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Showing posts with label spanking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spanking. Show all posts

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Silly Sunday: Parenting Advice

As a parent who has successfully raised three wonderful kids to adulthood, I am now qualified to give my readers parenting advice––free of charge.

When I was a young mother, my father said, "Don't ever hit your kids, but don't ever let them think you won't." 

I tried to follow this advice, but I was never able to make my dad's threatening face. It was the one that said, "Shape up, now!" 

True to Dad's suggestion, we never spanked our kids; however, they knew we weren't going to also. As a result, we found successful discipline strategies that came in creative and silly doses. My favorite threat was the one concerning teeth. "If you don't ______________, we're not going to let you brush your teeth!"

Ooooh. This one scared our kids into doing what we wanted because what could be worse than not being allowed to brush your teeth? Furthermore, teeth brushing became a reward, rather than a fight to make them do it. Hint: Start this when the kids are young or it won't work. 

Tee hee.

Another silly punishment we used involved the love seat in our den. If our kids fought with each other, they had to sit on the love seat until they learned to love each other. They had two choices: get along or have the most miserable punishment ever. 

The most important parenting advice I can give is for you to teach your children to take care of themselves. Next time your child has a problem with a coach or teacher, don't be in a hurry to rush in and fix it for them. Make your child deal with the problem his or herself. They should be the one to approach the adult and address their concerns, not you. You step in only as a last resort when their attempts do not work. Knowing how to talk to an adult has been my kids' greatest life skill. Please parents, don't hover!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#GBE2 Parenting & Children

Having successfully raised three kids, I'm an expert on child rearing so was thrilled about this week's GBE2 prompt giving me the chance to offer parenting advice. Sorry for the length of the article, but I have a lot of wisdom to share.

Good parenting starts in infancy or even before--dump the beer and cigs, lady--you're pregnant! Once you make it through morning sickness, you might as well pay attention to that little tax deduction. In fact, crying is their only means of communication, so ignoring the bambino is like saying, "You're not important." Don't teach them that!

When our kids were infants, I'd get dressed, put on the snuggle sack and papoose the babies all day every day. It was a constant hug and rub of the back for those special bundles. Then I had back surgery. Would I do it again? You betcha, but with regular visits to the chiropractor.

Those were the days!
Once the kiddos got older, we disciplined them; however, my husband and I never hit or even spanked any of our children (with the exception of the smart mouthed teen who got a playful smack on the tush). That's not to say we didn't use corporal punishment. If they disobeyed, we wouldn't let them brush their teeth. Usually the threat was enough to prevent the rule breaking. No joke. With toddlers, it's all a matter of perspective, and you can twist it any way you like.

I often let instincts take over in child raising. For example, my two year old son ran into the street and missed getting hit by a truck. Many parents would spank a kid who does this, but not me. Instead I grabbed that baby boy and hugged him tightly while boo hooing like a sissy. "I thought I was going to lose you. I don't know what I would've done because I love you so much." Now he's twenty-three years old and still has not run into the street, I hope. He does like to go bar hopping in Charleston.

Ever wonder about tantrums? Shortly after our youngest was born, our middle child went through a "stage." Instead of ignoring the tantrum, I restrained her thrashing arms and legs and told her, "I love you and won't let go until you calm down."

Thirty minutes later, sweat covered my body and I was out of breath, but I had a calm child who hugged me tightly. We repeated the scene, two more times. The second time took fifteen minute and the third, five. After that, we never saw a tantrum again. At least from the kids. ;-)

My tantrums weren't too bad. In fact, I kept my cool even when that toddler girl cried as she held out her finger. I said, "Mommy will kiss the finger," and I put my lips all over it.

Next she said, "I pee peed on my finger."

Alex Ginsburg is a great photographer!
Kissing pee is mild compared to what happens in the teenage years, remember, I slapped one. Once I caught my darling daughter digging through my closet. "What are you looking for?" I asked.

She said, "Tomorrow is dress like a loser day, so I was looking for something to wear."
 
Uh, huh. Teens are great for one's self esteem. If you'd like to read more of my parenting wisdom, Empower Your Children will show you how to help your eleven year old develop skills to land him a job after college. I hope you'll read it because it's the best thing we ever did for our kids!

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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?