“Positive feedback provides a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn from the situation at hand.” -Gaye O’Brien
Research indicates that everyone, including children learn best with the use of effective feedback techniques rather than by the use of physical punishment.
Down through the centuries in many cultures around the world, corporal punishment, the deliberate infliction of physical pain on a person has been used as a form of discipline, by parents, schools and the judiciary.
Corporal punishment was encouraged in Europe by the medieval church. Some eighteenth century philosophers and legal reformers condemned physical punishment. They believed people should learn lessons from their mistakes and considered physical punishment only to be a short-term fix, that did not assist in permanently improving the behavior.
John Locke, the English philosopher was influential in having corporal punishment banned from Polish schools in 1783, the first country to do so.
In many countries now, corporal punishment is now banned in schools but is still allowed in home settings. By the late 1800s it was forbidden for a man to chastise him wife in many parts of the world.
Spanking children is ineffectual because it:
- Demonstrates that the adult or stronger person decides what is right. The child has no opportunity to develop problem-solving skills.
- Shows that problems can be solved with violence or by bullying rather than with conversation.
- Effects self-esteem because the child focuses on feeling bad, and thinks, “I am a bad person” or “My Mother or Father is mean”, rather than reflecting upon what he or she has done in an objective way (their behavior).
- Effects the parent’s rapport, influence and trust with the child, and studies point out that children are more likely to tell lies to protect themselves.
- Is impossible to learn when a person is afraid as the higher order thinking skills shut down in favor of the fight or flight reflex.
My top tips for empowering parents to effectively discipline their children.
” Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”
- Believe in your ability to communicate positively with the child. Use positive, clear effective language that shows that you also believe in your child to want to grow into a fully functioning, flexible human being.
- Find out the cause for the misbehavior, as children are doing the best they can with the resources they have available. They may be seeking attention or wanting to control a particular situation.
- Find a way to control your own emotional state, as your bad behavior maybe mimicked by others. Take time out before you respond inappropriately.
- Let the child know how you expect them to behave and indicate when the behavior is not acceptable. Be assertive, calm and fair and let him or her know how you feel. Establish boundaries and highlight where your values such as honesty, integrity and respect have been violated.
- Notice behavior that is not acceptable and redirect or reframe that behavior.
- Use logical consequences. If the child is draining your energy, point out to them that you may not be able to do something later on with them that they may want to do, due to the effect of the behavior on your stress levels.
- Be proactive and allocate quality time with the child rather than being reactive and bribing them if they misbehave.
- Offer behavioral choices in appropriate contexts.
Positive feedback allows a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn from the situation at hand. Parents and teachers may deprive the child of a vital chance to reflect on the experience, if this effective tool is not fully utilized.
About the Author
Gaye O’Brien is a Life, Business & Executive Coach, NLP Trainer, Time Line Therapist, Hypnotherapist and International Best-Selling Author of “NLP Essentials for Teachers”. As a catalyst for transformational change Gaye shares her insights in an inspirational, educational and entertaining way, with businesses and individuals who desire to make their greatest contribution to the planet and co-create a more enlightened world.