I came across an article a friend posted on a social media site today regarding disciplining our children. This has always been a fascinating topic to me. I am not a mother who believes in spankings, while my husband is a firm believer in its power; having kids become respectable teenagers, and adults. When I found out our differing opinions on this subject I of course argued my point and he his, but essentially we let it go because we, at the time, had no plans to have kids. As time went on and we became more serious, questions arose in my head about how we would parent together with such differing viewpoints. I put the issue on the back burner for the most part, until we became pregnant. Now it was real! It was an issue that would have to be resolved! I, in my usual manner, took to researching my point, to make it more valid to my husband and show him just how spanking effects a child. I even ordered a book, entitled, ‘The case against spanking’, by Irwin A. Hyman Ed.D. I did begin the read and was learning great points with such knowledge and a good fighting argument. I became so engulfed with all my new baby knowledge and worries from ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ to ‘Pregnancy sucks’ that I simply put the book down until I could devote more time to my case. I thought, “Well we are a good year or two away from having to deal with the drama anyway.” Someone really should have reminded me that once you actually have the baby, your time goes to squat and picking up a good read is a laughable thought. But, I am making it a point to finish this book before my baby turns one so I can carefully plan and fight my right to not spank my child, when daddy is so eager handed.
I guess I should make it a point to say that Robert does not want to spank our children, but rather feels that if they do something that requires a disciplinary action, this is the best response in that they “learn not to do the action again”. Whenever I do find myself wondering if it is such a bad idea, after all I wouldn’t be the one having to administer it; I would put my stubborn husband up to the task every time, I just think about a few people I know who have been spanked and just what horrible people they still turned out to be! This argument of spanked children turning into respectable adults just doesn’t fly when a good amount just become angrier and feel that physical aggression is the best way to solve any issue.
I went off on a slight tangent! In fact the article is not even about spanking! It is regarding putting a child in “time-out.” Which is the most favorably ranked disciplinary response for parents in today’s society. The ‘TIMES’ article, which I will post below, is discussing a new book coming out, “No-drama discipline”. (NOTE: This is my take on the article and how I interpreted things) Studies have shown that isolating your child through a “time-out” experience creates a type of complex in the brain in which children fear not being perfect or they will be isolated in their lives. A sense of rejection is built and shame is often felt when a child cannot calm themselves down to the point of being ‘model children’. The article even explains that isolation shows in brain imaging just as a physical pain might. From what I understand this so called “no drama” discipline is supposed to help the parent and child form a more articulated form of “discipline.” Letting the child understand just what they did, practicing what not to do by figuring it out based on social cues and parental response, without isolation. I am not much aware of the study they are referring to regarding the brain imaging of physical and emotional pain, however, from what I can gather, it does seem like good points overall. I like the concept in itself. HOWEVER, if we are no longer “disciplining” our children, and simply letting them “figure things out on their own,” this could lead to children never acknowledging their wrong doings or perhaps using this given time, in which a parent is to “comfort” the child, opposed to isolating them, to their advantage. Children are very bright and know how to get just what they want. If they wish for more time with mommy or daddy the will figure out a way and through this technique I can see children doing “wrong” or “unacceptable” things in order to get more time with a parent. At least when you are disciplining in the form of taking away something (a toy, a book, their peers); a form of isolation, or giving something (a spanking), you are having that child take responsibility for their actions, and with your chosen response to the action you are forming an example of what will be stood for and what will not. I am not saying this article does not have any valid points, I very much like that it explains just how important it is to sit and teach them. Children must be spoken to about what was wrong with the action they took or didn’t take. With this explanation they can begin to form respectable characteristics. Along with this explanation however, a choice must be made, whatever side of the fence you stand on, spanking vs. time-out, etc. I believe adding something along with a reason why provides a child the opportunity to take responsibility and that is what causes learning.
…..As times change disciplining opinions become more and more interesting. …