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It is possible to educate children without applying punishment. The key is to firmly establish what the limits are. The child psychologist, María Luisa Ferrerós is the author of the book Punished! Necessary?, where he proposes ingenious and effective educational alternatives to child punishment. His recommendations for educating children are reflected in a series of practical advice, which has led to his method, the Ferrerós method.
What is punishment, what is its role and how should it be applied in the education of children?
Educational punishment is a consequence that comes after an inappropriate attitude of the child. Therefore, educational punishment must be exceptional, consistent, and must remain firm and constant. You cannot be punishing the child for everything because then it becomes saturated and ignores. When a punishment is given, it must be carried out, and it is important that it is appropriate to what the child has done. Punishments cannot be disproportionate, they must be affordable, they must be able to be carried out and maintained. And they must be very consistent: I can't punish my son without TV and I spend the weekend watching TV.
What should we take into account when punishing children?
The most important thing about punishments is that they are dissuasive, they must cost an effort. The punishment that is now in fashion: the 'I'll leave you without' has no effect, it has very little reaction, because one very important thing is missing for it to be an educational punishment, it does not require any effort. Staying without watching TV does not involve any effort for the child because he begins to read a story, to play on the mobile or Play. An educational punishment has to cost the child an effort to help him control himself.
Is it possible to educate children without applying punishment? What is the educational consequence?
Punishment is associated with slap, slap, slap, dark room ... but all this has evolved and more than punishments, now we talk about educational consequences. We must banish a little what are humiliating or corrective punishments, which are useless. The same thing happens with the cheek. You cannot punish a child who hits his friends by hitting him. Children imitate these behaviors.
What attitude should parents have if their children do not obey?
Tone and attitude is very important. If the child, for example, detects that if he does not want to eat dinner instead of yelling and punishing him, you are not going to get angry and you will keep the dinner in the fridge and give him a yogurt and he will begin to appreciate that those are the rules. He may not eat dinner the first day, if he is rebellious he will do it two or three times at most, never again. When you say to dinner, they will all come to dinner. In general, all parents are too aware of children, whether they eat or not, and that is a failure. We have the responsibility for the child's food when he is young, but from the age of 5, the responsibility for food is the child's and when he is hungry he will come to eat.
How can we get the kids to do their homework without losing their temper?
Children should spend an hour a day doing homework, half an hour when they are young and an hour and a half when they are older. More time is useless because it is not studied. If the child has forgotten to do his homework, has not come or has been lazy, we will say: 'I'll wake you up at 6 in the morning so you can do it, that is, either you do it at your time, or you I wake up at 6 and you do it before going to school. '
It's the attitude again, I say it without screaming, without getting nervous, we want to get the child to self-regulate. Firmness and to comply, even if it is a roll for us to get up at 6. We will only get up 2 times, because on the third time they will not do it anymore.
What should parents do with children's 'forgetfulness'?
We have to transfer responsibility to them, we have to make them understand that it is their responsibility. They have to let us know if they need material, we will leave it ready for them, but they must prepare it themselves.
The child has to realize that the responsibility lies with him and we have to lengthen the rope. When they are 3 years old, obviously you have to prepare it for them, but when they are 7 or 8 years old, they have to start working.
Children's rebellion is a problem for many parents. What can we do with a child who is against us in everything?
I always advise a parent retreat weekend. You leave the children with your grandparents or your sisters, and you go with your partner to talk about all these things and to set rules in your house. When we have all this well discussed with the couple and we have decided what things are going to happen to them, what not, what we are going to do and what consequences we are going to apply, then we explain to the child that 'so far we have done what we have been able to, with our best intentions, but it hasn't worked. Now we have decided that things are going to change, that we are going to do this, this and this and up to here ', and then we begin. At first, it costs a little more, it won't be three days, maybe it will be ten, it depends on how rebellious the child is, but if you are clear about what you have decided and are very metallic, that change in attitude will work.
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