Got into a discussion on FB today that turned into a lot of people arguing back and forth over how best to discipline children. People who admitted to hitting a child in any way shape or form were immediately vilified. They then turned on the hands-off parents as being unrealistic, full of shit with horrible kids. First, let me just stop typing to laugh out loud, really loudly.
Ok, whew, I’m back! When I was a younger mom I would have felt defensive of my position (because I have spanked my kids) but now that I’m older, I found myself playing devil’s advocate in the discussion. In parenting, there are so many different ways to do a good or bad job. I rarely try to convince people to hit or not hit their kids. Different things work for different people. I have hit my kids over safety issues and as a disciplinary tactic. For instance, if you run into that street, I am going to beat your little butt. (It’s happened and it is a life or death situation.) Or you tell a child, let’s say a five year old, if you continue to hit that two year old and make him cry, I am going to show you how he feels by hitting you and then you do it, you have explained what the consequence for that action is going to be and delivered on it. But I believe that if you are smacking your kid weekly, the problem is you not them.
How about time out you say? I use it, it has worked wonders for me in certain situations. Another example: four small boys are playing in the living room and one is particularly unruly, misbehaving, pushing other kids down, etc. You put his little butt in the bedroom by himself and let him sit there for fifteen minutes while the other kids continue to run and have fun. Works like a charm most of the time.
The whole discussion on FB started when a prominent minister was in the news for beating his teenage daughter to the point of ‘minor injuries’ over disobeying his order not to attend a party. Beating a teenager? By then, most of that teaching to regulate behavior is done. Does that mean let a teen walk all over you? No, but people are all very different even when they are raised the same way by the same people. I’ve had a teen son raise his fists once, & I got my bat. First & last time. Testosterone rage over, we had a great learning discussion. (Ok, and after I locked him out for 24 hours and sent him to grandma’s house for the night). I’m not trying to hit you at 17, you damn sure aren’t hitting me. If you are getting into physical altercations over parties, your discipline broke down years before.
I have way more to say on this, but this is a good start to get the discussion going. Add your comments and we’ll keep it going.