It has been rightly said by a generous thinker that ‘To err is human’, so the offspring of this human has even more rights to err because he is still innocent.
A child’s heart is very pure and without any malice, so anything wrong done by him cannot be done intentionally or with purpose. It could be a mischief but it could not be a sin or a crime as he is not aware of the unwritten rules of society. If the instructions or rules told to him are not followed by him, it is because he is not receiving the environment which brings about a sense of seriousness and responsibility to help with his character formation, which is why it is not his fault and therefore, it is all the more wrong to punish him as he knows not what he does.
Chanakya, the great Indian teacher and thinker once told that ‘one should be treated according to one’s type’. Before correcting a child, the gravity and seriousness of his mistake should be assessed, his age should be considered if it is his habit, then counseling is the best option; storytelling, where similar incidence or analogy is given, can be another substitute; calling his parents for the discussion of his problem with continuous follow-up monitoring is also recommended. A child can be given some responsibility or a creative task which engages him continuously and never gives him the time to think upon the mischiefs.
A thoughtful management of his activities helps in keeping him busy and active. When an activity is completed, a positive feedback, encouragement, and praise bring new confidence in him, thereby building a mutual trust between the child and the teacher or between the child and his parents.
The confidence shown in him helps inhibit him to do anything wrong or go against you. His petty demands when fulfilled also makes him stand for you. With these practices, most children can be corrected for their wrongs. If some children still continue with their wrong doing in spite of all of this, then instead of punishing, they need some penalizing. It is necessary to make them realize that they are doing wrong – some sort of penalty, in the form of restricting their TV time or maybe hiding their PS remote which will always remind them that they did something wrong because of which they are now the facing consequences can be imposed, as that this will help bring about a change in them.
When the work is done then your appreciation and continuous interaction will help them in their transformation, so punishment is not at all the way to go, the other alternatives should be well planned so that the children don’t turn into violent or destructive adults.