Today while I was on the phone with my best friend we got on the topic of disciplining our little ones who are 3 months apart in age. We got to talking about how certain methods of disciplines work better than others right now, but may not be as effective in the future. For instance, right now popping/spanking my son works best because he is not verbal enough and I know that speaking to him and time outs do not work. Right now he understands that when he does X then Y (I.E. spankings) will happen. Right now this is what works for my son, and I can tell he is starting to get it because yesterday he was pinching my husband and he wouldn’t let him down so my husband popped him and when he got down he started rubbing his leg and pointed to my husbands shoulder and then he started rubbing my husbands shoulder and his leg while babbling. It was like he was saying, “Owwww I get it, that hurt.”Now, right now we spank because it seems to be the most effective way, however in a year or two when he understands more I really think he will respond to us telling him, “I’m so disappointed”, or “that makes me sad” and grounding him from toys or certain things. Then we got to talking about how our next child might be the total opposite, and it hit me that although consistency in discipline is key it is okay, and normal that our method of discipline might change as our children progress and grow into their personality. What works for my son, Silas, might not work for my next child and I feel like there is not one right way to discipline and that there are things that need to be taken into consideration when deciding how we will do so. Children are so fragile, yes they also bounce back from things better than older people do, but they are still fragile and their childhood memories will last a lifetime, and I don’t want Silas to look back on his childhood and thinking that his mom and dad were just so mean and disciplined him for everything and weren’t understanding. I want him to look back and think that his mom and dad cared very deeply for him and that they disciplined him out of their love for him and nothing more. That they didn’t want to or like to discipline him, but needed to do so that he could be a kind, obedient, respectful human being. I want him to know that there is a reason why we are disciplining and I want the knowledge that our actions and reactions have repercussions (whether they are good or bad) ingrained in them. After all isn’t that the whole point of disciplining our children? To mold them and help them to know right from wrong and act accordingly?!? I used to go back and forth so much on whether or not we would spank and at times I question myself and wonder if I’m mucking it all up and failing my son as his mother, but I truly believe that I am doing what is best for my son right now, in this moment and season of his life, and really that is all I can do.
It’s funny because I used to have my reservations about how some people disciplined their children, but now that I have my own I can truly say, “do what works for you and for your child/children” without passing judgment in my head about how they chose to do so, that is as long as it is not mentally, physically or emotionally abusive and actually effective! If there is one thing having my son has taught me it’s that every child is different and quite honestly my biggest concern and responsibility is to the little blonde haired blue eyed boy standing in my living room playing with his toys.