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What’s the right way to make children understand that they’ve done something wrong?


What’s the right way to make children understand that they’ve done something wrong?

Dear Mums, one of the things that happen when you become a Mum is that you suddenly find yourself surrounded by experts?!

Your mother, friends, work colleagues, and even the shop assistant of your favourite store, all seem to known exactly how you should be educating and bringing up YOUR children.

One of the things mothers, friends and relatives often argue about is whether or NOT you should scold children when they’ve done something they shouldn’t have done.

But is there really a right way of making our kids understand that they’ve done something wrong?

We are now going to describe some of the methods that are considered to be “infallible”, but we would love to know what you think and especially your personal experience!

Brief and to the point: scolding should be brief and to the point, because your kid’s attention span is very brief, often not more than one minute. Going on and on is totally pointless, because very probably your child will lose interest in what you are saying, making the whole exercise entirely pointless.

Get down to the same level as your child: when you scold your child remember that you must get down to his level, look him straight in the eye to make sure he’s listening, and hold his hands to make contact. Only in this way can you hope that your child will listen to you and understand.

Do not raise your voice or smack him: the tone of your voice should always be low and calm; do not shout. If you shout you will get exactly the opposite result you want from your child, who will very probably want to isolate himself and stop listening to you. The same applies to smacking, don’t do it. Firstly because it’s pointless and secondly because you would be teaching your child that in order to solve a problem you need to use violence.

Contextualize scolding:  you should scold your child for a single specific reason at a time. Don’t go over all the naughty things he has ever done when you scold. Your child must understand how and why he did something wrong at that particular time.

Never humiliate your child:  never never humiliate, mortify or mock your child. Never denigrate your child: you are explaining why your child did something wrong, not expressing a judgement on his character.

Listen: ask your child to explain why he did what he did and your question should not be rhetorical. Try to understand why your child did what he did in order to understand his reasoning and what you are coping with.

These are just some examples and tips that we wished to share with you, but we would love to know from you whether or not there is really a magic formula to make our kids truly understand that they did something wrong.