We talk about what thoughts in a child can provoke parental silence, as well as other consequences of such psychological abuse.

Frightening silence: why ignoring is the worst punishment for a child

Is it possible to raise a child without punishment? Someone succeeds, but, more often than not, it is impossible to avoid punitive measures. Upbringing is the development of uncomfortable forms of behavior, and the child tries with all his might to avoid the framework, breaking the rules and prohibitions, and punishment follows the violation of the rules . This is a completely natural process. 

But the punishments are different. We have known for a long time that hitting a child is bad, that you need to educate with words and love. Therefore, in our society, everything that is not physical violence is possible. Here we find ourselves in the trap of our own ignorance and hypocrisy. 

One of the common methods of punishment in many families is to take offense and “stop noticing the child”. No one beats anyone, calls names or even threatens, there is no aggression at all. It would seem - the most "careful" punishment. In fact, this is not at all the case.

When we stop noticing the child, we give him a direct message that he does not exist . At all. It is we, adults, who understand that if the offended person does not talk to us, then this is just manipulation to make us feel guilty and change our behavior. For a child, everything is real. If he is not noticed, then he is not. After all, a person lives and feels himself only among his own kind. He needs a reaction from the environment, which gives a sense of being.

An adult can for some time without contact with society, and a child needs constant interaction with an adult in order to develop normally and receive constant confirmation of his existence until it becomes part of his own personality.

Who is the first and main guarantor of existence for a child? Of course, Mom. And if she ignores him, she actually kills psychologically. Kills every time he punishes this way. And the child is ready for any tricks so that the mother will notice and react.

Let him scold him, let him beat him, but only see and notice him. Only by her reaction she confirms that the child is alive, that he is. After all, the opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference . Because hatred shows that a person exists, moreover, he is important, and therefore evokes emotions (albeit negative ones). And  indifference suggests that a person, it seems, is not, he is not so important that he is generally invisible . And it brings a lot more pain and  fear . The fear of death, which is physically unbearable for a small child. Moreover, the fear of death is the biggest and strongest fear that is present in a person. And even an adult cannot resist him - what can we say about the immature psyche of a child.

Ignoring is a very strong psychological violence that is accepted by default in modern society. The trauma that mothers inflict on children from such boycotts can lead to serious distortions in personality development, including psychopathies. 

As a psychologist, I always tell parents to listen to their inner voice. And if this voice says that it is better to yell at the child than to demonstrate your resentment, then it is better to yell. And if the voice says that the period of punishment has already ended, and it is time to hug the child and tell him that you love him, then this must be done urgently.