obyvatel said:The goal as far as I understand was to help kids label their feelings. So if someone messes up and consequently feel bad, the message given out by the parent (or teacher) is important to internalize the lesson.
The message I got from the above example (I got a reaction to it when I read it the first time because of the guilt thing) is that the point is about helping little kids learn to do the right thing even when no one is around to praise or punish them. Our behaviors - as kids or adults - seem to be driven by a desire to feel good and avoid pain. When someone feels bad after doing something, there is this motivation to cover it up in some way so that the bad feeling can be avoided. However, that action of covering up can cause behavioral problems in childhood and even hurt the chances of developing true conscience later on in life. Whereas what can start off as a feeling of guilt could help in autonomous regulation of behavior and unless the concept of guilt is inappropriately stressed or applied by others for shaming, it could ideally be transformed into remorse later in life with a concomitant development of consciousness.
Thanks a lot obyvatel for taking the time to explain. So it seems to me that by labeling in this way, one can positively help children to recognize their feelings and possibly what they could mean (to themselves and to others). Like you said, if people keep on covering up and thus not really think about the consequences of their actions (one, because they never really learned this) it can cause them to have difficulty with understanding somebody else's feelings, so they act in life even more like machines, not knowing how their behavior affects others. And, among others, responsibility issues are the result.
This also reminds me of how parents, primarily mothers I think, keep telling their children to clean up their room, which can make the child feel like s/he has to do this for their mum to make her feel happy/proud whatever, instead of knowing that having a clean room is simply nicer for anyone who would visit it, including oneself. So labeling in this case, making the child understand why a clean room is important, can be helpful. If this doesn't happen, and one simply gets orders without really developing an understanding, the same problems as you described would arise. And so, lack of discipline, lack of hygiene, difficulty with cleaning one's own room can all result from this. The same can happen when one's parents does all the work for the child (like clean up the room for the child, even at an older age), I think. Without clearly understanding why, one may unconciously think that one is incompetent to do things on their own, and again not understand why a clean room is important in the first place.
Either way, whether a parent does something for the child or requires him/her to do it, that doesn't really matter as much, what seems to be important is that there is a clear and sincere understanding between both the parent and the child. Emotional understanding seems to be key, and in a way it has to be taught or learned.