Punishment VS Discipline…

Maybe Spanking is Not The Only Way!

Maybe Spanking is Not The Only Way!

How many of us were spanked or hit as a child when we did something wrong? For those who were do you still remember how it felt? Do you think it helped you to behave better, scared you into submission or made you want to rebel even more? How many have spanked or hit their child when they did something wrong? How do you think our children feel?

As a child I was sometimes spanked when I misbehaved. Mostly by hand but sometimes with a wooden spoon, ruler or threatened with a leather belt and I hated it. Hitting is disrespectful, cruel, and humiliating. I am sure we all know someone in our lives who was severely treated by their parents, caregiver or family member as a child. Why do parents tell children “No Hitting or punching” other children, then think it’s ok to hit the child themselves. What a conflicting message! It’s like saying, “You can’t hit other children or me when you are mad but it’s ok for me to hit you when I am mad.” Not a message that feels good for the child or the parent. The child is miserable and afraid of the parent and the parent feels guilty and bad about themselves because they hurt their child.

As an adult, I could look at it from another perspective. When my parents were little Society thought it was ok to hit children. It was the norm. Kids were given the strap by the principal in schools when they misbehaved, hit on the head with a book or had their knuckles rapped with a ruler by the teachers. My dad’s parents used to punish him for misbehavior by spanking him with a wooden spoon or leather strap. It was all he knew, his parents didn’t know any other means of correcting their child’s behavior so they did the best they could and used the same methods they received as a child from their parents.

Lucky for me, when I was about 12 years old my parents took some Life and Parenting courses and our lives changed for the better. They stopped hitting me when I did something bad and used discussion and consequences to teach right from wrong. They would talk to me about what I did, how disappointed they were in my actions and how I had lost their trust. We would discuss how I could earn their trust back and what I could do to correct the mistake. Almost like reverse psychology.

For example if I had stayed out past curfew my parents would tell me how disappointed in me they were and how were worried something had happened to me. I would have to earn their trust back by being on time in the future and my consequence would be I couldn’t go out for the next few days so I had some time to reflect on my choices.

If my brother and I were fighting we would be separated to our rooms so we could cool down, then we would come out and discuss with mom and dad what was happening for each of us that started the fight and what we could have done differently. The consequence would be whatever we were fighting over be it a toy or TV show would be removed and neither of us would get it. If we happened to break anything during our fight we had to pay to replace it.

Consequence discipline was a lot more work for my parents and me. In the beginning I admit I sometimes missed the old quick spank and get it over with method. It was a lot less effort and I didn’t feel so bad about letting my parents down because they had let me down too. Consequences worked though and in the end everyone felt better about ourselves because we worked out our issues with respect for each other instead of pain and hurt feelings.

Next week I will share more on “Consequences That Work for You and Your Child”.

Check It Out!

Disclaimer

The information on this site is based on the personal experience of the author. There are no guarantees of a perfect method to raise a child, it is all trial and error. Please feel free to try some of the suggestions on this site and let me know how you make out. If you would like to use any words or pictures from this blog please contact me for written permission. © 2013

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