Our approach on disciplining our children is this : we do use time outs and spankings with Kyleigh, in addition to positive discipline. Proverbs 13:24 - "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." Kyleigh is a VERY strong-willed child. If we didn't use spankings or time-outs with her, she would never listen, never learn respect, never learn obedience. I'm rather inclined to think that Maezie won't be that hard. She's much more sensitive. While she certainly has her own ideas about things, she's much more easygoing and not nearly so strong-willed. Right now, all I have to do is just raise my voice sharply and say "No!" when she's touching something she shouldn't, and her little bottom lip comes out and she begins to cry. Even at this age, I could say "No!" to Kyleigh until I was blue in the face, and nothing would have happened. (Hah! And now, she just looks at me blankly and thoroughly ignores me unless she knows that something is coming to back up that "no!" - she's a smart cookie!!!)
I know that I personally have babysat for families that have children that have obviously not been disciplined. Both my husband and I think it's incredibly important to discipline our kids - BECAUSE we love them. The families I saw with disobedient kids were pretty disfunctional. The kids don't have respect for ANYONE. I don't think it's EVER ok for a child to hit their parent, or vice versa for that matter. (Unless for spankings of course - but spankings should eb done when the anger has cooled and should be done in a consistent manner.) The disobedient and thoroughly disresepctful children then turn into disrespectful teenagers, who think they are entitled to whatever they want and can treat anyone in whatever way they want. It might be easier as a parent to let your young child run all over you instead of putting your foot down and disciplining - but it makes the most difference to the CHILD later on in life.
My deep thought for the day : I don't think you can ever truly learn humility without being disciplined and learning to respect others first.
Kyleigh lately is getting more angry and not knowing how to act out. I really feel like we have hit the emotional part of the terrible 2's finally. I'm going to start working harder with her on calming down and "talking nice" and such. She's been flat-out refusing to do what we're telling her to lately. She's nearly 3. She's old enough to know right from wrong, and I'm noticing that we aren't discipling her ENOUGH as her tantrums are increasing both in frequency and size. We were just letting things go, ignoring bad behavior because we were still in that "she's really too young to know she's doing something wrong" phase - but that was just OUR minds, not HERS! Haha! She's incredibly intelligent and she's learned how to push our buttons, and that when one parent is upset with her or she's in trouble, she can run to the other parent for comfort. We've been realizing this lately, and are coming together more on what's going on. For instance, tonight Kyleigh climbed on our dresser in our bedroom and was playing with Matt's guitar. He asked her to get down. She just looked at him. Then he crossed the room so that he could physically MAKE her get down, and just before he got there, she jumped down and ran in here to me crying. "I need a hug Mommy!" I refused to give her one because she was in trouble. Matt and I have decided that when she's in trouble with one parent, that parent needs to be the one to discipline, hug, and explain what's going on and why we have rules and what rules have been broken. No getting comfort from the other parent. That undermines one parent's authority and sets the stage for the "good parent/bad parent" fiasco.
Here are some things I've seen kids around me (either than I've babysat or just watched grow up) do that I will NEVER let my children do. (And if my kids DO attempt these behaviors, you'd better believe they're going to be in BIG trouble!)
1. Blatanly roll their eyes at another adult (besides parents - HAH! I expect them to do that to me! I know I did it a lot to my parents - sorry Mom and Dad!)
2. Hit/kick a parent/caregiver
3. Say something incredibly rude as a guest in someone's home : "You have a really ugly house" or something like that. (Obviously, you can't expect verbal perfection out of super young kiddos, but out of older ones, I mean!)
4. Being rude and disrespectful to adults in general
5. Be defiantly disobedient, especially to adults besides parents
For instance, the 5 year old I babysat once. Me : "Cooper, please eat just ONE bite of your corn, and then you can get down from the table." Cooper : "No. I don't want to eat it, so I don't have to." Me : "I'm sorry Cooper, those are my rules. You need to eat just ONE bite of a vegetable for dinner. All you have to do is try it once. If you don't like it, you don't have to eat any more." Cooper : "NO!" And then he loaded his spoon with corn, and LAUNCHED the whole thing at my face. Then he threw himself on the floor in a tantrum, and when I went to pick him up from his tantrum, he punched me in the face repeatedly and kicked me in the stomach until I literally faced him away from me so he couldn't reach me anymore. I was SHOCKED!!! So I put him in time-out and called the parents. The Dad told me to just let him out of time-out, that his behavior is a reaction to all the stress he's been under lately, and not to punish him. .... Ummm, EXCUSE ME??!?! Yeah, those parents paid me $100 for 7.5 hours of babysitting, and I was never called back. Not that I'd ever willingly GO back either. I guarantee you though, without radical intervention, that boy is going to be a teenager that gets whatever he wants, when he wants it. The type that has no respect for teachers, policemen, or authority figures in general. The type that feels he can force teenage girls to give him what he wants, because he has always been his own authority. It might seem harmless enough at age 5. But what about when he's 15 and weighs 150 pounds and can literally break his mother's bones when he feels like punching her in the face?? Not so harmless then.
And just for your knowledge - when I was called to babysit Cooper and his sister at that time, their mom was in the hospital having baby #3. I was the only person crazy enough to accept their offer. I had never sat for them before, and I was the only person left on our church roster babysitter list. I don't know about any of YOU - but I would NEVER leave Ky and Maezie with a complete stranger (even one who went to my church and came highly recommended, as I was!) while I was in the hospital having another baby. ... So yeah, that just gives you an idea of how bad these kids were. His sister was only about 18 months old, not big enough to be really bad yet. But seriously folks, these kids are headed for destruction. Headed for hell, I honestly feel like. I mean - if you don't feel like you have to respect or honor your parents or any other authority figures in your life, why would you feel the need to respect or honor God?? There is a REASON that the Good Lord gave us the commandment to honor our father and mother - and it is because it starts us in a lifestyle that trains us to not only love and respect others, but also to love and honor our LORD!!!
I cringe when I see a 7 year old tell her mother what to do, or call her mother a name to her face or say something so rude to her mother that MY jaw drops - and then the child gets away with it. It makes me want to cry. As Americans in general, this whole "positive reinforcement only" thing we're into right now is going to leave our nation in a BAD place when this generation of kids grows up. Whew! Positive reinforcement is a GOOD thing, and has its place, for sure! I know that some kids respond very well to PR, and don't need as much of the corrective discipline. But not every kid is the same. And I'd much rather spank my kid now when she runs out into the street so that she learns her lesson and doesn't do it again - than have her get run over by a car while running out into the street again tomorrow.
We are not training our children to be children, we are training them to be ADULTS. You cannot be successful, repsonsible, well-adjusted, a good friend or well-loved as an adult unless you learn discpline, respect, and humility AS A CHILD.