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The sad reality is that when children misbehave, yelling, spanking, and punishment remain, in general, the most used techniques when applying limits to children. Using them can produce a magical effect, but they are a mirage and only work immediately and for a short time.
One of these punishments is to send the child to the thinking corner, but what happens when the child is too young?
After verifying that the shouting and threats do not work, the parents look for the alternatives to be able to apply appropriate limits and effectively in the education of their children.
There are many alternatives to punishment. One of them will be the thinking corner. This technique consists of creating a space in which the child can stop. A place where you can be aware of what is happening, your behavior and the emotions you are feeling. Thus, this method, well used, can be very beneficial for the child and the parents.
On the other hand, if this technique is used often, without controlling the times, without paying any attention to it and in such a way that the child may believe that the thinking corner is used to repress his will and in which the only way to avoid it is agree with the adult, we will find problems.
Therefore, adults have to be careful, looking for and using these alternatives, since unconsciously they can become "alternative" punishments that transmit the same messages as shouting and threats.
The thinking corner is a technique that became very fashionable years ago thanks to the media and more specifically to a program that "taught" parents to use behavioral techniques to apply limits to their children. In that program we could see that the thinking corner method was used with 2-year-old and 10-year-old children alike. This is a mistake.
In order to use the thinking corner, the child must be developmentally prepared. It will be from the age of 5 when the little one is willing and able to reflect on their actions and has the ability to contain their impulsiveness.
Using it earlier will only produce negative consequences. What's more:
- When using this technique with children from 2 to 5 years old, it must be borne in mind that they are not aware of their actions and therefore they will not understand why you are sitting in a corner alone.
- The message that reaches the child is that if he misbehaves, you don't want him around. That his parents or the adult who has sent him there do not want him.
As we already know, children under the age of 5 do not have the capacity to reflect or to anticipate “frowned upon” behaviors such as tantrums. He is not able to think, he can only feel. They are also not capable of self-regulation so they cannot do it alone and need help. Anyway, you are not prepared for the thinking corner. But there are alternatives:
- Hug. In a space, the adult to sit with the child, open his arms and receive him to propose a way out of the conflict. The child needs the adult to self-regulate, so with this technique the child will be clear that his behavior is rejected but not him. Physical contact will help you see things clearly and control your emotions. Here the conflict will be raised out loud and you are offered two closed options to resolve it.
- The chairs of peace. The chairs are put in a quiet place, associated with a space for reconciliation. If the child prefers to be alone, the adult will respect it, but this technique does not threaten loneliness. It will be used in a similar way to the previous technique: stop, express, breathe, relax and offer limited options. We can limit ourselves to doing a puzzle or reading a story. It is about relaxing the child. "Reset" and then "reconnect".
You can read more articles similar to When the child is too young for the thinking corner, in the category of Punishments on site.