Parenting Pet Peeve

Growing up I used to misbehave ... a lot and I used to get punished ... a lot! 

Now that I'm a mother to a rebellious toddler I find myself struggling with this battle of discipline.  It sucks.  Trying to find the right balance and making sure my child learns wrong from right.  I think every parents struggles with finding "their way" to discipline their children.

I try not to judge when I see parents trying to discipline their children in public.  I have been there with the child screaming trying to reach for things that he shouldn't touch; or the child that just can't sit still.  While this type of behavior makes me want to crawl into a hold and hide, I try to deal with the situation in a calm manner (especially in public).

Then there are those parents who choose the path of wrath.  The parents who create a bigger scene than their children and begin screaming at the top of their lungs.  You know the ones.

The parents that won't stop until that poor child has been berated and humiliated.  The parents who at times resort to physical punishment in public to really "show the kid who is boss".  

I remember seeing a five year old boy at the grocery store last year, submissively following behind his father when he accidentally bumped into the aisle causing a jar of pickles to drop on the floor.  It was an accident.  In less than five seconds the father turned around and yelled at his son in such a way that I started crying.  He then continued to spank his child who was at this time crying uncontrollably.  Had I been able to master the language I would have told the man to back the 'eff up!  I would have hugged that little boy and told him accidents happen but he has to be more careful.

Now, there was one time when I mouthed off to my mother and she slapped me - I deserved it; but it drives me insane when people hit innocent children.

I might be naive to think that my child will respond to reason when I'm trying to discipline him.  And I have on occasion raised my voice in frustration, but I hope that I never humiliate or berate my children for the sake of discipline.


What is your take on public discipline?





Mama’s Losin’ It


Submitted as part of Mama Kat's writing workshop.
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14 comments:

Adrienne said...

I had a college student mother's helper once who accidentally broke a butter dish in my kitchen. You would have thought she'd purposefully thrown the queens china on the floor and been caught. She was so scared..."I'll pay for it, really. I'm sooo sorry." I was so surprised...and after reassuring her that I didn't give a flip about the butter dish, started talking to her about her life growing up. Whew. Poor thing grew up in fear! I know I blew it a lot with my kids...but if I erred, it was on the side of preserving our relationship. I'm sure they lack some of the discipline and productivity I might have helped them more with...but we all know we are loved and accepted in the heart of the family! I like your choice of words at the end...not to humliate or berate for the sake of discipline.

Michelle said...

Discipline is between a parent and child. It's a private matter, and to only be done in private and between a child and their parents ONLY. It's to teach the child to respect authority and obedience. Public discipline is not for the sake of either of those (most of the time...most of the time it's to shame and/or embarrass the child), and therefore should not be done. At least that's my take on it.

Jen said...

So sad...I can't stand physical discipline. What does that teach the kids? That it's ok to hit? I feel so sad for that child in the grocery store.
Thanks for sharing this!!

Moomser said...

Embarassing, shaming, humiliating are all negative words, no good can come from words like these. I'm very big on discipline, but respect is also important and children deserve respect just like adults do. Plus I think that if we keep that in mind, it's easier to discipline them. my two cents.

Elle The Heiress said...

If I did something wrong, my mom always waited until we were alone to talk to me about it so that I wouldn't get embarrassed in front of others. I always appreciated that.

Mila said...

I think discipline is best done in private. You're right a child should not be humiliate, threatened or ignored out in the open. It truly reflects badly on the adult.

Dropped in from SITS. I'm from your old hometown of AZ to say Bonjour Madame. So envious of you living in France.

Mila from http://hereundertherainbow.blogspot.com

Jackie said...

That is horrible. There is no reason to humiliate a child or discipline them in that way.

Jessica said...

My heart breaks for that little boy, I hate when kids are talking down to or berated. It takes all I've got not to scoop them up and take them home!

Kim said...

It's definitely a struggle to keep my composure with a very busy three year old. But from the beginning, we decided to try consistent methods of discipline (time-outs). I've never yelled in public although I've definitely felt like it. And I've done my share of gritting my teeth and threatening to take him out to the car for a time out:)

Sarah said...

I certainly do not believe in humiliating a child. But I have been known to put my child in a time out at the grocery store. For me it depends on the situation. And I do constantly have to remind myself that he is only 3 and he should act like a 3 year old.

Cookie's Mom said...

Barbara, that scene would have upset me too. My insides ache when I see that sort of thing. That kind of authoritarian parenting doesn't teach a child anything about proper behaviour (why to behave in certain ways). It just breeds fear and anger. Kids require our patience, and when we run out, we need to take a breathe and find a little more. It's possible to be firm AND respectful.

P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog today! :) I love discovering new bloggers.

Liz said...

I never understand the parents who showboat when out in public. We've all been there and understand that kids can act out sometimes. No need to create a scene.

Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

Wow that made me so sad. My boys are always so wild and it's hard but I never make a scene when I'm out...it does no good. I just feel so bad for that little boy :(

Jessica said...

That poor boy.

I try not to make a scene in public. I might raise my voice a little but nothing like that father did.

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