To punish or not to punish? That is the question

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the need to replace punishment and directive methods with other forms of educational interventions. The so-called “traditional” style of parenting, based on forcing one’s will, intimidation and punishment, does more harm than good. And this is true for both sides. The child’s momentary obedience, which stems from the fear of punishment, does not build reflection and a desire to change his behavior. The punished child focuses on experiencing the difficult emotions associated with the punishment rather than thinking through the situation. Instead of changing the behavior he is combining how to better hide it for the future. In addition to temporarily imposing their will, we adults lose much more – the child becomes emotionally distant from us, rebels and focuses on how to get around bans and orders.

Do you know what is the main preventive factor that protects children and adolescents from so-called “going down the wrong path”? To bliskość i poczucie więzi z opiekunem. So the priority of every parent and caregiver should be precisely to create and strengthen ties.

Thus, as part of our pro-social activities, we decided to address the topic of building an understanding with a child without basing it on traditional punishments. This time the activities took place not through the virtual world, but live, taking the form of workshops. We started cooperation with our neighbor – the Prague Social Welfare Center and the Trainer of the School for Parents and Educators, Ms. Anna Czuba, working in the spirit of methods that are also close to us. Methods that we have also included in the Parenting Hero app for parents.

The workshop was held in two cycles and proved to be very helpful to the attending Parents. We are happy that we could spread good proximity practices to another group of people!

Especially for you, we cite some basic principles that build the relationship, not ruin it.

  1. The most obvious truth but also not so easy to fulfill in the whirlwind of everyday life – talk to your child and spend time with him, even if it is only to spend a few minutes a day. How about a joint pizza outing or a board game? Acceptance, attention and time spent together (on something nice – I don’t mean, for example, doing homework together ;)) build a bond.
  2. Accept all the child’s feelings. Let them resound. Put boundaries where you don’t approve of his behavior.
  3. When you feel that you are about to lose your temper, then go to another room or take a walk (when you have someone to leave the child with). Sense the yen moment after which you explode. Don’t let that happen. In emotion, we say and do things that we may later regret.
  4. Tell your child what their behavior causes in you – talk about your feelings. E.g.. I feel anger and sorrow when you talk to me like that. I don’t accept it. Be patient—at some time (maybe 10, could be 100!) the child will surprise and modify his behavior.
  5. Instead of punishments, bet on natural consequences – resulting logically from the situation. For example, a child broke a glass with a ball – he must buy it back with his money and apologize to the injured party. By the way, the child will learn how he can repair the harm done.
  6. Clearly formulate your expectations and work out a common version of the rules with your child that he can accept.
  7. Opt for clear and short messages – children do not like long tirades. They learn by doing and observing adults, not by listening to sermons 😉
  8. Regardless of the situation and the level of anger, assure your child that you love them. It’s important for it to know that your love doesn’t end when it fails to meet your expectations.

Good luck!

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