December 08, 2006

Punishment and Reward

Punishment should be swift, but not unheralded.

Punishment should not establish a precedent for physical violence or cruelty.

Punishment should be tailored to the offending act whenever possible.

Punishment should pass like a summer storm; emphasize the possibility of redemption, not the likelihood of everlasting damnation.

Rewards should be lavished, not doled out in a miserly fashion. If a reward has been earned, get into that celebratory spirit and live it up!

Rewards should not contradict previously established rules. ("But I thought you said fried foods were bad for me!")

Rewards should not be offered for behavior that should be standard. (This is the famous "do not confuse rewards with bribes" corollary.)

Rewards can serve as a useful reminder when the task at hand is of a long-term nature.

This is what I believe. My actions do not always conform to my beliefs. Your mileage may vary. And Wendy Mogel probably said it better in her helpful book, Blessings of a Skinned Knee.

(Thanks to the women of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.)

9 comments:

Becky said...

I like this.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'll stick this on my wall, or something. Nice.

Michelle said...

My son brought prescription drugs to school. The punishment is definitely about WE WILL MAKE HIS ENTIRE FAMILY"S LIFE MISERABLE rather than redemption. I think the whole concept of redemption is sadly missing in our culture.

my backyard said...

I wish that all punishment and reward were given according to these guidelines.

khambagirl said...

Great guidelines. I especially like, "Punishment should pass like a summer storm; emphasize the possibility of redemption, not the likelihood of everlasting damnation." Well done!

NuttersNotes said...

Why is it so hard to reward? Always a struggle...at least I don't punish others often either

susanlavonne said...

I think that I'm looking at yet another school poster in the making!
Wise, wise words, my friend :-)

Anonymous said...

yep. good stuff for parents and for politicians.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Very well stated! There is dignity and humanity in your definitions. Much peace, JP