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Choose Your Partner Carefully
Punishment or Abuse?
Could your partner be abusing your child and calling it, "punishment?"

Learn to recognize the difference between punishment and abuse. It could save your child's life.

Punishment runs the risk of being excessive if...

  • The child has a physical injury, such as bruising, broken skin, swelling, marks from an object such as an extension cord or hairbrush, a burn or a situation that requires medical attention.
  • The person administering the punishment means to instill fear rather than educate your child.
  • The person administering the punishment loses control.
  • The action is inappropriate for the child's age.
  • The action results from unreasonable demands or expectations for the child.

When Do I Know if I've Gone Too Far?

Ask yourself how you feel about the punishment.

  • Do I feel good about this action?
  • Is there an important lesson to be taught?
  • Does the child know that the person giving the punishment loves him or her?
  • Is there mutual respect, or is there fear?
  • Are you or your partner behaving in a way you would like your child to behave?

Your child needs to know that you are in charge, but that you love and respect them. They should not fear you or your partner. Talk to your children and decide together on expectations and reasonable consequences for misbehavior.

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