My 5 year old son is very angry and I feel guilty to punish him .

My 5 year old son is very angry and I feel guilty to punish him ...

When my 5 year old son is angry, I give him a little spanking and then I lock him in his room. It does not help much and in addition I feel guilty. What do you think? Simone A., Paris

Claude Halmos

Psychoanalyst

answers

Children who are angry "repeatedly" are often children who refuse the limits because they do not understand - for lack of sufficient explanation - that in life, there is always, and for everyone (even for grown-ups), limits. As a result, every encounter with them leaves them in a painful feeling of injustice, helplessness and frustration, and they stamp their feet to make fate yield.

This situation is often due to parents who either did not put enough limits (father absent, etc.), or put them in a guilty position because they themselves had suffered, as children, from the arbitrariness of adults.

It is therefore necessary that parents speak with these children and come out of this guilt. Remembering, on the one hand, that one is never unfair to a child when one demands from him what any parent would require under the same circumstances (that he goes to bed on time, his homeworks…); on the other hand, a limit only makes sense if it is enforced.

So sometimes you have to punish; and, for the form of punishment, there is no ideal, each parent does as he can according to what he is and also according to his child: who can claim to remain "zen" s' he must, every day, repeat the same thing ten times?

This limit of adults, it can also be explained to a child and it is beneficial for him because an adult who can do anything without it "crack" is so powerful that he becomes terrifying.

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