I have read some very interesting articles recently on parenting and child development lately-- many of them discuss the fact that parents are now "scared" to discipline their children. Parents are allowing kids free-reign, and the world is seeing the results. My kids are normal kids- I often have to yell at them, put them in time out, or even swat their tushies on occasion. However, my kids do know how to mind, listen, and obey me- especially when we are in a public setting. They know that punishment will await them if they are belligerent, wild, or out-of-control.
|When James finds my phone...|
To me- that's normal parenting. Normal "training my kids" to behave. But I must be in the minority now because I constantly have people complimenting me on my kids behavior- which I deem as perfectly normal. My kids act exactly as I acted as a child. They get into trouble, but they know how to behave.
|The children jumping on the couch- I allow a bit of wildness in the winter time just to get out extra energy!|
|A time out chair.... serious stuff.|
In this post I am NOT talking about the following:
- Children with a disability who truly have difficulty with following social constraints.
- We've all had the times at the grocery store with the screaming kid amidst many eye rolls and rude comments. I am not talking about those rare, embarrassing moments when people drop a few snide remarks.
- Children under the age of 2- sometimes they are QUITE unpredictable. However, one should keep them at arms-length consistently.
- I am not talking about the apologetic parents who understand the burden of an unruly child, who sheepishly herd their children out of public areas.
|Good 'Ol Days- Children working in factories....|
"He (or she) certainly has a mind of his own!" Translation: Your child isn't respecting you. Your child should be more obedient to your instructions.
"He's certainly a stubborn one!" Translation: Your child REALLY needs to be taught to respect you more. Your discipline is probably not working.
"Maybe your child needs a break." Translation: We all need a break. I heard a librarian say this to a mom of a wild 4 year old during a story time and the mom said, "No, he's fine thanks!". Take a hint, your kid is being WAY too disruptive for everyone else.
"Do you think he/she needs some help?" Translation: Your child is doing something he/she shouldn't be doing. Don't let him/her climb on the shelf or take out all the toys, etc.... some mothers are more worry-warts than I am and will use this phrase at a playground when they think my child is in danger- personally, I like my kids to learn "the hard" way sometimes... BUT, if I hear this in an indoor, public setting, usually an adult is trying to kindly tell me to get my kid.
I have mentioned before that many people don't recognize the influence of peers and media on their children's behavior. They only feed their children organic food, use non-toxic cleaners, but then allow them to watch PG-13 movies and teenage-television when they are under 7 years old... Protect their minds as much as their bodies!!
Final thoughts- it does take a village to raise a child. Family, friends and teachers can offer great insight into discipline- don't be too prideful. Accept advice, suggestions, and help as needed- you might be surprised how much easier your life will become. Here's a quote from one of my favorite child psychologists, Dr. Ray Guarendi, "Discipline without love is harsh. But love without discipline, that's child abuse." Try to balance both!
Easy Rule #343234- Even if you aren't a perfect parent, nowadays your kids can look like rock stars compared to the parents who don't ever say no to their children....
Easy Rule #53234- Set the expectations high for your children. Demand respect. Life will only get easier and more fun for all of you!