What not to do when a child misbehaves-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
INTERESTED? Check this article from the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
The scene plays out in a grocery store when your child refuses to obey your warning to behave. You, the frustrated parent, literally take the situation into your own hands by delivering a swift spank to the child’s bottom, thinking this form of discipline can let your child learn his fault.
Many parents believe spanking is the quickest and most effective form of discipline.
Frequently, a punishment is administered by adults in the heat of the moment when frustration and anger are the strongest emotions.
As the child’s behavior gets worse, it is when corporal punishment is inflicted, which then crosses the boundaries of proper disciplining. According to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, corporal punishment is “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.”
Corporal punishment can be anything from spanking, whipping, beating, slapping, striking, or lashing. Verbal abuse such as insulting, threatening, scaring, or humiliating children are also included. Punishment is about imposing control through authority and power. It tends to be reactive and involves no reasoning or discussions from the parent and the child’s sides.
Aside from these inflictions of physical pain that cause bruises, lacerations, and even broken bones, these violent disciplinary methods also impact children’s long-term well-being. Children who live in fear of corporal punishment tend to develop anti-social behaviors such as adolescent delinquency, aggression, social anxiety, and doing violent acts outside the home.
Not only does harsh discipline causes resistance and retaliation, it also encourages the child to cover up his misdemeanors to avoid punishment. Victims of these punishments may suddenly appear to be withdrawn from their friends and even his family. Also, the feeling of self-worth, confidence; and trust decreases over time.
Corporal punishment also affects the cognitive development of a child. Studies show that it elevates the level of a hormone called cortisol. Too much cortisol can lead to things like poor memory, stunted growth, and slow brain development, affecting the academic performance and thinking skills of the child.
In imposing discipline, adults should always think this way: What am I aiming for as a parent? Or put yourself in a situation similar to your child’s misbehavior. How would I feel if my boss starts shouting orders I forgot to do?
The best way to discipline and teach your child is through positive discipline.
Positive discipline involves parenting in a kind, respectful, and understanding manner with reasons and fair discussions of the problem.
Positive discipline focuses on developing a long-term understanding rather than immediate obedience and compliance. This should not be also mistaken for always being nice and saying good things to your child.
Parents are role models in the eyes of their children. If a parent behaves in unacceptable ways, children can be expected to do the same.
If your child misbehaves, let them understand what acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are. Tell or show children the behavior you do want rather than punishing them for behavior you don’t want.
Lastly, make your child understand the effects of their behavior on others. Engage yourself to discuss with your child the consequences of his actions to himself or to others. This simple reminder lets your child understand that what he does has an effect to him. The bottom line of positive discipline is respect.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 24, 2012.