While discipline is necessary in shaping and molding a child, there are varying interpretations of what discipline actually means. A pop on the bottom to discourage your child from doing something that will harm them doesn’t compare to grabbing a weapon and knocking your child’s teeth out. The former is discipline and the latter? Child abuse or assault. Both happen more times than we know, but now people are starting to share their various forms of disciplining their children online.
“Shaming is is not a form of discipline, it is a form of emotional abuse and until we understand that, we will continue to do a great injustice to our children. We will be unintentionally creating adults who perpetuate emotional abuse and whose interpersonal relationships will be chaotic, dramatic and painful,” author and emotional expert, Teal Swan says.
Swan says that when it comes to publicly shaming children, parents should take this simple approach with their children and also with other people. Check out these tips:
1. Become aware of the other person’s emotion.
2. Care about the other person’s emotion by seeing it as valid and important.
3. Listen empathetically to the other person’s emotion in an attempt to understand the way they feel. This allows them to feel safe to be vulnerable without fear of judgment. Seek to understand, instead of to agree.
4. Acknowledge and validate their feelings. This may include helping them to find words to label their emotion. To acknowledge and validate a person’s feelings, we do not need to validate that the thoughts they have about their emotions are correct, instead we need to let them know that it is a valid thing to feel the way that they feel. For example, if our friend says, “I feel useless”, we do not validate them by saying “you’re right you are useless”. We could validate them by saying “I can totally see how that would make you feel useless and I would feel the same way if I were you.”
5. Allow the person to feel how they feel and to experience their emotion fully before moving towards any kind of improvement in the way they feel. We need to give them the permission to dictate when they are ready to move up the vibrational scale and into a different emotion. We cannot impose our idea of when they should be ready or when they should be able to feel differently, on them. This is the step where we practice unconditional presence for someone and unconditional love. We are there as support without trying to “fix” them. Do not be offended if they do not accept your support at this time. There is a benevolent power inherent in offering, that is love in and of itself regardless of what someone does or does not do with it.
6. After and only after their feelings have been validated and acknowledged and fully felt, help the other person to strategize ways to manage the reactions they might be having to their emotion. This is the step where you can assert new ways of looking at a situation that may improve the way the other person is feeling. This is where advice can be offered.
ABOUT TEAL: Emotional expert and YouTube sensation Teal Swan was born highly intuitive. A survivor of ritual sexual abuse and torture, she now travels the world teaching others how to heal by discovering and owning their self-worth and self-love. Her new Hay House Publishing book, “Shadows Before Dawn: Finding the Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Times,” is a beacon of hope for anyone who has suffered trauma, struggled with fear or lost touch with their authentic emotional self. Teal Swan is the founder of Teal Eye, LLC and the accompanying nonprofit, Headway Foundation. Her vision is to enable everyone on earth to live free, joyous and healthy lives and she is determined to make that vision a reality.