You can not punish a child (Irina Mlodik)
Punishing a child traumatizes the psyche and does not work. Child psychologist Irina Mladik says:
Punishment is also a way of parenting a child to do what the parent wants. In fact, I believe that education is possible without punishment. Punishment is often a way to express your anger, your powerlessness, your discontent with the child. This is an extreme way, when we can not cope anymore.
The second reason why we want to punish children is sometimes, the lack of belief that if we do not punish, we will not fix any in it. Here you did a bad thing, then, as if the child will continue to do the same.
Such a traditional thing: we found a cigarette from him or caught him smoking, and we need to so imprint in his mind that it is harmful to smoke that we are here unfolding some punishment for our boy, for example. As if he does not know that smoking is bad, that we are against, that we probably do not support him – he knows it perfectly. But often for us to punish is a way to put out all our anger, all our anxiety, all our disappointment. We would like to have a boy who does not smoke, our boy is smoking, and as if to suffer all this annoyance from this event from our shattered expectations about him, we punish him.
In fact, it seems to me that children do not need punishment. It seems to me that if something happened and we can talk with the child, explain our feelings to him, our anxiety, explain the consequences of something, then punishment is not required.
When we, for example, are angry, offended at him, helplessly, and we slapped him, for example, from impotence, from what he already said five times, he did not hear us and we slapped. Then we must at least understand that these are our feelings, that this is our impotence, that he, relatively speaking, has nothing to do with it.
Traditionally, parents talk about how they punish children. They say: I told him not to spoil him, two said do not play around, three said, and then I can not stand it, and I spank. I say that you do not even try to understand why he does it, but he sees perfectly well that it makes you angry, that you forbid him, that you are frightened of it, but he continues to do it.
This means, often it happens that he needs your reaction, your feelings, your attention. Since he sometimes has no hope of receiving your attention in another way, he is even ready for this; even for your anger, even for punishment and so on. Because sometimes being punished is a very strong contact, this is a very strong parental intervention, this is a very strong parental feeling. And at this time, paradoxically, the child feels that you are with him: my mother has noticed me, slapped, screamed and so on.