Friday, 26 May 2017

Does Shaming your Kids in Public Influence their Character? Lesson 1

We get rewarded when we do well


It has been three years since Jane took to shaming her daughter as a means of meting punishment on her. Jane reveals that she has repeatedly gathered her daughter’s friends and siblings to her apartment in order to lay bare her misdemeanors; purposely to admonish her. However, Jane’s approach of disciplining her daughter seems to cause more harm than good.

Now, Punitive Shaming Spurs Action Daughter is now completely withdrawn; no longer interested with the friends whom her mother invites. Instead, she bullies them. Furthermore, she has developed some sort of introvert traits. Most often, she keeps to herself and no longer interested with the company of her usual playmates, her performance in school work is declining- triple stalemate for the mother! Jane reckons that her daughter no longer reaches out to her the way she used to.

30-year old Jane is not alone. Many parents employ the use of public shaming as a means of disciplining. In fact, it is an alarming reality that some parents go to the extent of using social media to shame their kids. I am aware of a parent whose son stole some cash from her purse. On discovery, she forced him to hold a placard written “I stole mum’s money from her purse” She took a snap of it and posted in on her Instagram. She opened her account and showed the boy; telling him that everybody in the world knew what he had done.

Emotional Abuse Upped to Shaming at Social Media Level

 In all likelihood, parents like Jane don’t stop at social media. They yell at their children in public in a bid to punishing them. According to a professional child therapist, (Dr. Peggy); shaming a kid goes beyond reprimanding them in public or by mere spanking.

While in pursuit of discipline, parents usually employ other subtler means such as making the kid to feel guilty, source of trouble, deficient or simply plain dump. Even something as benign as sighing or rolling up your eyes can be construed as shaming.

Remember, the act of public shaming of a child is not confined to parents alone.  My friend, Millicent recently pulled her seven-year old son from a renowned city academy after he was shamed by his class teacher in front of the entire class. The teacher took to this action because the boy did poorly in a Mathematics questionnaire. The boy alleged that his class teacher made him to stand behind his desk, for a whole lesson with his shorts off. His mother was thoroughly enraged and wanted to take legal action against the teacher. Obviously, that was an emotional abuse. Some parents do not agree that public shaming of kids is not effective or abusive.

Lorna Kipps, a mother of three girls aged 9, 11 and13 is one such parent. She opposes the idea that rebuking a child is a form of abuse. She says when children are shamed because of bad behavior, you prevent them from repeating similar mistakes. That’s the way our parents brought us up and we came out fine.

Professional Point of View

 Surprisingly, Dr. Jim Hutt, an experienced psychotherapist says that yelling or rebuking your child occasionally might not diminish their sense of self-esteem or security as long as it is not used as the major means of punishment.

Effective Form of Punishment

Some of the ways you can adopt in disciplining your child is by meting out reasonable forms of discipline with long term beneficial results. Always keep in mind that disciplining your kid for wrong-doing ought to civilize them and never to regress their emotional growth. Kids bent on repeating mistakes require consistent means of discipline including a great deal of rewarding good behavior and nurturing as opposed to dwelling on punishing bad habits by means of the cane.

 Undoubtedly, it is not uncommon for a parent to feel pushed to unleash shame on their child. In such a case, it would be worthwhile if you spare a little time to apologize to your kids; in a language they will easily comprehend. Says Dr. Jim.
Milami Kids
·         Final Tidbit: Dr. Jim Hurt sums up thus: “you cannot teach your children that it’s fine to make mistakes, then ignore to admit your own mistakes; worse still, fail to apologize”. But one can’t help thinking that a parent’s principled stance on their children’s behavior represents a failure of imagination. Finding innovative ways to help children to develop character has been the legacy that’s the driving force behind human personality. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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