There are a lot of complaints about children today. That there is not enough punishments and consequences for bad behavior. Spanking has been, let’s just say frowned upon, for decades. Time outs are now found to be a form of solitary confinement. I saw an article today that said yelling at a child can cause irreparable damage. So what do we do as parents?
How about we redefine punishment? I mean, really, what do these children do that needs to be punished? The whole point is that they should learn not to act certain ways. That they should grow up to be strong, independent, empathetic, caring people. So, how does punishment do this?
What we really need to do is teach children to calm down, and think before they act. Think about what’s best for them and think about what’s best for others. Some schools are taking this to heart. There is a movement to teach Mindfulness to children instead of punishment. Instead of detentions or banging out erasers… (is that still a thing?) These kids are learning meditation and yoga. They are being taught to sit with themselves and listen to themselves. They are being taught to think… actually think, not react, and it’s working.
The best part is that this is having a great affect on not just “bad children” who need detentions, but the ones with chronic disorders like ADHD and Autism. Mindfulness is about teaching children to slow down. Kids today have media and crap shoved in their faces 24/7. They have download speeds… and upload speeds… and phones, tablets, games, laptops, TVS… and at this point virtual reality at their fingertips at all times. When do they get a chance to actually think and feel.
I have a 4 year old, and we spend quite a bit of time in the car. I have a demanding schedule and he’s almost always along for the ride. Sometimes friends of mine come with us and they are always trying to give him phones, tablets, or DVD players to “keep him occupied”. He’s 4… give him an empty box and a toy frog and let his imagination go to work.
Imagination… it’s like a mythical thing in today’s world. Kids don’t need to pretend.. they have devices to do it for them. My son doesn’t need paints he has an app for that… If we really want to help our kids grow into strong, successful, intelligent people… we need to let their brains actually grow and form… and work.