I never really paid much attention to the parenting disciplines of others until I started teaching at the local college.
I believe it was my second year teaching and a young girl wrote me an e-mail in all capital letters demanding her grade be changed.
As I thoroughly checked all her grades and responded graciously, I thought I better share this with my department head who was very glad I did. She went to him to file a complaint. This student and her parents had a meeting with him that very afternoon.
“Suzie” threw a massive temper tantrum because she wasn’t getting any credit for her work. Well, she did the wrong assignments and being understanding to the fact that college is a difficult transition and most of my students had full-time jobs, I decided to give her a chance to turn in the correct assignments.
She didn’t want to redo them, she wanted credit for the work she did; after all she spent a lot of time on them.
This right here was the first sign that there was a new generation popping up of self-indulged, over pampered, under disciplined “adults” and it scared me.
Her parents wanted to know why I was giving their perfect daughter zeros for her work! When my department head presented them with what was assigned and what was turned in I’m guessing they were embarrassed because the situation was never brought up again.
The fact that I was called into my boss’s office, the fact that this goes in my “folder” and the fact that I have to, along with my colleagues, walk on egg shells to make sure we don’t upset our students is absurd.
I would have never behaved like this when I was a student. If I didn’t get my work done or if I was late; I didn’t cry about it. I sucked it up and learned the world doesn’t revolve around me!
I can’t properly teach students to be prepared for their real world and their field if I have to coddle them.
What has happened? Where or when did this shift in parenting happen?
Steve and I raise our children very similar to how we were raised and while I’m not going to get into the details of that, I will say it is certainly different than what the world around us seems to be doing.
I’ve been told that I am tough on my girls but that’s because the world is a tough place. I don’t want them to be shocked when they get their first job and realize the boss lady doesn’t care if she has the sniffles or Bobby just broke her heart. Boss lady only cares that her business is thriving. After all, she is paying YOU to work!
This article is a difficult one to write because it is such a hot topic. There is so much controversy over spanking and yelling versus talking and hugging as a discipline.
I’ve witness parents completely ignore their child’s behavior because “he is just working it out.” I watched them disregard punishments because “they don’t want her to be sad.’
I’ve watched friends and family members not discipline and while at times I thought, “GOOD LORD PLEASE DO SOMETHING!!!” I’ve never interfered as it isn’t my place. However, when your child is being a blatant bully or not following the rules, a parent needs to stop being a friend and start being a parent or else I WILL say something.
There is nothing about being your child’s friend that is helping them in the long run.
I think there is a lot of misinterpretation out there about spanking, giving your child choices, being a positive parent, even timeouts.
As a generation we have over analyzed every detail of life until the point that we have made it offensive, sad, and wrong.
During the process of this article I had spoken to about 50 different parents and read many articles.
I’ve found that the majority of those parents still believe in spanking, NOT beating, but a spank on the bum.
I also noticed that many of them are afraid to discipline in public because of the back lashes or looks of judgment they receive or perceive they will receive.
The other big thing I noticed was that the majority who yell and spank have many kids; not just one.
I have four kids. I would love nothing more than to teach my children to be calm and kind through my modeling. But as a mother of four it is impossible at times. In fact, as a mother in general it can be impossible.
I’ve broken down.
I’ve had calm conversations.
I’ve used positive reinforcement.
I’ve let them make their choices.
I’ve had to rip apart two kids trying to kill each other.
I’ve had to scream until my voice was sore just to be heard over the crying babies and fighting kids.
There was a time that I was scared of being a parent. Scared to reprimand my child in public. But quickly my kids caught on to that and pushed the boundaries. They knew mommy wouldn’t yell in front of others.
It was then, along with watching my students, that I realized I don’t want them to grow up being self-indulged brats.
I’m a confident mom, know what works best (for the most part) with each of my kids and I try my hardest to punish with compassion, kindness and consistency.
One mom I spoke to really nailed it. She mentioned that her pediatrician said, “Remember that 2 year olds need 2 year old punishments and 15 year olds need 15 year old punishments. That our children are children and not adults and don’t need the same privileges as adults nor do they run the household.”
This is absolutely true and I feel if we follow these basic rules our children will learn respect once again.
Being on the same page with your partner or whoever is involved in the child’s care, communication and consistency is such a huge overall theme in raising positive children.
At the end of every day I might not feel proud of the choices I made in my parenting but I do know that every day the love I give and show my girls outweighs the negative tenfold.