A World Without Punishments

What if we lived in a world where there were no punishments? What if instead we were greeted with love and tenderness when we did the wrong thing? What would a world built on this premise look like?

When I first contemplated eliminating consequences and bribes with my own kids, it scared me. How could I possibly get my kids to brush their teeth every night if I didn’t promise them a TV show afterward? There was no way they would do it, and if they did, it was going to be a knockdown drag-out fight. I just rather not! I thought it sounded lovely to have my kids just do as I asked all the time without bribery or threatening and consequences; but at the time, it was all I knew, and it worked.

However, when I started to research rewards and other extrinsic motivators the evidence was clear. Once the motivator was taken off the table, the child not only failed to reproduce the behavior, but they also found no value in doing the right thing. So what was I teaching my kids? I guess I...

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