Mom Goes Viral For Her Controversial Parenting Take: 'I Never Punish My Kids'

The topic of discipline is a tricky subject. Just how do you properly enforce rules and boundaries with your children while at the same time maintain a loving relationship based on respect? TikTok user and parenting influencer @rachlynnrogers (Rachael Rogers) believes she has the answer.

Rachael promotes what she likes to call "gentle/respectful parenting," wherein she never punishes her child. This controversial take has caused Rachael to go viral, helping her to rack up millions of combined plays on her various videos.

First of all, it's important to understand Rachael's distinction between "punishment" and "consequences."

These terms are best outlined in a duet video that Rachael posted with a fellow TikTok user and relationship coach @alypain.

In her video, Aly explains how the initial reaction for most parents when disciplining a child is to go in hard: no more phone, TV, bedroom door, etc. While this may seem like the right move at the moment, Aly and Rachael say that it's completely counterproductive.

"Punishment comes from a place of fear, needing control or power over someone," Aly explains.

This often results in your child feeling ashamed, self-conscious, and humiliated with themselves. Aly goes on to say that the very purpose of punishment is to create suffering for someone else and that if your child actually does comply — they're only doing so to get back the privileges that you took away in the first place.

Both Aly and Rachael believe that if you as a parent are hoping to instill long-term behavior modifications, then you have to change your approach.

Instead of using a "punishment" approach based in fear, Rachael says that she prefers to use "consequences."

"There are only two types of consequences that I use in my home," Rachael begins. "Natural consequences and correlated consequences."

A natural consequence scenario would be when a child refuses to put on their coat in the winter. Instead of locking horns, Rachael says that what parents should do instead is allow the child to leave the house without their coat — but make sure to bring it along just in case.

If a child becomes cold, this is a "natural consequence" of *their* own decision — not yours.

Most parents understand all too well the futility of getting into a power struggle with a toddler, so why bother? Bottom line: if your child gets too cold, they'll ask you for the coat.

Now, what you don't want to do at this moment is be the parent who says "I told you so" and then refuses to give up the jacket. Instead, happily pass it along and explain how the next time it's cold out they'll know to bring their coat.

A "correlated consequence" works a little differently.

Rachael says that for "correlated consequences," parents should be following what she likes to call the "Three R Rule." This means that all correlated consequences should be "related, reasonable, and respectful," according to Rachael.

"Let's say you have a teen that doesn't want to do the dishes on their day to do dishes," Rachael begins. "OK — well, if you don't do today's dishes then you're going to have to do today's and tomorrow's."

Rachael also makes sure to point out to parents how important it is to acknowledge that children are people too.

She says that all behavior is communication and that it's vital for parents to learn how to listen to what's really being said. Allowing your child to express themselves in a safe environment, free from judgment, is what's going to allow them to grow and flourish over time.

Rachael goes on to say that "gentle" or "respectful" parenting is the perfect balance between the authoritarian model that most Millennials were raised on and the permissive style that birthed the majority of Gen Z.

As you can probably imagine, Rachael's controversial "no punishment" stance has become quite divisive among her followers.

One of Rachael's followers who goes by the handle @survivor755 was quick to point out that "gentle parenting" is idealistic and that it only works for certain kids. While others like @kaiteeliz said "I'm glad I discovered gentle parenting before having children. This is my plan when I do have them."

What's your approach when it comes to enforcing boundaries with your children; are you authoritative, permissive, or somewhere in-between? Leave a comment and let us know!