Disciplined a child

Smacking is a very personal issue for a parent. It depends very much on what you believe and more importantly, how you were disciplined as a child. I was smacked as a child, more because my parents were concerned for my safety rather than whether I’d misbehaved or not. After all, children may not understand what they have done is wrong or dangerous but they will always understand a twinge of pain. When it comes to bringing up children, everyone wants to give their three pence worth which maybe useful, but no one has to live with your children 24/7 like a parent does.

It’s defiantly wrong when people are judgemental about a parents’ methods of discipline when they see a parent/child incident in a public place. They have no idea what has gone on before the incident they are witness to, and the ‘ins and outs’ of living with that individual child.

Smacking to a certain extent comes down to the age of the child, and as mentioned earlier very young children may do something wrong or dangerous but they are too young to have the situation explained to them but a little tingly pain they do understand. As a child get older and in turn understands more, I feel the discipline should reflect this. An explanation as to what the child has done wrong and what the consequences could be.

Another idea a friend of mine implemented was a “fine” system. The children had always had pocket money each week. So she drew up a chart showing what the fine was for different levels of bad behaviour i.e. 10 pence ‘telling fibs’, 20 pence ‘violence against a sibling’ and so on. This worked really well for her family. Later she added a bonus system where they would get extra money for good behaviour i.e. helping out Mum or Dad, keeping bedrooms tidy, being polite and general good behaviour. This example is to emphasise my major point, that parenting is a very personal individual role. No two sets of parents are the same as are no two children the same.

The most important thing to remember is a child of any age needs lots of love, lots of cuddles and lots of affection. If this is how Mummy and Daddy are all of the time then when their mood is suddenly different i.e. angry or upset the child is more likely to realise they have done something wrong. Where as if Mummy shouts and screams all the time they will just get used to it and have no respect for her discipline. Children normally want praise from their parents and for them to be proud of them, they will be saddened if they feel they have done something that will change Mummy and Daddy’s view.

I do believe, that the behaviour and discipline a parent has themselves reflects onto the child. A parent using bad language can not then turn round when their child starts using obscenities telling them its wrong and try discipline them. Smoking in front of children has the same effect, 7 out of 10 teenagers who smoke have parents who smoke as well, so don’t blame them, blame yourself. Children are a lot smarter than adults give them credit for and nearly always a lot more logical, so discussing the need for rules guidelines and discipline isn’t beyond their understanding. By explaining to them why they are being disciplined and what they have done is wrong helps them come to terms with punishment and hopefully a respect for authority.

Of course they may not realise this straight away, normally their initial reaction would be sulks, tears and “its not fair”. But it will have gone in their heads and they will take it on board. All a good parent wants for their children is for them not to go down the wrong road, for them to grow up with self-respect, manners and courtesy. I do except there will always be exceptions to the rule. Many parents will argue they have never smacked their child, they have always explained and discussed the issue. Resulting in very well behaved, polite respectful children/adults. But again this brings us back to my underlining point, parenting is an individual personal role. No one should be able to dictate how a parent should raise his or her child.

Regarding my last statement I am very aware of the fine line between a smack and physical abuse. We hear many cases in the papers, on the news of the most disgusting, disturbing cases of child abuse, this makes my blood boil just thinking about it. These situations are more openly discussed and published compared with just fifteen years ago, leading us to believe the abuse is getting more common hence talk of new laws against parents smacking. I still believe these bullies are a small minority and parents should be able to make their own decisions as to how to bring up their children.

We also read and hear about how some youngsters use their spare time, joyriding, stealing, carrying knifes, beating up old people, who’s to say if these children had some more serious discipline when they were younger and not let get away with blue murder that they wouldn’t have grown up with more respect for people and their belongings. So to conclude I say that smacking is for the individual parent to decide upon but is only effective when used in moderation. If used all the time, the children loose all their respect for discipline and will do what they want. The complete opposite to what you want to achieve as a parent.

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David from Healtheappointments:

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