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Navigating Parenting: The Pitfalls of Rewards and Punishments in Raising Authentic, Emotionally Intelligent Kids

Picture having a remote control that effortlessly guides and shapes your child’s behavior.

Tidy up your room. Check.

Complete your homework. Check.

Head to bed. Check.

Life suddenly becomes a breeze, devoid of constant reminders, heated arguments, or backtalk.

It might sound like a fantasy, yet is it truly so implausible?

Life would undoubtedly be simpler if our children always adhered to our requests.

However, in that scenario, they would resemble robots more than the intricate, marvelous human beings we cherish.

In my TEDxChandlersCreek talk, “The Power of You: Surviving & Transcending Unconscious Parenting,” I delve into how relying on the reward and punishment paradigm is akin to wielding a remote control over our children.

When we attempt to manipulate our children’s conduct by rewarding actions categorized as “good” and penalizing those deemed “bad,” we set in motion the Three Rs: Resistance, Rebellion, and Retaliation.

But why?

Because rewarding “good” behavior conveys to our kids that they only deserve acknowledgment or affection when they meet specific objectives or conform to socially acceptable norms.

Conversely, when we discipline what is considered “bad” behavior, we neglect to address the underlying needs fueling the transgression.

Overlooking the messages inherent in our children’s actions unintentionally communicates that their feelings are inconsequential.

Relying on rewards and punishments fosters the notion that we are indifferent to their sadness, anger, or loneliness — we merely desire them to behave impeccably. Almost like robots.

I, too, was a product of unconscious parenting, compelled to discover how to honor my inner voice after years of suppressing my authentic self in the pursuit of “good” behavior.

Explore my personal journey and more in the full presentation, available for viewing right here.

Love and Blessings,