When Punishment is Problematic

People do not act for no reason.

They may act in response to an idea.

They may act in response to an emotion.

They may act in response to a need that requires satisfaction.

They may act in response to something that has occurred in their environment.

They may act because the way their brain developed impairs their capacity to think before they act in the presence of a trigger (stimulus).

If we accept the truth that people do not act for no reason, then we must similarly accept that when we punish a child for their actions without any effort to try to understand why they did what they did, we are essentially communicating to them that their thoughts, feelings, needs, experiences and biological characteristics are unimportant or invalid. Repeated often enough, the child develops the belief that they are unimportant and invalid.

The consequences of invalidation include behavioural problems, emotional problems, preoccupations with needs and a lack of regard for the impact of one’s behaviour on others and one’s relationships.

We can avoid perpetuating maladaptive behaviour in children by responding with understanding to the reason for their behaviour and, in doing so, nourish connections that support their self-regulation and positive behaviour.

Pinnochio tells the truth because he prefers to remain on good terms with Jiminy Cricket.

For more information about what therapeutic (re)parenting looks like, I recommend my books about attachment and resilience.

Colby Pearce Resilience

If you found the information in this article useful, please share it using the sharing buttons below.

Please also subscribe to this blog to receive further ideas and guidance when it becomes available.

For more information about my work visit securestart.com.au.

You can access more information about my curricula and training for therapeutic (re)parenting by clicking here.

About colbypearce

I am a practising Clinical Psychologist with twenty-seven years’ experience working with children and young people recovering from abuse and neglect. I am also an author and educator in trauma-informed, therapeutic caregiving. My programs are implemented in Australia and Ireland, and I am well-known for my practical and accessible guidance for caregivers and professionals alike.
This entry was posted in AAA Caregiving, Attachment, Fostering, kinship care, Parenting, Training Programs, trauma informed practice, Trauma Informed Schools and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.