If you didn’t see the first part of this post, rewind a minute and go there first before you read the second post in this series of Why Punishment Doesn’t Work.
So let’s look at what often triggers children when they are angry. What Key Triggers for children do you recognise from this list?…
- HALT – Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?
- when something is unfair
- when it feels like your child isn’t being heard or understood
- if your child breaks something
- when your child argues with their siblings
- when adults get cross
Parenting from a place of ‘if you don’t do as you’re told you will get punished’ incites fear.
Fear breaks trust.
You can ‘punish’ up to a certain age, it can work but then they’re not going to come to you with the big stuff – trying smoking, doing badly in a test etc. because their perception is ‘you only love me when you approve of me’ so I can’t bring you my mads, bads and sads.
When parents make their children scared of them…
- yes they can control them,
- yes the children are compliant,
- yes the children are obedient,
- yes the children do as they’re told.
- they can’t think for themselves
- their bodies are full of stress hormones
- their brain development is affected
- their emotional intelligence suffers
Raging parents and/or parents who hurt their children, frighten their children and children are scared of what they see growing up then get to an age where the parent then loses control when the child gets angry back. What do these parents do then? Up the ante?
There are scans of children’s brains to show the effects of smacking
There are laws around smacking children; they are woolly and need tightening but there are laws. From personal experience as a child who was smacked, it has affected my brain development. It put me in flight, fright or freeze mode flooding my body with cortisol and made my adrenals work over time.
If we want children to deal with their anger, we need to role model it.
Are you doing that?
Yes life can be stressful and we all lose our sh1t but children need to grow up knowing it is safe to be angry and safe for them to express their feelings. The only way that can happen is if it is being role modelled to them. What do you do when you’re angry?
I know this is a contentious issue and everyone has the right to parent their child in the way they choose but if you have a strong willed sensitive child prone to power struggles, change it up a bit because that parenting style doesn’t work for that ‘type’ of child.
Connection parenting is the ‘sweet spot’
The misconception is that this way of parenting is too liberal and lenient. It’s not. It proudly sits between scary, raging, strict authoritarian rigid parenting and ‘do whatever you like’, no boundaries, no structure or guidelines, permissive parenting. Neither of those extremes is healthy but connection parenting sits between these and that is where empathy, love and validation are so your children have healthy self-esteem and strong emotional intelligence. They’re the parenting tools I use to achieve key heart to heart connection – trust, respect unconditional love is created and maintained just like other relationships in your life.
If you are new to connection parenting, a good place to start is with my ebook ‘How to Rediscover the Magic of Parenting in a Busy World.’
Empathy, Validation, Love, Connection and Praise.
Have you got an angry bear? A child with Separation Anxiety? Too many meltdowns? Are you at a loss? Welcome to everyone’s world! There is no manual so that is why I have put a little something together – my ebook – as a step by step to connection parenting to eradicate all those inaccuracies around this type of parenting like that there are boundaries to keep the child safe and guide them.
How bad do you want your children to feel?
Punishment incites fear and creates shame.
A lot of us punish because that’s how we were parented. Is history repeating itself in your house?
Shame is toxic, it’s a horrible feeling that says “I am worth nothing” We don’t want shame.
In fact: does it surprise you that shame and blame are two parenting tools which are still damaging children today. I had a client recently that came to coaching and told me they did something wrong…
I put my listening head on, got my big Mr Tickle arms out to hold all those icky feelings. They told me the story. I am doing lots of nodding, lots of eye contact. From the silence came more. Then the tears. They cried, they felt the icky feelings themselves and then the feelings were gone! They recognised they did wrong and now they can correct their behaviour. All without being shamed. We are all human, we all make mistakes.
Strong willed sensitive children have amazing energy to change things, to break down old systems.
We want to nurture and encourage that spirit.
Let them have their strong will, tenacity and determination.
When you think about it, they’re the things that help you get on in life! Why would you not want to have that for your children?