The importance of avoiding fear of punishment

Sometimes, the fact that a child is obedient is related to the good education he has received from his parents, however, this is not always true. We must analyze what type of obedience a child presents, since many times this is due to an authoritarian educational style , based on obtaining respect in the face of threats and reprisals that can be carried out if said obedience does not take place. For example, if a father or mother threatens to lock his child in the room if he does not eat all the food on the plate, in the long run he will achieve feigned obedience from his son, it does not mean that he has learned what It is important to eat well, but you will have become afraid of the consequences for not doing so.

This type of education can have serious consequences for the child in the long run , such as the fact that they end up thinking that they only have to obey that person or that person who is rigid and establishes punishments, and not that other parent who is more forgiving or understanding and loving. This is what leads us many times to speak of “good cops” and “bad cops” between couples with children, and that is not usually beneficial, in any case, for the development of the little ones.


Possible consequences in the long run of educating in fear of punishment

  • Lack of freedom in the child to choose and decide.
  • Awareness of the duty of obedience to the authority figure.
  • Presence of fears in the face of actions, concerns and manifestation of desires.
  • Awareness of the importance in life of violence and tyranny.
  • Personality development with self-esteem problems.
  • Inability to live with autonomy and own decision.


Benefits of not educating in fear of punishment

  • Awareness that all people deserve respect, and not just authority figures.
  • Freedom to live, experiment and make your own decisions.
  • Development of the personality without frustration and without fear.
  • Awareness of responsibility and the importance of standards.
  • Respect for colleagues and the opinions and decisions of others.
  • Development of a healthy personality with full awareness of unconditional love.


What can we do then in the absence of obedience?

It is important that parents are always aware that it is necessary for their children to know the why of things , and that their attitudes are shaped around it, and not around the possible retaliation that may arise.

One of the most important things in doing this is to avoid yelling at home as much as possible . We know that when one is faced with parenting, it is often difficult to maintain the type, since children can be very conscientious and repetitive in their actions, always (or in most cases) wanting to get their way. However, the end does not justify the means , and through shouting the only thing that we will achieve is that children cannot manage their own emotions and calmly when they arise, in addition to making them believe that things are achieved by the force of the imposition. That is to say, through the screaming, we would be achieving the exact opposite of what we would like, strengthening disobedience and the fact that children end up getting away with retorts.

That is why it is so important to explain to children the reason for things , from the moment they are born (and even though it seems that at first they cannot understand anything we say to them), so that they end up understanding over time that limits are necessary to live in harmony and with security and that their parents do not intend to annoy them just because. A child must understand that it is necessary to cross the traffic light green because not doing it is dangerous for his life, and not because yes, period, which of course necessarily implies that adults lead by example.

Breathing deeply and calming down is essential to be able to educate in respect and not in fear , because fatigue is usually the main cause of losing your nerves and finally resorting to threats. When we want our child to do something or not do something, it is important that we try to reinforce at the same time everything that he is doing well , because a child needs to see that his parents support him and encourage him to progress and overcome his mistakes, which is not achieved scolding left and right, yelling, or humiliating wrongdoing in public.

Children love their parents above all else, and they continually seek their example by looking at their behaviors and normalizing and assuming their behaviors as their own . Contradictions and punishments create unhappiness and restlessness in the little ones , who cannot understand why jumping when they are happy or not eating when they do not like it or do not feel like it, can lead to punishment or to be locked in their room by those who the ones they love the most. And they are right, because it does not make any sense and is only due to the lack of tools of those who punish to argue things , or other reasons such as stress, which in the end are also alien to children.


Reward-based parenting styles

On the opposite side to punishment and threats are those parents who seek so much and with so much tact the consensus and good education of their children , who establish reward tables at all times, with the aim of motivating their children to have good behaviors or to face routines with better spirit. But this style of parenting is not without dangerous consequences, because, although it has a very good background, the truth is that it can lead children to act correctly just in search of gifts or rewards that will come later.

It is not that it is bad to establish rewards, but they must be established with limits and with the appropriate periodicity , so that children do not receive the message that everything they do will have a gift, since the true message is that they must do things for the reasons a, boc … and that their good work, responsibility and development as people in the world will depend on them.

Being aware of all these things and, above all, being consistent with ourselves as adults, will guarantee us success in raising children, and will assure them, at the same time, a promising future in a world of freedom, happiness and respect.

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