Hand Service

By on October 27, 2008 @ 12:00 am

Lately, there has been an ongoing discussion between some folks and myself about how to discipline a child.

Many of these people feel that hitting a child is always necessary when the child doesn’t obey. I was given the opportunity to hear various stories and share some of my own regarding the issue of discipline.

One story involved a 5 year old child being hit because he didn’t tell the truth. I was then asked what I would do if I encountered the same situation with a child. Before I could respond, I had to take into consideration that I was a child that grew up in a household where whippings were the norm. I also had to take into consideration that in the past, I’ve spanked a child or two. Then, I thought a little deeper into the person that I am today and that is how I formulated my response.

The person I was in the past would have lost my frustration and beat the child for telling a lie. The person I am today would take a different approach because I don’t believe that to hit the child for that reason would stop the child from telling a lie. I even went as far as asking the person this: “When you tell someone that you’re going to call them back knowing that you won’t, who beats you for telling a lie?” The person didn’t have an answer for me and it was clear that I gave them something to think about. My point was that children may tell lies or even worse. However, adults are not exempt from such behavior. But what is really important is what method(s) you take when approaching the situation.

Just yesterday a parent came to register her grandson for the after school program and she made a comment that when her grandson tells a lie, she takes twenty-five cents from him as a punishment because she has tried beating him and it wasn’t as effective as the new method she is using to discipline him. She also expressed that in her opinion, beating makes the child “harder”. In so many ways I agree with her. I know that beating made me harder and it also caused a pattern within me. I only grew older using the only method I knew to discipline children because I wasn’t aware that there were other alternatives.

Even with that being said, I really think it’s a case by case basis on how adults should discipline their children. What doesn’t work for some may actually work for others and vice versa.

What’s your take on discipline?

Categories: Free Writing | Observation | Relationships

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Grace @ Sandier Pastures October 27, 2008

We never hit our daughter. My husband has this way of disciplining her: when she behaves badly, being naughty, etc, she takes her to a room, just the two of them. He talks to her no matter how she wails and protests. He demands she looks into his eye and won’t let her go until she is all calmed down and she can answer the question “Why do you think you’re being treated like this” or “The thing you did – was it bad or good and why”. This method is very effective in our home.

No physical beating – I’ve been through that when I was young. I can’t possibly do it to my own child.

rawdawg October 27, 2008

time out is for basketball

Sue October 27, 2008

You made a great point. Consequences, not punishment, should be the norm for discipline.

meleah rebeccah October 27, 2008

I have only “hit” my child once when he was 11.

Any other form of discipline has been to take away the things he loves. Toys, games, video games, iPods, cell phones. I find that to be HIGHLY effective.

That “Time-Out” shit never worked.

Lavenderbay October 29, 2008

I agree with what you’re saying. Hitting a kid for lying, for example, teaches him not to be truthful but to be sneakier.

The Orange Phoenix October 29, 2008

I will say, there are times when a child will need to be hit, especially when they are doing something dangerous to themselves or others . . . I mean think of it this way, if I don’t hit him, the police will.

Erica October 30, 2008

Spanking doesn’t teach the child why they were wrong or what is right the thing to do.

Ms. Q October 31, 2008

I can’t see hitting a child for punishment although I was raised with several forms of it. I think it may depend on the child’s age. I’ve heard that before a certain age (5 or 6?) reasoning doesn’t really work, the child’s brain doesn’t quite process that way yet. But associating a whack with a certain behaviour does work.

Not that I’m for whacking. I have seen parents do more of symbolic whack – a scolding followed by a stinging whack (like with a wooden spoon) on the back of the hand. Actually, just thinking about it makes me wince.

I think it it’s a case-by-case thing and has a lot to do with the parents themselves and how mature and aware they are. Some parents expect their children to be adults and when a child behaves like a child – well, they think that’s misbehaving and start whacking away.

With regard to OP’s comment, when it comes to very young children (like under 6) the whack to prevent them from putting their hand on the stove or dashing out into the street may be the only way to make them remember.

dan-sean mankind November 2, 2008

I truly appreciate everyone’s feedback on this topic. People in general must be sure to think before they act. In yesterday’s society as well as today’s it is hard. It’s especially hard when you have no moral support or anyone to show you other alternatives in life.

Urban Thought November 2, 2008

I don’t think raising your hand at a child is the brightest of ways (more so an easy route).

Being a parent requires a certain amounts of creativity to manipulate your children into doing and being better people.

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