Aubrey has officially reached the testing his boundaries and our limits phase of toddlerhood. This has been going on for some time now, but only recently has he stopped even listening to the 4th and 5th ‘NO’ in a row. It puts us parents in such a bind. On Sundays, we head to my parents for the day since Rob is usually working nights. So, this past Sunday, my parents saw me struggling with Aubrey not listening and we started on the discussion of discipline.
They began to tell me about their generation and how discipline using force was the norm. Both my parents could remember exactly where the strap was kept in the classroom and how the teachers would threaten to use it. Back home, they remembered what their parents would do as well, when they had reached that point in what I refer to as ‘snottiness’. But, they said, it taught them when and where to show respect so it was almost thought as a positive for them.
Skip to the next generation, our generation. Straps were long gone out of schools but our house had no shortage of threats and in extreme situations, usage of the wooden spoon. But, again, I respect my parents. The many slaps across the back of the head of top of the hands when I or my sisters stepped out of line was honestly effective. We knew the rules and although we pushed the boundaries on the regular, there was still a level of respect for our elders at all times.
Now, its time for us to be the parents and it’s hard. We began time outs when Aubrey was around 1 and a half. And they were working. But then it stopped. So we began time outs in his room, then that stopped working. Now, we are giving time outs in his room with the door closed. We wait until he has calmed down and we go in and talk to him. If he can answer correctly what he did wrong to have been sent to his room, he is allowed to leave. This has always been our way because we wanted to use it as a learning experience for him. But, when that slowly starts to not work, where does a parent go next?
If you say that you spank your child, no matter how normal it was in our generation and the generations before us, you WILL be judged. And, in a society where everyone takes offence to EVERYTHING, you may even risk being reported for child abuse. Heck, I may even get in trouble for writing this post. The thing is, in this technology advanced world where the younger generations lack respect for anyone but themselves and are so self involved, you have to look back at the history of raising a child and really see what has changed in the last 20 years to cause such a decline in these basic life values one should be raised with. I want a son and daughter who value their worth, respect their elders, and know their place in our house. We are a loving family who makes sure each of us know that every second of every day. But, If my children get far out of line, is it wrong to fall back on a simple threat, used for centuries, that may do wonders? I’ll let you decide.