Thursday, February 5, 2009

You know it's bad when your kid is the one teaching YOU about discipline

Tim and I see eye to eye on most things, including money and our religious beliefs. This is probably a good thing considering that some of the main reasons couples divorce are over money and religious issues. In fact, one of the reasons my ex and I got divorced was over religious beliefs....he believed he was God and I didn't.

When it comes to disciplining the kids, for the most part, Tim and I are a team. But there was a time where I felt like he was making me the bad guy. When the kids would ask him for something that he knew I'd say no to, he'd say "go ask your mother", which always put me in the position of being the "one who always says 'no'". However, we were able to work this out by just a little open communication....okay, okay, I'll be more honest. The open communication consisted of me crying one night to him about feeling set-up by him to be the bad guy and I believed because of this the kids liked him more than me....yadda, yadda, yadda. Since then, it hasn't been an issue.

The one main thing we differ on in terms of discipline is spanking. My parents spanked me as a child and I don't believe it really made a difference in how I'd behave. It just made me scared of them. I always said I'd never spank my kids and that's actually the one thing I've followed through on. The whole "I'll never let my kids watch tv" and "they'll never eat junk food" promises I had made quickly became a joke once I became a parent.

But Tim is a spanker. He feels it's the only way sometimes to teach a child the difference between right and wrong. I don't sit in judgement of other people if they spank their children (unless it borders on the line of abuse, then it's a whole 'nother issue)...everyone has their own technique that works. But when it's MY children being spanked by MY husband, I have a problem with it. Tim and I have agreed to handle parenting issues behind closed doors and never in front of the children so sometimes when he has spanked them, I've said to him, away from the kids, "Was that really necessary? What do you think you're teaching them by spanking them? You're not showing them the right way to handle things, you're not teaching them how to deal with their emotions, you're not teaching them how to make a bad situation better." And then I pull all that psychology crap on him about discipline being about teaching your kids and not about punishment or making them feel inferior, etc, etc.

But Tim is gonna handle things his own way...he feels spanking works. So yesterday, Cole hit Bella. She had said some snotty remark to him and instead of thinking about how he wanted to react or coming to me or Tim to help him handle it, he walked up to her and smacked her in the face. This resulted in her crying and Cole trying to justify why she needed to be smacked.

So while I comforted Bella, Tim spanked Cole. And as he spanked him, he said, "You are not supposed to hit your sister. We don't hit each other in this family". I stopped hugging Bella and looked at Tim like "Did you really just say that? Do you realize how hypocritical you sound?" but I didn't say that outloud and I'm not sure even HE realized the irony of the situation.

But Cole did. After Tim spanked him and said what he had said, Cole looked at him with big sad eyes and said, "Daddy, why did you hit me if we're not supposed to hit each other? You're need to go with the bad people because you've been bad".

I actually laughed out loud. I couldn't help myself. I think it was that minute that Tim realized what had happened. Here he was spanking Cole and telling him we don't hit each other....as if that made any sense. Cole had called him on it. Our 4-yr old child had figured it out and made Daddy see the light.

I'm not sure if Tim will continue to spank the kids anymore. I hope this experience hit home for him. You know it's bad when your kid is the one teaching YOU about discipline.

21 comments:

Hajar said...

LOL! This is exactly why I don't believe in spanking!

Jen said...

Alright, you go Cole! Good job!

Helene - you had better keep your eyes on that one, he will certainly keep you on your toes!

Tracy said...

Very smart of you, Cole. I don't believe in spanking, either...Certainly there has to be other ways of getting a child's attention? But then again, my kids are only 5 months old. Maybe I'll feel differently in a couple years. But I doubt it.

The High Family said...

Thanks for this post.

We are still trying to figure out what's the best discipline to use in our house. Time outs seemed to work up until now. At age 3, Ryan is getting smart with how he uses his discipline to his advantage. For example, if he doesn't want to eat dinner and we tell him that he will have to sit in timeout, he chooses timeout because then he doesn't have to sit at the table looking at the food! arggg

I am not a fan of spanking. My parents were huge believers in it and I think they over used it. I hate to admit it but Ryan has gotten spankings. Not many...all we really have to do is say "do you want a spanking" and he will stop doing whatever he is doing. I think the fear is already there. What's nice about timeouts is that we all get a chance to take a breath and think about the situation. Ryan learned to count to 30 by age 2 because we always make him count before leaving timeout and of course apologizing for what he did wrong. So I agree talking it out is the best way.

I am sooo looking forward to getting out the 3 year old testing stage. Not fun most days!

Stacey said...

I grew up getting spanked by my dad. Generally speaking, my brother and I were very good kids, but once in a while we acted out and got swatted across the butt a couple of times. I was never afraid of my dad, nor have I ever resented him for spanking me.

Anyway, I think that spanking can be a way to get your child's attention if trying to reason with them doesn't work. A swat or two on a bare (or even still diapered/clothed) bottom gets your child's attention. I know it's not for everyone, but I'd rather swat my kids once or twice than have them be one of "those" kids that you see running around like a wildebeast telling their parent what to do and how things are.

I do believe that everyone has a right to parent the way they see fit, but I do believe when kids misbehave, they need to be punnished. No spanking? OK - time out chair or whatever you choose to do in your home - just do something! I just think there are too many parents in this country that have become so afraid of having CPS called on them that they let their children grow up wild and completely unrestricted. That part concerns me because those children become teenagers who don't give a crap about anything or anyone but themselves and annoy the hell out of me. (LOL Can you tell that I encounter these kinds of teenagers a lot? LOL I can often be heard saying "OMG! My kids are NEVER going to act like that!")

Lana said...

So ironic!
I've done it. I spank when NOTHING else works, and the same behaviour lasts for days. It's pretty rare though. Braden kept SHOVING Mackenzie to the floor HARD. Because HE was grumpy. After timeouts, lectures, privleges revoked, etc, I gave him a couple swats and said "We keep our hands OFF of each other, unless it's love!".
I rolled my eyes at myself. If he caught on to the irony, he never let me know. But I did! DUH.

(He hasn't done it since, either)

Debbie said...

We never spanked for this same reason.

Lana said...

I just re-read my comment and want to add that Braden got a spanking AFTER timeouts, lectures, privleges revoked, etc failed to work.

Stesha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stesha said...

I agree with Cole. My husband is a spanker, but I am not.

Hugs and Mocha,
Stesha

motheringmymiraclemultiples said...

I am so glad we aren't at that stage yet.......

I was spanked as a child and even once in while, when I was really, really bad, was told I would get the "belt". A time out wouldn't have worked for me as I was a bit of a no-good-nick as my mother put it.

newlyweds said...

Cole sure did see the irony in the situation and I had to laugh at that. I am hoping to not be a spanker but I do come from the camp that a little spank here and there is sometimes needed. But as a last resort stiuation.

Morgan said...

I think there's a big difference between discipline and hitting. When a swat on the behind is used in the right context, I think kids get the difference.

I remember the last time I ever had a spank... I was about 8 years old and I asked my dad, "when are you going to stop spanking me?!?" He told me, "When you stop needing one!" Fortunatly, that was the last time I needed one. I was a pretty good kid. I was never afraid of my dad- I knew I deserved the swat on the butt (I was pretty sassy), and didn't think ill of my dad for it.

On the other hand, I had an adult slap me in the face once because they didn't like what I said. Now that is just wrong. It wasn't discipline, it was the person taking out their anger on me. I am very against stuff like that.

Again, there is a difference between discipline done in love and taking your anger out on someone by hitting them.

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

I agree with you on the spanking. I don't do it. I have lost my cool a couple of times and spanked one of the kids but always felt terrible afterward and it never made the situation any better.

Veronica Lee said...

I spank my boys occasionally when reasoning doesn't work.

Creative Junkie said...

I don't have anything against spanking in general but for me personally? The one or two times I did it, I realized that it was more of a frustrated, last resort, outlet for me than a discipline measure. It didn't feel right and I felt absolutely horrible afterwards.

Suspension of privileges and the like worked much better for me.

Patricia said...

Great post! We learn so much from our children.

Minxy Mimi said...

Thats why I try to never spank... it seems like it is advocating the one thing you dont want them to do.

Yaya said...

haha, what a GREAT comment!

Connie said...

I grew up getting spanked and so did everyone else I knew. But I didn't spank my oldest and don't spank my youngest. My husband and I work with taking away things and rewards. It works much better. I think if I were to spank it would be out of anger. Not my style.

twinmama said...

That is so right on.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
Blog Design by Likely Lola