Looking at punishments
Children are children – they get naughty, they do not obey, they have not learned our adult rules yet. Can they be punished for that? Of course, you need to set reasonable limits for which the child can feel free and stay safe. When overstepping boundaries, the child should be gently guided onto the right path. Only if the child begins to systematically resist such guidance should you consider punishment.
Most importantly, parents should understand that the punishment of the child must be for the good of the child – not just a reaction to adult irritation. It’s necessary to remember what you can not punish children for:
Mistakes. Children learn from their own mistakes. Making mistakes they draw conclusions and will continue to act the other way. It’s another thing if the child acts intentionally wrong – then you have to remind him of how it ought to be.
Bad emotions. Every child has the right to express their negativity - children can be in a bad mood, they can also have a bad day. Try to sidetrack the baby's attention, comfort him, cheer.
Mobility. "You will never be able to bring up wise men, if you are killing urchins in children ", said Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In order to develop the child has to actively explore the world. You should encourage the kid to this in every way, but not to limit him. The only exceptions are dangerous situations where your ban must be clear and unequivocal. Helicopter parenting is a danger.
Tardiness. Children learn gradually, it is not enough for them to hear your instructions to immediately act the way you want. The kid must feel in practice where the limits are.
Differences – both in appearance and in character. If the child doesn't "fit" in to your idea of beauty, seems to you not as smart as you'd like, doesn't behave the way you dreamed, has a very different temperament than everyone in your family – or even all of it together – you cannot blame him for that. Take the situation philosophically: maybe the child came into the world to teach you patience and perseverance.
High needs. Some children make do with a little, others require the constant presence of parents, intercommunication, close contact. It is a natural need – as food or heat. It is a whole new ball game when a demand grows into an ultimatum and when the child begins spiting his parents if his demands are not satisfied.
Disagreement with adults. Children have the right to their own opinion. Moreover, it's necessary to give a kid an opportunity to defend his own opinion – though the ways of defending should be peaceful.
Actually "punishment" is a fairly conventional definition. If the punishment is not due to the act, it's ineffective. Because of his age the child doesn't simply associate the scattered toys with the movie forbidden to watch. But to associate the scattered toys with the lack of these very toys (removed by the parents) is not that difficult for him. For babies and toddlers the punishment should be replaced with restrictions. For example, one might not punish the child for drawing on the wallpaper or for the ground poured out of the flowerpots but simply change the conditions (take away the felt pen, put the flowerpots a little farther away), to firmly say "No!". For children are just practicing grown-up behavior and hardly understand why they are not allowed to do anything, why Mom is being angry. However, the child sees that his mother does not like what is done, and it may stop her next time. Often it's enough to stop the children's "activity" by turning the kid on to something else.
And, as always with children, have a warm heart and a cool head.