I don't know what your views are about discipline and, of course, punishment for children and at the risk of offending some of you perhaps, I debated about whether I should post this or not.
I do and I don't believe in corporal punishment. I've always believe for very small children -toddlers -that a little pat on the behind with a stern voice and reprimand were fine. Not a hard, hand on skin type hit, but just a friendly reminder, shall we say, that the child's actions were not in line with the expectations of the adult population.
I did that with my kids when they were small and as they grew up, I did a lot more threatening than actual physically giving them a smack. That is not to say that occasionally, things got to a point where it seemed the only thing that would suffice as appropriate to reprimand them did involve a spanking but those occasions were, for my kids, pretty much as far and few in between as had been spankings I received too as a kid.
Usually, with mine, I could threaten them that I was going to count to three and by the time I hit three, their behavior had best taken an about face or they knew, somehow or other, there would be hell to pay. Not necessarily physical punishment of a spanking but something would give and it wouldn't be me, so they'd best straighten up and fly right.
Not that they were always all that good at remembering what the house rules were supposed to be, but overall, they turned out pretty darned decent by the time they hit adulthood.
Now, with Maya -boy, she really knows how to put people to the test of wills!
When she gets a notion into her head, trying to distract her to something else or even more difficult, to discipline her is quite a task.
Sunday afternoon, I was busy in the kitchen, trying to make a dessert dish, as well as two other dishes to take with us to church that night for the annual St. Lucia Program and Pot Luck Dinner so I really wasn't in the mood at all to put up with any of her shenanigans.
I had been after her for quite some time to pick up toys she had strewn around the living room and she had repeatedly been ignoring my requests. I put both her and Kurtis into a time out -7 minutes for her (it goes by the age of the child) and for Kurtis, 4 minutes. Of course, she was highly offended that his time out was shorter than hers and I simply told her that was too bad, so sad, but that's the breaks of this game, ya know.
And still she refused to obey my instructions to pick up any of the mess she had on the living room floor. No! Now she also began to sass me too and was also poking her feet (clad in socks) into Kurt's face and I told her to stop that, to sit up straight and behave till her time out was over or else, she was liable to end up with a sore behind.
(Yes, I do threaten that punishment from time to time and sometimes -if I am very lucky -she will realize and remember that every now and again Grammy's threats aren't just words, but if pushed too far, she just might follow through.
Sunday, Maya decided to push me a bit more and I went over to her, got her by her upper arms and pulled her into a sitting position away from her brother. She sassed me yet again and I told her she'd best think twice about talking to me like that. Oh how that child loves a challenge, ya know -cause she mouthed off once more to me and with that, I raised my hand and gave her a very quick, but a bit sharp smack on her behind.
The look on her face was absolutely priceless as I could see she was really surprised by this.
But what got me even more was when she looked up and me and said, "Hey! You did that on purpose!"
Damned straight I did my little Princess!
But I also had to turn around and glanced at my son, who was laying on the sofa, watching tv and both of us had to put our hands over our mouths so as not to let her see we were both laughing at her response then too!
As I said, this is not a means of discipline that I use all the time -just when she gets really out of hand and I can't get a means to redirect her at the time. Much of the time, she know when she's about pushed me to my limits simply by looking at my eyes and she can tell a lot by the glare she gets from me as well as the tone of my voice.
But every now and again, she is the recipient of that thing many refer to as an "attitude adjustment."
A bit later when her mother came onto the scene, she got yet another rude awakening because she and her brother had pretty much trashed their bedroom and she had refused to help pick up that mess too. So Mandy grabbed a garbage bag, headed up to their room and proceeded to pick everything up off the floor and put it in the garbage bag then, telling Maya it was all going into the trash. A whole lot of wailing and gnashing of the teeth then ensued and the bag made its way downstairs where it is now still sitting but which will shortly go to the basement, out of sight for a while and Maya will be left to brood and stew a bit about all the toys, many which she just got for her birthday two months ago, are now in that bag.
It's a toss-up whether either method works or if one works better than the other. But with her, because of her obsessions at times, you have to take a really firm stand with her or else.
With Kurtis, generally all I have to do with him most of the time is to give him "the look" or what my kids always referred to as the "evil eye" and he takes off and starts picking him toys and such. The only time the "evil eye" has absolutely no affect whatsoever on him is when it comes to trying to get him to eat! He can be just as stubborn then as his sister if he insists he isn't going to eat something on his plate!
How did or do you handle discipline with your kids? Just wondering.
I remember my Mom getting really, really angry with me a few times when I was a child and on those occasions when she actually administered a spanking, it was something I knew then and remember today that I richly deserved that punishment too!
My kids will likely say the same about what they did and what I did in return as well.
I do wonder though with Maya, in particular, how she views her behaviors vs our house rules and punishment for disregarding them.