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Are punishments obligatory for a child to find his bearings? What are the rules to be respected for him to understand the sanction? From what age to punish? Gilles-Marie Valet, a child psychiatrist and author of "To be obeyed without (necessarily) punishing", answers us.
What is a good punishment?
- G.M.Vallet : A good punishment must allow the child to learn somethingeither by pointing out a prohibition that has been violated or by highlighting a value that must be respected in the eyes of his parents and that has not been. The correct sanction shows the child that his behavior was not suitable and allows him to consider another. The best punishment will be restorative: if the child breaks a vase, offer him to pick up the pieces. The subtlety of education is to empower the child without making him feel guilty. A punishment does not need to make sad or hurt. I refute the spanking argument as an educational tool. We can do otherwise.
From what age can a child understand a punishment?
- Not before 1 year and a half or 2 years. Before that age, a toddler does not do stupid things consciously so punishing him makes no sense. You have to give him time to realize that he is an individual in his own right what happens around 18 months with the no period. It's time to set limits. But at this age, frowning and saying "no" is sometimes enough.
Should we punish immediately after stupidity or take time for reflection?
- A punishment must not be given under the influence of anger or emotion. I advise parents to take the time to breathe and think. But to be effective, it must not intervene too late either if the child will have forgotten. If you decide that your child will be punished on returning home, tell him what the punishment will be. This will prevent him from worrying about what will happen to him.