When you are a parent, it is very natural to lose your temper on your kid and shout at him/her. You might not even think twice before lashing out hard words at them when they does anything wrong. This is because you think verbally disciplining your child is better than spanking them or scaring off by locking in a room. But let me tell you, this is where we go wrong in trying to practice effective parenting. While no physical harm is done when you are shouting at your kid, but it erodes the kid's mental well-being, self-esteem to a great extent.
As per a latest German study, scolding kids may only encourage them to continue with their bad habits. Kids can only learn to stop undesirable tendencies if they are given an alternative - not just criticism.
This is in contrast to a 2015 study which found that people are more likely to alter their behaviour if they think they are going to be punished rather than being offered rewards. Professor Andreas Eder at the Institute of General Psychology of the University of Würzburg was behind the study.
He said 'We were able to show that punishment alone does not automatically cause the punished behaviour to be suppressed.' For the study, researchers asked participants to complete a simple task involving a number flashing on a screen.
The scientists were taken aback by this outcome, which showed punishment alone is not enough to stop undesirable behaviour. They said it showed punishment didn't always suppress bad behaviour, even if participants knew something unpleasant would follow. The latest findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
How was the study carried out?
• Volunteers had to decide whether the number was greater or smaller than five by choosing a key that represented higher or lower.
• However, the participants already knew that when pressing one of the two keys they would receive a slightly painful electric shock.
• The scientists assumed that the participants would press the shock-delivering key more slowly, fearing the consequence.
• Surprisingly, the exact opposite was the case. The participants pressed the pain-inducing key even more quickly than before.
Too much of yelling and scolding at kids can strain the parent-child bonding. If your parenting style is to resort to scolding then this can make the child obsessive. Children who are at the receiving end of harsh words would try to be perfect at whatever they do so they don’t subject themselves to their parent’s outbursts. This can be self-destructive. Another consequence might be that they start lying to you as they might think that truth might not go down well with you. They start having trust issues with you.
Always back up your harsh word with the action of love. Help your child understand what wrong he/she had done at the first place. If you lost your cool over a broken glass or spilled milk, become a team to clean the menace. Involve your child to correct the actions for which you have wronged her and be a part of it. Children are more than willing to learn the right from wrong when you become an active partner with them.