Parental Punishments Essay

Parental Punishments Essay-35
I have known children who, upon having their mouths washed out with soap, stopped saying bad words out loud but continually repeated the words to themselves, responding to even the slightest frustration with streams of silent vituperation.Their anger made them unable to form any good relationships, which made them angrier still, which made them think up worse swear words.Like the criminal who tries to get a more lenient sentence by asserting that he knows he has done wrong, our children learn to express remorse when we expect them to.

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It convinces him that the parent is interested only in what he wants, and not in what the child wants.

If this is so, the child in his inner being reasons, then why shouldn't he too be interested only in what he wants, and ignore the wishes of his parent?

In the end the parent's goal—to eliminate bad language from the child's vocabulary—is rarely achieved.

Instead, the punishment serves to convince the child that although the parent is very much concerned with overt behavior, he is completely uninterested in whatever annoyance compelled the child to use bad language.

We must remember that injured feelings can be much more lastingly hurtful than physical pain.

A once common example of both physical and emotional punishment is washing out a child's mouth with soap because the child has used bad language.

Although we may be annoyed when our children do wrong, we ought to remember Freud's observation that the voice of reason, though soft, is insistent. It may shock a child into doing our will, but he knows and we know that it is not the voice of reason.

Our task is to create situations in which reason can be heard.

Even if a child feels he has done wrong, he senses that there must be some better way to correct him than by inflicting physical or emotional pain.

When we experience painful or degrading punishment, most of us learn to avoid situations that lead to it; in this respect punishment is effective.


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