What do you do when your child breaks a glass or spills the milk? Do you scold him? Do you hit him? Does your child deserve punishment? Then this is for you
Some experts in child education argue that a large percentage of parents educate their children in a similar way as their parents raised them. What does this mean? Basically, that we repeat what we lived in childhood. If you were raised with beatings, chances are that you beat your children too. Pure reflection.
If you ask anyone, they will tell you that beating is not good for educating and raising a child; however, when it comes to correcting, violence in all its manifestations is present more frequently than we would like.
We are going to examine the same scenario from three different perspectives:
You’re in a hurry, but you want your child to eat breakfast before going to elementary school. You serve the milk, of which, by the way, there is very little left; your child inadvertently throws the glass, which breaks and spills all the liquid.
Perspective 1: the punishment
Your reaction: you scream, slap him, try to calm his siblings (with yelling), berate him for spilling the milk and give him the litany of how expensive everything is, how much you try, how little you They help you, and maybe you can even mention that it was a “silly” action or some other disparaging and demeaning adjective, and send them to school.
The reality: These types of attitudes do not correct behaviors, that is, the child will not be more careful next time, he will only do it or pretend to do it when you are around; their change is only temporary and generated by the fear of receiving a hit or a scold. This lends itself to abuse, because you react from your anger and you can lose control and, finally, children become withdrawn and their self-esteem low because they come to believe that they are incapable or that they cannot learn.
Perspective 2: overprotection
To avoid problems and waste time, you serve him the milk in a “sippy cup” so he doesn’t spill milk and he takes it in the car, if he wants to; You never use glass cups because it breaks it, everything is plastic in your house. You dress him, fix him, and put food on him for recess; you put him in the car (with everything and a glass) and tell him how much you love him and leave him at school.
The safest thing is that this way you will never be late anywhere, do not fight with your children in the morning and obviously do not make them independent, self-sufficient, autonomous and that, in addition, you incapacitate them for all the days of their lives. Remember: “Any unnecessary help is an obstacle to development” (María Montessori).
Perspective 3: responsible child
This time you keep calm and ask him to pick up the glass; it is cut, you check it, you send it to wash and you give it a bandage; then you ask him to continue picking up and cleaning or, if it is too late, that when he returns he can clean up what he made dirty. He eats something else for breakfast and even leaves alone with a glass of water on his belly (because there is no milk or any other food), and you take him to school, where you kiss him goodbye. The next day, you ask him to serve the milk and congratulate him on doing it properly.
Too hard for the child? or too hard for you? Allowing our children to assume the natural consequences of their actions is a whole life process that allows them to become responsible, autonomous and self-confident. What requires investing more time? Of course! We are raising children, not cattle, not a plant. The child who soon experiences the consequences of her actions – both positive and negative – will soon be able to regulate herself and her dignity and self-esteem will be intact. It will seem like time lost in childhood, but adolescence will confirm that it was a good time invested.