I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. Here in the South, even in this day and age, you can still hear of some folks who adhere to this saying. My husband and I, along with others of our generation, grew up in homes where the rod was definitely not spared. I can’t say that it is what kept us from being ‘spoiled’ for there are many examples where this belief certainly failed.
Girlie, the HipNCool Mommatagged me for this meme. Miche, who started the meme and first asked this question of moms, asked whether or not you spare the rod; not necessarily to start a debate or to advocate one belief over another but to share experiences on parenting styles. I think there are many young moms out there who are also wondering about this same question.
So here is my parenting style….
I don’t have one. I’m not ashamed to admit, discipline was the farthest thing from my mind when I first started bearing children. It has been a learning process and we’ve run the gamut of not sparing the rod to totally throwing out the rod with the bath water. Having been spanked as children, my husband and I had no compunctions about using this method of discipline when the girls were younger. It didn’t take us long to realize that, one, it really didn’t work with our girls, and two, we were the ones who ended up feeling worst about the experience. So we did away with the spanking and resorted to the evil eye and raised voices. That didn’t work either. Not only did we feel bad about the screaming, we also felt ridiculous having to make such ugly faces just to put the fear in our children.
So what to do. My husband and I are low energy people. Low key is an understatement. We like peace at home and we both try to avoid confrontations as much as possible. I suppose the Lord took pity on us and granted us with a little bit more patience and understanding. He also blessed us with naturally well disciplined children. In the last few years, especially since the girls have hit the teen years, we’ve been honing our communication skills. We try to talk to them honestlyabout things that they do wrong, the things they do that hurt us and other people, the things they do that hurt themselves. It’s not perfect by far and I don’t know that it will ever be. We still catch ourselves raising our voices or glaring at them. But that’s the key, I think, we do catch ourselves and realize that we are not perfect; the most that we can do is not to let ourselves slip so often.
My personal technique when my mothering tendencies to lecture start bubbling up is to stop for a minute and put myself in their place. How did I feel when I was thirteen? fourteen? fifteen? It is a stretch sometimes, it’s been awhile, but I do try to remember what I would have wanted my mom to say in that situation. What would have helped me? The answers don’t always come easy and sometimes they don’t come at all; and I am left sitting there looking at this young girl who really, at the end of the day, does not need answers but just unconditional love from their mom. Knowing that even if they trip and fall, someone will always be there to comfort them and love them.
It’s not a perfect method, I suppose. But hey, it is what works for us. What works for you?
To continue the meme, tag 5 moms whos take on Sparing the Rod or Not you’d like to hear about.
MOMS THAT I’M TAGGING TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION:
Joan in Southern Suburbia
MamaBok the Crazy Chinese Woman
Elizabeth at Table for Five
Cheh who is Moderately Confused in Deutschland
To the list of moms who have already done the tag below, include a link to your answer to this question (permalink) as I’ve done below to make it easier for the people you’ve tagged to just copy and paste this list.
READ ABOUT WHAT OTHER MOMS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS ISSUE:
1. Miche does not spare the rod.
2. Chinnee spares the rod at this moment.
3. HiPnCooLMoMMa Can’t use the rod at this point
4. JMom whose rod went out with the bath water
Don’t forget to let the moms you’ve tagged know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.