Recruitment & Retention

Does Fining Parents Work?

By Kevin Bushweller — October 02, 2007 1 min read

Does fining or punishing parents for their children’s misbehavior really work? Probably not, suggests a recent story by the BBC.

One researcher looked specifically at whether fining parents worked to discourage British children from skipping school. But he found no link between the parental penalties and improved school attendance.

Rather, the story says, efforts to educate parents about how to discipline their children tend to be more effective than fines. But it says such efforts are expensive and therefore not widespread.

I have known some families in which most of the kids are well-behaved and respectful, but there is one particularly bad child. It just happens. So I am not surprised by this researcher’s findings.

Still, for those parents who refuse to hold their children accountable for bad behavior, maybe this is an appropriate last resort. I can think of more than a few parents that might beneft from a jolt of accountability.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.