Punishment without understanding equals invalidation

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 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 making any effort to try to understand why they did what they did, we are essentially communicating to them that their thoughts, feelings, needs 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.

We can avoid perpetuating maladaptive behaviour in children by responding with understanding and gently teaching them a different way.

Advertisements

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, Children's Behaviour, Parenting, Wellbeing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Punishment without understanding equals invalidation

  1. thefamilyof5 says:

    Totally get this!

    She lied, ‘but why’?

    She stole food ‘but why?’

    She ran off when I was talking to her ‘but why?’

    I’m often reminding teachers to think about the ‘why’ behind the behaviour 🙂

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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s