Educating through shame - don't do it!

have you ever told your child this? You probably made him feel ashamed, even if it wasn't your intention. Educating through shame.

Educating through shame - don't do it!
Educating through shame - don't do it!

œWell, look at your clothes, what you look like, you only went outside for a moment! Dressed like this, you will not leave, your friend will wait for you to change. How much you can eat, son, you will be as big as Mount Everest. Don't be afraid, watch the others slide down, you can too. Shame on you, how you behave! " - have you ever told your child this? You probably made him feel ashamed, even if it wasn't your intention. Educating through shame.

About the mechanism of shame

To answer the question of what shame is, it's good to start with what it is not:

  • shame is not guilt - when I know I did something wrong and I don't want to repeat it, I want to fix it
  • It is also not a regret that I understood too late that my actions may offend someone, hurt someone,
  • it's not sad that we broke the rules, moral norms,
  • it is not discovering that we have made a mistake and taking immediate action to rectify the error or reflect on what we can do to avoid the error,
  • it is not self-esteem considerations: "My behavior was wrong, I acted stupid and irresponsible, I broke it, I broke the contract, I am weak in this area, I have a problem with ...".

Shame is internal considerations at the level of self-esteem: "I am a bad mother because I screamed at my children", "I am a bad father because I forgot my son's promise", "I am a bad person because I caused an accident", "because I did not take care of ..." , "Because I didn't notice ...", "because I can't ...". Such experiencing mistakes leads to deep emotional troubles, disturbs relations with oneself and others, discourages from taking up challenges and generates fears.

The Effects of Embarrassing Children

Depending on the area of ‹‹activity and the situation in which the child gets embarrassed, this can cause various difficulties later in life. They all have one thing in common: they disturb emotional security and weaken relationships. Let us imagine a few situations from the life of a child:

  1. During the Mother's Day performance, the child stands with three friends in the middle of the stage, but he speaks his lines in a whisper while lowering his head.

  • First row mom: "Bolder, don't be afraid, I'm here." After the performance: "Why did you speak so quietly, you knew how, at home so brave, and here what?"
  • In a child's head: œI'm not brave. Others are better. Mom is disappointed. I am a bad kid and a bad student because I did not live up to expectations. " Of course, this is not done on a conscious level, but it leaves a very strong mark on the child's psyche.
  • Possible consequences: The performances become more and more tormenting for the child, he cries, is irritable, sometimes he hides in a corner or screams and behaves aggressively.
  • Supporting reactions: Mom is smiling all the time, applauds, and hugs, congratulates on a beautiful performance, is delighted with the whole performance, expresses joy that her son took part in it. If the child says: - You said it was too quiet. - And what do you think about it? - Because I'm ashamed when everyone is looking at me. If I was wrong, they would laugh at me ... - You know what, everybody makes a mistake when he says a poem or sings. And if someone laughs then, it may mean that he has remembered how he made a mistake once. What do you think?

  1. The fourth-grader hit his classmate because he accused him of losing the match.

  • Dad: œHow are you not ashamed! This is the second time. And I must be ashamed of you too! .
  • In the child's head: œDad is angry with me. I disappointed him again¦ I can't control my emotions. I am a bad man".
  • Possible consequences: Due to the increasing emotional tension, aggressive behavior repeats itself, the child does not want to talk to parents or teachers, and reacts with outbursts of anger to their attempts.
  • Supporting responses: - Will we talk, son? - You're pissed, huh? They called you to school again. - I'm not pissed off, I'm rather worried, because I don't know why this situation with your friend turned out like that. - He's terrible, he tells me again that we lost because of me, but as I said, make him stop at the gate, he did not want to! And now he teases me and talks to his friends like that ... - You don't like standing on the goal? - I'm weak, everyone knows that, they say that it's the easiest position anyway ... And then they get pissed off. - And would you like to exercise? I used to be a pretty good goalkeeper. '' What are you? You were at the gate too? - Sure. And I didn't like it either, but then I was pretty good. So what? Training tomorrow? You just know ... - I know, I have to talk to Witek ...

Must Read: Sleep deficiencies “ how do they affect the teenager™s body?

  1. A teenager with a friend drank beer to "have better fun" at the school disco. We managed to slip through the crowd of people entering, away from the teacher letting them into the building, so he didn't feel the alcohol. A warm day, a stuffy room, they both fell ill. The teacher on duty stumbled upon them in the bathroom. According to the procedures, the parents were summoned to the school.

  • Mom and Dad: œWhat a shame! What have you done? Like the last bastard, you vomit after a beer. You have no self-respect! You can't be relied on.
  • In the girl's head: œI'm hopeless¦ Now everyone will find out. My parents don't love me anymore, they just care not to get in trouble with me. "
  • Possible consequences: Worsening emotional problems, disturbed relationships with parents, increased risk of dangerous behavior (intoxicants, alcohol, self-harm).
  • Supporting reactions: - I brought you clean clothes, here is a plastic bag for dirty things, do you need help? - Thanks ... - We want to talk to you about the whole incident, but it can wait until tomorrow. - No, better today ... I know that I let you down, such a good student, and now you must be ashamed for me, I am hopeless ... And although I know that I will never do it again, I still feel terrible. error. As for the fact that you let us down ... We always love you, no matter what. It's going to be hard for you at school right now. Can we help you somehow? - No, I have to go talk to the tutor. And with class¦ we'll see. I have to deal with it myself. - We will support you.

Of course, each of the parents' reactions to the described events, if it is only one-off (everyone makes mistakes, and neither does the parents), will not translate into lowering the child's self-esteem. However, by using such response patterns, parents lower their self-confidence, it affects the children's sense of security, and this can have a significant impact on their self-esteem.

Shame is an emotion, so it is reactive, secondary. It comes under the influence of our experiences. To start controlling shame, you need to ask what I'm really ashamed of, and then move that element into the area of ‹‹self-esteem. For example, instead of "I'm a bad learner because I don't know the multiplication table", you might think, "I don't know the multiplication table, what can I do with it?" In each of the above-mentioned situations, support was provided when the child's behavior was perceived by them (and their parents) as a mistake, mistake, emotional prank, but did not affect their self-perception. If, instead of feeling guilty, reflecting on error, evaluating one's skills objectively or not having them, there is shame, then there is an imbalance in what constitutes self-confidence, success, and in a broader sense, makes it difficult to achieve a state of happiness and inner peace.