Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ramblings on discipline and spanking.

I stumbled across this article today, and it got me thinking. Many people are firmly in the "never EVER spank" camp, many are in the "spanking is necessary for obedience" camp, but I think most of us are floating in between, not 100% sure how we feel about the subject. Here are my feelings on the subject as of right now, as a parent of a 1 1/2 year old boy.

I haven't spanked C yet, and I don't know if I ever will. I've promised myself never to spank in anger, and so I walk away or cry or something if I get to that breaking point. Other than that when I think about his actions, I realize he's a toddler and being curious and wanting to learn, he's not trying to be malicious.

So while I have yelled or spoken to him harsher than I intended, I haven't spanked because when I'm in control I realize his actions are never something that I want to spank for and when I'm out of control I need to remove myself from the situation. The few times that I've yelled I see how scared it makes him, and the fact that he gets scared by me and then runs to me for comfort breaks my heart. I'm his rock, his comfort, and his safe place, and that's what I want to be. I don't want to add fear into that because how confusing is that for a child?

My disciplinary goal as a parent is to maintain control of myself and my emotions, and stop to consider my kids' actions and where they're coming from before I react. I know that I'm not going to do that every time, especially when the second one gets here, and I know that I'll have times where I lose my cool or handle a situation differently than I should, but every now and then I have to remind myself of the kind of parent I want to be, and it helps me re-center.

When you're stressed or wrapped up in the million things you have going on that day, it's easy to forget that kids don't realize everything you're going through or worrying about, and don't handle situations the way you think they should because they just aren't aware. When I'm thinking, "can't you see that I'm in the middle of putting groceries away so please get out of the fridge because I'll get you a snack in like 5 minutes!!!" the thing is, C doesn't see that I'm busy putting stuff away. He sees the fridge open and goes looking for a snack, because he's a toddler.

I think the article had some good points; I won't say I'll NEVER spank, but when I take the time to think about my reaction to his actions and the message I want to send with it, so far I haven't been able to think of a scenario where I would choose spanking as the preferred method of punishment.

Plus, with a smile like this, I want to do everything I can to keep it directed at me:

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