Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Disciplining your child, how far would you go?

Today there is a great show on Montel Williams show called Disciplining your child, how far would you go? I found that it was very informative, and done in a non-condescending way. The big point was that you don’t need to hit or get your kids to fear you to get them to respect you. Montel had some very educated professional people giving their opinions on child discipline. This is a great show. A lot of people need to see this show. First and foremost hitting your kids is a good way to go to jail and loose your children. Just because it was how you were raised does not make it right, we have better ways to discipline and guide our kids.

If you think you see or hear a kid being hurt, please take the time to find out what is going on. In the last year we would have a child crying and screaming at about 11 or 12 pm all the time. We thought that it was strange and would look out to the hallway to see the Mom bringing her daughter home. My husband finally asked her what was going on. The Mom had to work evenings and the child was crying because she would wake up when the Mom would pick her up from the baby sitter and then would get home and go back to bed. That we understood. We also would hear this one lady screaming at her kids and the kids crying out in the hallway. Every time it got to the point where it seemed that the crying and screaming had been going on a little to long, that some thing was wrong, we would go check. No kids in the hall. So we thought that they were just upset because they did not want to go out, or over tired coming home from some place. Nope. Finally we started seeing what was going on. There was a little girl about 4 and a boy almost two, out in the hallway by themselves. They were screaming and crying trying to get back into their apartment. The Mother did not realise that other people where home during the day. What she was doing was punishing her children by pushing them into the hall way and locking them out. We started hearing the kids in the hall longer and longer and ended up “catching” her doing this. The last time the kids were in the hall so long, we thought about letting them come into our apartment, but did not because then we were opening ourselves up on kidnapping charges and such. I called children’s aid and they sent some one that day. The lady said her kids were opening the door and letting themselves out; um don’t think so, nice try. However, children’s aid became involved and we know the kids are being watched now. It is real funny how the kids never let themselves out of the apartment again after that day. Hitting is not the only way to hurt kids, this lady showed that.

I have strong opinions on what is ok and not ok when disciplining my children. I had to take parenting classes and learn how to properly discipline my kids, not in anger. It has been very hard. I have hit my kids (on the bum with diaper on, but that is still not ok). Than I learned to be a better parent. I knew it was wrong and got help. I learned the skills, different ways to discipline my kids, not hurt them. I have found 1, 2, 3 and then time out works great. It gives the kid’s time to calm down and more importantly my husband or me time to cool off and still lets the kids know they did some thing wrong. It took a lot of time for us to get used to doing time outs, and still struggle some times. I know it is working though. Why, because we don’t hit our kids, we give them time outs. That is why we went with time outs, an alternative to hitting and hurting. I had to learn the skills to become a good parent; I did not have a good example when growing up. For example, When I was 4 my step father would hold me by my ankles with my head in a bucket of water until I blacked out, then I would come to by the bucket, no one around to see if I lived or died. So lets just say I had to learn how to deal and relate with my kids. I never wanted to hurt them so I took lots of parenting classes and worked hard at it.

On a light note, last night my daughter (2 years old) gave her doll and a pikachu stuffy a time out. First she tried to sit them on the time out chair, but ended up putting one in a corner and the other facing the wall. This morning she gave her stuffed turtle and frog a time out on the chair. I did not know why she gave them time outs, she just did. It was kind of funny. But there was no yelling or her giving the toys what for, she just put them in a time out. She may have learned that from me, one of the things I do is give a toy a time out. If they are playing with something in a dangerous unsafe way I will take the toy away and tell them the toy is getting the time out, they cannot play with it until the time out is over. It seems to work, kids learn from what we show them.

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