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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Punishments

With all of the blogger outage mess, I messed up and posted my O piece first, so if you want to keep in this backwards order, scoot down one entry and that should be for today. You can pretend that I posted punishments yesterday, if that makes you happy. For those who don't care, here goes . . .

My husband and I were never ones to spank our children. Not to say we didn't punish them when they misbehaved, we just found better ways to discipline. Discipline doesn't need to leave kids angry or bitter, but rather to teach children right from wrong.

One of our most successful punishments worked well with our oldest two kids when they were very young. "Do what we say or we won't let you brush your teeth." The kids would scramble to obey because nothing was worse than a stinky mouth. Not only did we get them to mind us, but we changed their view of tooth brushing from something parents force their children to do to a privilege.

I remember another situation when our son was just a toddler.  I was struggling to load our large golden retriever into the back of our van. Daniel spun circles while I was distracted until a truck honked and nearly missed hitting him. Many parents would spank a child for going into the street, but in reality, whose fault is it? He was too young to understand his actions, and I needed to be more focused on him than the dog. If I needed to be angry with anyone, it should have been me. I let my instincts take over when I snatched that baby into my arms. Tears shot out of my eyes as I told him how scared I was at the thought of almost losing him because I love him so much. We locked in a hug for a long while, and that boy never ventured into the street again. Objective reached.

Finally, it would be nice to say that my children never fought with each other, but they did. Once they reached "our" limit of fighting, we sat them on the love seat until they learned how to love each other. We didn't need to punish them because they punished themselves more than we ever could have. To quote Bill Cosby, "Parents don't want fair, they want quiet."

Parents need to quit hitting their children and find quintessential punishments instead. I know I wouldn't do a better job at work, or any where else, if someone hit me whenever I messed up. What is the true message in spanking?

8 comments:

Rhonda said...

Love you teeth brushing story. As I have known for a long time, you are brilliant. Great post. Spanking is such a controversial issue. It's not legal here in New Zealand - there is the an anti-smacking law. (I linked my name to a debate about it)

Joyce Lansky said...

I remember voting against it in a poll that you had up. Thanks for the visit.

karen Banks said...

Hello, thanx for passing by and leaving a comment :), I must say your blog is very interesting and entertainig to read. And i agree with you, if I ever have kids I will never spank them/ hit them. ;)

Joyce Lansky said...

Thanks, Karen.

Catherine said...

Dear Joyce, Thank you for visiting my blog. I think that you have a very nice blog and am now following it. I hope that you will visit again and follow my blog too. Thank you and blessings, Catherine

Tony Payne said...

Some children react positively to being told to sit in a corner, but others don't. I used to spank my son, but rarely. I found that a slap on the thigh where it stings was a good deterrent, and if he kept on being naughty, I would lick my hand and do it again, because it really stings with a wet hand. By the time he was 5, all I had to do was to lick my hand as a sign, and he behaved. He really was a good boy though, it was only needed for tantrums when he was younger.

Joyce Lansky said...

Everyone has their own way of discipline and their own kids to deal with. This is what worked with mine.

When my youngest child was born, my two-year-old middle child started having tantrums. At the time, "Parents Magazine" had an article about how to handle them, so I followed their advice.

One day, she went into a tantrum and I sat with her on the bathroom floor, held her flinging arms, told her I loved her and that I wouldn't let go until she calmed down. We sat for 30 minutes with her screaming, thrashing, and yelling, "I hate you." I'd worked up a sweat, and staying calm wasn't easy either.

When she finally calmed down, she hugged me and was very affectionate. The next time, we repeated the scene for 15 minutes, then 5 minutes, then never again. After getting through this, I had a much sweeter daughter in every aspect. We both won.

Ginger said...

I just had to comment on this. Yes every parent needs to find a way of disciplining that works with his/her kid. Saying that, I do believe that smacking has its times. Lets not confuse it with hitting which has a violent and negative connotation. A well measured delivered smack on the wrist or bum doesn't hurt a kid as much as knowing I did something very bad which caused beloved mom or dad to do something s/he normally wouldn't do. In that way, kid avoids a repeat.