Have you traded spanking for shouting?
October 30, 2009 1:12am CST
For parents who have made the thought-filled decision not to spank, there comes a time--often--when timeouts, calm entreaties to "use your words," and counting frontwards and backwards from one to three or ten to one just cut it. We're Human. We lose it. We yell. But it always feels awful for everyone involved, the kids, us. Numerous studies reveal the ill effect of punishment on children. The answer, clearly, s not to spank or shout. But how does even the best-intentioned parent pull off a lifetime or peaceful pronouncements and punishments with our kids? My parents shouted, and they always spank. Not a lot, but enough for me to know I needed to do what they told me to do. I also never felt free to "talk back" and discuss my feelings with them at a young age, something I hope my kids soon will feel free to do. They sure seem to! Do you shout more than you ever thought you would? How do you disciple your kids without losing it?
• United States
30 Oct 09
I started out spanking. I stopped when I realized that my son was becoming afraid of me. I'll never forget the day I saw FEAR in his little eyes when I came towards him. That was about 2 years ago. Then I started yelling. I stopped when my son starting yelling and being mean. This was about a year ago. Now he's 4 - and not to toot my own horn, but - he is polite, respectful, caring, happy, curious, open, friendly... He's a great kid - he's 4, so he's not perfect, but I really couldn't have asked for a better kid! I sincerely think that if I had continued spanking him and yelling at him, he would be a completely different kid. I knew that he was only doing what I taught him to do. By spanking him, I was teaching him to be afraid of me, to mistrust me, to withdraw... and I knew eventually, he would think hitting was appropriate for expressing anger... By yelling at him, I was teaching him that this is how you talk to other people, this is how you get heard... In part, I can credit a few friends here on MyLot for helping me with these issues, I also joined a mother's group that helped me learn how to parent more effectively. Now, I use a warning system, time outs, and very low tones. If he's doing something wrong, I call attention to it, if he continues, he gets a warning to stop or he's going to get a time out, if he still continues, he gets a time out. PERIOD. He's made to apologize, tell me what he did wrong, and we give hugs and it's over. We never hold a grudge - it teaches him apologies aren't worth anything. As a rule, we don't scream/yell/shout - tone of voice is important in teaching respect - we get down to his level and speak softly, but sternly, right into his ear. This forces him to quiet down and listen, and it also eliminates embarrassing him if others are around. Naughty is between him and mom/dad, there's no reason for everyone around us to hear him being chastised. We do not use obvious rewards or bribes for being good - we don't believe in it. A child should do as he's told, asked, expected because he's told, asked or expected to behave. No other reason. When he's older, and understands the concept, he'll be taught how to earn things that are priveledges, not rights. Love and affection are plentiful here, it's a way of life. It's not a reward - it's our feelings. We'll still love and show affection to him - even if he's naughty. Now, a confession: we are human, we're not perfect. Do we yell? Yeah, we do. But not as a rule, it's not our first reaction anymore. It took alot to learn how to NOT yell first. Would we still slap/flick/spank? Yeah, we would. But only in the most extreme cases, in which we WANT him to be afraid, we don't ever want him to question the authority. Like touching the stove, approaching the fireplace, running into the street, or approaching a person/car that he doesn't know. Used properly and sparingly, spanking is a one time thing to teach weariness to children. Reach for the stove, sharp slap on the hand, never touches it again. I would much rather my son remember a sore bottom for say - approaching a strange car - than have to live with myself after he's kidnapped. And when all else fails, if I feel myself loosing it, I distance myself from him. If I can, I walk away, I put him in his room, so that I can calm down. THEN I approach him about whatever made me mad, and we talk about it.
1 person likes this
2 Nov 09
Firstly let me say that parenting is a continuous process of walking on egg shells. Your childhood seems exactly like mine…my mom knew spanking as the only way of disciplining a child and was even proud of the fact that if ever I opened my mouth to ‘answer back’, just one tight slap from her (whether in our house or in front of everybody, no matter) would put me to my place *shrugs* I remember those awful days very clearly and was determined to foster a new relation with my son. Let’s say we started off well but somehow not everything seems OK now. He’s 10 yrs, so entering a critical age and starting to assert himself more for his own good. Most of the times we discuss and debate and trade ‘benefits’ but one thing I’ve noticed is that the more I mix with him as a friend the less cautious he is about how he talks to me. Its unacceptable all the time yet I know that he means no disrespect…only he’s not awed or scared by his mom so he doesn’t think twice about what words he’s using with me. Secondly, he’s started taking me for granted…like if it’s a holiday and he’s feeling lazy, he wont do all his work and he’ll just tell me so. He knows I wont spank, I wont shout and even if I take away privileges, that would hardly make a difference coz he’s ready to compromise but be allowed to be lazy on a holiday. ..so you see, the things not getting done actually! Though we are having no spanking or shouting, the bottomline is that he’s done what he wanted to do and I could not get my way! Very confusing…sometime I feel whether the issue lies in me trying to enforce myself or not being able to discipline him properly.
• United States
30 Oct 09
Well, I'm not a parent but I was spanked as a kid. I'm perfectly fine, haha. I was never abused in any way. I got what I deserved - just a few quick pops on the butt. I got a lot more scared when my parents yelled. I was a fairly good kid, but I hated it when they yelled.
30 Oct 09
Yes, they are much better than shouting and then after the spanking one could explain the reason behind those things as something one need to do in order for the offensive party to know his wrong doing. Shouting in any forms is not good it only makes the situation worse as the receiver of humiliation becomes feel embarrassed.
30 Oct 09
i hate to admit it but i tend to yell at my kids especially when i'm stressed out. i don't want to spank them but there are times that one has to. one thing i noticed is that when one always shouts at them when you're telling them something, is that they become immune to it and that it will only make you hoarse shouting at them and they will just ignore you. i try to have more patience nowadays because shouting is not doing me and my kids any good (which i should have realized long before i do the shouting). when i have to punish them for some bad thing they've done i make them lay flat on their stomach making them think i'll spank them, but i don't. just make them wait at least 10 minutes (waiting is agony for my little boy). then i'll give a sermon, LOL!
30 Oct 09
I see to it that I avoid doing the spanking. I would tell my child of what is right or not in a nice way. But sometimes I tent to lose my temper. I will just keep quite than shouting at my child for she doesn't understand much yet as she was still 1 year old. I hope I could raise a child in a way that I do not need to raise my voice.