Moral Justification of Punishment

Punishment on offenders provides a unique moral challenge, since it incorporates a state’s infliction of difficult or harsh treatment on its members. Majority of people in the society would agree that it is not permissible to imprison people, to compel them to pay monetary sanctions, or to involve them in the community services and execution plans (Weijers 2000, p.68). However, there are moral justifications to the various forms of punishment that are provided to offenders. Some of the issues that need to be considered in such cases include social institution of the penance warranted, the necessary conditions for the penalty in the certain situations as well as the extent of severity which is appropriate for particular offense and offenders. In spite of that aspect, debates on punishment are right in their way; there is also a significant question which exists over the proper standards for the evaluation of social practices. As such, the infliction of penance often presents a unique moral challenge, since it involves the infliction of pain on individuals as well as treating them in a manner that would be typically is morally wrong. Many individuals have sought to establish the reason as to why offenders are subjected to any form of punishment. Majority of the theorists as well as other members of the public believe that it is impermissible. Different members of the society have aimed at finding a satisfactory explanation; however, it has proven difficult, thereby prompting some members to urge in favour of abolishing the practice. This paper proposes the discussion of the concept of punishment and the society moral justification.

Punishment on offenders often involves the infliction of pain as well as depriving people of what they would choose to avoid, and therefore, the intentional imposition needs justification. In this case, punishment presents a moral challenge due to the infliction of the burden as well as the deliberate harsh treatment of the offenders, which is considered morally impermissible. In the same way, some of the challenges experienced in the execution of the punishment may not be escaped from, since morality agrees on correction of undesired behaviours (Xiao and Tan 2014, p.5). The main bone of contention is whether the community must have the policy of mandatory rules, the enforcement of which is done through punishment due to its moral values in developing good character.

As a moral way of preventing future occurrence of the same offense, the punishment must be executed. For instance, a mother who threatens to punish her son or daughter who commits a mistake, but fails to do so might find it difficult to control the occurrence of the same mistake in future (Zimmerman 2011, p.94). The future threats are often not taken seriously in the event the past ones have not been executed. Similarly, the societal offenders must be punished to prevent the occurrence of the same offense in future as well as to use them as examples for those who intend to commit the same offenses. As such, it punishment on offenders is morally justifiable, because the execution of such punishment function to prevent future possibilities of the same problems as well as warning other members of the societies in engaging in such offenses.

Punishment on offenders can be morally justified by the utilitarian beliefs. From a moral perspective, punishing the wrongdoers in the in the society is a sure way of promoting well-being in the society and making everybody’s life comfortable (Clarke, McKenna and Smith, p.23). According to the utilitarian beliefs, the morality of an action is determined by its ability to promote human happiness better than the other available alternatives. As such, the deed is supposed to benefit the larger society, even if it is enjoyable to the majority of the people. Since punishment tends to inflict pain on individuals, it is morally justified, because it achieves enough good consequences that outweigh the societal harms. Since punishment tends to reduce potential future instances of immoral activities, it is appropriate to execute it on offenders, as it functions to benefit the majority of people in the society.

Additionally, moral justification of penance can be based on either retributivist or consequentialist views. For the latter, the rationale for punishment is using securing a valuable end. As such, punishment aims at reducing crime, preventing, incapacitating as well as reforming the offenders. On the other hand, retributivism holds that punishment is intrinsically appropriate in that it is deserved in response to wrongdoing (Farrell 1994, p.397). Punishment tends to deter in methods that are more subtle than providing relevant factors for cool calculation. Watching other people being punished for specific immoral behaviour creates in people the perception of associating punishment and conducts which may constrain them whenever they are sure of not being caught (Rahimov 2017, p.268). As such, people are most likely to fear punishment, hence avoiding immoral behaviours subconsciously.

Some of the forms of punishment such as imprisonment and death penalty assist in incapacitating potential risks. The penance prevents people from dangerous dispositions either permanently or temporarily from acting within their dangerous dispositions to harm the others. The forms of punishment, therefore, remove the involvement as well as the participation of the offenders in immoral activities hence increases the moral status of society. Without such kinds of punishment, the individuals would proceed with their involvement in activities, thus making the lives of people unbearable in the society.

The moral justification of punishment holds that penance is a way of inducing reforms on offenders. The punishments assist in reforming criminals to the extent that their wishes to commit more offense are lessened. Conviction as well as the imposition of other forms of penance contribute to reforming criminals by making the offenders become aware that their actions were morally wrong (Rahimov 2017, p.272). As people serve the punishment terms, they are likely to understand why such penance was inflicted on them, hence developing a positive view towards them and transforming their behaviours. Therefore, the punishments are justified under right circumstances and should be encouraged as much as possible to promote good behaviours in the society.


According to this account, the rightfulness and the wrongness of any given action are usually determined by their consequences. Therefore, the consequentialists defend punishment and urge, as it is instrumentally valuable. As such, the implications of the maintenance of the penance in the society are far much better than avoiding punishment on offenders. Thereby, the offense for which the punishment is served is a moral justification for why punishments are an important part of moral behaviours in the society. As such, according to this account, penance is viewed as an act that is valuable socially, and the results include deterrence, crime reduction, incapacitation, and reformation of the offender (Wood 2010, p.459).

In deterrence, punishment serves as a deceptive for the potential criminals, and for it to execute this purpose, it must be credible. For individuals who commit crimes and are punished for it, they find the penance unpleasant, and therefore, tend to never repeat for fear of the same treatment or worse. In the case of deterrence, it is argued that it aims at dissuading the members of the public from crime commitment, which can in one way or the other be omitted. Also, for the ones who commit the crimes are subject to the various penances, future threat punishment might provide a disincentive to wrongdoing for the second time. As such, the deterrence is specific or unique (Wood 2010, p.463).

The knowledge that crime results in a particular crime will help in preventing individuals in the society from committing such crimes. As a result, there can be a future reduction of the violations as well as the unhappiness along with the associated insecurity (Segev 2012, p.49). Other individuals are prevented from committing the crimes from the punishment of others who have previously committed crimes. As such, the benefits, which are gained from any criminal activity, are largely outweighed by the harms of the sentence, despite the fact that the associated injuries are counted through the probability of avoiding the detection.

Another aspect of consequentiality is the incapacitation of the offenders. In this case, punishment helps in the reduction of the crime through the incapacitation of the criminals via prevention of reoffending by the sentence imposed either permanently or temporarily (Segev 2012, p.56). Therefore, it aims at getting rid of the people from the situations which would otherwise have led to committing crimes. As such, individuals are confined in a solitarily unit, and therefore, making them unable to determine the crimes. Also, the offender reforms, the punishment aids in offense through the facilitation of the reformation of the offender. The penance helps in redoing the incidence of times by taking a form, which helps in improving the behavior of the offender, and therefore, s/he is made less likely to commit the crime. As such, the punishment aims at reshaping the offender’s moral motives and dispositions (Cottingham 2009 p.244). Therefore, penance is morally justified by the society, since it produces positive consequences through crime reduction by incapacitating the offenders through deterrence as well as reforming the potential criminals.

Community reform and victim restoration is another aspect of the utilitarian account.  The offender is required to carry out some compensator services either to the community or the victim. It includes the therapeutic goals, which are defined by the offender’s acceptance of the responsibility of the offense or the criminal act, reconciliation with the community and the victim as well as mediation for an apology (Cottingham 2009, p.246).


According to this account, punishment is justified, since it is an intrinsically appropriate response to crime and as such well-deserved. There are two forms of retributivism – the positive and the negative. The positive aspect is characterized by the view that the offender’s actions provide a positive justification for the punishment; therefore, those, who are found guilty of the wrongdoing, deserve punishment. In this account, it is argued that a set of punishment of different severity should be matched to the differing serious of the crimes; in this case, the minor sentence should be meant for minor offenses and severe penance for serious crimes (O’Connell 2014, p.479).

Deserved suffering is one of the aspects in retributivism which primarily contends that for the wrongdoers, they deserve to suffer for their actions. As such, for the murders and those who torture innocent people, they deserve to suffer for their deeds. In fair play, the society is viewed as an operative venture where its members benefit, when there are the complaints of the rules governing the particular experiment. While everybody benefits when the rules are played appropriately, fairness dictates that all have the moral obligation of reciprocating by following the “guidelines.’ For the case of an offender, they enjoy the compliance of other people, but they fail to return by employing themselves (Ward and Connolly 2007, p.42). In this case, the offender becomes a free rider, since they wait for others to comply with the morals while the offender violates themselves. Failure of the offender to restrain himself makes him have an unfair advantage over the other in the general society. In this case, the course of punishment is justified, since it helps in getting rid of the unfair advantage, which is enjoyed by the offender (O’Connell 2014, p.489). Therefore, through the infliction of a burden to the offender is warranted, as he experienced a particular gain while committing the crime. It is thus evident that in the fair play view, punishment is justified as a deserved response to the unfair advantage, which is taken by the offender to the general public (Schedler 2011, p.251).

Another form of the retributivism is the censure; punishment helps in communicating the condemnation of the offender for the offense committed (Malsch 2007, p.207). Therefore, there is the need for the wrongdoers to be ensured for the crimes omitted, and thus, penance is justified due to its ability to deliver the censuring message. In this account, evil is considered as a violation of the critical values, and therefore, the state is regarded as an essential agent of penance. Censuring enables the offenders to reflect on the committed crimes, and thereby, repent and accordingly recommit him to the violated values (Schedler 2011, p.257).

Moral education is viewed as a feature for both the consequentialists and the retributivists. As such, punishment is considered to be a means of teaching a lesson to those who commit a crime. In any particular community, it will, therefore, yield better results regarding the reduction of crime. The violators of the morals are seen as moral agents, and consequently, wrongdoers are educated that the action undertaken is morally wrong or forbidden; thereby, they should be avoided at all costs (Brink 2012, p.501). In the view of the retributive ensure, punishment helps in communicating to the offenders and the community in general that whatever that has been done is wrong and is punishable. In this case, penance is seen to be a burden to the offender; the education perceives punishment as a benefit which is achieved through moral justification (Brink 2012, p.509). In spite of this take, it cannot be concluded that penalty is not burdensome, since the latter is an essential feature of penance; however, in this case, the oppressive is ultimately beneficial.

Violations of Social Norms and Fairness

In the society, punishment is morally justified, because it helps in reforming criminals who violate the norms of the general community, with the violation’s degree being defined by which the moral proponents (Biel et al. 2008, p.110). In this case, morality demands that the society punishes those who violate the norms of the community through the penance. In the majority of the public, citizen makes sacrifices through obedience, and therefore, it is in order, for the offenders are punished instead of benefiting through doing so (Zaibert 2012, p.40). As such, for the non-offenders, they may be disadvantaged in the event the quilt offenders go unpunished. Further, in morality, fairness dictates that offenders receive a treatment that is the same for similar cases (Greitemeyer and Weiner 2008, p.413). In the instance where it is justified that punishment is reserved for the offenders, it seeks to promote the proportionality which is relative to the culpability as well as the uniformity for treating the offenders that are culpable equally.

In another account, punishment plays a role as the norm of reinforcement in the society. Among members of a particular community, the discipline of the wrongdoers can contribute to the sense that specific actions are immoral, and therefore, it helps the members to internalize the specific norms the society has set correctly. As a result, the internalization of penance in a particular community can assist in reinforcing the set societal norms by affecting the dictates of individual conscience (Murphy 2014, p.87). In the case of a severe punishment for an offense, the society condemns the crime of an offender, and therefore, it performs a significant role in the moral education of its members. As a result, it is thus apparent that the society has the moral responsibility in the penance of its members due to its benefits, which are evident.

In addition to the retributivism and the consequentialist, there other accounts which attempt to justify the moral responsibility of punishment in the society. Self-defence is viewed as a justification for penance (Stewart 2013, p.30). In the event an offender creates a situation that may cause any form of harm, the community has a responsibility of using the force with the aim of ensuring that the damage does not occur, and in case, it happens, it falls under the perpetrator. In this instance, punishment is justified, since it prevents impending crimes as well as stops any violation of law and morality that is taking place.

Punishment of people certainly requires justification, since it may lead to the harmful effects, which are unpleasant and painful to the recipient. From the different accounts in this paper, it can be concluded that penance is morally justified in the community (Schlink, Popp and Morrison 2005, p.117). It is, therefore, clear to say that punishment has a place in the society, and thus, can be morally fair. In spite of the burden caused by penance on the offender, it helps in the prevention of the crimes through the deterrence, incapacitation as well as reforming of the offenders. The society is governed by the particular rules and standards, and every member of the community must live in accordance with them you can read about this more in the prison essay.

Garden Walkway Ideas and Paths for Beginner

The poem, “Icarus” by Edward Field, explains on the myth of Icarus on success. The diction brought upon by the highlighted part in the poem contributes to the full meaning of the poem to a great extent. For instance, the line “where he rented a house and tended the garden” insinuates that Mr. Hicks, who is considered to be like the Icarus, was staying in the urban areas of the country. The line helps the readers to understand that the poem talks about an individual who had come to the city from the interior part (rural) of the country to look for a good job. When he arrives in the city, he rents a house and stays alone. He hopes that he would succeed quickly as the belief of many people in the city. The garden he tended is used to refer to the jobs that Mr. Hicks did. Mr. Hicks was ever in his small workshop so that he would accumulate a lot of wealth through the sales he made. Most importantly, the highlighted part of the poem also helps us understand that Mr. Hicks dreamt bigger than he could achieve. The line “Concealed arms that had controlled huge wings” helps us understand that author speaks of an individual dreaming to accumulate a lot of wealth regardless of the numerous economic hardships that the current situation presents. Mr. Hicks sees himself as a hero and that he can get all that he wants. The author states that he makes wings and fails to fly past the ceiling. Here, Mr. Hicks tries all means possible to be successful but contrary to his expectations. He fails terribly. Due to anger, Mr. Hicks becomes mad at himself and wishes that he dies. He feels like giving up on his struggles since he still sees himself stuck in the same place.

Small Vegetable Garden Plans Ideas

Destruction caused by the Hurricane Rita were severe on the agricultural sector. Damages on the crops in people’s farms was immense. Due to these damages, the food prices hiked especially that of rice, vegetables, fruits, corn, and soybeans. Farmers who have prepared management have an advantage over those who lack. It is advisable for the affected farmers to first drain all the water from their farms and prepare the land afresh. The funds for doing so can be claimed from the insurance companies. For those who had not insured their farms against such disasters, they can ask for funding from NGOs and the USDA. These affected farms are the backbone of agriculture in the United States

Another measure that can be used to address the menace is using irrigation-salvageable container plants. These are plants that will grow in secluded places such as the garage. During such times, growboxes may be used to grow crops within available spaces in the house. Plants that were not damaged by the hurricane would also be secluded and maintained as a short-term action of addressing the menace. Also, the farmers may also opt to grow crops with a shorter maturity period. These crops can be used to cater for the food-gap created. They will also restore the soil fertility before planting the main crops.

Livestock farmers are advised to set up temporary shelters for the animals. The structures can be made of debris of the shuttered structures. The method is economical bearing in mind the losses the farmers have suffered. It is important for the farmers to take into account the number of animals after the hurricane. Some animals may be killed or drowned during the storm.

Should You Allow Your Dog in the Bed?

When it comes to your furry friends, it’s difficult not to let them in your bed. All they need is to look at you with their big eyes, and you will allow it. However, you keep hearing people around you that you shouldn’t let them climb in your sleeping place.

Although you know that they may leave hair everywhere, you don’t see any other problem in letting your best friend snuggle with you. Let’s see if it’s a good idea to share your bed with your dog.

Are There Benefits to Sleeping with Your Dog?

Although you keep hearing that a dog in your bed is unhealthy, people usually don’t know that there are benefits to it. So, let’s see how letting your pet in your bed helps you:

  • It reduces stress

It’s known that pets have the gift of relieving your stress and making you feel better. People who suffer from insomnia especially have stress and anxiety problems. These make it even harder for you to fall asleep at night.


Thankfully, this is where your pet comes to your aid. Dogs can relieve stress and help you against anxiety. Apparently, touching a pet raises the oxytocin level in your brain and makes you feel happier.


  • You form a stronger bond

You are the center of your pet’s life and sleeping together will deepen the bond between you. Therefore, sleeping with your pet creates an intimacy between you two.


Moreover, if you have a schedule that doesn’t allow you to be home too often, your pet will feel alone. So, sleeping together will make them feel loved and less alone.


  • Increased Security

Usually, if you are a person who needs to sleep with someone to have a good sleep, the dog can fulfill your need.


Dogs can increase your sense of security, letting you enjoy your sweet dreams without any problem.


  • Comfort and Warmth

What’s better than feeling someone’s warmth when sleeping? Sleeping in cool room temperature makes your sleep better. However, it can also make you tremble. Snuggling with your dog can make you feel warm and comfy.


How About the Disadvantages?

Now that you know how sleeping with a dog can help you, let’s turn to the disadvantages.

  • Dogs can interrupt your sleep

Is your dog a big breed? Even if you’re not a light sleeper, your dog’s movements can wake you up at night. Consequently, you won’t rest as efficiently as you need to.


Additionally, you should know that pets have dreams as well, so you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog suddenly starts running in the middle of the night.


  • You can get sick

Probably the biggest reason why people keep telling you to prohibit your pet in your bed is health. Despite being tired of hearing it thrown around that much, it has some truth.


Keep in mind that your dog spends a lot of time outside and interacts with many things you usually avoid. This is why it’s essential to make sure they are vaccinated and healthy, so nothing happens to you.


  • It increases asthma and pet allergies

Remember that friend that was telling you how he is allergic to dogs or cats? Well, he would certainly not allow a dog on a bed.


In case you’re allergic, dogs should sleep somewhere else. Allergens don’t stay exclusively on your pet – they spread to other surfaces as well. So, if you already allowed your dog on the bed, make sure you change the sheets.


Should You Allow Your Dog In Your Bed?

Whether you should allow your pet to sleep with you depends on many things. Just as mentioned above, it has advantages and disadvantage. So, if any of the disadvantages are too much to handle for you, your pet should have his own bed.

Furthermore, you should definitely prohibit your dog on your sheets if you have an infant or a small child.

When it comes to infants, you should be aware of the fact that they are more vulnerable compared to you. This means that the germs carried by dogs can affect them, so you’d be putting your child at risk. Also, if your dog is a bigger breed, they may roll on top of the infant, not allowing him to breathe.

Also, in some cases, dogs may bite by mistake when they are roused from sleep, especially if they had a nightmare. Therefore, you should be against letting them sleep next to a small child.

So, take everything into consideration if you own a dog. If it can’t affect you in any way, then you should have no problem snuggling your pet. If you have an infant or child or suffer from allergies or asthma, reconsider it.

To conclude, it’s up to you whether you let your best friend in your bed or not. If none of the disadvantages can affect you, you could allow him. Otherwise, it’s advised against.

Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction

Children may be exposed to early abuse, be it emotional, physical or sexual. Household dysfunction contributes to this situation. This study, therefore, intends to describe the leading causes of death in adults about childhood abuse and household dysfunction.

This study adequately reviews a prior literature on the association of health risk habits and disease in adulthood to the magnitude of exposure to childhood abuse which is relevant to both the research problem and the theoretical framework. childhood abuse cause a lot problems in the future about which you can read in childhood experiences affect adulthood essay.

The theoretical framework which seems appropriate to the research question is presented. According to the research conducted in the 1988 National Health Interview, at least 18.1% of adults had lived with alcohol abuse which poses health risks. Gibbons (1995) also identifies that approximately 28% of children have been physically abused from a survey done on 17,337 respondents and this has brought health risks resulting in the causes of adult death.

Survey and questionnaires are used as sampling methods in this study. A medical evaluation was done on people eligible for the study and a comparison made of two groups, respondents, and non-respondents. In the results, respondents were n=9,508 and non-respondents, n=3,986. Similarly, these groups gave a women percentage of 53.7% and 51.0% respectively. For instance, 52% of respondents are affected by at least 6.2% adverse childhood exposure. Quantitative variables are at this moment illustrated by 52% of respondents who are dependent variables and 6. 2% of adverse childhood exposure as an independent variable. It was, therefore, concluded from the results that many children are affected by health risks behaviors.

Concerning the study, there was a failure to fully describe the relationship established between childhood abuse and household dysfunction. The author, therefore, intends to address this issue in depth. He also intends to address how it is leading to the many causes of death in adults.

How Parents Can Help Children Find Their Callings In Life

My kids are about to go to college soon and when I asked them what they wanted to do in life, my youngest, a boy, said, “I want to be a basketball player.” He doesn’t even play varsity and never showed any interest in the game unless it was on television. My eldest, a girl, said, “I want to be a doctor. I think.” I would have been proud, but the words, “I think” probably meant that she just wanted me to hear her say that.

After a while, I sat them down and talked to them about the future. We discussed the possibilities of majors in colleges and career paths they could take. We did some research to see how the job market was doing. Although I was the only one who understood it, I explained to them that many jobs only hire people who are actually qualified and passionate about the company.

For a teenager, this is difficult to comprehend because all they can think about right now is social media and trying to rebel against me and my husband (which they spectacularly fail at every time.) So, I told them, when you’re in college you have to decide what you want to do. But for now, we can talk about what you may want to do in the future.

Finding Their Calling

I didn’t want to pressure my kids, but I did want them to think about what they want to do in the future, even for just a night. In order to help them find their calling, we did some imaginative exercises and role-playing to give them an idea of what it’s like in the real world. So here’s what we did:

I asked them what they loved doing and the answer should be something that helped people.

My daughter said that she liked it when people thanked her for advice on her blog about studying in high school. I didn’t even know she had a blog and she still won’t tell me what the website is. So, I told her, maybe you’d like to be a writer someday. She seemed to like that.

My son said that he liked tutoring his fellow classmates on mathematics subjects after school. So, I told him, maybe he’d like to be a teacher someday. Even if they were given two options, I felt that was enough to give them an idea that they could choose any career they want as long as it made them happy.

We imagined scenarios once they were out of the house and living on their own.

I told my kids about the ups and downs of living out of our house because it’s something they may have to do one day. I’d love for them to stay as long as possible, but I know that it’s best for them to learn how to become independent.

I gave them advice on how to save, pay rent, and live on a budget. I also told them how difficult it will be to find a job, but that they will find one immediately or eventually. Being honest with them made me feel relieved, but I didn’t want to scare them. I just wanted them to know what it would be like once they were living off their own salary. That way, they’ll have the motivation they need to find a good job that they love and one that they’ll work hard at.

I gave them one final advice.

Do your best. Whatever it is they want to do, I’ll support them (as long as it’s legal.) If they go out and do their best, their calling will come to them. It’s not just about the search for what they are meant to do. It’s about the journey and how they will achieve it.

How did you discuss career and callings with your kids? Would you be willing to try my methods? Tell me your stories as well.

How to Bounce Back from Epic Parenting Fails

What is an example of an epic parenting fail? For me, that would be giving the wrong kind of advice. And it’s really easy to do that. As parents, we feel like we know everything even if no one told us anything. Right now, there are mothers at war on blogs, arguing about the best way to parent.

I’ve seen mothers curse babies on social media and say the F-word so many times, I’m wondering if this woman was ever going to be the parent of the year. I’d say that would be one epic parenting fail: Letting your child find out you were a social media monster. Other than that, however, there are much other parenting fails that we need to watch out for. These include:

Giving epic fail advice

I am guilty of doing this once when my teenage boy was still in elementary school. He was being bullied and I wasn’t going to be the mom who bullied a little boy back. So, I told my son to defend himself when this happens again. My mistake was not telling him how to do it. I was thinking along the lines of talking the other kid down, but my kid, from watching all those PG movies without my actual PG, ended up punching the kid. It was so wrong because the kid was verbally abusive, but never physical. So, my kid ended up being suspended. From that point on, I resolved to always teach my kids what to do exactly when faced with conflict – and to actually follow the PG guidelines for TV shows and movies. If you’re wondering how you have to discuss the movie or show with your child after so that he or she understands right from wrong and why things happened the way they did.

Saving my kid from failure

Why is this epic fail to parent you ask? Because I failed my kid by not letting her fail. It was during a science fair when my daughter was asked to create a perpetual motion machine. According to Google nobody could ever make a perpetual motion machine, but she tried. When I checked her project, it seemed that she wasn’t doing so well following the instructions on YouTube. So, I offered to help. What I ended up doing was finishing up the project for her while she watched other YouTube videos. When it was time to judge her project, the teacher knew right away that I was the one who made the project because I didn’t teach my kid about it. She was given an F. Not even a D for effort because let’s face it. There was no effort on her part on the final version. In order to prevent that from happening again, I resolved to teach instead of doing. I set examples and instead of telling my kids what to do (but sometimes I had to spell stuff out just for due diligence.)

Punishing my kids without explaining why

There are times when my kids do something bad and it turns out I’m in a really bad mood. When this happens, I forget that I should be teaching lessons instead of just punishing them. Dogs understand punishment like timeouts because it occurs immediately after doing something wrong. I don’t have to explain it to the dog because it doesn’t understand me.

With kids, however, it’s more complicated. Here’s an example. One time, my kids went out to buy something to eat and didn’t tell me. They thought it was okay because I wasn’t home. I was out on an errand. I was in a mood that day, I don’t remember why. But when I came home and I didn’t find them, I was furious. How dare they go out without telling me? I had never set a rule to leave notes yet and instead of worrying about them, I was seething about their lack of initiative. But they were kids. The initiative was still a learning curve for them. When they came home, I just yelled at them to go to their rooms. They looked confused and didn’t even get to eat their food. A week passed by and my kids were aloof with me. When I asked them about it, they said I yelled for no reason. That’s when I realized I didn’t give them a reason. Worse than that, I had no good reason to yell at them. What I should have done was calmed myself down, assessed the situation, and tried to find them. Instead, I was preparing to vent out my frustration on other things on them once they got home. Never again. If I have problems, my kids stay out of it unless they want to help. I don’t take it out on them and if they make a mistake, I always make sure they know what they did wrong and why the punishment fits the crime. By the way, I only punish them using grounding and timeouts.

What’s the Hardest Stage of Parenting?

No matter what age your kids are, you will always feel like it’s the hardest stage of parenting. When they’re still babies, you’re devoid of energy and lack the will to get out of bed. But have to because there is a baby crying. When they’re toddlers, you lose a little weight running around after them, but sometimes it’s just not worth the losing a few pounds if your body aches from head to toe. Don’t even get me started when they become teenagers. But when was the most challenging for me?

If I look back on it, I would say that the most challenging stage of parenting for me was when my kids were in middle school. Here are the reasons why:

Their curiosity poses more danger than they were babies

When they were kids, you just had to pick them up and get them away from the electric socket. When my teenagers were 12, I had no control over whatever experiment they were doing who knows where. And the most difficult part of it all was that they were learning to keep secrets. They were so good at it that it was difficult to know whether I caught all of their transgressions or if I’ll have to hear it from the best man or maid of honor at their weddings.

The worst part about the curiosity at that age was that their peers were in on it. I don’t blame the other kids, nor do I blame my kids or myself. It’s just life. I once caught my daughter, the eldest of my kids, smelling like cigarette smoke. I sat her down and asked her about it. She lied. I grounded her until she was ready to tell me the truth. She knew I was fair when it came to punishments and that I would keep my word. I also knew if she was lying, which she didn’t when she admitted that her friend stole a pack of cigarettes from her dad and they tried it out. She hated it, but I’m scared to think that one day she might start a habit out of it.

They felt like they were adults

The most surprising thing about middle school was that my kids and I started fighting. Not arguing, but fighting. We would yell at each other and sometimes I would forget what the reason was that I was so hurt that I fought with my child.

One example that I can remember was when I told my son I wasn’t getting him a hoverboard. This was when they first came out and there were videos of them exploding. I explained my position, but my son argued as if he was a lawyer, citing figures, probabilities, and the fact that I watch too many Facebook videos. The worst was when he said I didn’t know anything. I’m a mother. How could I not to know? Of course, I won the battle, but at a cost, I didn’t like. I felt like my son disrespected me and in a way, he did. For that, I grounded him. There were more instances like that, but as he grew older, the less they occurred.

It was the first time that they were almost never around

I was so used to them being kids and always coming home when it was time to. Now, they come home for dinner and leave again. I have rules for a school night and they follow them, but it doesn’t change the fact that my kids aren’t there all day and up until curfew. Sometimes it can be lonely, but it’s difficult when it happens for the first time at that age. They had study groups. They hung out with friends. They slept over more often. It was surreal because I was learning what it meant to be the mother of two tweens. Luckily for me, that stage passed and soon, I got used to my kids being out. I found activities for myself. And I still kept my relationship with them whenever they were at home.