Humiliation in public does not make children happier

Humiliation in public does not make children happier

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Probably it happened to each of us to attend - at will - at scenes where an angry parent "educates" his child in public, with screams, offenses and blows. Many of us remain indifferent to these violence, others revolt, few intervene in what we consider to be "family problems". But what are the effects that this public humiliation has on the child exposed to an educational violence at all?

Humiliation - hitting the child in public, on the street, in front of other people or in front of the classroom - affects the child's self-image, teaches him that it has no value for the adult.

Some parents see in this gesture a quick fix, aiming to make the child feel guilty and stop manifesting a certain behavior. Even if in some cases an immediate result is obtained, the long-term effects are harmful to the child, as he does not have the emotional maturity to process the shame and humiliation.

Hitting the child will cause him to fear as an adult and hide certain behaviors, instead of trusting the parent and learning the appropriate behaviors.

Hitting the child is not the right lesson for him because it shows that hitting is a way to solve problems.

How do children feel humiliated?

Humiliated children feel exposed, as if something is wrong with them, attacked, as if everyone was against them and so embarrassed that they would like to disappear.

To humble means to violate one's boundaries. When we are wrong with something and we realize it, we need time and space to admit that we have been wrong, to understand what we can learn from it and to move on. When a child is humiliated, he does not have this time and space, and when this happens in public the result on the child will be hostility and even fear of the others.

Who humbles?

Parents who feel ashamed of their children's behavior do not think about the development of the child. They think more about what a child is doing that is behaving inappropriately in public and the fact that they will be judged by "bad education".

Violent parents or educators, who repeatedly humiliate children:

  • I cannot empathize, I cannot feel the pain that humiliation causes;

  • they cannot control their anger; they use humiliation to make their lives easier and to feel strong; I humiliate the child, he submits, the conflict is resolved, and they feel liberated from anger.

Even watching a child who is humiliated is a painful experience. Often parents or teachers do this in the presence of other children to use the "power of example". The other children who observe may suffer the same consequences as the child in question: distrust, hostility towards others, anxiety, depression, because they know they can be in this situation at any time.

Specialist advice

For children, such punishments are too harsh and exceed their defense capabilities.

Teaching the child what shame means when he does something wrong is an important aspect of self-control, but imposing shame makes him feel upset, angry, fearful or aggressive.

Respect your child - respect his body, his mind and his feelings and never underestimate the danger of seriously hurting a child when you humiliate him.

Andreea Biji, psychologist Save the Children

The material is informative and is part of the education and awareness campaign to combat violence against children "Listen to her soul", carried out by the organization Save the Children, between September and December 2011.

Tags Campaign listens to the soul