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To Scream Or Not To Scream In Correcting A Child


More often than not, as individuals, more so children, certain behaviours need to be corrected. The correction either performs the role of correcting or negates the goal. It, therefore, is important to distinguish between correcting and criticizing.

According to studies, to correct behaviour in a child means to teach important lessons and functions which will help in building the child. Looking critically at the notion of Correction, one can say correction leads to a positive behavior change.

Today, we parents are always busy with the hustle and bustle of life, the constant struggle to succeed. Parents are faced daily with challenges which most times, tend to add to the spices needed for the ‘Correction by Screaming’ Galore.

To scream in this context means to raise the voice above normal in speaking. Screaming while alerting a child instills some level of fear in that child and does not correct behaviour. We tend to scream when it seems like we’ve run out of “ways to correct”. This works for a very short time. In the long run, such behaviour manifests again. This is worse if screams have an ingredient called “empty threats” added to spice them up. Empty Threats referred to here, mean threats that are never carried out. Very common threats; “I will flog you oh”, “I will beat you”, “No more parties”. With this ingredient, the children become confused and tend to lose trust in the parent and because such threats are never carried out, an unhealthy relationship between parent and child is built.

What to do:

  1. Be calm, get the child’s attention and speak face to face.
  2. Avoid dishing out disciplinary measures in anger. Take out time to think first.
  3. Explain the reason for your disciplinary measure to the child.
  4. Ensure each disciplinary measure is age appropriate.

Remember that screaming teaches the child:

  1. That the parent can lose control and it is normal to lose control.
  2. That power gets things done.
  3. To build an absorption wall.

This is not to say parents should not scream to correct, it instead says, screaming should be used as a signal of danger.

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  1. SYLVIA OMOSHEHIN on August 17, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Very interesting!!

    • Daisy on August 18, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you Sylvia!

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