There is one thing me and my husband discussed and agreed together even before our kids were born; NO YELLING AND SPANKING THE TINY HUMANS!
We couldn’t just bring ourselves to inflict harm onto our kids in the name of discipline. There are days when our daughter cries for no apparent reason, will not accept any toys or play activities and would just scream and cry. It instinctively occurs to us that maybe she just needs attention and or a warm hug? And so we do, even though sometimes it takes hours for her to fill her love cup with our hugs, it’s all worth it.
“Your kid, in those distressful time, might be longing for some emotional security through your embrace, would you rather yell at them?“
I heard a story of an 8-year old boy who refused to eat the bony part of a fish served by his mother. Explaining he had days of pain due to a stuck fish bone in his throat. Deaf to this reason his mother swiftly stood up and grabbed a rod. The boy upon realising he angered his mother, picked up the fish and ate it. He thought a painful throat is better than upsetting her. But it’s all too late, she forcefully pulled him off his chair and repeatedly struck him. However and wherever the rod landed onto his tiny body didn’t concern the furious mother. She took out all the anger that’s been boiling inside of her onto her innocent little boy.
What could’ve been a perfect day to show grace turned into years of anxiety and depression. “What did I do to deserve such wrath from the person dear to my heart?” Is the question this boy repeatedly asked himself but never others, afraid the answer would be more painful than the bruises he bore for weeks from that merciless night.
“We often use our kids’ behaviour to justify our own, denying the humongous possibility of a lifetime scar to their soul.“
Imagine being in a room with someone you love, and every time you make a mistake you get yelled at or hit by that person. What would that make you feel? Would you feel loved? Or would you feel abused and hated? So how is your feelings any different from that of a child?
Parenting without yelling and spanking really takes hardwork and tons of patience, but it is possible and would definitely reap great results. Our two little munchkins are still too small, surely our ways will have to change as they grow. These are the things we try our best to implement instead:
- Go to our child’s eye-level and patiently inquire what frustrates her, the calmness in our voice helps them open up sooner.
- Understand what our child wants, and we try to have a little consideration.
- If the request can’t be considered, we offer solutions and alternatives. Can’t play with the scissor? Give her an empty tin can and some wooden spoons, she’ll be drumming till our ear aches but she might also discover a new passion! 🙂
- Distract her from the things that usually triggers her meltdown.
- If the misbehaviour is mild, we try to ignore it and see how quickly they’ll lose interest on the same.
- Give them positive attention; whenever our daughter wants to play hide and seek, we would always play along. You’ll be surprised how that 5 minutes of positive attention could change her entire day.
- Parents take turns; there are days that I am physically and mentally exhausted and couldn’t handle meltdowns the right way. My husband would then step up and attend to our daughter no matter how busy he is. I do the same thing when I see him in the same state.
Our children would unknowingly test our patience, because they themselves are frustrated at something. How we handle our frustrations towards them would determine their ways of handling their own in the future.
We are far from being perfect when it comes to parenting, we do mistakes along the way. But this we are sure of, our children will never doubt, even for one tiny bit, our love for them.