Why Fear Is Not the Best Way to Discipline Your Child

Bianca May Cheah@biancamaycheah

Children should be seen and not heard. I remember this being said to me so many times when I was little, not by my parents, but by the people they hung around with. The older generation, you know. I remember feeling gutted and alone every time I heard it. It’s something that has stuck with me for a very long time. It’s also probably why I struggle to this day with communication when I’m upset. I cry and I can’t get my words out. It makes me feel so frustrated and silenced. Why can’t I get those words out? I decided to do a little research and look into why fear is not the best way to discipline a child. Keep reading for more!

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Here’s Why Fear Is Not the Best Way to Discipline Your Child

Becoming a new parent and being Olly’s mum has really opened my eyes. I read, I ask for advice and I try as best as I can to help Oliver express himself. There are days where he screams, bites, hits, scratches, and head-buts me. Some days, I hold it together as to not show a reaction. Then there are the days that I just break down. As Big Little Feelings would say, “Just like us, children have bad days, not feeling well, lose their temper, or are emotional for no reason. This doesn’t make them bad, this makes them human. And as adults, it would be incredibly hurtful to be ignored, or worse, sent away during times of distress.” Why would this ever be effective discipline or learning for our toddlers?

According to Big Little Feelings, when we send our kids away during tantrums/times of distress, they don’t learn to handle the situation better next time. Here’s what happens instead.

  • They don’t actually reflect on behavior. Instead, they’re flooded with feelings of anger and/or abandonment.
  • We signal that big feelings aren’t OK in our family.

In this article, their mentors and colleagues, Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Bryson, say the following:

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