Whatever happened to the job of being a parent, simply being called “parenting?”
Now there are LABELS. Are you kidding me with this? Why, oh why, oh why, is our modern culture so obsessed with labeling absolutely EVERYTHING? I am parenting. Period. No?
I mean apparently we parents fall under four categories, you either have an:
Uninvolved Parenting style.
Since you’re going to label me anyway, I’d say it’s safe to say that Yannick and I fall under the Authoritative style of parenting. Which based on the description of what that is, according to the website; verywell.com description below, describes us perfectly.
“Like authoritarian parents, those with an authoritative parenting style establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. However, this parenting style is much more democratic. Authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions.
When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. Baumrind suggests that these parents “monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative.”
I’d say that sums up our expectation with our girls fairly well. We were parents who believed in spanking a child as a form of punishment. The reason we preferred this method of dealing with them when they broke one of our three house rules, was because we wanted to teach our girls a few different things about real life, which were:
- There is no countdown from a teacher, professor, lover, or boss when you’re not doing what has been asked of you; when you say cruel or hurtful things, or when you do not complete a task. Usually in a real life relationship out in the real world, nobody is going to count to three to allow you to change your mind about what you said, or count to three to allow you to get back to your desk to complete the task that was asked of you. With our parenting we decided on a more true to life reaction to fucking up. Which is usually immediate.
- We also didn’t want to do the “go to your room and think about what you’ve done” tactic. Why? Well because, that was sometimes used on me, and to be truthful the amount of time I actually spent thinking about what I had done once I got in my room, and either started a brand new Barbie game, or reading a book, was slim to none. So I had lived the reality that, that style of parenting didn’t work. Also it isn’t dealing with the behavior of the child, at all, and in my opinion gives the notion that you’re kid is not good enough to be around you when they fuck up. Which is not the case. I believe that when your kids mess up, there needs to be dialogue about their choices, not “hey go to your room and figure it out for yourself while a pour a glass of wine and surf my social media.” Hmmm???
- Most importantly what we wanted them to learn was that once they were disciplined for making the choice to break the rules, the upset was over. All was forgiven, and forgotten. We also wanted them to know that when they messed up, if they were sorry, and understood what was wrong with what they’d done, then all was good. There was no remnant of discipline leaking over to dinner time, bed time, or the next day. What was done, was done, and it was handled.
What I didn’t get the opportunity to say during my appearance on The Goods yesterday; cuz who can get a word in edgewise when on a panel with a comedian, AND more importantly, that show isn’t a parenting show, it’s an everything under the sun, topic show. So the parenting segments are short. What is key, if as parents, you make the decision to use spanking as one of the tools in your tool belt of parenting, is that it can only be used if it is done with, and from, love.
Gerry had an issue with it, citing “how can HITTING your kid ever come from love?” Yet preceded to admit that as a parent, he had often felt like he just wanted to lose it on them. Which my friends, is exactly what emotion is avoided when you spank with structure. There is no point in time where you, the parent, is enraged, or at your wits end. We never once spanked our girls with anger. Not one time. We had three simple rules. You break one, you get three spanks on your bum.
The three rules we, as fellow beings on this planet felt were key, cornerstone rules to being a good citizen, were:
- don’t lie
- don’t disrespect
- don’t disobey
Not rocket science, and to be quite honest with you, are all things that seem to be missing in our modern world, from adults and children alike. This current republican administration is demonstrating the urgent need that these qualities must make a comeback to the forefront of everybody’s consciousness. But I digress.
We never, not once spanked our girls with an angry voice, attitude or energy. We started by having dialogue with them, asking them if they understood why they were being spanked. They would be told to go to their rooms and wait, we usually had them sit with their own thoughts for a couple of minutes. Then we would do the spanking, three little paddles on their bum. It was always cute, and tough not to laugh, when we’d get there and discover that they had used their two minutes of alone time to layer up on panties to help deal with the sting of it. Afterward, they would be crying, tears, hugging, kisses and lots of conversation about why lying is wrong. Or why it is important to follow and obey rules, and why we must treat others the way we want to be treated. Being cruel to one another, or mean, or leaving somebody out of a game is truly disrespectful, and we must always imagine ourselves in the other person’s shoes.
Simple. Straightforward. Loving, structured discipline is what we did. Whipping a belt off, or cuffing a child in the side of the head because they’ve lipped off that one time too many. Not cool. Neither is, ignoring their behaviour, hoping that somebody will step in and parent your child for you. To tell you the truth, we barely had to spank the girls, they learned quite quick that breaking the rules just wasn’t worth the sore backside. After that, our parenting was able to be done with “the look” the minute they started to think about telling a lie, or lippin off. Our youngest prides herself on being able to count on one hand the number of times she was spanked in ten years. Oh the joys of being the baby and having the privilege of watching and learning.