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Harmful Effects of Silent Treatment on Children and Better Parenting Strategies

Everyone has experienced the silent treatment from parents and other family members. It’s possible that at some time in your life, you gave it to someone. The silent treatment is considered to be the most gentle kind of punishment, whether in a parent-child or romantic relationship. Since there is no physical or verbal abuse involved, it is seen as a non-violent type of punishment.

But what we miss is the impact that silent treatment may have on a person’s mental and emotional well-being, particularly youngsters who are still trying to make sense of the world and require a support system.

Consider the difficulty they could have if they find themselves in a difficult situation but without a support system. How defenseless do they possibly feel?

In the long term, it can also impair your bond with your child. You’ll learn how this may have possibly happened. Continue reading to learn more about this common parenting strategy.

What Is Silent Treatment:

When someone avoids speaking or interacting with someone else, they are giving them the silent treatment. This tactic is frequently used to attract someone’s attention and make them acknowledge their error – sort of like a punishment. People who use the silent treatment occasionally might not even be aware that someone is there.

Here are some examples of how silent therapy can be applied:

  • Refusing to interact in any manner
  • Being uninterested in your presence
  • Avoiding conflict or dialogue
  • Overlooking and rejecting inquiries
  • Withholding compassion while treating the person in question coldly

Why Do Parents Use This Tactic:

There may be a variety of reasons why parents treat their children silently. But the main purpose is to impart a lesson to their children without resorting to violence or shouting. Here are some other reasons why parents would subject their children to the silent treatment:

  • When requested to preserve and respect limits
  • When presented with a problem
  • When children insult their parents by acting in a way that goes against their wishes.
  • When children refuse to listen or respond “NO.”

Additionally, narcissistic parents who demand their way in everything and find it difficult to accept noncompliance are most likely to utilize the silent treatment. In addition, parents may display emotional immaturity. They may also employ silent treatment as a means of escape because they occasionally wish to stay out of arguments or avoid having to respond to awkward queries.

How Can It Impact A Developing Child Or Kid:

Young children are at a period where they are incredibly interested and have many questions about almost everything that happens to them. They still need to learn, therefore, they want their parents to help them through challenging situations.

But the picture is fully cut off and blocked. How uneasy, nervous, and agitated they might feel when the one person in the entire world they can rely on ignores them.

Kids who are purposefully ignored may feel alone, rejected, and abandoned, which is precisely the opposite of how they would like to be treated when they are young. They could feel rejected and excluded as a result of this. According to research, a person’s self-esteem and confidence may suffer if they frequently feel rejected. When someone close to them, including parents, does it, the effect is amplified.

Is It A Form Of Emotional Abuse:

Abuse may take many different forms. While some are obvious, others are concealed by quiet gestures.

Silent treatment is categorized as emotional abuse, as opposed to physical violence. Although it has no visible physical effects, it can have a serious negative impact on someone’s emotional health.

Insecurity, tension, and anxiety can all be caused by having a sense of rejection, exclusion, or being unwelcome. No matter who is in the relationship, there must be an equitable distribution of affection. That delicate equilibrium is upset by silent treatment, when one feels superior to the other while the latter loses control and attempts to mend the relationship.

Additionally, the quiet treatment harms weaker individuals, such as children. Children may not feel supported and/or loved in this situation, which is a sort of temporary abandonment. Experts think it’s also a weapon for manipulation, forcing the youngster to adapt or get better even when they’re not ready.

Parents Must Avoid Using Silent Treatment On Their Kids; What Should They Do Instead?

Silent therapy may appear innocent, but it is actually harmful, especially when children are involved. Recognise how unhealthy it is rather than using such methods.

The most incredible method to fix any problem in a relationship is via communication. Instead of avoiding your child if you are angry with them for anything they did, tell them. Inform them of the error of their ways and offer advice on how to improve. If they make a mistake, assist them in picking it up from it. Giving them the silent treatment won’t make them realize it; it will just make things worse.

Additionally, kids frequently pick up lessons from their parents’ behavior. Additionally, if you choose to treat them silently, there is a chance that they may later employ the same strategy and avoid conflict, which would be highly detrimental to their development.

However, it is crucial to engage in good communication rather than giving someone the quiet treatment.

The Effect Of Silent Treatment On Children:

  1. The Relationship Between Parents And Children Become Distant: 
  2. The parents’ connection would grow distant if they use silent treatment. In addition, if it is done regularly, the kids will get uncomfortable, separate themselves, and stop relying on their parents. Then, they will grow alone and mute. Less harmony will develop in the parents’ and kids’ interactions. As a result, punishing your youngster by being quiet is not appropriate.

  3. Children Feel Alienated: 
  4. The children’s minds will then start to think negatively throughout these moments. They’ll think their parents don’t care about them or, worse yet, don’t want them. A child’s curiosity is at its peak throughout their formative years. Instead of thinking about what they did wrong, they will be perplexed and under stress.

  5. Stresses Out Children: 
  6. Children suffer harm as a result of silent treatment, which is seen as emotional harassment. When parents discipline their kids in this manner, the kids will overthink the situation and struggle to communicate their emotions out of fear, guilt, and extreme pressure. As a result, those kids will experience tension as they grow up and become reserved people who are fearful of making errors.

  7. Trauma And Physiological Disorder: 
  8. Children are traumatized not just by physical punishment but also by quiet treatment, which causes psychological trauma. Children will be reluctant to begin because of this. They will constantly make an effort to avoid getting in trouble and will look to their parents for approval in lieu of everything else. Children who experience chronic trauma also have physical ailments, including headaches, tremors, stomachaches, anxiety, and more. They experience stress, which causes those things to occur.

How to Avoid Giving Silent Treatment:

It would be best if you strived to refrain from delivering silent treatment after recognising its negative impacts. The methods are listed below:

  1. Always Communicate When There Is A Problem: 
  2. Communication is essential in any relationship, including that with the parents. Children learn numerous things as they develop and grow with great interest. Because of this, it is a parent’s responsibility to teach and remind their kids how to act morally and how to take responsibility for their mistakes. And the best way to achieve this is by speaking with them directly. When choosing what they may do as well as what they must not do, parents and kids can consult one another. Create a contract in case your kids misbehave. Since dialogue will improve both relationships, the kid will develop with the help of their parents.

  3. Asking The Child To Do The Chores Instead: 
  4. Doing chores is one of the ways that can be used as punishment. Parents can ask their kids to do domestic duties like water the plants, sweep the living room, or tidy their own room. Additionally, parents can instruct their kids to read a book, sum up their study hours, or complete the calculation table. In this manner, children will benefit from the punishment that is meted out to them.

  5. Tell Your Children What They Did Wrong And Why You Are Angry: 
  6. When children make a mistake, one of the most crucial things a parent must do is explain what they did incorrectly. Tell them the other reason the parents are upset as well. Your kids will comprehend and attempt to avoid making the same mistakes twice if you do it that way. Doing so is preferable to treating them silently without explaining why and expecting them to conduct their own introspection.

  7. Give An Understandable Example: 
  8. Most of the time, children mimic their parents’ behavior. Children will develop the same way as their parents if they have an aggressive, impulsive, and lethargic temperament. Because of this, parents must set an example for their kids by acting with integrity. Give your kids an example of a positive perspective they can follow.

Parents, do not treat their children silently! It’s common for kids to make errors. Parental rage and frustration are natural emotions. Even if we sometimes desire to punish them, we lack the will to do so. However, in the end, we decided to remain silent— therapy in silence.

It’s not a nice thing. Because, in reality, adopting such methods to discipline children would negatively impact their minds. You might not know it yet, but giving your children the silent treatment involves remaining silent throughout everything and not paying attention to them. You avoid speaking to them. In the hopes that they may see their error, you choose to ignore them.

Instead of becoming enraged and yelling at their children, parents may find that to be a safe as well as an  effective method of discipline. Children won’t suffer harm this way, and parents won’t be bothered. However, the psychological impact on the kids is harsher.

It’s acceptable to get furious with our kids, but as parents, we need to consider the best methods to support them in becoming better people. Parents may teach their kids how to handle their own money in addition to assigning them duties, of course, under their supervision.

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