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PUNISHMENTS±CAN WE GO WITHOUT7+(0" There is noparent who has not uttered WKH ZRUGV ³


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Published 28 March 2017
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There is noparent who has not uttered the words “You aregrounded.” It is clear that when children do somethingwrong, a parent should not sit idly.The question is how effective the punishments actuallywhat are, consequences do they have, and is there an alternative? There is no parent who has not uttered the words “You aregrounded.” It is clear that when children do somethingwrong, a parent should not sit idly.The question is how effective the punishments actuallyare, what consequences do theyhave, and is there an alternative?When we have a discussion with parents on this topic, we ask “What isyourgoal whenyou punish the child?”. Usually the first answers are “To get them to listen to us”. “And do they start to listen?”is the nextquestion. About 95percent of theparents’answer “No”.It seems clear to all of us that punishing is not an effective tool. Why then do we continue to punish?
Then we continue to elaborate with the parents on this topic, there areother answersthat begin to come out. In fact,theypunish because theyfeelpowerless, angry, because theywant “revenge” for the bad behavior, to make the child feel bad, because he or she did not behave in the way theyexpected, so the child will understand who is “in charge”, and to “respect them.” And last but not least, because they do not know what else to do to show the child that the behavior is unacceptable.
It becomes clear that the punishment does not achieve correction of behavior, unless it is so severe that it causes blind obedience based on fear. For example,physical punishment.Parents who resort tophysicalpunishment, confuse such subordination with respect, without realizingthat it has terrible consequences on the children. We often hear the following statement “You do not understand, we do not beat our child, wejust slap him or her, a little slap and that’s all.” Let’s be clear that any form of physical punishment, even the” innocent” pulling of ears humiliates and discourages children and creates low self-esteem.(How wouldyou feel ifyour boss has the right to pullyour ears whenyou are late for work?). These children are subsequentlymore likelyto choose violent partners and to consider beatingas an acceptable tool for resolvingproblems. All these are results thatparents of such children whopunish them out “of love” have notgotten the achieved behavior.And whydoes thepunishment not work? First, the penaltybased on is the mistaken idea that ifyou make a person feel bad, they will start to behave.
Second, it shifts the focus. It facilitates the children to forget their mistake and focus on how wrongtheirparents are; theybegin to misbehave when theyare not threatened withpunishment; think how toget what theywant ifpossible, instead of analyzingthe behavior, which caused thepunishment. Third, the child has a sort of internal accounting; accordingto them thepunishment “redeems” the mistake: he or she knows that if theybehave the same wayagain, theywould simplyhave to endure the punishment and everything will be fine, but they do not focus on avoiding the negative behavior. Fourth, to correct a behavior, the child should decide to cooperate. That is to have an internal motivation. Bypunishingthem, theparent cuts their wayfor cooperation. What is the alternative to the punishment?Ifyou want the child to correct theirproblem behavior,you can offer them to solve theproblem together withyou. The best solutions are those in which the child is involved, so he or she is stimulated to cooperate in order to work out together a plan to prevent the problem in the future. Here is an algorithm of 5 steps thatyou can apply: 1.Explain what causedyour dissatisfaction and why. It isgood to be honest whenyou talk about the feelings that responded to the act inquestion. Ifyou are angry, upset, offended,you should sayit. Besides, the child understandingbetteryour perspective whenyou sayin words(verbalize)your negative reactions, willgive them a model of how theycan deal with their own feelings, and this will developtheiremotional intelligence.2.Describe to the child how you expect them to behave in a certain situation.Children do not always guess what the perceptions of adults are for acceptable behavior. For example, a small child does not understand whywhenpaintingonpaper, Mom says “Well done,” and when he or she decorates the walls in the same way, it is followed byyelling. 3.Think together or suggest how things could be repaired.You can show your child how to clean upthe traces ofpaint, oryou can do it together.Before offeringanything, it is better to hear the ideas of the child how to fix things. You’ll be surprised how creative theycan be when theyare involved in the seekingfor a solutionprocess. Of course, the tone of the conversation is veryimportant. If the child feels criticized, it is notgoingto work. 4.Give a choice.Tellyour child that theyhave a choice in the future: topaint onlypermitted locations or his or herpaints are taken awayfor some time. 5.Bearing the consequences of the choiceif the problem behavior does not stop, then politely but firmlytake awaythepaints for some time and announce this to the child. In this case theparent is not malicious or cruel and does not make the child feel like a badperson. Theytreat firmly, but respect the child as well as themselves. Perhaps someparentsdo not see the difference between “sufferingconse the quences of a choice” andpunishment.The difference is this: Whenyoupunishyour child,you do notgive them a chance. The door simplycloses in front of him or her. The subject is closed. However, when youexplain what the consequencesare, the child might not like them, but the door is still open. He or she still has a chance. Theycan realize what theyhave done and endeavor to fix it. The child can repair what was done. This wayyougive the children the opportunityto correct themselves, and to seek a wayto not repeat the mistake.The real behavior changeis a process that cannot happen whenyou applypunishment. The penaltydoes not allow the child to become a more mature and responsible person.