When I punish him, my son does NOT feel my love for him. When I punish him, my son gets angry and withdraws or he becomes claustrophobically clingy and annoyingly over-emotional.
When I try to understand his feelings and acknowledge his desires, he feels my love for him. When he knows I am trying to understand him and I am not disappointed in him, he is quicker to turn to me for help and comfort. We arrive at apologies and forgiveness and solutions much quicker when we talk than when I punish him. Empathy promotes peace. This is my new way of parenting.