I love this post that I read today. Sometimes I feel like I’m a seriously bad mother…especially when it comes to disciplining!! Now, where I understand that disciplining is a large part of life and raising your kids – because really, if you don’t, who will – I’m not as extreme as the hubster is when it comes to this area of our childrens’ lives. I’m quite happy to do anything but smack. Yes, smacking does happen in our house!! I’ll easily banish my threenager to his bedroom to sulk or cry or think about his actions on his own rather than dish out paddy whacks. The hubster on the other hand is all for putting “fire on your bum” – yup, those exact words. Where I hear his reasoning behind it and agree that we were raised that way and are none the worse for it, I find it extremely difficult to smack my child. At times though, I do feel that a little smack is needed on his backside to get him back in order.
A friend suggested a while ago that I try reward rather than punishment. She has grown adult kids and raised her kids up mostly by rewarding them for good behaviour and achievements rather than by dishing out punishment and in her opinion, it worked. When we chatted at the time, my main issue with Ethan was his bad eating. Dinner time was becoming a serious pain in the you-know-what and the star chart really worked, especially for eating! His focus was completely on getting more stars and getting an ice-cream or car or whatever we’d promised at the end of ‘x‘ amount of stars. His behaviour changed totally over the few weeks, and I was so happy with the results I was getting just by changing to rewarding him rather than punishing him, until…he got over it. The novelty wore off in all of 3/4weeks and I’m even getting comments now when I say that we should bring it back of – it’s okay, I don’t want any stars. Okkkkk then.
So I’m torn between which of the options are the best to use on our kids. Or maybe it’s a little bit of both. Where I know that so many people are against punishing their children (hidings in particular), I still think the old saying of “spare the rod and spoil the child” is true. I guess that each child responds differently. Punishment, after all, doesn’t necessary have to be a spanking – “time-outs” and taking valued things away could work just as well. Last night, as an example, because we fought over dinner and I had to shout at him on numerous occasions to get him to eat up, I made sure not to give him custard after dinner (Riley had a real little so you can imagine Ethan’s disappointed!) and he was not allowed to play his favourite car game on his dad’s phone after bathtime. I think that I got the point across. He even said “I understand mum” after apologising profusely. Let’s not mention the waterworks that were turned on full force with that apology. But you know how kids are…today, that’ll all be forgotten again and I’m sure we’ll have lots of “naughtiness” tonight as well!
Oh the joys of being a parent 🙂 …