With the close of Bullying Prevention Week just past, I must share with you how shocked I was to find out how many parents believe in spanking their children to “teach” them, or “discipline” them. I posted a couple of pictures on Facebook (see below), and while I got some comments from parents who don’t believe in spanking, I got several from parents who see nothing wrong with it.
When you look at the above pictures, I’m sure you see that I’m making a connection between the two: physical punishment of your child can lead to your child’s using physical punishment too. It can be on a doll, as shown, or she can hit a friend, a pet, or a schoolmate. How many reports are sent home from school about children’s aggressive behavior? Parents who spank are teaching their kids to hit.
It’s time to rethink, if you’re a spanking believer!
A new way of preventing and handling misbehavior can result in a happier home life for your family. The basics are rooted in the belief that children are equal to their parents in deserving to be treated with dignity and respect. My belief is that you need to treat your children as you would like to be treated. I call it “The Golden Rule of Parenting”. If you don’t like being hit, or being yelled at, then don’t do it to your kids.
What can you do instead? This is where my parenting coaching can be of help to you, as I teach you how to involve your kids in daily decisions by giving them choices. Your reaction to this may be that I’m in favor of allowing them to do what they want. WRONG! Parents must always set the limits, but can learn to offer choices within those limits. An example would be a situation where a child doesn’t want to go to bed. A choice can be whether he goes up the stairs counting the stairs, or singing the ABCs as he goes up with you. There is no choice involved that gives him the option of not going to bed. In a struggle to put on a snowsuit, the choice could be which leg will go in first. Choices are given in a friendly way without anger and frustration.
Also, as kids get older, they can be involved in setting the rules in the home. When their suggestions and opinions are taken seriously by parents, they feel valued and less likely to misbehave to get attention. Let’s look at an example of a boy getting a new bike. He and his parents can sit down together and they all discuss where the bike can be ridden, where it’s put after riding, and so on. Also discussed is what should happen if he doesn’t observe the rules he has helped to set. He takes a part in deciding what should happen. So, if he rides on the busy street, breaking one of the rules he helped to set, parents can say in a calm, kind voice, “I see you’ve chosen to ride on X Street. So I guess you’ve decided you will do without your bike for…(whatever the consequence might be)”.
Allowing your children to experience the consequences of their actions is helping them learn. It’s a much better teaching tool than spanking and yelling. If they can help set up the consequences, there is no feeling of unfairness and no need for pushing back against the parents with misbehavior or revengeful actions.
I’ll spend some time discussing the use of consequences in a further post. Meanwhile, think before you slap and spank. You’re teaching your kids to do the same thing. I know that you honestly don’t want that to happen!
Have you downloaded my free PDF report? My book can help you as well, just go to the Book page above and check it out.
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