Shame is frequently used by parents for modifying the behavior of kids. The idea is to make kids try harder to become better by repeatedly highlighting their mistakes and weaknesses not just at home, but also in social gatherings. What’s really unfortunate is that shaming has become an “acceptable” way of teaching discipline to kids. According to a blog post published on Psychology Today, shaming kids is a form of emotional abuse that can have serious consequences. Here are just a few of the many damaging effects of shaming kids that parents should know about.
Abuse Leads to Abuse
According to a book written by Beth McGregor and Robin Grille on shaming kids, a large number of studies have linked shaming with bullying. Shamed kids have this uncontrollable desire to punish others. They are ready to do almost anything to prove their authority. These kids are more likely to become bullies as they grow up. Some kids become violent and do not hesitate to harm other to vent their feeling of frustration and anger resulting from being shamed.
Self-Worth Goes Away Forever
Self-worth is the image kids have of themselves. It starts developing from a very young age. When kids are repeatedly told that they are stupid, worthless, dumb, lazy, naughty, etc., then they automatically start believing it to be true as they typically see themselves from the eyes of their parents. This decreases their self-worth and is likely to make them underestimate their skills and abilities for the rest of their lives.
Withdrawal from Relationships
Shaming kids affects the parent-kid relationship as kids do not feel comfortable sharing their problems and weaknesses with parents due to their expected reaction. This gap continues to widen with the passage of time. Shamed kids are more likely to lose faith in relationships as they have a hard time trusting anyone. The feeling of insecurity surrounds them all the time. These kids hardly make friends or attend social gatherings. They prefer spending time alone. According to a research study, shaming kids damages their ability to form and maintain healthy relationships for the rest of their lives.
Time Might Not Heal These Wounds
The feelings of embarrassment, self-depreciation, and discouragement leave scars that are difficult to heal. Most of the kids who are humiliated frequently, especially in public gatherings are never able to forget these hurtful memories. These memories are always there to haunt them. Shaming kids can deal an irreparable damage to their mind.
Fear Replaces Confidence
According to a Roman philosopher, “fear and love cannot live together”. This is what parents need to understand. The fear that they can be humiliated for anything they say or do keeps kids from stepping out their comfort zone and tapping into their potential. Shame shatters their confidence and decreases their self-esteem. These kids are more likely to develop symptoms of depression and anxiety in the long run.