A child who does not respond to punishment may already be hooked on negative strokes. This is the danger of all negative strokes. However, one that is never corrected can end up “spoilt” with many negative and socially unacceptable behaviour patterns and a propensity for negative games. One cannot hope to prevent all “bad” experiences – they are a normal part of life. Perhaps the best is to encourage the child to see mistakes not as “bad”, but simply of showing what doesn’t work and what paths are preferably, like a helpful signpost showing the way.
You cannot micro-manage every experience a child will have, but you can encourage a helpful attitude which will let them handle such things for themselves. Try to encourage them not to take things personally, but to understand where the other may be coming from. In order to understand our children we can look at their play. A favourite toy can reveal innermost attitudes. A Linus-style blanket can show a feeling of insecurity. Favorite people or character in fairy tales, stories or movies can show what they admire in others and are likely to aspire to themselves.
Favorite childhood games can also be pointers to later games. Hide and Seek, a very popular game, actually encourages a “loser” attitude. We all get a thrill of pleasure from such feelings, knowing that they are not “real” situations and are therefore not threatening. So the “bad” feeling can be experienced with no emotional involvement. It is very easy to over-analyze our children. Even a child who carries a security blanket can grow up to be a well-adjusted individual. Good attitudes help children to throw off such early feelings.
And our attitudes are direct reflections of our beliefs and hence our life scripts. So the most important thing we can teach our children is not just to respond emotionally, but to take the time to look at the situation from different viewpoints (How would daddy see this? Was it funny?), to accept reality and move forward. Arguing with reality doesn’t help; it simply makes you feel bad and wastes time. Help them to see that they can choose whether they see something as a disaster or simply as another step on the way to learning what works.
A good set of attitudes sets a person up for life. The best educational institutions corporations realize this and traditions are reflected in the type of people they produce. You can do same for your children and your business. Attitude is the key and you can use all a child’s favourite things to help you see what attitudes they have.