We tend to punish people because we are angry or frustrated. The easiest example is when we punish our kids. The easiest scenario is that you tell them not to do something over and over and yet they still do it. At some point your patience is exhausted and you lash out.

Punishing a child seems to be somehow “morally justified” because how else will they learn?

The problem is that punishment does not work (or at least it doesn’t get the results we want).

The child is simply trying to get what they want. If one way doesn’t work they may try it 3 or 4 more times (maybe adjusting things slightly each time) just to be sure it doesn’t work. Then they will move on to something else to get what they want.

The adult version of punishment is normally in retribution for some transgression. Depending on the circumstances adult punishment is not physical but more often verbal, withholding or enforcing different circumstances. (You must now do . . . or you can no longer have . . .).

Punishing does not work, never has and never will. The attitude is “I am right, you are wrong and I am justified in punishing you”.

The trouble is that: the person being punished doesn’t see it that way. All you wind up with is “Resentment and Conflict”.

Stop trying to play “Judge and Jury”. You don’t have the right.

Douglas Jones



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