Proper Punishment For a 5 Year Old

5-year old’s can be a handful. They are always up to some mischief. It is important to mold their character and habits at this early stage. Most kids this age are vocal and can be reasoned with. This makes it much easier to discipline them. Instead of resulting to draconian methods of disciplining your child, you need to encourage them to be vocal about the issues they may be facing that are causing the bad behavior. This makes it easier for you to come up with strategies to help your child make the right decisions in future.

Remember that you are still trying to raise them to be respectable individuals. Therefore, you should nurture their psychological well-being as well. For this reason, an age-friendly form of punishment is encouraged. Below, we go over the common causes of unacceptable behavior and appropriate punishment for 5 year old.

What May Be Causing Bad Behavior in Your 5 Year Old?

  1. New Routine

The age of 5 is when most children start their education. It is possible that your child is exhibiting bad behavior because they are finding it hard to adjust to the school routine, which is new to them.

  1. Separation Anxiety

Some 5 year olds will go through separation anxiety as they are forced to leave what they are familiar with at home and dive into the school environment. Your child may also have a hard time adjusting to the teacher-student atmosphere where they are required to pay attention, cooperate with the others and follow instructions.  

  1. Frustration

Issues with a 5 year old’s behavior can also be as a result of frustration. Most 5 year olds are at an age where they are discovering their abilities. Most children this age will want to do things or take part in activities they still can’t at this stage of their development.

  1. New Found Independence

At 5 years old, this is the age where most kids test their sense of independence. You may notice that your child suddenly starts talking back at you or is becoming a rebel. Whining and tantrums are still part of the way they express themselves.

While you may try to reason with your child when they express their dissatisfaction, it is also important to put your foot down in matters discipline. You need to let your child know that their behavior will not be tolerated and will instead be met with a befitting punishment. As the child starts to go to school, this is when their minds develop and they are introduced to different things. This makes 5 years of age the perfect time to start shaping your child’s behavior.

Knowing the causes help you to learn about appropriate punishment for 5 year olds.

How to Discipline a 5 Year Old

  1. Time Out

This is one of the most effective ways to punish a 5 year old. While they may not take it seriously the first time, they will eventually understand that it is a form of punishment for every time they do something wrong. Create a spot in your house where they go during timeout. This should be a place where they cannot access TV, toys or games until the timeout period is over.

  1. Try Time-In

This is almost similar to time out only that the child is given a task to accomplish. During time in, you can send your child to a specific spot in the house where they are required to complete a task within a stipulated timeline. This task can be something that taps into their creative side such as drawing, completing a puzzle or stringing beads. Time-in will divert the kid’s energies to more positive things.

  1. Create a Punishment Can

You can come up with different kinds of appropriate punishment for 5 year old and write them on different slips. Place these slips in the can. When your 5 year old does something contrary to what is acceptable behavior, they can pick a slip from the can and whatever is on the slip is their punishment. A few ideas for the slips include no TV for a while, no ipad, going to bed early, doing an extra chore or no toys for the next few days.

  1. Using Code Words 

This can be especially effective for times when you are out with your 5 year old.You can create a code word to use when your child gets too hyper or starts to misbehave in public. A code word is great as your child knows what it means and you can use it without embarrassing them in public. As you use code words, let the child know that if they make you use it more than a few times, they will be in for punishment when you get home. This way, they will learn to stop when you say it the first time.        

  1. Holding Their Tongue

While this is mostly used as an expression, it is possible to literally make your 5 year old hold their tongue when they have an outburst. Most kids this age are learning how to express themselves and tantrums are common. When they have an outburst, you can make them hold their tongue with their fingers for a minute or two. This is an appropriate punishment for 5 year old as it makes them understand that they are not allowed to express their feelings by shouting or throwing verbal fits.

  1. Remind Them

The most effective way to discipline a 5 year old is simply by constantly reminding them about what acceptable behavior is and what cannot be accepted. As a parent, you also need to understand that a 5 year old may not react immediately to orders. This is not necessarily because they are being defiant. It could be because they are processing a lot of information at a go. They may not be quick when it comes to pulling themselves out of one activity and jump into another.

If you find that your 5 year old is playing with their toys and hardly listening to what you're saying, you can pull away the toys to shift focus.

  1. Dialogue

Dialogue can be a great way to reprimand your 5 year old. However, you also need to remember that a child at this age has a very short concentration span. Therefore, keep the talks short and interesting. Keep it specifically centered on the matter at hand and make them understand why it is wrong to behave in that manner.

  1. Be Patient

Keep your expectations low. You may need to address a particular behavior more than once. Children sometimes will only completely let go of certain behaviors after doing it a few times and constantly being reminded why it is wrong.

  1. Get Tough

When it comes to punishment, there are certain behaviors that will require you to be stern. Your child needs to understand that there are some behaviors such as physical aggressiveness or use of foul language that are a complete ‘no-no’. You can try time out or forbidding them from using their toys as forms of punishment if they do anything on the ‘no-no’ list. This will help them to understand how important it is for them not to repeat the behavior.

10. Monitor the Triggers

As a parent, you can easily tell what triggers your child’s meltdowns. If you realize that they get cranky when they are hungry or when they haven’t had enough rest, you can make sure they are well fed and rested as often as possible.

Tips for Encouraging Good Behavior

Even as you learn about the appropriate punishment for 5 year old, sometimes the best way to discourage bad behavior is highlighting the good they do.  When your child does good, ensure you praise their good behavior. This will encourage them and make them want to do good more often.

If your child throws tantrums when some of their needs are not met in time, you can teach them alternative ways to air their dissatisfaction. This creates a habit, which they cultivate well into their adult life. It is much better than punishment without recourse.

Another way of teaching your child good behavior is by letting them go through the natural consequences of their actions. If your 5 year old insists on doing something that will likely to end badly, it is okay to let them do it and face the consequences later. However, ensure you have a limit to what you allow them to do as some activities can be dangerous. When they understand the outcome of forbidden activities, they are unlikely to repeat. 

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