Sometimes, kids’ worst obstacles are their own parents’ misconceptions about kids’ learning and success. As a teacher, I have seen many kids struggle on a daily basis to meet the extremely high and unrealistic expectations their parents set for them. These high expectations for children usually go hand in hand with expectations parents set for themselves.
Such extreme standards bring pressure, tension, pain, depression and a great feeling of inadequacy, both for the parents, and the child. Unfortunately, children carry this feeling with them into adulthood, and raise their own kids using the same misconceptions.
Here are some common myths I have heard over the years, about what will bring success and facilitate kids’ learning.
Myth #1: Kids’ learning is improved by pain and punishment
It is true that humans over time have learned through cause and effect. They improve and evolve by seeing the consequences of their actions.
However, using punishment as a teaching tool does not make children learn what you think (not even if you call it “consequences”). They learn to be afraid and to avoid the punishment. The lesson you were trying to teach them is completely lost. This is because the need to avoid pain is stronger than almost anything and they will do whatever they can to avoid it.
The more painful the punishment, the less they will learn of what you are actually trying to teach them.