What would be the alternatives of punishing the children?

What would be the alternatives of punishing the children?

A Counsellor who meet people on a daily basis; while meeting children of age group 3 yrs. to 14 yrs. found that parents came with huge complains after instructed by teachers to meet a counselor: “children are so obstinate today no one can manage them”: this was their version.

But the counsellor found them very cool, imaginative, free & frank, and also so active in creative work, she simply enjoyed them in the session of 2 hrs.

Teachers are complaining, parents cannot manage them, no chance to play after studies, no friends to enjoy outside school, no contented communication with family members because everyone around them are busy shuffling their own work and schedules. So, children are basically left with themselves in the world of loneness and latest invented gadgets for entertaining them.

Concept has been changing with the passing time, worldwide: science is developing; so our approach towards human emotion has to be changed according to it. We cannot deny it only because these were not there in past, so updating is the essence of wellbeing of human mental health.

Children are our future, a well-built human mind can easily accommodate any change in it and changes in the life; so first thing we as teachers, as parents, as well wishers need to take care of, is change of approach around us and next, allow ourselves to accommodate it in our life understandably, so that our future generation can enjoy a comfortable life in their growing phase and can bring richness to society.

Types of complains we generally hear are, restlessness, hyperactive either physically or in thought process, inattentive, talkative, gadgets addiction, impatient, not a listener, not respectful to seniors, no motivation, poor sustainability, easily get physical either in fighting mode or sexually active among the classmates etc.

We, as commoners know above mental status of children through newspapers or TV / mobile, social media, but when we meet them in our daily lives, we become more active to get rid of it by hook or crook.

But any change cannot ensue magically; it will take long time to change a mindset to get rid of old habits. One need to be careful when a child is born, if we take careful steps from the very first day of the child, it will grow as a well-balanced adult tomorrow. So, before becoming parents, we need to have knowledge of parenting and the emotions of child, both physical and psychological. If a couple has an urge to become parents, they surely have interest to know the entire process in advance, as birth of a child is a gift, a new feeling and an enormous joy of nurturing an emotion from the very beginning.

So, educating oneself to have a satisfying parenthood by achieving related information and skill of handling newborn eventually helps an infant to become a complete person: only requirement is to bring about courage to face the challenges of growing into parents assertively.

Every teacher is first a parent, and then a teacher by profession; parenting is followed by skill of teaching, no one would become a good teacher without the knowledge of parenting. So, complaint against a child is the failure of teacher being incapable of upholding both parenting and teaching. How could a teacher forget that it is their responsibility to help a child grow into a well-balanced human being?

To nurture a child, it is required to know child’s emotion first, as no two children are of same nature, although they might have some common behavioral issues. Observation is the first step to find the out the causes of problems generated in the class, playground and other places.

Heredity speaks a lot, family environment has an enormous influence in developing a child; but by modifying the environment and behavior of seniors around a child may bring wonderful positive effect in changing an emotion to a reasonable one.

Giving punishment to a child for his mischievous behavior is not the only way to change him into a better person; it also brings lots of dormant aggression which may exhibit in faulty ways in his adult life. Now the time is to replace the concept of giving punishment in the form of reformation of an emotion into a comfortable one by inviting him to enjoy various scopes in friendly environment.

1. ‘Don’t’ and ‘does’: say the same words in the positive way, encourage them to do it to reduce the pressure of mind/emotion happily. e.g.: Instead of saying, ‘Boys! Stop behaving rubbish in the picnic; don’t make us feel ashamed because of your behavior’, it can be said---‘Boys! Please enjoy the picnic but being careful of the environment and other assets of the place; we are responsible for taking care of each sensitive issue.”

2. Throwing students outside the class: Instead of punishing because of his misdeed, we can invite them to work on creative production using craft, painting, and dance as a therapeutic mode. It will help them to reduce restlessness, hyperactivity and enhance attention, giving them confidence and a feeling of contentment.

3. ‘Breath’ is the unique way: It is a lifetime achievement in all possible ways. Instead of giving punishment, we may introduce breath in various forms: Yoga, dance and music: regular breath reduces all sorts of painful emotion {anger, frustration, depression, stress (SNS) to work on human mind giving him a peaceful mode of staying fit /stable (PNS) in any kind of environment.

4. Child is a great follower of seniors: Children follow those, who they find respectful and attractive. Behavior of adult persons around them, influence a lot in bringing first impression how to behave in surrounding environment. So our behavior may reduce punishment as they are the reflection of seniors and as we behave child will be giving back the same in their way. Few examples we may practice:

a. ‘Do you have water after meal?’ instead of saying, ‘have water after meal’

b. ‘Go and sit for study’ instead of this say, ’you may go now for study’

c. ‘let’s go for a walk,’ instead of saying so we may express,’ If you like we may go for a wonderful evening walk and talk.’

Parenting is a great feelings of taking a wonderful challenge of nurturing a living gift, teaching is a responsibility as teachers help children to become responsible citizen. To do these we need to educate ourselves apart from institutional education, how to develop an emotional connect and give it a matured shape for the future world of happiness. Challenges are there in every step, so better to become equipped how to make every challenge an achievement which would undoubtedly renovates a child into a confident person to live a life of joy.

About the Author

Dr. Rupa Talukdar
Practicing Counselor.

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