11 December 2010

Discipline. Light at the end of the tunnel

I was chatting to someone I know today.  "How are you going?  Your kids doing well?" she asked.

"Yes, they're all fine," I answered.  "But now the summer holidays have started, I get the feeling that I am standing at the front edge of six weeks of fighting!" (for they are feisty little things, and enjoy a good knock-down fight.)

She jumped straight into Expert Mode. 


Let-Me-Teach-You-About-Parenting Mode.

"Oh no.  No-no-no," she warned.  "You know what you need to do?"

(Goodness!  I had no idea she knew what I hadn't tried, let alone what would work if I did!)

"When mine used to fight, I smacked them.  I smacked them hard.  I mean, I really, really smacked them hard!  Both of them, and this was when they were really little.  It only took about four times, and they didn't do it again.  They came to me with their problems instead of fighting."

Well that was interesting.  She took some small children and smacked them very hard four times, and hey presto!  For the rest of their childhoods they never fought with each other.  What's more - if I took my three children and smacked them very hard the first four times they fought, they'd never do it again.  Ever. 


Silly me for not thinking of that before.


Mamma has spoken said...

Some advice is better not followed.......

Tracy P. said...

That's one way to turn your kids into instant allies. Having a common enemy and all. We actually do sometimes take on the mean parent role to achieve that end, but it's usually accomplished by denying them something. You know, rather than resorting to violence.

Andi said...

Wow! Thanks for this obviously INVALUABLE parenting lesson. I'm so relieved to find what I've been doing wrong!

Heather said...

As a child who was raised in a household with corporal punishment, I can definitively say that four very hard smacks does not guarantee that for the rest of their lives, children will not fight with each other.

I have never, ever, ever raised my hand to my own child, nor has my husband. We agreed before she was ever born that we wouldn't do that.

(Not that one can't be a Very Mean Parent without the smacking, of course - apparently I can be meaner than the Grinch and the Wicked Witch of the West put together when I want to be, to hear my kid tell it... ;-) )

My own mother has given similar advice to not just me and my siblings, but anyone who she feels would benefit from her great wisdom in the matter. Both of my sisters spank their children on occasion, and I think that my mother is quite disappointed in me at times for not choosing to spank as well. As though my choice not to do that is a judgment against her for the times she did it to us as kids or something.


Dysfunctional Mom said...

I am almost speechless. I can't imagine doing that, let alone sharing it with others as a stellar parenting technique.
Yuck, yuck, yuck!

Emily Sue said...

"They came to me with their problems instead of fighting."

Really? I can't see myself wanting to seek advice from someone who smacked me really, really hard.

Also... one of my brothers was the only one on our family who was ever smacked. He was also the one who abused me. So, you know... I wouldn't say that smacking solves ALL problems.

veiledturnip said...

You've opened a bag of worms now (ooh, how is your worm farm going??). Isn't 'smacking' one of those things your not supposed to blog about? :)
I smack my child but I know it doesn't solve all the problems and I don't believe I am abusing her.

Crazy Sister said...

What a ninny.

Louisa said...

When I saw the title of this post in my reader I thought "thank GOODNESS, I really need some help with this issue!". Now I've read your post I say "thank GOODNESS, i really needed a perspective shift, and a wry smile @ the end of a long day/week".

I'm going to go stark whacking my kids now - should work particularly well on my 9week old.

for anyone not getting it, i'm being sarcastic I am just WaaaaaY to tired to make sure it's coming across properly.

thanks kate :)