Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Parenting or Abuse

With all the publicity the mother of the Baltimore teen that grabbed him, punched and threw him into a fence I find this an opportune time to offer another point of view.  Many people still believe hitting your child (and only your child the neighbor child is off limits), is a good from of discipline. I offer this for consideration.

Children learn from parents, not just by what the parent says, but also by what the parent does. Children learn respect based on the respect in the home.  When I correct my child do I respect them in the process?  If I yell or spank I do not show my child respect?  I do however get them to stop the behavior not because they respect me, but rather they are afraid of me.  

Punishment for inappropriate behavior still needs to respect the child.  If I were misbehaving would I want someone to hit or spank me, to yell or scream at me? NO! So why would I believe it would be okay to do the same to my child? When parenting with respect I teach my child respect. I teach them how to respond to others when others are not being respectful.  I teach them to think about their actions (what they say, what they do).  I teach them to listen to their own conscience as to what is right and wrong in order for them to choose a better path.  Children learn how to act from their parents.  If I wouldn't want something said or done to me, then why would I say or do it to my child?

Parenting with integrity requires a whole new set of ideas and options.  I have to be creative and I have to be willing to spend the time it takes to "teach" a child, not just boss them around. If this mother had been videoed hitting any child but her own, the conversation around her actions would be completely different. She would have most likely been arrested.

Treat others the way I want to be treated is a great guide-line for all of us.  I don't know where the exception came from that gives an exception if it is my own child the transgression is against. Spare the rod and spoil the child doesn't mean to hit them.  It does mean to guide them in the directions you want them to go.

Note to the media and CBS in particular:  When listening to the morning broadcast today (April 29, 2015) I was amazed at the way the news anchors encouraged her actions and even cheered her own to possible be the "mother of the year".  If this is what mother of the year looks like, I don't want to be one.