Teaching Your Child That “Revenge” Is Wrong

It can be overwhelming when parents stop to think about all they need to teach their children in life. If mom sat down and started writing down each specific thing she needed to teach and show her child, she would probably stop writing before she was done. That’s because it’s a lot, but since most of it happens automatically, you rarely think about it. That’s until a situation arises that requires a good lesson, and that’s when it can get tough. Things like empathy, generosity, and patience are harder concepts to teach than walking and potty riding.

Revenge is a term that few parents would use with their children because it has such a negative connotation. However, if Mom takes a moment to observe, she will notice that her children often retaliate. If they have a sibling picking up their toy or pushing them, they quickly react the same way. This is revenge, and it’s important to make sure our kids know that revenge won’t always serve them well, and that there are other ways to resolve conflict that won’t have an impact. on their mental health.

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Why does it feel good?

There’s no denying that revenge feels good. Even as adults, when someone hurts us, our first instinct may be to think of a way to “get it back”, we want someone to hurt us the same way they hurt us. , and even if we don’t want to admit it, it feels good. There is no reason to think that it is not the same with children.

According to Medical Xpress, a previous study was done which saw that when people were wronged and thought about revenge, a brain scan showed that the brain’s reward centers fired up, showing a biological response to the idea of ​​revenge. However, another study showed that if revenge was acted upon, a person’s mood was negatively affected right after. To show that it is in the interest of our children that we teach them to avoid revenge.

Understand that revenge hurts

According to Filter Free Parents, before reacting to your child’s need for revenge, it is important to remember that revenge is hurt, and this is how a person expresses that they have been hurt. When a child seeks revenge, it is because he has been hurt and his hurt is trying to get out of his body. When children are young, the best thing to do is to show them love.

When a sibling picks up their toy or hits it, the first thing to do is show it some love. Pick them up and ask them if they want a “hug” from you. This will often help calm them down, because when children feel loved, their feelings of pain will disappear. When the hurt leaves their body, their need for revenge also disappears.


It’s always important to pay attention to how you react when people hurt you because children learn from you and you are their greatest inspiration. If they see you seeking and acting out revenge, they will follow. According to positive discipline, it’s important to break the cycle of revenge with children, and it starts with parents. It is important that we teach them, and model, that words are much more effective in resolving conflict. When we use our words and communicate with someone who has hurt us, it can help us make sure our feelings are heard and no one is hurt anymore by the situation.

Sources: Medical Xpress, Filter Free Parents, positive discipline

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