‘Don’t you play under the curtain, the spider might come and bite you!’
‘Stop running around when I said! You are naughty and never listen to Mommy’
‘You better listen to me, or Jesus will punish you!’
Do you familiar with that sentences? It could be part of you when you were growing up, or it could be part of how you rear your children. Young children are well-known with their unstoppable behaviors, uncontrolled talking session and crying moments. But that’s just how they grow, those moments are part of their being in the state of being children. My niece, 22-month-old, is one perfect example of an active toddler. She loves to dash whenever she hears the door bell rings, because she wants to be the first to open the lock (we lock the gate in Indonesia). We have to run faster the she does for many times in a day. She also loves to running around while playing, bring her books, trolley full of fruits and vegetables or just to show off her new clothes.
As an aunty, beside that I’m doing child clinical psychology, I embrace those moments of growing up very much. I learn that every moment of her development is something precious and it will never come back in your eyes to see. That every moment is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. I believe that every child has a right to grow up with no fear, with no threats surrounding her.
Threats are common in our surroundings, and sometimes it happens under our roof. It may be started with small, but frequently delivered, such as: spider will bite you if you keep on hiding under the curtain. And it usually gets bigger, such as: Jesus will punish you if you don’t listen to me!
Oh, come on … what do they know of being punished by their loving God? All they know is doing what they think is fun and make them happy! My niece loves to play with my hair and sometimes put them into her mouth. She’d say, ‘It’s nice!’. I’d respond, ‘That it’s not good to put hair into your mouth, because it may be dirty and can make you have stomachache’. Simple and understandable. Well, children do not need lies. They just need a good facilitator to let them learn and discover by themselves.
Other than threatened children with such false statements, parents also easily slip into physical punishment, such as spanking. Spanking is not necessarily the only way to punish your children physically. It may be done when the children are out of lines seriously, as a way to warn them that some rules are to be followed. But in some cases, parents use this method as the only way to help them deal with their children.
Spanking and verbal threats will show their effects days later. They may seem work on your children now, but you will pay the consequences later on. Your children may grow more uncontrollable, ignored you and even ignored the rules. They will learn the patterns you used, so they know that spanking and verbal threats are the only weapons you have. Beside that, for some children, being threatened that way will bring them down. They may grow as shy and have low self-confident, because they have concepts in their head that they would do everything wrong and their parents will hate the results whatsoever.
It’s in your hands, parents!
Way to go …