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Does the thinking chair or the thinking corner sound familiar to you? It seems like a punishment from the past, and yet it is still used today. And not just in homes. Also in schools.
However, that system has never seemed the best to me. Nor have I found the sense, especially if it applies to younger children. How are we going to make a 3-year-old child think that he still does not have the ability to reflect on his actions or control over his emotions? Here are some reasons why the thinking chair should actually be called a talking chair.
Hasn't it happened to you sometimes that keeping something silent has hurt you more and has only made the situation worse? Then you think ... 'if I had spoken it in time' ... Exactly the same thing happens with children. When they behave in an unwanted way, instead of explaining why we are angry and why what they have done is not right, instead of talking to them about what happened, we send them to the thinking chair. Thinking ... about what? If no one explained what happened and where is the error!
The words of the psychologistSusana maquieira They make us reconsider and explain it in a perfect way:
' It would be effective (the thinking chair) if it was called the Talking Chair, and if it also had another one next to it, for an adult available to listen. An adult who lovingly accompanies the child to channel the overflow, without judging or sanctioning. If there is only one chair for the child, there is only one child. '
Without a doubt, loneliness does not help a child much. Maybe it will help an adult, but a child does not yet have the necessary tools to identify and transform their emotions. You need an adult by your side to show you how. Therefore, the chair to talk to him will always be a better option than the chair to think. You can think, yes, but in company. In fact, when you send a child to the thinking chair, the most normal thing is that he feels all this:
- Anger that you cannot control.
- Afraid of having let his parents down.
- Feelings of impotence before something that he considers an 'injustice'.
- Incomprehension. You probably don't understand why you are being punished. In fact, if every time he does something wrong they send him to the thinking chair, he will think that in reality his parents do not like him, that they prefer to leave him alone (when he needs them most).
- Loneliness. He has no one to share his emotions with.
- Guilty feeling. This punishment amounts to a 'you're bad, so go'. The child reaffirms his negative behavior, and ends up believing that, indeed, he is bad.
A thinking chair or thinking corner invites the child to do something for which they are not yet trained. It would be useful for an adult, to reconsider his emotions and what bothers him. But a child needs a guide, you need help to think and above all, you need someone to accompany you and offer you comfort and support.
What if we change the chair to think for a chair to speak? Follow these steps:
1. When your child has bad behavior, disobeys a rule or challenges you, put two chairs together: one for him and one for you.
2. Ask him what happened, and how he feels. Imagine you've hit your brother. He will surely tell you that he is very angry and blame his brother for something he supposedly did ...
3. If there is another person involved (such as your brother or a friend), ask them how do you think he feels. This question may surprise you. It is an effort of empathy to try to 'dive' into the emotions of the other ...
4. Explain how you have seen him, and why you think he was wrong by hitting his brother.
5. Ask him if i could find another solution that it had not been through violence. If you can't think of any, now is the time to help him find another alternative to the behavior that he had that was not right.
6. Talk to him about the emotions he feels and why we must transform and channel them. If, for example, he is angry and has a lot of anger, help him transform it into serenity through some relaxation exercise.
You can read more articles similar to Why the thinking chair should be called a talking chair, in the category of Punishments on site.