Parenting Without Punishment

Carol Lennox
5 min readAug 13, 2019

Oh yes you can.

Photo by Sai de Silva on Unsplash

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Source unknown. Attributed to Benjamin Franklin

I took more of a natural approach to parenting, which to outsiders sometimes looked permissive. As when he was crowing joyfully in a restaurant, but not crying, so I didn’t take him out. So if permissive means letting a toddler and young child be themselves as long as it wasn’t hurting others, then, yeah, I was permissive.

But don’t stop reading here, just because you despise permissive parents.

I don’t apply that word to myself, and I don’t think you would either, if you had seen my son and me in action. What I believe works best, in trying to shape a tiny human into an adept social creature, is natural consequences.

What are natural consequences?

Natural consequences are what actually happen in life when we make bad choices. And consequences are not punishments. Punishments are stuff we make up to deter an action. Natural consequences are what naturally follow an action. Try this little thought experiment.

What lesson from your childhood do you remember the most? I don’t mean what punishment was memorable to you. I mean what did you…



Carol Lennox

Psychotherapist sharing new choices. Leans far Left. Mindfulness practitioner before it was cool. LPC, M.Ed. Helping you make a difference every day