life, I rewarded them for very good behavior and jobs that were done in excess of what was expected. They experienced lack when their performance was slack. And yes, I did punish them when they deliberately broke the rules or fucked up.

Maybe you can dial that down and apply it to your 8 and 9 year olds.

I found over time, the keys to my success were not my creativity, but my very calm and stoic demeanor mixed with consistency that they came to depend on, respect, and still do to this day.

My children now range in age from 19 to 26, and they are all doing well, off my payroll, and supporting themselves elsewhere.

And my daughter is the only one who asks for money. I’m busy. And I don’t give my children money.

I do now have a personal assistant, $7.50hr, that I absolutely trust who does my cooking cleaning, laundry, shopping, and any errands I need run. She’s carrying a 4.0 in college with an ambition to be an attorney.

Life is good.

[–]ChiefGuitar3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

First off - this is a tough time to have high expectations for kids to own their shit. They're going to screw up because their boundaries have fallen apart and they're not sure how to cope. If you want to take the first step to maintaining order and discipline in the home, ensure you have a strong schedule that the kids can adhere to. That's what they experience on a normal school day, so "homeschool" should reflect that.

But to your question specifically: positive reinforcement is better than punishment. Punishment avoids responsibility and is often a form of manipulation to achieve a desired end from an external source. You aren't going to develop their sense of intrinsic value for picking up (or completing any chore) by taking away their luxuries.

Ask yourself this: why do you want them to clean up after themselves? Now, what's something you can point to that reflects your answer but is adapted to their level?

For my 6-year-old, I ask him to clean up the playroom not because he's supposed to or because shouldn't he WANT to have a clean house?!?! But because a clean playroom is open for such and such game or some other activity that needs a clean playroom.

But I will say this: creating a schedule that is followed by the entire house is best for giving kids the awareness of when and what needs to be cleaned up. Works for other chores too. My son knows that Tuesday at 11:30 is the time he turns his dirty pants right side out and then places his clothes in the dryer. He knows that Tuesday at 4pm is when it's time to put laundry away. He loves it because it's next on the schedule.

As always with kids, YMMV. However, I do think WISNIFG can teach some valuable lessons for dealing with disciplining kids. Punishment is weak assertiveness unless it's absolutely necessary. Positive reinforcement and being assertive as a parent will reap greater rewards down the road.

[–]Brushyourteethm82 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Primary teacher here - I'm in the process of writing up a post about behaviour management. I'll post a link here once I'm done.

Edit: It's now up in Married Red Pill

[–]tightsleeves2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Do you follow through with your actions?

Positive reinforcement is always the ideal path but if you have gotten so far down the shit-hole that your kids dont care about you then goodluck with that.

When I say "I am throwing out any toy that I find on the floor tonight" they will notice that those toys will actually be gone tomorrow... NOT neatly stored in their toy chest thanks to daddy.

My kids are younger but making a game out of it helps;

If I say "Lets clean this all up" they all freak out because it looks like an insurmountable task.. they start blaming each other for who made the mess.. Instead, i break it down into steps; "Lets clean up all these legos and put them back in their spot" - After that "Lets find all toy X and put them in spot X", etc.. etc...

I find that punishment doesnt work if they are stuck in 'analysis paralysis' and are unsure how to even start cleaning such a crazy clutter. They might need your guidance on how/where to start, and after that they pretty quickly take off

[–]dll1422 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

My wife and I have 4 children. Like all these guys said, they're all different and depends on personality. I have one kid that's a neat freak, two that are organized, and one that, let's just say, can be messy. However, my messy kid is the most industrious with helping around the house, so my approach in motivating her into cleaning her room is different. Depending on the kid's personality, sometimes reward (or even simple acknowledge or praise) works, sometimes punishment works, and sometimes doing nothing is effective.

Give a little more detail and context and help us understand more. I'm by far NOT a perfect dad, but I'd be happy to offer and advice you would ask for, or at least tell you what I'd do and why, and you can take that for what it's worth to you.

[–]DeplorableRay2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Bro, the price for being stupid in my house is push ups. The more severe the infraction, the more push ups they have to do. I have two boys, 11 and 6. It works well and you're building their frame and confidence. Yelling, time out, taking away their luxuries all require you be be the opposition. If you are emotional at the moment, like I can get, then do the push ups with them. Shows good leadership. I always tell them, if you're going to be stupid, you might as well be strong.

[–]WolfofAllStreetz1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Not sure, this has been a tough four weeks for our four year old who is insanely whiny and hyper. With shit weather were all going crazy in the house and ive lost my temper a couple times. Having her 24/7 for four weeks has been tough as our in laws are in quarantine due to their age.

I know I need to be more patient but man its hard lately.

[–]fannyfire1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

No kids but my wife was a nanny, au pair and a babysitter for almost ten years. Her strategy was to just take away privileges until she got compliance. The kids she dealt with were often young but sometimes older and it’s about the same. You can’t really reason with a kid/teen because their brains haven’t formed yet so it makes sense to just take things away. You just need to make sure that your word is the law of the land. If mom comes in and gives differing punishments or tries to baby the child it’s going to cause problems as you struggle for authority. I’d make sure that you are the leader and everyone in the house knows it.

[–]CrazyLegs781 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

A little trick I learned in the Marine corps was to make every Thursday night "Field Day", aka - a time set aside for cleaning bathrooms, bedrooms and common areas. You set the expectations for what/how to clean. Allow time for said cleaning, then you inspect the area after. If it meets your expectations, then pizza and movie/ free time/ whatever. If expectations are not met, more cleaning immediately. This can carry over into friday evening or saturday if necessary, but you expectations should reflect their age. Also, this is entirely seperate from recovering clutter which occurs nightly before bed.

Above all, consistency is key. Hope this helps.

[–]markreadsred1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

During quarantine my kids started getting after each other. Even resulted in fist being thrown while dad was away. Now we have bought them all new chrome books for school during this time. Doubled their screen-time out of boredom and stocked the house with all sorts of high carb comfort foods that are currently fucking with my diet.

All those rewards meant nothing when it came to their behavior.

So when the fists started flying I pulled the oldest's phone and axed all online activity besides school and one family and low and behold they calmed right down and changed their tune.

The oldest starting playing with their next sibling as if on cue and doing the dishes and vacuuming without being asked. The middle on started helping the youngest with their math.

In short.

Punishments always get results compared to rewards.

There might be debate as to the need for said comparison but still.

[–]RomulusTurbo1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Just my 2 cents as a father of 5. Take away the screens or limit screen time as much as possible. There's a reason all of these Silicon Valley assholes don't let their own kids use them... they know what it does to the mind of a developing child!

There's a reason TV's, tablets, devices etc. are so cheap. They want everyone sucked into their screen world to keep you docile and compliant.

[–]markpf732 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Kids/wives and their behaviors are a great barometer of your leadership skills.

[–]Redrover8573 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

I’m probably in the minority here but I say let them fucking be kids man. They have their entire lives to work and be stressed and worry about shit around the house. Sure if they make a mess then they should clean it up, but I cringe when I read or see a parent requiring chores out of a 9 year old. I just think the parent is the adult, handle the shit and let the kids be kids. I don’t think people should raise kids to be lazy but something just doesn’t sit right with me to make kids come inside from playing to do fucking chores.

“Hey son I know you are having a great time out there fishing but I’m gonna need you to come in and put these dishes away” nah not in my house.

All that being said...if you tell them to clean up the mess they made as in “hey your rooms a mess go clean it” then obviously that should occur immediately without argument. As long as it is I don’t see a need for change really. If they argue with you then yeah it’s time to fix that shit. But I don’t think expecting an 8 year old to keep its shit neat and tidy all the time is realistic or even a good thing.

[–]SBIIIRed Fucking Commando3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

Is punishment or reward best for teaching kids?

Neither are tools that you should use to teach kids with. Rewarding creates covert contracts, punishment creates resentment.

When you become a man who is worthy of following, your kids will want to follow your lead and they will go out of their way to please you. So when you ask them to do something, they will do it - not out of fear of punishment and not because you have bribed them. They will do it because they want to, because they want your approval and because they want your time and attention.

This also works with women.

So the first thing you should do before teaching your kids is to educate yourself and learn what it is to become a man who is worthy of following.

The best place to start this process is the sidebar.

[–]RoccoPinkman1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

E collars also

[–]Big_Daddy_PDX0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

The greatest hurdle for society today is the trend away from personal accountability. If something fails, blame someone else. If you didn’t succeed, offer an excuse. The best thing to do is to teach kids to accept ownership for completed or failed tasks alike.

While it differs based upon age, most children in the home lack training, skill mastery, and motivation. Ergo, doesn’t matter what age your child is if they don’t understand how to load a dishwasher properly, that is your fault for not overseeing their training to a degree where you are certain the are capable.

Before you punish, look at your leadership. If this is a recurring “oh, sorry Dad” case like I’m seeing more now with 3 teenagers in the house ALL DAY LONG, then the punishment is for them to drop everything and immediately complete the task under your micro-managed supervision. Then the punishment for laziness or absent-mindedness. Personally, I like push-ups or plank for this. Task not done? 10 push-ups. The. Complete the task. Task done poorly? 10 push-ups. Redo task.

The most common issue I’ve seen in years of coaching is failure to follow-through with punishment. I was spanked/whipped/beaten as a child of the 70’s. Not terrible mind you, but spankings with bare hands, ping pong paddle, wooden spoon; hell, even the elementary school principal had a wooden paddle in his office. Do something wrong, get the punishment. I’ve given my kids exactly one spanking each (age 4 I’d suspect). I didn’t feel it was the way I wanted to raise my kids. So lots of push-ups and grounding from electronics. The key is to remember that punishments don’t prevent something from happening. Your kids will still do the wrong thing. But they must know they are buying their punishment the moment they do the wrong thing.

[–]Vegasman200020 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Neither. Make a reasonable consequence for not obeying and follow through 100% of the time.

[–]ancient_resistanceShit coming out my eyeballs0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I'm always picking up after them...work for like 3 weeks then they start doing it again.

You're the problem. You taught them by example to leave a mess, and dad cleans it up. I would be surprised if they stopped leaving messes.

Simple: you don't take care of your shit, you lose it.

Set clear expectations for when they will clean up (ideally right after they're done, but also at the end of the day). Anything left out goes into toy time-out for the next day. Second offense: a week. Third: trash/thrift store.

[–]gameoflibidos0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Each kid responds differently. I have 3 boys.. 2 respond better to negative actions. The other one responds better to me rewarding him when he's doing good things.

Specifically for leaving shit laying around everywhere. You just have to be super diligent about making them clean up after themselves. DON"T pick up anything. Nag and nag and nag and nag and nag them until they clean it up. Turn their game off right in the middle to make them clean up something they left out. And if it's toys... that's easy.. just threaten that toys found on the floor not being returned will be thrown away and actually do it.

[–]LeonidasMRP0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Kids naturally seek the approval of their parents. Have you communicated to them you are displeased when they leave out their toys? Usually that's the most punishment that's needed.

[–]wtf_ever_man0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

It's hard to put into words because I think each person is so individual you need to tailor it. You can't blanket statement but I do agree with SB.

When you start working on yourself and show that you are someone to follow they will follow.

Look at your routine. Look at your interactions. Really look at them. What is making them do they things they do, what is making you do the things you do?

It's also day to day. Be consistent in your intent and approach.

[–]BostonBrakeJob[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

It's ironic you got your panties all twisted up about pillupass's. This is his response, with a candy coating added.

We're talking about kids picking up after themselves here. Everything doesn't have to be profound.

[–]Praexology0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

Tell them once "I'm cleaning the house up on xyz day whatever is left out or not picked up I'm going to assume is ok to throw away." Frame it as something you're doing instead of something they are doing wrong. Then throw it away. Don't do it with ego or with a "hey gotchya"/happy to throw away their prized possessions attitude, but with a "Oh there must have been some kind of misunderstanding, why weren't those things picked up then?" You set the precedent, they knew the parameters and failed to meet it.

They will learn how to not have their stuff thrown away, or they'll learn not to grow attachments to physical possessions. Either way good for them.

Honestly you could pretty easily set up some kind of point board with things like "Wifi password" "Cooked meal" etc. Of course you'll provide for them, but if they are doing the bare minimum for the family unit, the family unit will do the bare minimum for them.

Want a cooked meal instead of a cold unseasoned chicken and raw broccoli? Help with the dishes. Want Wifi for the following month? Pick up the living room on xyz day. If they fail to meet it, oh well - they simply won't get the corresponding perk. The kicker is they have to wait until the next day or next month to start to get the thing. Let them learn how to work for something they don't immediately get.

Kids, especially electronically focused kids will figure this out quickly. A month of no wifi will blow their minds.

[–]dilberryhoundog4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy

You got children? They aren’t perfect humans dude. They will always stuff up somehow, and cause themselves to be missing out on something (they will interpret it as love). What kids need is to feel loved, and to have someone that can model appropriate behaviour, they learn by being in your frame.

I was a hypocrite that demanded this of my children or they would be punished, but left my own stuff lying about, unpunished. Now I give age appropriate leadership, sans the perfection and a good dose of love if they achieve what I set out for them. If they don’t achieve it, I’m not too fussed, It was probably a failure of my leadership, rather than their costly mistake.

[–]Praexology-1 points0 points  (1 child) | Copy

Don't need them to understand how to teach them. Worked with middleschool kids for a long time, I have a pretty good understanding of how they interact with learning boundaries.

What kids need is to feel loved, and to have someone that can model appropriate behaviour, they learn by being in your frame.

Boundaries are love, teaching (especially younger 8/9 yr old kids) that this is how things are, will make them appreciate you in the long run. Setting them up to be ineffective adults is NOT love.

I was a hypocrite that demanded this of my children or they would be punished.

Reread my original post. It is not to be used as a punishment.

If a child leaves a ball in the street and it gets run over and popped, they will learn not to leave stuff in the street.

If a child burns their hand on the hot oven top, the oven top isn't mad at them. In a convoluted way the oven is saying "My boundary is: I will cook or burn anything that touches me."

If a child doesn't turn in a school project for one reason or another, they get a 0. The teacher doesn't show love, or the capability to teach if they give that child credit for a project they didn't complete.

When I was teen I punched a wall and hit a stud. Was the stud mad at me for hitting the wall? No. Did I ever hit a wall again? No.

These aren't punishments just a realities that your kids can learn to adapt to.

In a similar vein I would say if your kids have a room, that it's their responsibility to choose when to clean it, and to reward them appropriately if they do. Don't infantilize them.

It was probably a failure of my leadership, rather than their costly mistake.

Correct, because you simped out to your kids. You can set boundaries and as a result your kids made a costly mistake. What happens when something with higher stakes comes along? You're unintentionally teaching them that your boundaries (and by proxy, other's) can be pushed if they are feeling apathetic or lazy with impunity.

When I was younger I had a good friend whose parents would set a boundary, he would break it, and nothing would happen. They didn't try to raise him and the dad fell inline under the moms decision to show unlimited, inconsequential forgiveness to my friend. He now struggles to be an adult and goes through jobs extremely fast because he will just up and disregard his manager.

[–]dilberryhoundog2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Yep confirmed, you have the unmistakable righteousness of a man who is yet to partake on the journey of fatherhood.

Good luck.

[–]PillUpAss-4 points-3 points  (2 children) | Copy

Lazy post (big surprise) that is off topic for this forum, but as with nearly every problem - you only have yourself to blame. Look at your own words "I'm always picking up after them." They have no consequences, hence they do not change. Picking up your own shit isn't a punishment, it's a basic expectation of anyone that lives in my house (over the age of 4). Yes punish, yes praise - but you aren't even giving them basic structure and having them own their shit.

[–]wtf_ever_man2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

He is asking for hemp and advice, does everything in this place have to turn into a "you only have yourself to blame" response.

Fuck sake, put some work in.

[–]PillUpAss0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

No, only when that's the answer. Who should he blame, the kids? Or maybe people that give useless responses like "It's hard to put into words."

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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