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Monday, March 12, 2012

Why I Discipline With Words

When I was a growing up, getting a "spanking" was how we were disciplined. It was commonplace. There were no "timeouts". You got a spanking and THEN a punishment. Which, usually meant I couldn't go outside or watch tv. Now let me further expound upon the spanking. These were done several ways. You could get hit with a hand, belt, extension cord, switch off of a tree or even a shoe. I remember how painful those spankings were and how sad and powerless I would feel afterwards. When I had my own children, my husband and I decided that spanking would not be the way we would discipline our children. I am glad we chose this way. For us, talking to our children, timeouts, taking away something they want has worked. It gets the point across and no one is angry, yelling, screaming, crying or covered in welts. Well, they may be angry and crying, but not out of physical pain. Now, I know there are a lot of you out there that totally disagree with my style of discipline. There are those that believe that yelling, cursing, and hitting are a good way to let your child know, "who is in charge". To me, it only shows a child that you have lost control and that the only way to get your point across and showing "who is boss", is by hitting. Now, let me be clear. I am not against tapping my child on his clothed butt for a quick reprimand. But, it is not done often. In fact, I honestly can't remember the last time I have done it. And, this is not because my children are flawless angels. It is because words work for us. It pains me to hear parents talk about how they "beat" their child because they got a bad grade or whatever the case might be. It just sounds so barbaric. In all honestly, I have had teeth-clenching moments where I have just wanted to slap or just shake the hell out of one of my kids. But, aha!! Why was that? Was it because they did something so bad that they deserved to feel pain? Or was it because at that moment I was just so frustrated and out of control that my 1st instinct was to lash out? For me, it was frustration. And, If you think about it, I mean really think about it, it is more than likely because you were out of control at that time too.

Marinate on that for a minute.

Now, let's move on to yelling and cursing at your child. I hear this so much it is ridiculous. Parents, please this is a really bad thing to do to your child. it doesn't help. Believe me. When I had my 1st son. I was a person that yelled. I yelled at him for the dumbest, most trivial things. Now yelling(screaming) and raising your voice are two different things. I still raise my voice a bit to let them know I am serious. But, I do not scream at them. Again, this only shows that you are out of control. A person who is like a sister to me, asked me a question that helped me when I feeling overwhelmed. I told her that I was yelling at my son and that I didn't understand why nothing was changing. She calmly asked me, "Does yelling help him child understand any better or change his behavior?" I thought about it and answered, "no". She replied, "Then why do you do it?" That has stayed with me for almost 20 years. I hear it resonate whenever I am feeling tired or frustrated. I take a deep breath, think about what I want to say and then talk to my child. It works!!!

As far a cursing at my child. That's is a no-brainer. That's just stupid to me. It shows a total lack of control and I feel it is very detrimental to a child. Cursing should never be used when disciplining your child. This is not what I consider disciplining with words! I can assure you that these are the same kids that are going to school using the same words they hear at home. And if they aren't doing it now, they will be soon. I hear parents cursing at kids 2 years old and younger! Now those are the parents that deserve a spanking. No, they deserve a "whoopin"! Please, please, please parents. Stop doing this to your kids!

I know the stresses of the today are great. Parents have a lot on their plate and trying to raise a family as a single parent or even as a couple is very difficult. My husband and I spend days just looking at each other, taking deep breaths, shaking our heads.

It is not easy. Parenting is the hardest jobs in the world. I have those days when I don't even want to hear the word, "mom". I want to change my name and move to another country "sans children". Thankfully this feeling passes. Although lately it comes quicker and stays longer. One thing I have found that helps is by talking to other parents. You get the chance to find out that it is not only your child whose brain has been taken over by aliens. You are not alone. Getting out and just going to see a movie or having lunch with your spouse or with friends also is a good way to decompress. I know this helps me.

Next time you are feeling like you want to scream, curse or spank your child, STOP. Take a deep breath, take another deep breath. Leave the room if you have to. Collect your thoughts and then return to your child. Tell them how you feel about the situation at hand and administer a pain-free punishment if need be. Just try it. It might change your life and your relationship with your child.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this article.

    I cannot stand it when I hear parents cursing at their kids. That is a pet peeve of mine.

    Its good to know that I'm not alone. There were times when I was tired of hearing the word "mom". Boy will I be glad when the "aliens" leave my kids brains alone.