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The Importance Of Guiding Young Children

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Guiding young children is an awesome responsibility that requires patience, understanding, flexibility, knowledge of child development and appropriate practices, intentional decision-making, but most of all guiding young children requires kindness and love. Guidance involves discipline, not punishment. To begin our discussion on guidance let’s first look at the difference between discipline and punishment. “Discipline is used to teach and guide. Punishment is used for the purposes of controlling and retribution.” (Godfrey, 2013) Guiding children does not mean taking punitive action when they fail to meet an expectation. Instead, guiding means to help children learn how to function suitably in a variety of social contexts. The goal is not to break a child’s spirit, causing them to fear harsh punishment or judgement. The goal is to teach them how to regulate their emotions and actions, to develop control, so they can make safe, responsible decisions.

An adult who practices punishment, controls a child externally. This communicates to a child that they are not able to control themselves, thus have no responsibility for their actions. Also, it can create in the child’s mind, the idea that they can commit a behavior so long as they do not get caught or are willing to accept the consequences. Behavior that is modified with punishment does not evolve from the understanding of what is expected in a society, but rather from fear. Since no understanding was obtained this will not
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