Figuring out how to determine the line between discipline and abuse: instilling responsibility in your children
When children are growing up, there are certain lessons and moral principles that all parents struggle with instilling in their children. The question of whether or not you’re being too hard on your child is a common issue with most parents who want to maintain a healthy balance of discipline with freedom. Most of us are familiar with traditional methods of instilling moral principles into children such as spanking them when they do something wrong or taking away one of their favorite toys.
These methods have been used time and time again to impute the wisdom of good and bad into children who are still growing. As society evolves, we see more instances of parents either being publicly judged or in some cases jailed for putting their hands on their own children. This brings up questions of morality and now we see that many parents are trying to find alternatives to traditional methods of punishment.
Research has been conducted into the long-term effects of putting your hands on children who misbehave. These findings have led to the conclusion that physical harm to children when they do something wrong can actually lead to mental health issues down the line. These studies have also found that spanking children imputes a correlation between using violence to solve a problem which can lead to attitude problems for children later on in life.
Newer methods of punishment are being introduced that focus primarily on explaining to children why their actions are harmful. Instead of physically touching your child, try sitting them down and talking to them about the large consequences that can come as a result of defying authority or doing something that they were told not to.
These forms of punishment have been proven to help children develop internal moral sensors that are wired into their brain alerting them of an actual case and effect situation. By talking to them about why their actions are wrong, you allow children to develop individual sets of moral character which are more effective at keeping them away from repeating the same mistake in the future.
By using a more reasonable approach to punishment, you can help your child develop empathy and other moral triggers which they will carry later on in their life. instead of associating certain actions with certain outcomes, allow children to logically process why their actions are harmful so that they can begin the character-building process at an early age.
Softer approaches to punishment have been shown to instill things such as guilt in children which is a natural indicator of why their actions may and can cause harm to others. By using this approach, you allow them to develop emotions and thinking processes which can help them interact with society in a much more understanding and empathetic manner instead of being strictly reactional.