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Making your children feel worse doesn't make them behave better

Apr 22, 2022

Your threats, yells and punishments become your child's motivation to "be good". When you use them, your children don't listen to you because they behave, they listen to you because they're afraid of you. Using fear and shame gets immediate results and creates compliance in the short term, but in the long term it destroys the child's confidence and trust: it's counterproductive.

We often forget that little kids cannot live up to our expectations, because the part of the brain responsible for impulse control is not yet developed. Our role as a parent is to deal with the feeling, the emotion, the need that underlies the behavior, and teach our children the skills to regulate their emotions and develop healthy boundaries (and yes, boundaries are necessary!).

Discipline doesn't mean being strict and punishing, it means teaching. Teaching a child how to do something is much more effective than punishing them for something they did wrong.

Making your children feel worse doesn't make them behave better. Children give their best when they feel safe and loved.

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I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.