My son, Joshua, walked into the room crying a few weeks ago. Not happy with the punishment dished out by dad. He was crying, so I tried to comfort him (big NO NO I know!). I asked what the nature of the offence was and he told me that he and his sister had been fighting and and and…. I then asked my husband what Addison’s punishment was, as earlier she was guilty of the same offence. He stared at me blankly.
What transpired was us then arguing (in a very non-constructive way) for about half an hour about what I felt was fair vs what he felt was fair. I went to bed upset, and it got me thinking: How in almost 12 years of marriage and almost 9yrs of being parents, have we not really discussed discipline in our household? Mind boggling stuff!
It actually turns out that we have VERY different views on how the kids should be punished. This is further complicated by the fact that the kids are different ages and we have a girl and boys. So where I would say, but at age 5 with Addison this is what happened and he would counter with ‘but Adam is 2’……. We literally got nowhere. I realised that I need to sit down with my husband and we actually need to come up with a set discipline strategy….one we both agree on.
This discipline topic has so many different layers and sub topics though!
1. Proverbs 13:24
Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Everybody knows this one right? The Bible tells us that our kids need discipline. Is the use of the word ‘rod’ literal? I am sure some rod-wielding parents out there definitely cling to this scripture. I do believe in discipline, not with a rod in my home per se, but discipline of some sort. This mom does not want to raise ill-mannered kids.
2. The old-school opinion
I come from a time where there really was only ONE punishment. A good bloody hiding. My parents did not differentiate between the sexes, my hiding could be just as swift as my brother’s. #EqualRights and all right? The argument from the old schoolers is that: ‘hey, we turned out okay!’.
3. The 5 love languages
According to the experts, knowing your child’s love language can make a huge difference in how you parent them, and in turn, discipline them. Do I need to have different discipline strategies for EACH kid based on their love language? I need the ‘love experts’ from Frozen to help me out here then….
4. Girls vs boys
Some people may believe boys can be treated differently to boys. Take the boy’s Xbox away, but give the girl a nice talking to. Spank the boy, send the girl to her room. Heck no, beat both of them, no differentiation. Tough love. What’s a mom to do???
5. Gentle parenting
‘Parents who practice positive discipline or gentle parenting use neither rewards nor punishments to encourage their children to behave.’
I can’t even, but go and read up on it if you want to. See me be gentle when Adam is destroying yet another one of my makeup items. Ain’t going to happen…..mama is going to go old-school on his ass! Okay, not really…lol. I do believe they are material possessions, so I actually for the most part, let the makeup destruction slide. Maybe why he continues to destroy my stuff? The kid thinks I’m cool with it….hmmmm
6. Age differences
My kids are 2, 5 and 8. My 2yr old is a kid that keeps us on our toes. Whereas the other 2 at the same age, we never had to think about discipline. We’ve tried talking, showing him better behaviour, screaming, and and and….nothing works. So the challenge continues as we cannot speak to him and reason with him at his age.
This is just a ramble post. I don’t have the answer on what the best and most appropriate method is. I think I wanted to try to educate myself by sharing what’s been going on in my head. These are some tips that I found online:
- Guide your discipline techniques to fit well with your child’s temperament.
- Communicate your discipline plan. (To those who can understand)
- Be respectful of your child. (No rod me thinks)
- Be consistent. (I think this is very important)
- When it’s done, it’s done.
- Understand what’s appropriate for your child’s development. (The age thing)
- Give yourself a break.
Number 7 is key…we are going to screw up, lose our shit, be too nice, be too angry, we’ll let it go to keep the peace….but in the end, we’re just trying to raise decent human beings. Well that’s my goal… kind, respectful human beings. Who hopefully will not still be throwing tantrums at the age of 20 😉
Let me know what works in your house please! I’m really keen to hear your thoughts. Maybe you’ve got all your stuff together and you can help this mama do better by her kids. Are you and your spouse on the same page when it comes to discipline?