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Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 2 – Punish without anger

by Deborah Cruz

Yesterday was day 1 of the Be a Better Parent challenge at Motherhood Uncensored. The first challenge was being present. I tried. I really did try. By the end of the day,I still found myself tuning them out…especially when all of the whining at bed time started going on. I did do pretty good the rest of the day; not perfect, but I tried. I am a work in progress and today as I am doing challenge #2, I will also be incorporating being present. How did you do? I’d love to hear.
Today’s challenge, as you may have surmised from the title of today’s post; Punish without anger! I think this is a hard one for all Moms because normally by the time we actually punish our children, they have been doing something repeatedly and we have hit our threshold. I am not really an advocate for spanking because I got it as a child and I really hated it. It didn’t really teach me anything but to be afraid of the actual spanking . It didn’t teach me a valuable life lesson, other than I don’t like to be hit.So, spanking is a non issue fro me. I don’t advocate for spanking. It never seems to get the result you want. My punishments for the girls usually end up being threats..mostly idle. Yeah, I know, not helpful! I take things away…play dates, t.v’s, toys, events, etc. But when I hit my threshold, the deliverance of the punishment goes something like this… “(ROAR) I can’t believe you just did that.  (BARK) Apologize! (SNAP) Go to your room! (GROWL) No TV for a week! (RAWR!!)” Definitely, not ideal. I am sure that my verbal lashing is as awful as any spanking. ( Hangs head in shame) I hate the guilt of it and hate that I can not control my reactions. I am working on that. I was suggested the Magic 1-2-3 book ( actually I’ve had it collecting dust since Bella was born. I just never thought it would work). Today is the day I read that book and try something new. The roaring and frightening the children is not what I want to convey to them. I don’t want the lesson to be that Mommy is a lunatic. I just want them to understand that bad behavior is not rewarded and that actions have consequences. If any of you have any great ideas for punishing without anger, please share. I would love to hear them.
Today, I take the challenge and while being physically and emotionally present to what they are saying and doing, I will also be reacting with understanding and maturity….or ,at the very least, trying to do so. Baby steps! Baby Steps. I will let you all know how the Magic 1-2-3 works out! Happy Mothering!

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Kelly 2010/08/02 - 11:58 am

I am a spanker, but I think it's been 3 years since I actually spanked my child. With that being said, I use the punishment should fit the crime method.

To get a spanking it has to be something big, like being disrespectful, back talking, or I don't know but something big. I guess that's why it's been about 3 years or so since he's received a spanking. Usually I take things, like no TV, but when I take the TV I take everything electronic related. There is no need to take the TV if he keeps the ipod or video games or Computer since he can watch TV in all that stuff too.

Usually I do this on the first offence. Like if I said, have your room cleaned when I get home if it's not done – No TV (and all other electronics) but only until the room is cleaned. So if he continues to lie around and not clean his room for 2 weeks, then he has nothing to do for two weeks. I'm not going to say that I never give a second chance, but they are rare.

I also pick my battles, really is what I am worried about that big of a deal? Like that shirt doesn't match those pants…is that worth the argument? Usually not so I just let it go. School is a big matter…it’s always worth the fight, respect is a big matter, and being helpful around the house is big. The bicycle being left in the yard, not as big..but has to be put up. I'm real anal about NOW not LATER. When I said take those clothes to your room and put them away…that means RIGHT NOW. He is one to respond better to a lecture than a spanking.

Once they realize that you are not playing, then the repetition of commands, the barking orders and the end of your rope stops. So does the feeling like you are a failure at parenting. That's just my take, and I have only one child, everyone tells me that makes a difference.

Shell 2010/08/02 - 1:07 pm

Without anger? I will have to check out this challenge. I tend to yell. I don't want to, but I get to the end of my patience and I yell.

KAE 2010/08/02 - 1:41 pm

I need to check this out!

Robin 2010/08/02 - 2:36 pm

When C-Man and H-Girl lived with me, they were TOUGH kids. Constantly pushing the envelope. So they were in trouble a lot. They had come out of an abusive household with their mother and stepfather, so I really didn't want to spank them. I had to get creative with punishments. They were young (4 and 5) when they first moved in and I tried to pick things that fit the "crime." If it was talking back or "sassy mouth," they got a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. They hated that. It didn't hurt them one bit, but they didn't like it at all. Standing them in the corner was popular, too. At that age, three minutes in the corner is a long time. Of course, if they were naughty in the corner, they would get another minute. When I was in elementary school they would make us stand up as a classroom and hold our arms straigt out for so many minutes when everyone was really out of control. Two minutes of that and your arms hurt. The idea is not to traumatize them, but to make it unpleasant so they know it is a punishment and don't do whatever they did again. I know there were others, but I can't think of them. Unless it was sassy mouth, I would let them pick their punishment. They didn't like that either. It is no fun picking your misery. The good news: it did get better as time went on! The other good news: it is easier to dole out that sort of punishment without anger than it is to spank them. If you spank them, you are more likely to do it in anger.

Megan A 2010/08/03 - 10:51 pm

I've been readin these & I love it, I really need to work on this one! I tend to blow up about little things 🙁

Everyday Mama 2010/08/03 - 10:51 pm

I've been readin these & I love it, I really need to work on this one! I tend to blow up about little things 🙁


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