Whispers of the heart

By Lelia Schott

She asked, “Mom what made you decide not to punish us?”  

I replied, “Because I believe in you. And I want you to believe in yourself too. You are capable of choosing right because it feels right, even when no-one is looking. Punishment and rewards don’t teach that.”  

She replied, “I see it’s hard work but I want to raise my children this way too. It feels good Mama, to be trusted. Thank you.”  

I explained the effects of punishment and shame so she could understand it better.  

She mentioned other people in her life who believe that children need punishment to learn that there are consequence to actions. 

We agreed that there are always consequences.  

I asked her how she felt after making a mistake or doing wrong.  

She said, “I feel awful inside. Especially if I’ve been grumpy with someone or forgotten to do something important. It makes me feel sick sometimes. Like I wish I could go back in time and do it better. It makes me want to do better next time.”  

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