Saturday, 21 April 2012
"humiliation, like other forms of punishment, is counterproductive. "Doing to" strategies -- as opposed to those that might be described as "working with" -- can never achieve any result beyond temporary compliance, and it does so at a disturbing cost."
That cost, he says, is that the lessons learned by children are not the ones that the parent intended. What harshly disciplined kids absorb, he warns is "(1) my parent isn't a caring ally whom I can trust but an enforcer I should try to avoid, (2) when you have a problem with what someone else has done, you should just use power to make the other person do what you want, and (3) the reason not to steal (or lie or hurt people) isn't because of how it affects others but because of the consequence you, yourself, will face if you're caught. No wonder so many adults who do terrible things were humiliated, or spanked, or otherwise punished -- often harshly -- when they were young."
~ Alfie Kohn, author of Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
~from an article linked @ Janet Lansbury's Elevating Childcare.
I find the story this quote is referring to ( linked to in the article above) particularly sad because I know that the parent really loves his daughter and wants the best for her. I don't blame him. I feel sad for him as much as I do for his little daughter.
We are bereft of many of the strategies that people have always used to help children understand that they are part of a community and to help teach them how to find their unique and valued place within that community.
Parents are often worn thin simply trying to pay the bills and chidlren are under more pressure and sensory overload than ever.
Children are acting out and adults are feeling overwhelmed. There has to be a better way to structure things. The social and institutional structures we have in place at the moment are creating the conditions for harshness, inequality, fear, competitivness and humiliation.
Maybe we should find a way of living that encourages the values we really want to promote and preserve.