I come from an era and household of hard discipline. I was a child whom was raised by the fear of the wooden spoon and belt. My parents beat the bad out of me, and honestly I can’t remember what I ever did that was so bad. Oh I’m sure I mouthed off, I fought with my brother, but it’s not like I was out there stealing cars or defacing public property. I’m not a big believer nor fan of beating your kid. I can count on one hand the few “swats” to the bum that I delivered my child, I say swats because they were barely enough to do anything more than startle the crap out of my kid to teach a hard lesson.
The first time it happened was at the terrible two stage where he let go of my hand and bolted for the car in the parking lot (granted the parking lot was dead and was for our townhouse complex.) Still I was so angry because he had been told to hold my hand whenever we were in a parking lot, I smucked his diapered little bum which padded any possible impact. He looked up at me with a quivering lip and started to cry. I got down on my knees and told him he must NEVER run away from me in a parking lot. Yes it was only a few feet that he ran and we were already pretty much by the door but my heart pounded at the possibilities of him getting hurt… and here I was the terrible enforcer had just “spanked” my child. I almost cried myself but I held it together and stood firm on the lesson.
I find that my job is a double edged sword, I get to see my son every day after school as I work; this also means I get to deal with whatever mood he is in and suddenly if the mood isn’t a great one mom is no longer a teacher or authority figure, she’s just his mom which means listening to her doesn’t overly apply. These are the days where I put him on time out and threaten him with “just wait until we get home.”
I’m sure it seems like I lock my child in a dank, dark closet, after a firm beating with the way he carries on about his awaiting punishment at home. Of course that’s not the case at all. The drive home usually means that mom is either too upset to talk and wants him sitting quietly in his seat thinking about his actions or she’s talking “firmly” to him about her expectations for his behavior in after school care. My child still hasn’t learned the fact that sorry fixes every thing… he still hasn’t learned either that his punishments are beyond laughable.
It’s not like he’s lighting fires in the school bathrooms… he’s being a 6 year old boy who just spent the day at school and is tired of the rules. He’ll run around the classroom, he’ll be asked to quiet down, to not throw the cars, to not have a temper tantrum in the gym when he’s “it” or “caught.” So when we get home he goes up to his room and is told to do some reading for a bit before dinner. Of course this beyond horrible that a child should be told to do some reading when he has hundreds of books and it’s simply considered homework anyways. The cavalry is sent in before dinner and we have another talk about his day and what he could have done better; then he comes downstairs for dinner and eats at the table with his parents (on Fridays and Saturdays we usually let him eat downstairs in his playroom so mom and dad can have an adult conversation at the dinner table.) The horror of missing one of these days is just devastating. Then depending on the day and severity of said punishment he is told he can only play in his room… his room which is a secondary playroom but doesn’t have an X-box or Lego. Usually his wind down time before bed consists of a short movie in his room with some snacks so he doesn’t starve to death. Pretty hard done by isn’t he? Of course there’s limits set too, this weekend is without video games or his tablet which he can easily live without. He gets to be in his playroom and watch television but will be incredibly hard done by because he won’t be getting McDonalds or having friends over to play… this is a pathetic way of being “grounded.”
I sometimes wonder if I’m enabling him by not having harder punishments but his “I’m sorry’s” throughout the days give me hope that he’s learning some kind of lesson.
Of course if he turns out to be an 8 year old with attitude then I’m sure I’ll turn into a drill Sargent with extra chores and threats about boarding school but for now I’ll be on the laxer side of things.