My husband and I had an interesting scenario the other week that I thought would be a good one for a blog post – the big bad topic of discipline!
Ryan and I have been together for 13 years and in that time I thought we would have discussed everything, even many years ago before Clara arrived all the areas around parenting and what type of parents we wanted to be. Yet, nothing prepares you for the moment you actually have to make those decisions and when you have children it is a whole different scenario, because now all of those idyllic scenarios where your children behave and you don’t have to worry about telling them off, saying no or even giving a little smack on the hand or bum, don’t even come into your rose tinted spectacle view of parenthood. How different it really is!
So it all started a couple of weeks ago as Clara has taken to deliberately throwing things on the floor (which a very cute Uh Oh which doesn’t help the me trying to be stern mum face) and as she is still too young to really understand my stern voice or the fact she just laughs at me when I do. I thought I would think back to when I was growing up and how a little tap on the hand might do the job of realising she wasn’t supposed to do that.
As the weeks progressed and at 16 months she really is now trying to push boundaries and I have been using this great app called Wonder Weeks which said that Clara is at a stage where you really have to lay down the ground rules so they learn where the boundaries are which should help when they reach ‘the terrible two’s’. So with a couple of taps on the hand and bottom over the last couple of weeks, Ryan said to me he doesn’t know if he feels comfortable with using any form of physical forms of discipline. Which really got me thinking, as much as she had got a couple of taps, was I either?
There has been many difficult moments over the last 16 months, but this was one of the first ones where I really felt like a parent to make one of my first big decisions about how we as parents, were going to discipline her. She is too young yet to be spoilt or really know what many things are, but this was a big one for me. So what did we do, well we used our monthly date night to have an adult conversation about it over a drink (yup it needed that to make this big discussion). It was really fascinating hearing each others sides of how we want to discipline and what was the most comforting is that we both came to the same conclusion. Not that we are against a good smack if it is warranted but we aren’t going to use physical discipline as that isn’t the environment we want to create or that we have to use either in our home or in public.
I don’t have anything against people using the occasional smack to discipline their children but it is a personal choice for us. I want Clara to learn about consequences to actions and be explained them. It definitely isn’t going to be the easy route but Ryan said that when he was growing up he never got smacked (okay maybe once or twice) but just the threat of the 1,2,3 counting was enough to not make him do anything.
We may be wrong and in a few months I may write another blog asking for HELP. I would love to hear about what your discipline methods are and if you have found they have worked or any advice on what hasn’t. Looking forward to hearing all your thoughts.
Lauren – workingmummablog