Punishment is not the same as discipline. In fact, if we actively avoid it and choose instead to discipline our children we could reduce the occurrences of bullying.
It is interesting to note that studies of the background of bullies and their most vulnerable victims have found that physical punishment is prevalent for both.
Punishing teaches him:
Makes her feel:
If we model respect and want our children to be respectful we cannot continue to punish them.
The "Who did it?" and a"make them pay" mentality voids the lessons that could be learned.
You know you are on the wrong track when you are doing it "TO" your child and not "WITH" your child.
The worst part is it strains our relationship with our children. Instead of building trust, mutual respect and confidence in each other we are creating vulnerability.
If you hear yourself saying:
Any of that sound familiar?? After what you have read about verbal bullying and social bullying...Now what do you think?? Sounds an awful lot like bullying.
If so, it could be you are just repeating what you heard as a child...perhaps you were advised by a good friend and it worked for their kids.
Now that you know different you can start making changes and do differently.
This is not about blame. It is not your fault. We must remember we are all doing the best we can with what we know.
We can't swing the other way and just let our children do whatever they want. As Dr Phil has been known to say "that is the tail wagging the dog" ;)
Your child is fully responsible for their actions and as a caring parent you must put into place discipline for the inevitable mistakes, mis-steps and total bloopers that your children will for certain make.
There is a better way. As parents our job is to guide them and provide them with boundaries to keep them safe and help them grow into successful adults.
Discipline allows them to take responsibility for their actions, learn to prevent it from happening next time and create a plan to make amends to anyone who was impacted.
We will need to adapt our language and learn some new ways to direct our children. They learned to be a bully or a victim...they can un-learn too.
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