The issue of discipline children is one that will always be debated as each family has their own ways of doing things and disciplining in ways that they feel works best. And that's all fine and dandy. I personally, was abused as a child, and therefore, I don't believe in hitting kids. Another reason is that I think that what starts as "small spankings" can easily turn into more when it's one of those days where you are stressed, tired, sick, the kid is just being a terror all day, or whatever. I think that even people with the best intentions, may one day cross a line that makes them uncomfortable. But this doesn't in any way mean that I don't believe in discipline. I think that kids need to understand right & wrong, and they need to know that if they misbehave, privileges will be taken away or there will be some repercussion for their behavior. Most of these beliefs that I have come from my own childhood, the gazillion things I've read regarding this, the 'mommy' blogs that I've always loved reading for some reason, "SuperNanny," and things I've witnessed myself from my friends. And no, I sure as hell do not think that I know everything. And I also know that I will fuck it up when I have my own kids.
Hylan is really good most of the time. He listens well. But he also gets one warning when he's doing something wrong. And only one warning. The next time he does it, he's done. Whatever I said will happen, happens. And yes, I feel guilty. And I actually hate doing it. Especially because he generally will then do a mini tantrum. Run into his room (put himself in time out I guess?! lol), cry, stomp around, come and tell me I'm mean or why I'm wrong or why he wants whatever he wanted, and then it ends. And we talk about it and we hug and move on. Did I mention I feel guilty every time? I do. I feel like I'm being strict and that he will hate me. I try to be logical and know that it's helping him. He needs to learn that there is good and bad, that everything in life won't be his way, that bad behavior or hitting somebody isn't tolerated, etc. I've found that after a very long day of playing, around 6pm is usually his breaking point. He gets whiny, and something usually causes a tantrum. Yesterday, he was playing with the neighbor Devon and Devon suggested a game other than the "Zombies vs whatever" that Hylan wants to play ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Devon was good, and kept playing with him, he really is a great kid! But eventually he said let's play "whatever" and Hylan walked up to him, pushed him, hit him, and screamed "No."
I immediately said, "You're done Hylan" and we were going inside. I had told him already to play nice since he'd already started whining. So I had my first experience pulling a child from under the outdoor patio table, while he's screaming bloody murder and crying. It was a good time. I took him in the house and his little fit lasted about 1 minute. Then he came out to talk. We had a nice long talk about hitting as his mom had said he hit her boyfriend too. I told him he needed to say sorry to Devon next time he saw him. I explained that people don't like to play with people that hit them. All that good stuff. And he's ready to apologize and is hoping Devon will forgive him. Which I know he will. (Oh, and did I mention that during all of this, Justin was in the garden, in hearing distance, but didn't once come over!!! Different story for a different day! Leaving me to be the "mean" one as I was called!)
But either way, I think this works best. And the whole point of this writing is actually about what happened when we went to get ice cream. We were in the place, looking at flavors. There was a young kid with his gram and mom, and the boy was whining. There were about 4-5 other people waiting to order. Then the boy went into a full on fit because of something to do with his ice cream. This kid was so bad that a few people just walked out. The staff were just standing there because the mother insisted that her son "use his words" instead of screaming. This wasn't working. It was holding up the line and the kid just screamed louder and louder. And yes, it's probably happened to everybody and one day will happen to me. But here's the part I don't agree with....and also why I think the child probably acted like a 2 year old when he was clearly 6 or 7...The mother said at least 10 times, "If you don't use your words you won't get ice cream" or "If you don't stop, you won't get ice cream." This ice cream was already on the counter in front of him. Apparently the issue was that the cone was also in a cup because it was too soft for a cone only. He only wanted a cone. And on and on it went. The mother never followed up on anything. The little boy knew he could scream until he got his way. The gram eventually was scooping the ice cream into the cone to hand him the cone like he wanted. He still got his ice cream. And all of this went on while they were paying.
And we all watched. Even Hylan noticed it. And I can promise you, that if that was my child, the ice cream would have gone in the trash (if already made) or cancelled if not. We would have been out that damn door faster than the speed of light. And he would not have gotten ice cream, that's a fact. Does this make me mean? God, I hope not. But there probably are people who think that it does. And that's fine. I don't want to ever raise children who think screaming gets them anything. Does anybody?
I just don't get it. I don't think the kid was bad...the parents were. Obviously they allow this behavior and will continue to give him whatever he wants, so why should he bother not doing it? He clearly knows that a tantrum gets him what he wants. It's quite sad. And these people probably started off before kids, like me, thinking they'd get it right...so where did it go wrong?!! I hope it doesn't ever happen to me.
As usual everybody, thank you for reading! You can leave me comments and make my day! You can also follow my blog and if so, I believe you get an email when I write something. I really appreciate the comments I've gotten lately. So many people were kind and wrote a lot after the last one. Most were emails, texts, or fb messages. But you can leave them here too! Try it out!