It’s important tamariki understand they have done something that’s not okay, rather than they’re’ not okay. When we feel labelled as ‘bad’ we often live up to our own reputation.
Think about the policies you have at school around disciplining tamariki for un-constructive behaviour. While it’s okay for children (or anyone) to feel guilty, it’s important they’re not made to feel ashamed, or disciplined over-and-over e.g. first by the school and then again by their parents. If you think this is occurring you may like to review the policy or meet with whānau.
Perhaps think about creating a whānau evening around positive discipline and the differences / impact of feeling guilty versus feeling ashamed.
- Generally the difference is that guilt propels us to want to ‘make good’ again (which is positive!) while shame can trap us in a seemingly hopeless cycle where we feel like we do not have control over ourselves or the situation.
- Shame needs to be counteracted by nurturing and compassionate relationships. By helping a child to see that they have worth and value, we form a counter-narrative to the one that’s allowing shame to flourish, and start to foster confidence and self-esteem.
Tamariki will muck up every now and then (just as we do as adults!). It's important they have the opportunity to quickly make right as they can, and are rewarded and praised for this brave behaviour. Spend your time focussing on the behaviour you want!