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?
Submitted as part of Mama Kat's writing workshop.