How to punish children? Expert opinion
Most often in relation to a child adults use the following types of punishment:
- physical punishment (whipping, cuffs, hair pulling, etc.);
- punishment by isolation (standing in a corner, locking in a room, bathroom, toilet, closet, refusing contact, etc.);
- verbal punishment (threats, humiliation);
- punishment by labor;
- punishment by deprivation of pleasure.
Let us examine each type of punishment separately.
About physical punishment
In the locker room of the kindergarten, one mom with horror asks another, who has just slapped a douche on her daughter because she has been digging for a long time: “What are you doing? It is also impossible! ”-“ But don't you punish yours? ”- she answers with surprise. It turns out that for some it is unacceptable, then for someone in the order of things.
In families where physical punishment is the most popular method of education, children find various ways to adapt to such harsh conditions. For example, they begin to take offense on those who are weaker - younger children, animals, sometimes toys.
Another adaptation is described by the writer Vladislav Krapivin in the book "Crane and Lightning." The boy before meeting with his father, who regularly flogged him, took analgin. So that it was not so painful ... But in fact, not to feel so helpless, to create the illusion that he could somehow change this situation.
As a result, for one person, the fact that he was being whipped, becomes an excuse for assault on his children: “I was beaten and I grew up as a decent person!” Another one, who retained the bitterness of resentment after the corporal punishment suffered in childhood, never under any circumstances allow yourself to hit the baby.
The writer V. Krapivin recalled his first encounter with physical punishment with what feelings: “And I soon after that incident felt that I felt vomiting disgust when I saw violence: when they beat a boy or a girl, whip a tired horse, torture a cat, dog or the bird. "
The reality is that often physical punishment becomes not so much an “educational measure” as a manifestation of cruelty towards children.
Alas, it is not uncommon for the behavior of the parents to be in complete contradiction to their role, when they completely neglect the children, subject them to violence, insult them.
A number of studies by foreign psychologists have noted that in the United States and Western Europe, child abuse occurs with an alarming frequency: 1 to 2 million people in childhood are abused or threatened with weapons from their parents (Park and Colmer, 1975; and Sleyby, 1983). The majority of parents surveyed (73%) admitted that they had resorted to some form of violence against children of 3-17 years old, beaten, scared with a weapon or a knife, punishing the child. Mothers more often fathers spanked or beat children, especially sons; but both fathers and mothers applied a more cruel punishment. Both daughters and sons were victims of such dangerous acts to the same extent (Jele, 1979).
ATTENTION! If parents consider it possible to hurt the child in the form of a disciplinary measure, then they can quite easily cross the line and move on to cruelty.
Psychologists conducted an experiment in which the relationship between parents and children was observed directly in the families of three types:
a) families where at least one child was shown cruelty;
b) families in which the parents treated the child indifferently, took the position of complete neglect (for example, they fed very poorly);
c) families where there were no cases of cruelty or indifference towards children (control group).
The educational level and incomes in these families were equal. Smile, praise, emotional contact between family members were considered positive signs of behavior. The negative attributed criticality, sarcasm, disapproval and anger. In families where cruelty and indifference were adopted, parents showed more negative signs of behavior towards children than parents in the control group.
Children in families where parents were in a dismissal position were more likely to conflict with their parents, siblings, than children in the control group; children, to whom cruelty was used, did not obey their parents, they were more often observed aggressive behavior towards other children (Burgess and Konger, 1978).
Some researchers believe that beating a child follows a conflict between a husband and wife when anger against a spouse is poured on a relatively defenseless child (Park and Sleibi, 1983).
Moreover, if we analyze situations when parents resort to physical punishment, in most cases, the specious goal of “education” hides an adult’s inability to control their emotions, to cope with their irritation, anger, cruelty.
Do not punish the child in a temper, try to “cool down” first, calm down, analyze the depth of the action, choosing an adequate punishment.
On punishment by isolation
In many schools and families, the so-called “time-out” is used as a punishment when a child is excluded from general classes for a short period, and none of the children or adults pay attention to him at this time. This method should be applied calmly, explaining to the child the reason for the punishment. According to some researchers, this measure does not cause the child any physical or emotional harm (Hawkins, 1977; Park, 1977).
But one can hardly judge the possible consequences so unequivocally. Children who participate in the punishment of their comrade cannot somehow not empathize with him. One punishment of the other brings joy, the other grieves. In addition, children tend to imitate the actions of adults, and now they themselves declare a boycott to the one who is most often punished by the teacher.
For them, "turn off the game" becomes the most common way of manifestation of violence. Here it is impossible not to recall the famous story by V. Zheleznyakov “The Scarecrow”, in the final of which the Iron Button shouts: “Then I myself am to everyone! Everybody I declare a boycott! ”
A pupil of the 1st class, answering the question “What is the most terrible thing for you?”, Wrote that the worst thing for him was when his mother did not talk to him.
In addition, we should not forget about the individual differences of children. If a child is in isolation, suffering from the fear of confined space (claustrophobia), then such punishment becomes the most cruel torture and can provoke a nervous attack and other serious consequences.
About verbal punishment
It would seem that this kind of punishment can be considered the mildest, not bringing much harm. And it is difficult to imagine a parent who would never in his life shout at the child, not call him, or swear at him. (But I personally would like to believe that there are such parents.)
And still. We are dealing primarily with an affective response, and not an educational measure. We shout and swear because we have trouble at work or have a headache, or have been rude to the store. Just because we can not help it. And should have.Because no educational role of a phrase like: “She ruined everything again!”, “It's all because of you!”, “Eternally you ...” cannot play.
They cause in children either reciprocal anger, denial, aggression, or depression, depression, and disappointment. After all, an adult is a huge authority for a child. And all that he says, is perceived as the ultimate truth. Children take for granted all our statements, they think: “Probably, I really am“ mother's grief ”,“ idiot ”,“ stupid ”and the like, and it is unlikely that anything worthwhile will come out of me. That is, the child is formed low self-esteem, which, in turn, creates new problems.
In one family, a pretty girl “for the purpose of education” said day after day that she was ugly. She treated herself so, shy of herself. Hence, hunched shoulders, a frightened look. Subsequently - an unhappy family life, in which relationships with a husband are built according to the principle “who else can I need this?” And the deep sadness of the parents: why is the daughter in life so unlucky ...
ATTENTION! Try to pay more attention to the positive qualities of the child. Praise him.Thus, you will create additional motivation so that the child will be guided by the motto: “I will do well and I will not do it badly”.
By the way, frequent threats that are not carried out, reduce the credibility of the parent to nothing.
And a small addition. Psychologists recommend parents to remember themselves as often as possible in childhood and tell their children about it. At the same time, remember everything as it is, do not embellish, and especially do not lie.
Usually children listen to such stories with great interest. And this is a very useful educational moment. The child relates his mistakes and troubles to yours and realizes that he is not alone in this, that he is not the worst, not the biggest loser, etc. And he feels your support and understanding. The children's writer Alexander Raskin has such a wonderful book - “How Dad Was Small.”
She was born from stories that the writer told his sick daughter about his childhood. Here is what he writes: “She liked that dad was also small, he also played naughty and did not obey and he was also punished. I chose the stories more amusing, because it was necessary to amuse the sick girl.
And I also tried to make my daughter understand how it is not good to be greedy, boastful, zaznaykoy. But this does not mean that I myself have been like this all my life.I just tried to remember only such cases. And when I missed them, I took them from other acquaintances dads. After all, each of them, too, was once small. "
Read this book with your child, and maybe many problems will be solved by themselves and you will not have to punish anyone.
On labor punishment
“For getting a deuce, you will be washing dishes the whole week,” “since you had a fight with your sister, sit down and read 20 pages” - how often parents resort to such punishments, the use of which leads to the fact that the child loses arbitrariness in the most significant for man spheres: labor, teaching, knowledge, bringing him great harm. If you have taught a child to read from under a stick, if this occupation has become a punishment for him, then he will never sit down at the book himself. If the housework for him is a payment for the offense, then he will hardly ever offer you his help.
ATTENTION! In no case should not punish the child with what he should do voluntarily, from which a person can and should receive joy.
Such punishments can for a lifetime fix a negative attitude to work, study, reading.
About punishment by deprivation of pleasure
Hypenreyter in the book “Communicate with a Child. How? ”Advises parents, in cases where punishment cannot be avoided, to adhere to one very important rule:“ It is better to punish a child, depriving him of good, than by doing him a bad one. ” Think about it! Find in the child's life that which is especially important to him. Best of all, if it will be some kind of joint activities.
A weekend walk, bike rides, an evening fairytale, and so on. Yu. B. Hypenreyter calls this the “golden foundation of joy.” And if your child does not obey or has committed some kind of misconduct, then the pleasure this week or this day is canceled.
ATTENTION! Be fair to children. Do not abuse such punishments, apply them only if the act happened really tangible, really upset you.
The punishment is fair and effective.
Be sure to explain to the children what act they are punished for and why. The child trusts you and believes in your justice. If he has any doubts about what he was punished for, then this can undermine your authority. At the same time, I would like to keep you from excessive moralizing.If for every occasion you give a child a lecture lasting many hours, he will simply consider you a bore.
ATTENTION! Try not to forget that the example of parents is very important for the child. If you teach him alone and do the opposite, you should not expect him to fulfill your requirements.
The well-known psychologist Alan Frome in his book "The Alphabet for Parents" lists some of the dangers that always lurk where punishments are applied.
Very often, the punishment does not correct the behavior, but only transforms it. One deed is replaced by another, still remaining wrong, even more harmful to the mental health of the child.
Punishments force a child to fear losing parental love. He feels rejected and often begins to be jealous of his brother or sister, and sometimes at his parents.
A punished child may have a hostile feeling towards his parents, and this will create a monstrous dilemma in his mind. On the one hand, parents are adults, it is impossible to rebel against them, on the other hand, he is still too dependent on them to benefit from his enmity, not to mention the fact that he still loves his parents.And as soon as these two feelings - love and hate - unite in him, conflict will immediately arise.
Frequent punishments in one way or another encourage the child to remain infantile. Usually he is punished for some childish prank. For example, because he wetted or soiled his pants, he misapplied, and above all for the unauthorized, which cannot be done. But the desire to achieve the forbidden does not disappear, and the child decides that, perhaps, you should not give it up if you can pay only with punishment. That is, he can do whatever he wants, and, having angered his parents, he suffers punishment in order to pay off, clear his conscience and continue to do the same - and so on to infinity.
Punishment can help a child attract the attention of parents. Children need, above all, parental love, but, without receiving it, they often agree to such a pathetic imitation of her as simple attention. And sometimes it is much easier to attract the attention of parents by doing something stupid than staying kind and obedient all the time.
ATTENTION! Never punish a child in a fit of rage. Punishment should always follow the offense, but should never exceed the extent of the offense.
Unfortunately, in life there are situations when parents who, in principle, against physical punishment, break down, beat children. But it is not known for whom this becomes a greater tragedy. For a child or for an adult, who in this case loses respect for himself.
In one popular TV program, the writer Maria Arbatova told about this incident from her life. Her children left home in the morning, and appeared late in the evening, when she had already lifted all her acquaintances to her feet, she phoned all the appropriate authorities. And Arbatov tore at their hearts. But then she experienced burning remorse, was ready to sue herself for violating human rights, the rights of her own children. And one of the sons, who by the time of the transfer had already become a respectable young man, said with surprise: “Mom, yes, I forgot about it.”
ATTENTION! If you punished the child, not restraining, under the hot hand, do not hesitate to ask him for forgiveness! This will only raise your credibility. And this is especially true of those situations where you know that you were wrong. Without delaying for a second, explain to the child what happened.
But for this recommendation there is one very important caveat.Some parents begin to abuse this behavior. That is, to punish the temper, and then violently put up. This is characteristic of hot-tempered hysterical people. Reconciliation creates the illusion of mutual understanding, but, unfortunately, even shatters the nerves of parents and children. The child, again, quickly adapts and begins to use this situation to its advantage. For example, he uses the moment of reconciliation to achieve what he would not be allowed in the normal situation.
And one more important aspect. Punishment should be individual, that is, take into account the psychological characteristics of the child. You should not expect that even within the limits of one family, the punishment will be equally effective and fair for a younger and older child. What is suitable for the elder may turn out to be incomprehensible for the younger and, therefore, unfair.
Once, a mother of two children (boys, 3.5 and 4.5 years old) turned to me for advice: “What should I do? If children commit the same offense, I punish them - I forbid you to watch your favorite cartoons. But at the same time, one endures it calmly and with an understanding of guilt, quickly distracted, finds another occupation for himself, and the other begins to cry, shout, demand and sometimes does not calm down for several hours in a row. ”
What can be advised in this situation? Select punishments individually, but so that this difference does not become an additional offense for children. For one child, the punishment of depriving cartoons was probably sufficient. The boy realized the offense, and the fact that he was engaged in something else should not mislead his parents regarding too mild punishment. Do not forget that your goal is not to offend a child, but only to designate his wrong deed.
Everyone ever has to punish their children, even those who believe that this can not be done. At first, it may seem as though we are resorting to punishment in order to force the children to obey and correct, but if we look it out, in essence, we most often show our impatience and our anger in this way.
Your child is already an independent person. It doesn't matter if he took the first steps or passed the final exams. In this and in another case, he has the right to his own mistakes, his own life experience. “The natural consequence of disobedience is one of the types of punishment emanating from life itself, and all the more valuable ...” writes Yu. B. Hypenreiter.
This method was very popular in the Nikitin family. They recommend to parents in the minimum, but still tangible amount to give the child on their own experience to make sure that the needle is sharp and the iron is hot. Of course, such a method cannot be applied to all existing prohibitions. But in some cases it works very well.
Its advantage is that the child learns to acquire negative experience without resentment, directly remembering and drawing conclusions about the essence of some dangerous things and phenomena. And in such a situation, the phenomenon of the “forbidden fruit” does not manifest itself, when what the parents forbid only strengthens the child’s curiosity. In addition, the child develops a sphere of arbitrariness. He himself commits acts and is responsible for their consequences.
ATTENTION! If your child is faced with a natural consequence of disobedience, in no case gloat, “I knew it!”, “Well, I told you so!” Always try to be a support for the child, find words of comfort and support.
And in conclusion, I would like to remind you that parents should educate not only children, but also themselves.
How do you need to be an adult, so as not to provoke your child to even greater disobedience?
- Be patient. This is the greatest virtue that parents can have.
- To be able to explain to the child, WHY his behavior is wrong, but at the same time to avoid tediousness, to be extremely brief. To be able to distract, to offer the child something more attractive than what he now wants.
- Do not rush to punishment.
- To be able to express gratitude to the child for the good deeds he performs. Reward him. Rewards are more effective than punishment. If you praise a child for good behavior, instead of considering him to be normal, this alone will awaken in him the desire to do so further to hear your praise again. Even if you need more time, this way you can change the behavior of your children completely painlessly compared to the harm that will bring punishment.
A. Lugovskaya, Kravtsova M.V. Baby no problem! Reshebnik for parents.