Obedience should not be the goal

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Do you believe in strict discipline? Do you use physical punishment at home? Do you make your children fear you? Would they be looking for emotional support elsewhere because they do not get it at home? Even at the price of their own bodily autonomy? Would they trust you enough to tell you that they have been sexually abused? Would you like to prevent that from happening to your child??? Think about these questions and research gentle discipline.

This article discusses sexual abuse and here is a short preview:
http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/children/1in5/Source/PublicationSexualViolence/Hitrec.pdf

“Having good communication with children is of key importance. It implies openness, determination, straightforwardness and a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere. It can facilitate giving children clear guidelines to ensure their safety and teaching them how to recognise potential dangers. This is the only way for adults to pave the way for children to speak openly about their concerns and doubts, or disclose sexual abuse.

Promoting children’s physical, social and emotional health by boosting their powers is the key to preparing them for everyday life. Building up healthy self-esteem and encouraging children to respect and have empathy for others are essential, and parents are important role models.

Healthy self-esteem can be developed in many ways and includes:
• Respect for individuality. Help children to take pride in their own individuality. Teach them the importance of respecting others as individuals and to recognise diversity as something that makes everyone special.
• Teach children to recognise and accept their feelings, to speak out about their needs and to reject unjustified and inappropriate proposals.
• Problem-solving and decision-making skills. Encourage using these skills in everyday life when confronted with a challenging situation. Avoid doing things for children or telling them what to do.
• Self-respect and respect from others. Encourage children to respect themselves and to expect respect from others. Help them to set clear boundaries for unacceptable behaviour; talk about what to do if someone crosses these boundaries.”

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