Monday, May 21, 2012

Child discipline

It is becoming more and more clear to me that many parenting books and people seem to employ a strong level of *control* as a first choice of relating to children.   I can not recall reading much about what goes on the other side in the minds of the children.   I have a tendency to stare at my little people and big people's faces more and more and ponder how they too have emotions and feelings which are real and important.   A person I know was talking about how he thought yelling was an effective way to get a child to listen.   I remember being a child.   I had several teachers who yelled at me  hard and long till I shook uncontrollably  and cried most of the rest of those days.   Yelling.   I never received an apology as you know they were adults and I was only a child who frustrated them apparently.   Just as I remember the yelling so do children who are on the receiving end now.    If adults yelled at each other in the same way I was yelled at then in a public sector, I would imagine they might be looked down on or fired or something.   I am not even sure but I do know that it would certainly shock people.   The yelling which goes on behind closed doors is equally painful to a child and of course to adults who experience the same yelling.  Too much yelling.   I only mention all of this as crying and shaking is the reaction to yelling.   Whether it is outward crying and shaking or inward.   THAT is what a child experiences when yelled at.   

I am not sure what I am really driving at as this has become rambling but seriously, endorsing yelling or control means as a  method to *make* children do what they wish them to do is just disturbing.   Endorsing cheerfulness, willing helpers, talking to children as if they are people (cough, cough), modeling this to children through our own behavior, these are all ways to connect with another person known children.  

My favorite times are just working with my kids on some regular task like sweeping a room or hunting dust bunnies on the ceiling, or doing something more interesting like planting the garden (fun) and exchanging chatter with my excited little ones in the process.   Love motivates.   Love and concern for our neighbor is THE answer.   Yelling tears down and destroys relationships. Controlling chilren and not listening to them certainly does not help either.  Yelling kills really.   Children love to be talked WITH and not at.   Listen to those little ones and all the children who are not so little anymore.  

Sadness to me is the days I can't squeeze in some reading time with my kids.   Reading and talking to my kiddos.   Love your children and your family and friends.   It is a very awesome things.  


  1. I struggle with yelling. I was 37 when our first was born, and spent 20 years in the Army prior to that. Plus, I was an only child. What I'm saying is that I had little exposure to kids throughout my life. :) Our two girls are four and two years old. When one hurts another or when they hinder my helping them - those are my trigger times. It's hard to deal with them being jerky sinners to each other because I just didn't have anybody like that to deal with when I was a kid. It's hard to deal with them not letting me help them (such as when they ask for 17 things that they need all at once), because, well, I want to help them! I try to imagine being in their shoes and having this big person mad at them - that helps a little. Plus, I've given our four-year old some things to say to me to help me control my temper (she's supposed to tell me I'm acting like an angry character we saw in a Bugs Bunny cartoon). These things help. But they're still learning a lot about how to apologize from me. :) Lord, have mercy.


  2. I think your trigger points aer everyone's trigger points, They are certainly mine! I believe those are a struggle for everyone. Some have a better handle on this than others but unabashedly making pronouncements that yelling is the only way to get kids to listen, that is what I have a problem with. I have problems with cavalier yelling at anyone. I love your strategy of giving the four-year old things to say to you to help you control your temper. That is being real and looking for ways to deal with things. God bless you Bonnie!!! Jesus loves you and forgives you all your sins and yes, Lord have Mercy.

  3. Yeah - I can't understand the "yelling is the best/only way" mindset. Do they see how well that works with adults? Sheesh.