In education, prohibition is a necessary evil

Every child is confronted with commandments and prohibitions during their upbringing. Educators simply cannot ignore this. Everyone loves their own child and would like to give it everything it asks for, but that is simply not possible. Moreover, children do not always understand the danger in certain situations and actions and therefore often need to be protected from themselves. Banning is often a problem for educators in particular. Very little can be explained to very small children, but you can easily explain to a toddler or preschooler why something is not allowed. With a good explanation, your child will be more likely to follow your advice and respect a ban.

The first prohibitions in education

A little one who has just come out of the playpen and is enjoying his first freedom goes on a journey of discovery through the room. That’s fine of course, but there are quite a few expensive things in a room that the child should keep away from. Take, for example, the sound system and the TV. The child has to learn that it is not allowed to touch that and so soon the sound of ‘not allowed’ or ‘don’t touch it’ sounds through the room. In addition, some situations are also dangerous.

The oven in the kitchen

For example, an oven that is in use is not immediately child-friendly. The child must then stay out of the kitchen so that there is no risk of burning his or her hands. However, it will not understand why it is banned from entering the kitchen, but it must listen to it. Listening is therefore the first thing a child must learn as soon as he or she is no longer in the playpen. Mainly for his own safety.

The child is often startled by the harsher words

Because an injunction to leave the sound system alone, for example, is often spoken a little louder than mother or father would normally speak, it is startled by this and stops the movement, but it soon forgets and tries again. This is followed by an angry look and again the ban, after which most children already give up.

Small children quickly forget a ban

However, a little later or even a day later the child will come back to the sound system. This is not always on purpose, because a very small child quickly forgets a ban and it must be repeated without punishment. After a number of times, the ban is often remembered.

You often have to forbid something for toddlers

Even toddlers cannot really explain why something is not allowed. At that age, the child knows that he or she is not allowed to touch the sound system, but not why . A very curious toddler sometimes cannot control his curiosity. If there is no one in the room for a moment, he will still turn the knobs and can be very frightened and hide when the sound suddenly becomes alarmingly loud.

Some disobedience punishes itself

When the child hears that sudden, loud noise, he realizes that he has been disobedient. You can see that on his face too. Punishments are then no longer necessary. The child himself is shocked enough, but the ban may be pronounced again.

Punishment is sometimes necessary

Punishment is sometimes necessary. Especially if the child has already been warned twice and you notice that he or she knows very well that something is not allowed. However, it is something else when it comes to the real urge to discover. A toddler who is alone for a moment, takes a bowl, takes the can of whipped cream from the refrigerator and neatly pipes a round cake into the bowl and then proudly brings you the cake, only needs explanation and no punishment. After all, he only imitated what he saw you do.

Always provide an explanation for a ban

Preschoolers and older children always need an explanation when a ban is imposed. If you tell your child to stay on the sidewalk with a scooter or bicycle, you must also explain that this is necessary because cars often drive too fast and cannot always stop quickly for a child. If the child does not obey and still goes on the road, punishment may also follow after a second warning.

Punish immediately after the offense and not hours later

However, always give that punishment immediately after the offense and also in the direction of the offense. In this case, you could store the bicycle away for a few days as punishment. If you punish the child only a few hours later, he or she will have forgotten the combination of the offense and the punishment will have little meaning. The child then no longer attaches the punishment directly to the offense.

Never give the same explanation twice

It is of no use to a child to hear the same explanation in the same words twice. If the first time you do not understand why something is not allowed, the ban must be explained in a different way the second time. Many parents keep using the same words and pronouncing them in a louder voice, but that doesn’t help at all.

Sometimes a child has already been punished enough by the consequences of not listening

In the example above, it is best to explain the second time that the child may be in a lot of pain in the event of a collision and may even have to go to the hospital. That will make more of an impression than the plain ban.

Talk especially well with older children

Primary school children deserve to be challenged on their reason and sense of reality. Primary school children are often treated too much like little ones who have no say in the matter. That is a shame, because raising children means gradually guiding the child towards an adult life with responsibility for their own lives and those of others. This is only possible if the child is increasingly called upon to use his own mind and, with your help, can also make his own decisions.

Set a good example of what is allowed and what is not allowed

Parents who do not adhere to the commands and prohibitions in traffic and who break their own rules will not receive respect from their children. They lose their dominance as adults and therefore cannot expect their child to listen to them. For example, a parent who smokes and knows well that it is harmful to his health cannot forbid his child to do so with logical arguments.


Parents who want their child to finish their plate, but put too much on their plate in a restaurant and have it taken away, are doing the wrong thing. Children are not crazy. They combine quickly. A parent who sticks to his own rules and only takes measures in the interests of the child and not of himself will receive respect, although this is not always noticeable, especially during puberty. However, it does work subcutaneously.

A ban can really make teenagers angry

Adolescents must be given good reasons for a ban. In fact, many teenagers are allergic to bans. They are convinced that they can decide everything themselves and no longer need prohibitions and commandments from others. They consider themselves old and wise enough to decide for themselves about their own actions. They often become angry about a ban that they do not see the point of. That is what makes puberty so difficult for educators.

Provide clear arguments for a measure you have taken

As an educator, you must have good and clear arguments to encourage an adolescent to study or to deter him/her from dangerous actions on the Internet and the like. Therefore, always think carefully before you start a conversation with your teenager about a ban on your part.

Be clear in your measures

Try to make the teenager understand the importance of your measures by coming up with good arguments. Talk to him/her about his/her own sense. Always do this in private and at a quiet moment, so not just before he or she has to leave the house for school or an appointment and certainly not in front of others.

Rules are necessary

A good framework of rules is necessary. Not only in the interests of the child, but also in the interests of a good family life, in which the child can grow up in a warm atmosphere. Over the course of training, the reins may gradually be loosened, but supervision and guidance remain necessary. Rules ensure a child’s safety and proper growth towards independence.