Terrible Number What?

The term “the terrible twos” was one that finds its origins in the 1950’s (though no one has taken responsibility for it specifically), possibly due to the advent of baby boomer mothers who were left with toddlers pushing their boundaries in close quarters.portrayal-89189_640

The truth, as any parent will tell you, is that the period of testing boundaries isn’t during (what would be awesome if it were true) isn’t confined to the second year of your little monster’s infancy.

From ages 1 to 4 infants/toddlers will test what the “no” boundaries are and push them the way that only a helpless child could get away with.

So the good news is that:

  1. You aren’t alone in your frustration
  2. It won’t last forever (there are different levels of child psychological turmoil to go through yet!)
  3. It is perfectly normal, even though you may think your child is Rosemary’s baby (google that)

(don’t miss our positive parenting post!)

So where do you draw the line between when dealing with spanking vs redirection when dealing with children of this young age?

The opinions held by professionals and parents alike on this subject are greatly varied, but in the end you will have to stand behind your own beliefs regarding physical punitive efforts (punitive is a good, solid word).

The consensus of many that are in favor of spankings say that spankings are typically reserved for reinforcement of basic behavioral training where it matters the most during development; don’t hit, don’t throw tantrums, don’t scream at your parents, etc.

It basically comes down to what you as an individual call acceptable behavior. When physical discipline is a part of multiple approaches to training your child’s behavioral patterns, and is balanced with other tactics like positive reinforcement, redirection, and other methods, the rewards are evident later down the road.

While you won’t reap the benefits of your efforts immediately (which at times might encourage negative parenting reactions on your part, which need to be avoided as much as parentally possible), the fruits of your labor will manifest in later years.

And, by the way, if there was a “terrible _” age group, it should be the terrible 16’s. But that’s just my opinion (and might or will be yours when you get there, wait and see!).

Ways to Have Positive Discipline with Your Child

Positive discipline with your child is an excellent way to avoid spanking and still rear your child up in the way that he or she should go.  For the most part, this is an effective method of the disciple in so much that the child’s response remains positive.

Let’s face it, as schutzengelchen-1690635_640parents, we need to pick our battles and sometimes a spanking isn’t necessary if there is a more peaceful positive option that works just as well.

Now, we are going to dive into some different ways you can positively discipline your child.

  1. Show them the right way – focusing on what the child did wrong can leave the child feeling less than. However, if you concentrate on the right way to do something.  Instead of showing them how they messed up by
    showing them how to do it right, the focus shifts from their self to a forward path to correction.
  2. Choices – you child, like most children, thrive when they feel they have some level of control in their surroundings. Offering your child choices on how to fix the wronged situation or person will automatically allow the child to feel in control.
  3. Always learning – remember your child is learning and when he or she messes up, it is an excellent opportunity to use the situation to teach them. More often or not lecturing a child does not render the desired results, but teaching will most likely get their wheels turning so they think about what they did.
  4. Redirection – if you child is doing something they should not do and insists on doing it, try redirection. Redirection is only moving your child from the situation and providing something else for them to focus on.
  5. Consistency is key – if you tell your child to do or not do something, then it is on you to be consistency in the follow through. “You mean what you say and you say what you mean” is one way to make a child feel secure and act out less.

Well, that was a great start at ways to positively discipline your child.  These methods should be combined with any corporal punishment, if you believe in that, for well-rounded child rearing.

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To Spank or Not to Spank, That Is the Question

This question is one that causes no end of the debate (and at times behavior that justifies that the one arguing might need a good spanking themselves).

Good parenting isn’t a matter of doing things the way everyone does it because (newsflash) you aren’t raising everyone’s kid/kids.

That being said, there are some justifications for and against physical discipline, also known as corporal punishment. (Which is a really strange term relating to the “corporeal form,” the physical body, vs. the incorporeal form, which is the soul or spirit; don’t sign me up for incorporeal punishment please, which for me is watching 12 hours of HGTV with my wife.)

As far as sides both for and against, we will look at an example of each.

Judeo-Christian values based on the Bible (not that much of Judeo-Christian practice is actually based on the Bible, but I digress) argues for spanking and or physical punishment of children via scriptures such as:

Proverbs 13:24- Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Proverbs 23:13-14- Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. (Note: this is not an excuse to beat the hell out of your child, but yes, your child will live through a spanking)

The APA (American Psychological Association), by contrast, makes a strong statement on the negative impacts spanking children has on their emotional and mental health. The psychologists at the APA contend that physical punishment has many of the same effects on the child’s psyche that can result from physical abuse; withdrawal, increased aggression and anti-social behavior just to name a few (the last of those I’m not sure about, as for the most part when my parents spanked me it made me want to be around people other than them, but maybe that’s just me).

We will talk about positive discipline in our next post; come back ready to put on your happy face!

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It Takes a Village To Raise a Child

Before we get too deep into the seriousness of effective parenting, I would like to start off with a short but absolutely hilarious video by one of my favorite satire YouTube personalities ENJOY:

Now that we have established some levity and maybe even saw a part of ourselves in the words spoken by comedian JP Sears, let’s begin on this journey to becoming a better parent!

The first and foremost thing to remember about being a parent is your child needs your love.  Kids understand a lot more than we give them credit for and even when they cannot put it into words, not feeling love on a daily basis can really affect them.

We have all heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”.  While that may be true, in today’s day in age we don’t really live in villages.

Some of us live in communities or neighborhoods where being friendly and getting to know one another is not the norm.  So, are we saying that if you don’t have a village you cannot effectively raise your child?

Absolutely not!  That is why I mentioned love as being one of the most powerful things a child needs.

Love is not all kisses and hugs; love can also take the form of discipline.  As a parent it is important to understand that.

Just because you discipline does not mean you don’t love, even if the discipline is a spanking or taking away their favorite toy.

I think all too often parents feel guilty and think their child will interpret their hard hand as a sign they do not love their them.  Here is where the cycle continues and to make up for feeling guilty they “spare the rod and spoil the child”.

Parenting is about balance and not acting on emotions.  We are all in this journey together and we are all going to mess up!

Good thing is that children are resilient and are full of unconditional love!  The trick is to never give up on being the best parent you can be!