""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

Save the Hugs for After the Punishment Is Complete


Whenever my 5 year old daughter is reprimanded or punished in any way, she immediately asks for a hug. How should I respond?


Thanks for your question.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with hugging and showing affection to one's children, but in this case, I'd let your daughter know that because she did something wrong, she must serve the punishment first, and once that is done, she can have her hug. This will do two things: It will prevent her from associating hugs with punishment and things done wrong, and it will help her to see that in order to get the hug, or the reward, she must "do her time" first, thereby delaying gratification (which is always a good lesson for kids to learn at a young age).

Best of luck, and let us know how it goes!

Laura Gray, PhD
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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