Punishment without crime

From time immemorial, the punishment of children is considered one of the most effective and almost the only measure in the educational process. This was reflected even in our language in the form of expressions “beats – means like”, “do not spare the rod”, etc. 

But few parents seriously think about the impact of punishment on the child’s psyche, much less looking for alternative ways to pacify the raging baby. The question of how punishment affects the child and whether it is possible to educate without him, the correspondent of SE explained.

Do not break the will of the child – he will start deceiving and cheating

Throughout the history of the development of mankind, punishments occupied a very high position in the educational process. And the children were punished not so much for disobedience, but as believing that this is a manifestation of the love of the parent. “Whoever avoids using a rod, that spoils the child” – read the old saying. Since then, the relationship between parents and children has changed, and largely due to the work of pediatricians, teachers and psychologists.

The latter, having conducted research on this issue, came to the unequivocal conclusion that punishment breaks the child’s psyche and intensifies the conflict between the parent and the child.

“We are very much suffering from the stubbornness and whims of our children, not realizing that the child’s impotence is also an appeal to help, a complaint about lack of necessary attention,” commented Lyudmila Yurganova, a child psychologist at the Insight Clinic.
So, the most common forms of punishment and their impact:

1. Physical punishment

The proven effectiveness of this method for years is based on fear of pain: the child, in order to avoid pain, is ready to promise anything to the parent.

“This measure of impact first of all breaks the contact between the parent and the child and teaches the child that it is not safe to communicate with the parent – it can” fly in “for this. In addition, it embitters and intimidates the child, but does not solve the problem.

If parents often beat a child, it can break his will and make the baby submissive and easily subordinate, “- commented psychologist, family consultant of the clinic” Insight “Anna Berdnikova.
If the child realizes his guilt, then this feeling is removed from the spanking – he, as it were, pays for what happened with the pain and fear. Therefore, to analyze his behavior and draw conclusions he will no longer, but with a high probability begins to deceive, cunning.

2. Prohibition to do what you like (watch cartoons, play in the yard, etc.)

When using these methods, you can achieve a positive result only if the child himself considers this punishment fair and agrees with it. But in most cases, children perceive punishment as unfair. They do not see the connection between their misdemeanor and punishment, so they feel resentment towards the parent and irritation from being unable to do what they love. This can be a prerequisite for the decision to hide their real feelings from their parents, showing only what they like.

3. Depriving a child of love and attention

This way of punishment affects the child very much. First of all, because the child, especially up to three years, takes it personally: I do not like, I’m bad, and that’s forever. The consequence of such punishment may be the questioning of the child in their abilities and abilities, the difficulty in building close trusting relationships with people.

“It is extremely difficult for a child to be punished with silence, when a mother can close in a room or close a child. 
The child experiences tremendous fear and horror, especially if he is small, when he has no understanding of the time. The conclusion he makes: Mom can not be trusted; so that it does not hurt anymore, we must step back, “says Anna Berdnikova.

4. Discussing the actions of the child in the family or friends, hanging labels

In cases of family discussion of the behavior of the child or in the presence of friends, the child feels unnecessary and rejected. Such a collective court increases the sense of guilt and reduces the degree of trust between the child and the parent. In addition, if a parent calls for the help of relatives or friends, this inevitably entails a drop in his authority in the eyes of the child and does not contribute to the solution of the problem.

Obviously, none of these methods actually solves the problem of education and does not teach the child to analyze their actions.

“It is much easier to hit a child than to agree with him. Moreover, to agree with the child, you need to be extremely sincere and to choose the words very clearly. And we, as a rule, do not want to make an extra effort.

Linking a child to fear of punishment is the easiest way to ensure peace of mind, but the situation does not resolve in this case, says the psychotherapist of the European registry, the head of the PPL counseling institute Natalya Gulina.

Despite the importance and the study of the issue of punishment of children, psychologists do not have a common opinion as to whether it is possible to do without punishment at all. Nevertheless, most of them consider physical punishment to be totally unacceptable and offer to conclude a contract with the child, and only if the child violates his conditions, to apply punishment.

So, we offer you a number of recommendations that will help make the education process more harmonious and effective:

• Children up to 2-2.5 punish almost meaningless, because the conclusion that he will make of it – “I’m bad, I’m in the way of living, nobody loves me.” In addition, at this age the child, at the sight of the result of his activities, does not fully understand how this happened. In this period, you must switch the attention of the baby to another object or game.

• Use the natural consequences of the child’s actions as a demonstration of erroneous behavior. If the situation is safe, leave the child and let him see the consequences of his behavior – life itself will show him what his actions can lead to and teach him how to draw conclusions.

• Establish a system of rules that are fair for all family members and sanctions for their violation. This will allow the child to feel the line that should not be crossed, and also confirm the authority of the parents in his eyes.

If the punishment is unavoidable:

• Explain for what conduct you are punishing the child. He must be sure that the punishment is just, and understand the connection between his behavior and punishment.

• When punishing, let the child feel that they still love him. Explaining the punishment, emphasize the action itself, exclude the phrases condemning his personality.

• Before punishing the child, stop and ask yourself: “What do I want to teach him now?”. Punishment should in no case be the result of your fatigue and irritation, the child should not fall under the hot hand.

• Try to ensure that punishment remains the last resort, when reminders of family rules and explanations are not enough.

One way or another, the punishment comes into play when there are no easier and natural ways to obtain the desired behavior from the child. To change this, the parent needs to constantly improve: analyze his feelings, learn to control his emotions, acknowledge his mistakes and weaknesses, become more aware. Only in this case the child will trust you, and the relationship will become joyful and comfortable.

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