If you are screaming and punishing your children on a regular basis, I'm sorry to tell you but you are choosing one of the worst options for raising happy, healthy kids. It has been proved for many years that shouting and punishing DON'T WORK!
What you think of as a solution is actually worsening the situation every time you apply it.
As parents, one of our major challenges is to help our children behave better and understand that their actions have consequences. Many times we choose punishment (shouting, "time out", offending, menacing) as a tool, but it is not the best solution, it is actually not a solution.
It's scientifically proven that punishment is the least effective way to alter behavior.
If what we are looking for is to be good guides to our children, providing them the environment to develope their physical, mental and emotional well-being; we definitely need to take a different approach. We need to keep our cool and analyze situations before reacting automatically. Punishment and shouting should be definitely out of the scene.
Today I want to share this simple advice thas been very useful to me. I know it is easier said than done, but the reality is we all have the capacity to apply it: REPLACE PUNISHMENT BY EMPATHY.
Let me give you an example of a situation with two different reaction scenarios to illustrate how you can replace anger with a more tranquil and positive attitude that will generate better results:
A 5 year old girl named Lucía, comes home from school. She runs to the kitchen saying she wants water! She rapidly grabs a glass and pours water on it. Seconds after she accidentally drops it and makes a mess. Mom comes to the rescue and the first thing she does is shout to Lucia: "Lucia! I've told you many times! Don't grab this glasses, use the plastic ones! Are you deaf or something????!!!"
Lucia looks at her feeling attacked, and sad, maybe a little angry too. The fact is she hand't dropped the glass on purpose. She just thought since she is growing she was now able to grab one big glass like her brothers.
This exampled repeated many times when: Lucia is bothering her little brother, Lucia messed her dad's work papers, Lucia didn't finish her meal, Lucia didn't say hi to grandma... etc etc.. Creates for Lucia an environment where she feels attacked just for being her.
Remember we are dealing with KIDS here. It is normal for them to mess up things, to make mistakes! Specially if they are toddlers. It's absolutely natural!!!
But when children feel attacked by the people who are supposed to give them love and support, their inner self esteem is hurt. Anger creates more anger and their overall sense of confidence in life is deeply damaged.
The choice to shout and punish our children will overtime generarte more chaos and more damage.
Coming back to the example of Lucia dropping the glass. Let's explore a different response:
Mom hears Lucia drops the water and runs to the kitchen. Instead of just shouting she keeps calm and breathes. She looks at her eyes and feels empathy for her 5 year old girl. Understanding it was an accident she says: "Wow! What a mess! Don't worry I imagine it's not easy to hold those big glasses, that's why I've asked you to use the plastic ones, remember? Let's clean up and get you some water."
See? The same situation gave rise to two totally different reactions. One that actually builds security, love and self estem; and the other one that destroys and creates more ager an chaos.
Children that are commonly punished and shouted to, build up anger and resentment. It is proved that harsh verbal discipline-cursing, insults, and shouting—can be as harmful to kids as hitting or spanking.
A solution would be: 1) keep calm 2) feel empathy, 3)describe the situation and find a solution or establish a logical consequence (I will explain this last one in another blog)
Sometimes children are too young to understand the consequences of their acts. Ex: a baby pulling his brothers hair. Toddler climbing a fence. Toddler opening faucet and leaving the running water.
Thank You for your time and comments