Disciplining, or hurting?
Many children in Egypt are being subjected to violence at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and nurture them. This violence, some of it extreme, is too often condoned and normalized by the adult perpetrators and even by the children themselves.
Here are some misconception by many caregivers on parenting and discipline
We were all hit as kids and it didn’t affect us negatively
- While some of us might be lucky to have been minimally affected by hitting as children, many of the adults who were hit in their childhood develop low self-esteem, show signs of depression and anxiety, become violent and have negative feelings towards their parents.
- All research on hitting showed only negative results on children. Hitting increases the probabilities of mental health issues, criminal behavior, the child being physically abused by others in the future, negative effects on the child’s brain development, low self-esteem & self confidence.
Hitting and yelling will teach my child to better behave
- Hitting and yelling scare and stress children affecting their learning skills. They might behave better for a very short period, but on the long run they might become aggressive and unhappy.
- Hitting and yelling affect the trust between the children and parent, which pushes them away on the long-term and encourages them to hide rather than share their problems to get help.
Hitting is the only form of violence against children
Contrary to what some believe, hitting is not the only type of disciplinary violence which include:
- Physical violence: using physical force for abuse and intimidation, such as beating with hand or an object, kicking, spanking, etc.
- Psychological / emotional violence: such as insulting, intimidating, threatening and mocking the child, and subjecting him/her to family dispute.
- Neglect: such as failure to meet the child's physical and psychological needs or protecting him/her from danger.
Being firm means that I have to be harsh: yell and hit my kids
- Being firm doesn’t mean to be violent. It means setting clear boundaries, rules & sticking to them.
- Effective parenting methods require a balance between bringing structure and rules to our family and showing love & kindness.
It is too late to try an alternative way than hitting or yelling
- We are always trying to do the best for our kids; it is just that sometimes we don’t know how.
- Although it is always better to start early on, research has shown that parents who start applying positive parenting methods at any stage see great positive impact on their children’s behavior & wellbeing.
Learn more about the forms and effects of violence from this videos