A Mommy’s Take on Discipline

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.
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.

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.

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10 thoughts on “A Mommy’s Take on Discipline

  1. Girlie

    i’m done with the “hitting” now, it’s grounding and taking away their “life” that works =) thanks for doing this and adding to the list, this is helpful ^_^

  2. joan

    I did spank a few times when they were young but it was more pop on the bottom as a shock factor rather than being painful. It didn’t happen much and I always regretted it because I felt I could have handle it better using other alternatives. We did the time out thing when they were preschool age. As they got older, it has become discussions and loss of privileges/grounding if necessary.

  3. JMom Post author

    hi Girlie yep “hitting” is especialy not very effective when they’re bigger than you. hehe!! I still have a picture of my very petite aunt swinging at her gargantuan son, and he was holding her back by the shoulder effortlessly and her swings were only hitting air. LOL!

    Hi Joan, I know what you mean. Even though I’m the mom, I always felt like a bully disciplining them physically. And there were times when I spanked in anger and that was really awful. Sure, they can tell you to spank rationally, but when you’re in the heat of the moment, it just does not work. For me, anyway.

    Grounding and taking away privilleges is working well for us right now too.

  4. Meeya

    i think i have no discipline style, too. most of the time, ninna is easy to manage. i think we have the same temperament so i almost always know how to handle her tantrums (because i have them, too! hehe).

    anyway, i hope not to use the rod if i can help it. was at the receiving end of that when i was younger so i know from experience that it doesn’t really help as much hehe.

  5. Leah

    We learn too as our kids grow and then we adjust our discipline styles. I am a loud voice mama when I get angry. A count of isa, dalawa…keeps my daughter in tow when said in an authoritative manner. I don’t ‘palo’.

  6. mae

    i’m not a mom yet but i am a daughter and my sisters and i grew up “hating” my mom for all the corporal punishments we’ve gotten as a child (my dad, he is our protector and he never hit us!). she changed her ways on our teenage years but by then we grew apart. we made up but still have that love-hate relationshipgoing on…

    the thing is, perhaps there is no definite discipline style because everything works in a case to case basis. I think I would be a trial and error mom! believe it or not, all of us 4 sisters turned out to be fine, responsible and successful individuals and though i don’t attribute it to the many spankings we’ve received- my mom did prepare us for the harsh realities of life- it is tough out here in the real world! i would probably be a druggie or a bum or totally dependent on them if they brought us up shielded and pampered and placed everything in colored tinted glasses!

    So I will do a little bit of spanking just enough so nobody calls 911 on me or what was that number in PI to call Bantay bata?! Then do some “cold treatment”- instead of shouting at them, just keep quiet and ignore them-like they don’t exist! I think they’d feel so guilty and can’t stand being ignored that they will just do as you tell them the next time.. I will follow grounding/cutting privileges as they go older, from Girlie and Joan. πŸ™‚

    I will also follow your personal technique JMOM! I like that! putting ourselves in their shoes, though very hard to do when you’re in a very angry mode yet still the best way to handle the situation, i think! …bottomline, we all just wanna be loved and accepted and our kids (well, my future kids) just want nothing more but love and acceptance as well. and oh add understanding! LOVED your post!! thanks! πŸ™‚

    (on a different note: so how easy was it to move your stuff with wordpress? my problem is that i’ve submitted A LOT and I mean A LOT of my URL to link directories and blogs. it’s not my posts i’m worried about but the amount of time i will spend submitting links to other sources and starting over again. to think- i’m doing all my blogging for free and on the side and it’s too much work and getting to be a hassle… sigh.)

  7. JMom

    hi Meeya, it really helps a lot when you have mild mannered children. The lord knew I could only take so much, so he gave me children who did not try my patience too often. hehe! ninna is sooo cute though, i bet she gets away with a lot! πŸ™‚

  8. JMom Post author

    hi Leah, counting used to work really well for me too, when the girls were younger. Now, when I start counting, they just finish it off for me πŸ™ hehe!

    I’ll visit your site for the tag πŸ™‚

  9. JMom Post author

    hi Mae, you are so right about

    we all just wanna be loved and accepted

    . One thing I always emphasize with my girls is that they can never do anything that will make me stop loving them. ANYTHING.

    I’m sure Hitler’s momma loved him πŸ˜‰ Unconditional love, that is all our kids want.

    It doesn’t mean they can get away with anything though!!

    On WordPress, true, it’s a lot of work re-building your presence once you move to your own domain, but I still think it’s worth it in the long run. It took me three years to decide to move from Blogspot, but if I plan to continue blogging, I think this is the smartest move for me. I do miss the ‘free’ service though πŸ˜‰


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