Punishment: the guaranteed way to ‘lose contact’ with our children

Why do so many parents need to punish their children for being imposed or not losing control? What happens if they try to discuss rather than end up using the punishment they can impose just because they are in a position of power? Are parents really in a position of power and authority, or do they feel weak in front of their children and tend to use psychological, emotional, or even physical violence?
Despite the lack of information about the indelible effects on the psyche of children of the above methods and the existence of alternative methods of interaction with children, the argument “And we who got beaten, what happened to us?” is something we frequently listen to.

The imposition of punishment does not make children respect the parent and his needs; instead, it makes them afraid of the parent and the consequences of punishment. Thus, they will obey the “commands” for fear of the punishment they will potentially suffer or find a way to do what they want without being noticed by their parents. In the end, the penalties imposed regularly and for a long time will have their “effectiveness” and will no longer pose any threat to the children themselves and affect them in the way they move and behave.

Let us imagine ourselves in our children’s shoes… For example, if every time we do something wrong in our workplace, our superior comes and isolates us in a room or hits us or terrifies us with voices, what are the chances of finding out how we can make amends or not make the same mistake again? Like children, we need to accept from the other person respect, confidence in our abilities, guidance, and discussion of what concerns us and what can be done differently next time.

Contact and honest communication are cornerstones in our children’s education; our actions that accompany our words are the first example of behavior that our children accept, and they learn through that. Our children are our mirror, so if we don’t like what we see, we need to think about what we need to change in the way we operate and behave, not how we “fix” our children with punishments and manipulations.

Children are not puppets who, based on our “appropriate” handling, will learn to behave “properly” and evolve in parallel with our expectations of them. They need authentic behavior and respect from those around them to understand that their actions affect others and have consequences either to themselves or to their environment while following their unique path of development and growth.