Saturday, April 2, 2011


Someone didn't want to leave the mall.

I have been trying to figure out all night how I was going to write this blog. Let me start with what got me riled up about writing this.

Today, Wildman, Sweet Pea and I were heading into Aldis. We were actually just putting our quarter in the cart when I heard this father yelling and a kid screaming. I looked over as a father had his son draped over his shoulder (probably 6 or 7, maybe older) and the father threatening him, "I will blister your a$$ for how you are acting!" I literally got tears in my eyes as I watched them turn a corner and head to their car. If I had not had my kids in tow, I would have hauled myself over to that man and given him a piece of my mind, but, not knowing how he would react to that, I didn't want to put my kids in harms way. Instead, I turned to Wildman and told him how no parent should ever speak to their child that way. Now, a little background on Wildman. He is, and I have been told by many, the most compassionate little boy. If he hears any child crying or upset, he has to find them and figure out how to help them. So, of course he was trying to figure out what was going on. I explained to him that, under no circumstances, should any adult speak to a child like that and they shouldn't threaten. I told him that the father was not acting like a very good father at that moment.

You can say that I am being judgemental, that I don't know what the father may have been dealing with or how the son was acting. I say this, how can we teach our children to respect others if we won't respect them?

The reason today got me so riled up (I literally had tears in my eyes when walking into the store) was that, just a week ago, my husband came home telling me of a similar story. He had run to the liquor store to get some wine for the company we had over. As he was parking and getting out, he hears a woman cussing at 3 little boys. There is a burger joint in the strip mall that the liquor store is at and, from what my husband gathered, the whole incident involved a burger. My husband and I are very much on the same wavelength when it comes to parenting (whether he wants to admit it or not, I think I am wearing him down :-). He hears this "woman" (he thinks she was either teenage or early 20's so we don't know if these were her kids, siblings, what) and he steps in. He tells her something along the lines of how that is no way to speak to the kids. She throws some choice words at my husband and continues on her way. I could really tell all of this bothered my husband when he came home. Just like today really bothers me.

You said what to your kid?

Now, I am not trying to tell anyone how to parent. I know there are still many out there who use spanking as a punishment. For some reason, that was never a way I wanted to parent. I didn't know why, I just knew it would make me feel like a hypocrite if I would spank my child but then tell them not to hit someone.

It wasn't until I happened to catch an episode of Super Nanny a few weeks ago that what I felt was actually put into words. Now, a lot of what she does on the show would not work for me, but there are a few things I have taken to heart. On this particular episode, the father spanked, but he would also put hot sauce in his sons mouth. Jo called this corporal punishment. It was what she said next that rang true to me. She asked the father what happens when his son turns around after being spanked and says "that didn't hurt", will he hit harder? Or, what happens when just a little hot sauce doesn't work, will he use the whole bottle?

Those were the questions that made me realize why I could never use punishment with my kids. What do they learn? They learn to fear doing something because there is pain, but do they learn the reason behind why they shouldn't do something? I respect my kids and I respect their intelligence. I know that my son truly understands wrong and right on his own level and, if I give him enough time, he understands why something he did was wrong.

My parents love telling the story, when showing how stubborn I am (and was) about how, when they spanked me once (I was around 4 or 5), I did turn around and say "that didn't hurt". It was then that they realized that spanking was not the route they wanted to take. Instead, I recall being grounded once, maybe twice. It wasn't because I was a goody two shoes, it was because I knew my parents respected me and my decisions and that there wasn't anything I needed to keep from my parents. We had an open relationship. My mom can still remember the one time I really lied to her and that was senior year of high school. At that time, I lied more because I was afraid of disappointing them.

I know I have rambled some, but it all comes down to this, respect your child. Just because they are little and younger does not mean that they don't feel the same things as you. I am not going to say you should not spank, I just can't do it. I feel that any punishment a child receives should be done in private and, for me, it is quite time and getting up when he is ready to apologize and let me know what he did wrong. How would you feel if your boss started berating you in front of your coworkers? Or if you are chastised by someone in front of a lot of people. Children feel the same way. Show your children the same respect that you want to be shown. You will be amazed at how things work more smoothly in a household that shows love and respect.

The bottom line is to act how you want your children to act, love how you want them to love and show them respect so they can show respect to others.

Wildman and Sweet Pea say, "Show us some RESPECT!"


  1. Good post. I recently read "Unconditional Parenting" and "Playful Parenting" - both great books that have really inspired me as a mom. Growing up, I was punished often, but rarely disciplined- so learning to discipline, to teach, has been an interesting journey for someone who was screamed at and hit as a child. We are a rarely fussing, no hitting household. Our kids deserve to be treated like human beings with value, not beasts of burden that must be taught to submit.

    <3 Dusti

  2. I think it is tough for any parent to teach vs react. It definitely takes a lot more to take the time to teach and explain why something is wrong instead of just hitting and hoping they don't do it again. I am proud of you for teaching yourself and taking a different path!

    Mintee Mama


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