How To Punish A Child Without Negatively Affecting Their Development.
With the ranging indiscipline cases in schools, burning of learning institutions, the question of punishment has become very controversial. Are there times the punishment is not commensurate to the mistake done? Could sometimes the problem be the one carrying out the punishment?
Among many other factors, there is a natural inclination of the body to get to protective devices of absorbing the pressure through getting into defense mechanisms. However, when over- used, they become counter-productive. One of which is projection. Projection is manifested when the prevailing situation of the punisher is the key determinant to the kind of punishment they give.
Some punishments (in form of words or actions) are as a result of what we’d call, “the abundance of heart.”
The body obeys the operation of the mind whether it’s deliberately chosen or automatically expressed. Out of a bitter mind comes forth a bitter life and words with face drawn into inharmonious contours.
The main intention of a punishment should not just to inflict pain. It is a form of communication geared towards coming up with better way of doing things; however, not just a clumsy
communication. Other times, children’s imaginations may blow the experience out of proportions.
It is up to the caregivers to be patient in their response to the child’s fear. Do not beat her up for fearing a bearded Makang’a. “See baby, it’s just a man with beard. He is just like daddy only that he has hairs on his face.” That might probably cool her. Some of the parents are fed up with the entire strides of rhetorical and sometimes oblique questions that children bombard them with.
A great guiding principal; you can teach a man anything if you can only help him find it within himself. With whoever the person you’re punishing, examine facts together. There’s not much point having brilliant ideas and skills of using a whip if we cannot persuade people of their value. Sometimes it is not what a child will go through, but how he feels about it.
For punishment to be effective;
• Do it as soon as the misbehavior is evidenced. This will help the child relate the aversive action done to him with the very mistake committed.
• It should be commensurate to the mistake done. Don’t punish too severely for a very slight mistake or vice versa.
• Make the person(s) aware of the negative effects of the behavior; for them to take responsibility. Create awareness. Discuss the issue with your son/ daughter. Show them the negative effect of
doing whatever behavior they engaged in.
• Give the offender an alternative behavior/direction. Behaviors rarely become extinct; they get replaced.
John Maxwell points it that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. It is not about how much you know to correct but how much you care that you want them to walk right.
By Faith Titus,
Chiromo Hospital Group