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How to give punishment without hurting the self esteem of kids


Posted Date: 03-Feb-2011  Last Updated:   Category: Parenting Articles    
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Good Parenting skills ask parents to be co-operative with children and not to show their temperament in a bad manner so as to hurt the kid’s self-esteem and ego. Punishing kids by physically hurting them as never had been a solution that showed positive results. Here’s how one can give punishments without hurting the self esteem of kids.



How to give Punishment without hurting the Self Esteem of kids


Everybody does mistakes and so do children. When adults do mistake very often they ignore it by saying they had no choice. But when it comes to kids, their mistakes are considered to be some major crisis or situation where parents often punish kids with either spanking them or being abusive. This is definitely not the right way to hurt your kids just for the sake of punishing them. Can anyone on this earth actually claim that their kids stopped making mistakes after spanking them? Physical punishments which involve spanking often hurts the self esteem of kids and fails to help them do things better the next time.

Reasons Why Parents hurt their kids


- Parents consider Kids as their private property and feel they can do anything to them.

- Parents consider spanking kids help kids to do things in a better manner without mistakes.

- Since parents received spanking by their parents, they start to feel that spanking and hurting is the only way to learn things.

- Being a parent, one considers whatever his actions may be always within the best interest of his/her kids.

How most of the parents normally punish their kids


- By hurling abuses

- By frequently beating them up or spanking them with belts or sticks

- Locking them in a room

- Criticizing them destructively

- By threatening them with dire consequences

- By humiliating them in front of others

All these above ways of punishment normally hurts the child's self esteem. I wonder how much it actually stops children from making the same mistakes but it definitely hurts them emotionally and mentally. Such punishments also give the kids some wrong messages. Messages like 'it's okay to hurt someone if you really get angry with him' or 'such violent act are completely justifiable'. Such messages give kids wrong impressions and wrong teaching. Hence the way parents normally punish their kids are all wrongful doings on the part of the parents.

Let's discuss how one can give punishments without hurting the self esteem of kids.

Show your kids some respect


Though they are your kids that don't mean that they become your property! Finally there's definitely some difference between living things and non-living things. Though kids are kids they too deserve the same respect as you do. Hence as parents do mistakes and learn, allow the kids too to learn from their own mistakes. Explain the kids what went wrong and why they shouldn't have committed such mistakes. Tell them the adverse effects of their mistakes and ask them to rectify it or never repeat it next time. Most of the mistakes committed by kids are just due to pure ignorance and once the kids understand the adverse effects of their mistakes they try not to repeat them.

Be firm but polite


While you try and explain your kids about the mistakes that they committed, be firm and not really gentle. But at the same time you need not be rude and just try to be polite. The firmness in your tone should express your anger and the seriousness to the situations which kids can easily sense. But parents don't need to be rude and react in a manner which really scares the kids to death. Express your anger in a firm but polite manner.

Stop Criticizing your kids


Criticizing till date has never been of any help or solution to any problems. Criticizing kids by constantly reminding them of their faults is not a healthy way to punish your kid. Such punishments rarely show any signs of improvement. When we criticize our kids, we just nag them for their wrong doings or mistakes, but in this process we never actually tell them what mistakes they have done. And until the kids know about what mistakes they did, how do you expect the kids to rectify them. Constant Criticism hurts ego and self-esteem of kids and slowly detaches them from their parents. In such circumstances kids either gets too introvert and stop expressing their feelings or they just enclose themselves in their own shell.

Humiliating Kids in front of others is not a punishment


Many parents have a habit of humiliating their kids in front of their friends, guests or others. In such situations kids start condemning their parents. Kids can never improve from such constant humiliations and there is no chance that they would rectify their mistakes. In fact constant humiliation may make the child a rebel and would purposely commit such mistakes. Hence humiliating kids is a complete futile act and not a punishment.

Try Constructive Criticism


There is a vast difference between Destructive Criticism and Constructive Criticism. Destructive criticism often hurts your kid's self esteem and ego as mentioned above. But on the other hand, constructive criticism may actually help improve your child's behavior and stop him from repeating mistakes. Constructive Criticism usually gives proper messages to kids and is sincere. It also allows the child to think about his mistake and to decide upon them in a healthy manner. Constructive Criticism helps kids to understand what has gone wrong and gives them a chance of rectifying their mistakes.

Here's a statement which is a fine example of Constructive Criticism:

'No doubt you are good with mathematics and science, but if you give some time to English too I am sure you are going to score well in that too.'

And finally

10 important tips for parents while giving punishments without hurting the self esteem of kids


1. Begin praising kids for their good acts and then come to the topic and express your anger in a polite manner through constructive criticism.

2. Never physically hurt or harm your kids.

3. Always try and focus on one topic at a time.

4. Don't drag the situation for a longer time.

5. Try and speak to your child in private. Kids open up more frankly when there is nobody around. On the other hand, there's no need to make a big issue in front of other family members.

6. Stop repeating the same thing over and over again, as that may confuse or hurt your kid's emotions.

7. Try and stick to the topic. Don't include topics which relate to your kid's mistakes that happened long time back.

8. Don't overload the child with a big speech. Such long sessions can always be boring and the kid may not pay proper attention.

9. Try and hold your anger as that would avoid any serious damage to the kid.

10. Give your kid a chance to rectify his mistake and even then if he repeats the same mistake then you may try being firm in certain ways, which would include no buying of gifts, restricted time to watch television, ban on your kids favorite show etc.
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Read related articles: Parenting    Self esteem of kids    Punish kids without hurt    Kids management    Punishment to kids    

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