A hug says more than a thousand words. It comforts us and makes us feel good. A hug makes us feel understood without having to speak, grateful that another transmits his love to us with this close gesture and best of all, we feel accompanied on those days when loneliness stalks us to make us feel bad. Children also need hugs to have a balanced emotional development and therefore, you should know that hugs educate more and better than any punishment.
Yes, sometimes a hug works better in the face of a tantrum or misbehavior than a punitive punishment. That is why, before simply punishing a child, you must understand what is behind that behavior and what he really needs in order to feel better, and thus, have a behavior according to his emotions.
The tip of the iceberg
A child’s behavior alone is like the tip of an iceberg. What you don’t see are all those emotions that you don’t know how to manage. You need the understanding guidance of your reference adult to understand yourself, manage that emotion and know how to behave in an emotionally healthy way.
Bad behavior is a way that children have to tell us that they are not okay but that they do not know how to express it in another way. Whether it’s bad behavior, a tantrum, aggression against other children or siblings… you have to look at what is hidden at the bottom of the iceberg through understanding, empathy and above all, emotional connection. Avoiding shouting, punishment or ignoring that behavior at all costs (which would be like ignoring that something is happening to the child and we don’t want to pay attention to it).
Put words to emotions
It is essential to teach children to put words to what they feel so that, knowing what emotion they are feeling, it is easier for them to manage those emotions. If a child knows what is wrong with him, he will know what that emotion means and what he should do in order to feel better without that negative emotion dominating him and making him feel bad.
To do this, you must teach him to express how he feels, to communicate with you assertively and above all, to understand that what is happening to him is normal. Emotions are normal, but inappropriate behavior cannot be tolerated and therefore, you have to know how to express that emotion in an appropriate way.
You have to understand your child from respect, love and always, from accompaniment. Think first of his emotional and physical well-being, as well as his personality and what are the necessary tools to be able to educate him in positive discipline . This will have a direct impact on your future, which is why your present is so important.
Punishments only generate fear and tension, in addition to increasing resentment and killing communication between parents and children. If you respond to your child’s emotional need with yelling or punishment, his misbehavior may stop right away, but he hasn’t learned the right thing. He will only learn to be afraid of you and that threats, yelling and bad manners is the normal way to communicate with others when you have negative emotions. Is that what you want for your children?
The yelling, the threats, the punishments… all of this will increase your children’s insecurity, they will feel scared, stressed, they will not trust you or themselves, there will be no family communication, the emotional bond will be broken, your children’s self-esteem will will break… all this will affect your happiness and your personal growth and development.
Don’t miss the hug
Instead of forcing a break in the relationship and emotional bond between parents and children due to punishment, it is better that you focus on responding with a hug and connecting with your child without harming or making him feel bad. You must accompany your son as his emotional guide from respect. When you hug him you are not condoning his bad behavior, you are doing something more important:
With a hug you accompany him emotionally and make him feel connected to you and with the confidence of being able to communicate how he is at all times.
To achieve this and make your child feel good, you will have to teach him to change his perspective and behavior and for this, he must be calm and receptive. The hug is the best way to achieve this… because he will feel loved and saved, without stress and without fear. Your arms will be his refuge whenever he needs it and that is the best gift you can give him.
It is important that you never hug your child against his will. If he doesn’t want you to hug him at a certain point, respect that. Accompany him being by his side if he wants and tell him that whenever he wants, he will have your hug to feel comforted and thus find a solution together so that he is better.