Spare The Rod, Spoil the Child
There’s an argument that’s been brewing for several decades; whether to spank or not to spank. I was raised in a home where the spanking option was definitely on the table. In fact, it was the main option and I have to admit, those early spankings straightened out many of my behavioral issues, but it wasn’t sustainable long-term and I often broke the rules again.
My children followed suit. As they grew, I found it more difficult to discipline with spankings or pops on the hand because I had to increase the intensity to achieve the same goal.
We’ve all seen the unruly toddler falling out in the store, hitting mom or just being bad for seemly no reason!
Be honest, haven’t you wanted to grab that child and spank them for the parent?
The common thought from the spanking group is that this parent has no control. I know I used to believe that. All my mom had to do was give me a certain look and the fear of God instantly ran through my little body.
Personally, I don’t want my kids to ever fear me. I prefer they respect me and be afraid to disappoint me. I’ve discovered, that only happens when a certain relationship has been formed and it begins during the toddler years.
I didn’t have the patience or tools to discipline my kids any other way, but because I loved them, I sacrificed time and learned how to correct without physically hitting them.
I read magazines, watched other parents and asked questions. I had to swallow my pride and find the help I needed to become better and it paid off.
The day I decided to stop spanking, my kids tested me immediately of course.
So I made it a game of repetition! The first thing was to create better bathroom practices for my five-year-old son. Instead of threatening him with spanking, I walked him through every step of the process to make sure he understood it, then I made him repeat it a few times by himself.
The next time he didn’t follow through, we practiced again for 10 minutes. This frustrated him beyond measure, and I explained that this would be the new normal if he continued to do it wrong.
He gave in very fast when he realized this activity was keeping him from play time.
The second thing I did was to let them set some of the family rules, so they could assume some ownership. We had fun as a family discussing why certain rules had to exist and they were more conscious of what the rules were and what the consequences would be because they created them.
Finally, I learned to ignore the bad behaviors when they were not damaging and praising all good behaviors.
Because of the new tools in my parenting toolkit, I watched my children’s self-confidence rise. They didn’t fear me nearly as much and they actually began talking to me about things I never would’ve mentioned to my parents.
I’m loving the hands-off approach! It has made my family tighter and my children smarter.