Discipline Yes or No?

For the record. This post is purely my thoughts and opinion, I am not dictating what you as a parent should or shouldn’t do.

Great minds seem to think alike – mine being one 🙂 the other Mer over at Knocked Over by a feather.

See her link here on the subject I write about. I had this in my draft folder last week and didn’t post, then I read the below, which reminded me to finish it and finally post.
http://knockedoverbyafeather.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/taboo-topic-11-discipline/comment-page-1/#comment-6793

Discipline

Back in my school days (yes many moons ago) I,  along with many of my stirring little brat class mates, were now and then introduced to this delightful fellow images-1

“JENNIFER………..” would be sternly roared across the room (and you knew you were in trouble when they used your full name).  I would then rise from chair and rather sheepishly walk to the front of the class red face from pure embarrassment (or sometimes giggling trying to hide my fear) to hold out my slightly shaking hand out for my impending punishment.

How many smacks I would receive would depend on the severity of the ‘crime’ that I had committed. Talking was usually the one that did the trick, ok not just a word or two, but a full on conversation, where I didn’t pay attention to anything that was being said. I knew I was in the wrong, so I took it like a man…I mean girl. I think the most every received was 6 in one ‘lesson’. If  my crime was more severe I would be dragged to the Principal’s office for his/her lecture (and a phone call to mum and dad) this occurred more when I was a young rebellious know it all (hard to believe I know) but I had my rat-bag moments whilst at school.

In my family life, my two brothers and I would on the odd occasion get the ‘strap’ from dad. One of my brothers (RIP), was subjected to more of these punishments than my elder brother and I. Sometimes…well I managed to convince dad that I was his little girl and battered my eye-lids which led to a reprieve, but not always.

People now label this as ‘child abuse’.  In fact there is pretty much a LABEL for everything these days. Teachers are actually teaching the children this, to the point where even mine in their later years at school would say “You can’t touch me, or I can report you to the Police”. Those who do not follow the ‘smack rule’ look upon you as the devil incarnate if you dare ‘smack’ your child on the bum when they are screaming the supermarket down for the lolly (sweet) that you have told them for the hundredth time they cannot have.  I have witnessed as I am sure most have, of the frantic, frustrated mother, standing there watching her child throw a tantrum on the floor of a supermarket, not knowing what to do or to handle the situation. There are parents who honestly do not know what to do. “Shall I smack – what if I am caught”? “Shall I walk off , pretend I’m not being effected and let everyone else deal with the screaming?”

I KNOW there is a HUGE difference between giving your child a ‘smack’ on the bum or hand to full scale intent to do continual physical (and therefore possible mental damage). However parents are afraid to ‘smack’ over here. Parents are made to feel like monsters or criminals for disciplining their child how they see fit and as mentioned they can be reported if they are seen doing so, now sorry,  but what a load of cods!

Do we not have rights as parents to administer discipline to our own children anymore? Have the ‘do-gooders’  (for want of better description) of the world completely taken over? Why do we have the problem with youth of today?

Two different opinions are mainly given.

  1. They were ‘abused’ as a child (this excuse is forever given in our judical system) and now they are so mentally scarred that they have to release their anger onto the world in the way of grafitti, theft, fighting or yes even murder.
  2. They weren’t disciplined enough when they were little and now feel because they were able to get away with everything in their younger years, they have the ‘right’ to get away with what they want to now, in whatever form they choose.

I understand there are parents that actually feel physically sick if they smack their child

“Why did I do it, only to make myself feel better?”

“They didn’t mean it, they are only young, they didn’t know any better”.

“They are going to hate me now”.

“What does smacking prove?”

What does it do? What may it do? It may very well be the message that your child needs to hear (or feel) from time to time, for an action that they have done for which you don’t agree with.  Those and there are sadly numerous who smack for the hell of it, are out of control and I do not advocate that this is correct, in any form or fashion. However a tap on the bum or back of the legs or a smack on the hand – surely us as a society can see that this is not going to damage our child and furthermore whose child is it?

Perhaps being dealt with in this manner could in fact stop the youth of today ‘doing as they please’ for they know that punishment will ensue. Too many of our younger generation believe they have a right to commit a crime, or hurt others and why, because they weren’t given any form of discipline when they were growing up. I didn’t get punished for being bad then – I won’t now. Some may use the excuse that they were born that way or that they grew up in an abusive relationship – there is a BIG difference between ABUSE and a smack on the bum people! It has just been given the same LABEL.

The naughty corner could be used, silence as your child stands staring into a corner for every 1 minute of their age, if this works for you I am pleased.

However I have seen little ones put through this (Mr. S’s grandchildren) they come out and apologise and within 5 minutes they are back acting out in the same way.

So wouldn’t a smack on the bum, that causes an ‘ouch’ remain with them longer (and by that I do not mean mentally scarred for life, but purely the ouch factor)?  Showing them that for every wrong action there is a consequence and that consequence is not pleasant? Or is it better to let them ‘perform’ because they are only ‘little’ and as they grow they will learn right from wrong?  So when does that happen, at what age?

Perhaps I am ‘old school’ with all the literature written and new age ideas that have come to the fore since I raised my girls the way of handling situations has seemingly changed, because hell knows, no children were born or raised prior to these new findings!!

I for one, gave both my girls a smack when required, I certainly experinced them. Have I turned out any worse for it? NO I don’t think I have. I do not have nightmares, or suffer any mental illness for being reprimanded for playing up. I certainly did not look to a life of crime because I thought I wouldn’t be punished and therefore could do as I pleased. Seriously folks, let us not get so tied up with others preaching/dictating how we should raise our children!

I learnt lessons as I was growing up and too often in our society this does not happen.

I haven’t done a ‘Rambly’ for some time, it was overdue. Any comments or thoughts – fire away!

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23 thoughts on “Discipline Yes or No?

  1. While I feel the “don’t touch your child” (the parent, not the teacher) has been taken a little too far, I think that disciplining your children through violence, at any level, can’t be the best way. Using the logic applied to the “sometimes they won’t listen”, we as a society could then justify the torture of repeat offender shoplifters, which is simply absurd.

    As I’m not a parent, however, I’m not too qualified to argue. Just my thoughts. Good provoking piece!

    • Hi Oscar, I am so glad that you have read and also commented. You have a valid point about the logic being applied, however may I say in answer to this that I do not condone ‘abuse’ of any kind. In Australia a repeat shoplifting offender, merely gets a fine or community service. Our judicial system has little to be desired I’m afraid. They are never tortured. Possibly a jail term if what they have stolen is monumental. We cannot as a society/parents say I shall torture or beat my child as ‘they won’t listen’ and those that do should be punished severely. I do not see a smack on the hand with a hand as violent, merely a deterrent to not do again. I do thank you for what you have said and when you are a parent… maybe..just maybe you shall see what I mean 🙂 Appreciate your feed-back.

  2. Thanks for the link, Rams.great minds do think alike! I agree that kids today could use a smack now and then, but not with a “weapon” ex..rulers and belts. A palm suffices..plus it hurts us just as much as it hurts them. That shit stings. xx Great post!

    • You are welcome lovely. No and I totally agree with no weapons of mass destruction upon a child, perhaps I should have written that! A smack with a hand is all that is required and yes it stings both parties. Thank you! xx

  3. I was terrified as a kid. Receiving the slipper many times, sometimes for the littlest of things, I swore blind that I would never do that to my kids. Whilst I have smacked them round the back of the legs with hand – usually for having done something dangerous like trying to lick a plug socket (okay so they didn’t do that) for running away and out of a shop, running into the road or other extremely dangerous things, I have never used an item on them. I do remember receiving the ruler across my hand once at school.

    • I must say I am delighted at the response. Thank you Alastair for popping in and reading. I did laugh at the licking a plug socket. There are obviously times as you mentioned when they are doing something that can endanger their lives that a smack on the legs or bum is warranted. I think the days of rulers, straps, slippers, wooden spoons are almost if not totally over. Which reminds me of an episode which I didn’t put in this post. One day I couldn’t find any wooden spoons in the house for cooking. The next week I decided on a Spring Clean and whilst cleaning the top of kitchen cupboards very high on top of the kitchen bench did I find 3, that Daughter # 1 had hidden. I used the wooden spoon possibly twice on their backsides (it was more of a threatening device). I think we all can remember that ruler and the welts! Thanks for reading and giving me your feed-back.

      • I remember hearing someone getting the cane at school. He had killed a chicken by throwing a brick at it. He was one of the school toughies, and he still came into the class crying

  4. Great, thought provoking post. As a parent I have to both agree and disagree. For my oldest child at least, I found that a smack on the bottom was not at all effective and I had to learn to be more creative. As a result spanking only occurred with the other two children until they were old enough to be punished in other ways. But I do believe that at the root of the problem is a lack of appropriate discipline. Parenting is a grand experiment which requires commitment from the parents.

    I also have to agree in that I was spanked as a child and I was none the worse for it. In fact, I learned at a very young age to consciously weigh the consequences against the rewards before acting.

    • Hi Kyred – Thank you for leaving your thoughts. 🙂 Yes it is a very large experiment indeed that of raising children, you have mentioned a valid point though, that some seem immune to a smack on the rear end. I also concur as they grow older the pat on the bottom doesn’t work at all and other means have to be sought…computer privileges, grounding etc. I am glad that you have not been affected by any ‘spanking’ you received, the lesson was taught by your parents at an early age and you learnt the hard way as we all we did. Some unfortunately take a little longer… if at all. Appreciated your feed-back too. xx

  5. If I’m honest, I gave my chidren a swat or two when they were toddlers and very young and reason didn’t work. As they got a little older, other consequences worked very well so I just didn’t see a need to swat. The main thing for me was to always follow through. I think that is the key with discipline. If you screw up, there should be consequences and the consequences should be delivered in a timely manner. I’ve seen too many people hit their kids out of anger. I don’t agree with that. If a swat on the butt is done in a manner to get their child’s attention, then so be it. I think the parent should calm down first.

    • Hi Beck – yes there are too many parents that strike in anger and this is not necessary or serving any purpose to the child (or themselves) some receive gratification from it – I know not why nor understand. Following through is of the upmost importance. Threats of a smack or taking away privileges without that commitment to follow through is useless and the child ‘knows’ to well a game is only being played, as mum and dad will buckle. Thank you honey for your input, I think that in their early years some form of discipline is required otherwise we may end up with unruly kids. 🙂 xx

  6. Ooooh my dearest rambly, you’ve done it again. A lovely, smart post. You know I love these kinds of topics. Gets me going to be honest… Okay, so… I was smacked as a child, on the leg or the arm, quite often for breaking small items from my mum’s beautiful porcelain figurine collection after playing a game of catch in the house. We had specific instructions about indoor playing and had been told to play outside. Fair, yes. Even worse was the fact that my brother and I conspired to glue them back, rather poorly, and then lie. That was the bigger crime – we lied. With my kids, I have swatted them on the bottom or the arm, for similar things. They’ve grown older, and being sneaky is a huge no- no in my house, be honest and you’ll not get into too much trouble, be dishonest and there will be plenty of trouble. There are other methods of doling out consequences now, Mostly to do with electronics or a toy. They feel it much more 🙂
    Btw, I love that you have now attached your photo. Beautiful you.

  7. I laughed when I read it get’s you going… ooer 😉 Oh yes the inside play versus the outside play and fair enough, if things are damaged then a child is responsible (whether they realise what they have done or not) this is where the lessons come in )sorry it was you though). Trying to glue them back together awww.
    Yes, as they get older as Kyred and Beck have mentioned other means of discipline have to be sought and usually are quite effective…until they get into the hormone years and it’s a battle of wits and back chat (don’t worry you’re not there quite yet). I am so pleased you like the post – I don’t often get on my soap box and perhaps I should more often. Thank you about the photo, you are so sweet thank you for the lovely compliment! I really only did it because my memoir title takes up so much space on the header and in the side bar that I thought I was being a little too over the top!
    xxxooxx 🙂

  8. Oh boy!!! Such a controversial topic!!! When all of my children were of non-talking age (1 year) they would get little smacks on their hands if they were going to touch something dangerous. Obviously they can’t understand the word “dangerous” so I had to get the message across immediately. This worked greatly for me. I never spanked my children’s bums for acting naughty but they got it a few times when they were 3 years old and were running towards the road or something equally dangerous. I only ever had to do it once for each dangerous act and they got the message. I think since I did it very rarely they took it very seriously and knew I meant business!

    • I thought I’d step outside the normal box for a little while 🙂 Yes the message given was obviously loud and clear, the lesson taught and learnt. I brought up the subject due to ‘society’ telling us what or how we should be raising our children. If a little smack is required for whatever reason, then it should not be frowned upon. Thanks Mel for commenting. I know that your 3 little ones have a great mum and dad 🙂 xx

  9. Great post, Rambly. I’m not sure what the answer is. We clearly have a generation of entitled, semi-adults whose parents don’t seem to want to let them grow up (and most of them will, no matter how much the parents try to keep them in a perpetual childhood). Together with the lack of discipline, there are some serious issues around responsibility, but how to handle this? It’s a question I’ve asked before …

    • Thank you Lyn, I do like your phrase (entitled, semi-adults) Unfortunately I nor you have the answer to this ever growing problem it seems. 😦 If you do manage to work it out please let me know as I have one heading that way and she’s too old to smack on the bum! 🙂 x

  10. Ohh….did I get smacked when I was little? Angel me? Nooooooooo.

    I was also the youngest. *smirks as all the first borns SURELY want to smack me now lol.*

    But alas, in Ireland…esp growing up in the country …being take out to the fence post is not just a saying. Again, I was the youngest and by then my da had likely grown too tired to do that. (ok…he did not do it to me or my sister, who was the eldest.) But he did take a switch to my brothers a time or two.

    For myself, I am similar to Bec. I have swatted the child on her rump when she was little. But as she grew older, it stopped as there were other ways to deal with things. Some VERY ineffective *rolls eyes at myself* Some better. Have there been times I have thought she needed a smacking even as she was older? Definately. But … that kind of anger was when I knew it would likely have done more harm than good. I wish I had the answer to this question … but I am guessing there is a middle ground somewhere that works best.

    • omg my lovely I had visions of you being dragged and tied to a fence post for a whippin’!!! I think many problems could be solved if we had the answers. Yes as they grow older – having a fist t’ cuff cannot work, yelling doesn’t, reasoning doesn’t (rolls my eyes at my offspring) It would be nice if someone could simply say ‘blah de blah’ this is what you do to rectify it..alas there is no one.
      I am sure you were an Angel and you haven’t changed one little bit 🙂 xx

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