It is not new for us to experience that whenever a child commits any mistake his or her parents or guardians punish that child. There can be numerous reasons for punishing a child.
If we are to list them then stress and frustration are among the most common reasons. But the first reason that the guardian of the child puts forwards behind punishing the child is to stop the child from committing the same mistake again.
Why should punishing a child be stopped?
- Punishing a child may cause physical injuries in the child.
- The child may lose his or her individuality trying to imitate others.
- Punishment may restrain the child from opening up.
- Punishing the child may increase aggression in him or her.
- The child being punished may lose his or her self-esteem and confidence.
But does it always happen that after being punished the child stops committing that mistake? Let us throw light on some of the reasons for which punishing children must be stopped.
Let us now delve into some of the major reasons for which a child should not be punished.
It can lead to physical injuries
Punishing a child may involve many disturbing methods and beating the child is one of them. We may often come across parents or guardians who beat their children whenever they make a mistake. Thrashing a child can often be dangerous and may cause multiple damages.
The moment the guardian of the child beats him or her, he may hit very delicate parts of the body. This can lead to severe injuries in the child. Ultimately, the child may suffer from irreversible damages that no parent or guardian would want. Not punishing them will help you to make them kind and compassionate, and raising kind kids is extremely important.
The child may lose his individuality
One of the most important reasons for not punishing a child is to build his individuality. A child always commits a mistake unknowingly. A child also lacks the proper sense of right and wrong and hence, does not understand if his or her act is even a mistake!
Punishing a child for such things will stop him from being himself. The child will always try to imitate others so that he is not punished. He will always hold himself back and resort to what others are doing. Consequently, his individuality will not be developed.
The child will be traumatized
Punishing a child will have multiple consequences on him. This will make the child traumatized and will damage him in multiple folds. The child being punished will develop fears for his independent acts and will develop the habit of following what others are saying or doing.
Eventually, the traumatized child may develop a severe mental illness such as anxiety, depression, and many others and may suffer at different societal levels. Being traumatized will also not allow him to fight the different societal stigmas as well. He may also resort to drug abuse to feel comfortable.
The child will not open up
Being the parent or the guardian of a child, one punishes his or her child so that the child does not make mistakes. But have you ever thought of being close to your kid? Continuous punishments may severely affect the bond that you and your kid share.
If you are punishing your child for all the small mistakes that he makes, he would eventually stop discussing his problems with you. He would not share what he feels or what has happened to him. You would not get to know if he is being bullied!
He will always have the fear of being punished for whatever he does. As a result of this, he will stop opening up to you. If you talk to kids instead of punishing them, you will be encouraging kindness in them.
Punishments will make the child stubborn
The purpose for which the well-wisher of a child punishes him is to make him a better person. Punishments are primarily for stopping a child from committing a mistake. But is punishment the way to do so?
Punishing a child for his mistakes will only make him more stubborn and aggressive. His attitude towards dealing with problems will change because he will think that his acts will only lead him to punishments and nothing else. Punishments only deteriorate the situation.
The child will lose confidence
A child when young has no fear that adults generally have. They can sing loud without caring about their voices or they can just express what they dislike without thinking of being judged. But punishments can lead them to lose this confidence that they have.
Punishing a child for doing something wrong will significantly affect their confidence level. People may think that the child is shy but the child is losing his confidence to act. The child would fumble before speaking up. At worst, the child would choose not to speak up at all.
The child will become dishonest
The punishment that a child receives from his guardians is for his betterment. But this is understandable by grown-ups and not the child. The fear of punishments will make the child escape it in whatever he finds easier. As a result, he will choose to lie to his guardians.
The moment he lies, he escapes the punishment but in the long run, he grows up to become a dishonest person. He will not only lie to escape punishments but to escape any of his actions which others find to be wrong or incorrect.
Wrong usage of power
A child is always punished by his elders and the child understands that. He knows that he cannot punish the elder if that person does anything wrong. This will send a bad impression to the child about the usage of power.
The child will grow up learning a completely wrong lesson. He will not be able to use power properly. He may end up punishing and belaboring his colleagues for negligible mistakes! Stated in simpler terms, punishment makes a child use power incorrectly when he grows up.
The child’s act may be normal
We often find parents punishing their children for behaving in unsocial ways in public places, that is, screaming, yelling, or being aggressive. Parents punish their kids for behaving in such a manner. But what the parents often fail to understand that these behaviors are normal!
Researches have shown that the behavior of this kind is normal because kids are bad at holding back their emotions and feelings. So, the moment they find something irritating or something or someone they dislike, they start reacting to express their dislike for that thing or the person.
Destroys empathy in the child
One very important reason for not punishing a child is to save the empathy and compassion that a child has. Being punished makes him feel that punishment is the ultimate solution to mistakes and he ends up following the method of punishing others to rectify them.
He is emotionally less available to others and may fail to understand the emotional condition that any other person is going through. Punishing a child will make him more mechanical and less of a sensible human being. Make sure you are not punishing kids, and focus on positive attitude developing activities.
Alternatives to Undertake
Several alternatives are present apart from punishing them. You can take the child’s privileges that the child enjoys. Always praise his good behavior and reward him for his good works. Give your child more time, play with him or her.
In addition to this, explaining and discussing with the child will also serve the purpose of punishing the child, which is to make him a better person. So, being a well-wisher of the child, stop punishing the kids and choose to explain their mistakes to them.
Frequently Asked Questions on Stopping Punishments for Kids
1. Should we completely stop punishing our children?
Punishments are of different forms. Not talking to your children is also punishing them. Avoid doing anything that inflicts pain in the child. Try not to insult him.
2. Is slapping a child in the public a severe punishment?
Slapping a child in the public is indeed a severe punishment for the children who are shy. Maybe the child’s behavior was normal and the adults failed to understand it.
3. Shall we scare the child instead of beating him?
Scaring the child will develop mastigophobia in him. Also, the bond between you and your child will weaken eventually.
4. Shall we take away the kid’s video games?
You can choose to take away the video games of the child but return it back to him after explaining to him the mistake he committed and make him promise to not repeat the mistake.
5. Shall we teach him new things so that the child remains busy and avoids doing anything wrong?
This is an amazing idea. Keep him engaged in extracurricular activities that your kid loves doing.
There are numerous reasons for not punishing a child and some of the main reasons among them are mentioned above. Besides the ones that have been mentioned, punishments also leave scars on the child’s mind and may suffer from severe mastigophobia, that is, the irrational fear of getting punished.
It is always better to explain to a child than to punish him for his acts. Explaining where his mistake is and where he should rectify himself will not imbibe the effects of punishments in him but will make him understand the need to rectify himself.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.