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

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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 Clinical Psychologist and author who assists children and familes overcome adversity and experience strong and secure attachment relationships.
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.

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