Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Discipline part 2

Before going to discipline, I must say I have changed the concept of my blog. At first I had planned of writing in a matter of-fact approach, almost eliminating any thread of personal connection to my posts. But as a result, I lost the interest and enthusiasm of posting. I guess because I strayed from my main reason of this blog, to share my life as a parent. Anyway, back to discipline, I do agree with one of the comments on my first post on discipline that there's a very thin line that separates it from that of abuse. Let us admit, when the time comes when our child is defiant and strong-willed that he would not listen and obey what you're saying in short, misbehaving, you just want to shake him while explaining that what you're saying is for his own safety and good. Especially when you're tired, stressed, swamped with work, or with a PMS (in cases of the mother), controlling your temper and disciplining without rage is just so difficult! My son spoke late. He was able to communicate through words properly at age of 3. So during those time when he can't say, he can't convey through words what he wants and needs, he was so violent, he would shriek out so loud, or cry on the floor, and the worse, (as he saw on TV) he banged his head on the wall, it was very frustrating for me then. I know that if I yelled at him, or had showed anger and impatience while trying to understand him, I know I am planting seeds of resentment and anger (too) in his young heart. So with all my might I tried every moment, everyday to be so patient with him. When I am just so impatient and I would burst with my disappointment on his condition, I would go out of the room and cry. If getting away from him is not possible, I close my eyes and count as long as when I have calmed down. Now that he is 5, ha! Discipline has become a challenge both for me and for him. He is a very curious kid, hyperactive and very playful. So when there is something that I tell him, he would always ignore. It would take me at least 5 times to say something over and over before I would catch his attention. It is very easy to just lose patience and yell at him, or maybe beat him up in hope that he will listen the next time. But, if I do it, will I be showing him that I love him and I just want to teach him what is best for him? No. He would think that he is getting on my way, and that I resent him. I am a believer that sometimes we have to spank our kids, SOMETIMES. When instances that it has become necessary, but that sometimes, really do rarely happen. Kids are kids. All they want is do things that they enjoy, that please them, and more, please the people around them. And so they tend to do things that would attract attention, and would gain them approval. But since kids do not fully understand yet the boundaries of accepted behavior and unaccepted ones, they tend to experiment. They would do things until they catch your attention, and oftentimes, when they catch our attentions, it is because they have done something that is unacceptable. And when we are tired, stressed out, or just plainly swamped with household chores, it is very easy to yell and get angry to show them that what they did is wrong. But this is not what happens. When we get mad at a child, the first thing that he understands is that you got angry. And there is resentment. And because when we get mad, we don't often explain why, then they don't learn that what they did is wrong. Instead they learn resentment, anger. At my age, 28, my PMS is getting worse month by month. And this is the most crucial and challenging time of my being a parent, keeping the patience when everything inside me is just going nuts. Yelling, getting mad to my kids every now and then is something as a normal routine supposed to be, but I am trying not. I could just think about the discomfort that I am feeling, the irritation it causes me when my kids would do the things I say NO, and just yell so that they will stop and start doing as I say. But if I do it (as I have tried once) they would only disobey me more. And so what I do, instead of yelling, I would try to explain that what I am saying is for their own good. And I would remember how I would react to my parents when they get mad at me when I was a kid. And I would remember what I wished then that they should have done instead of getting mad that I may understand what they want me to learn. In short, I put myself in my kid's shoe. And I know that when kids misbehave, it is because parents have become too busy for even just a hug for their kids. And so I make it a point to let them know, that I maybe busy, I am not forgetting them. And so I would hug them, kiss them, or sometimes, just sit beside them and hold them for a moment before going back to what I am doing. And it works... But then kids are kids. As I have said, they have no understanding yet on what is the difference of misbehaving and behaving. If us, adults misbehaves, us, who knows which is right from wrong, how much more our kids? And so I accept the fact that children are inherent to misbehave. And so I ready myself everyday with lots of patience and understanding, most of all love. So that when the time comes when they will come to learn what is right from wrong, I would be able to help them understand the thin line that separates these two. And not my anger, my impatience, my resentment. As parents, we were not prepared; there were no beforehand training for us before we have embraced this role. So it is very easy for us to just cross the line and become abusive. And so when our kids make mistakes everyday to learn what is right from wrong, let us remember the question, "IF I WERE ON MY KID'S SHOE, HOW WOULD I WANT MY MOM TO MAKE ME UNDERSTAND WHAT IS RIGHT FROM WRONG? This question will save us, will keep us from crossing the thin line that separates discipline from abuse.

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