Those who believe in punishing children (or punishing anyone) might want to go somewhere else. If you want some information on why punishment doesn’t work you can go here: Ahaparenting.com
Alright who is left now? You might think I am insane. Raising children without punishment? Crazy. No imposed consequences? Blasphemy. You’ll raise children who are spoiled brats, who whine to get what they want and run the household.
None of these are true, and I might get to them another day. Right now I want to address bullying.
We are in the midst of a bullying epidemic. Actually, that’ s not true. Bullying was more prevalent back in the day, just we called it kids being kids and no one thought to stop the madness.
Bullying is using physical or emotional coercion to get the target to behave in a way the bully desires. In other words, if you don’t act the way I think you should act I am going to beat you up, or snub you in the hallway tomorrow.
Here are some truths about behavior.
Behavior occurs to get a need or want met. Most semi-adjusted adults can figure out their needs and get them met with minimal unacceptable behavior. But don’t we all know some adult who manipulates, cheats, whines and bullies to get his or her way? Haven’t you used a bit of coercion to get something?
Great, we’re all bullies on some level.
Children learn how to act from their parents. They learn how to shift the world to get their needs met. Now a 2 year old will try whining and throwing a fit to get what they want. If the child gets what they want when they throw a fit, then that will continue until it no longer works. Emotional coercion. If the child gets some empathy and a strong NO, they learn to deal with rejection in a calm manner. If the child is spanked for throwing a tantrum, the child learns to hold back their emotions and to hit other people to get their way. If the child loses their toys for throwing a tantrum, the child learns to bottle their emotions to avoid further emotional pain.
Parents are often the worst bullies there are. Under the guise that they are teaching their child to behave.
Punishment neither addresses the root problem that caused the behavior nor does it teach the child a new way to behave. Punishment is coercion. If the child doesn’t comply the parent will physically or emotionally hurt the child. Physically being a spank, emotionally being taking a privilege away or scaring the child into obedience.
Punishment is bullying. Bullying is punishment.
I’ve had many arguments on my personal Facebook page and other places about the web about spanking, positive discipline and permissive parenting. I try not to get into these types of things on my writing blog, but there is no point in writing things I am not passionate about. Positive Parenting and Attachment Parenting are my passions. One of my dreams is to coach parents on following their own instincts when it comes to parenting.
I try not to be quite as blunt as this when I am arguing my point.
Thoughts. Be nice.