Grandparents have a hard time understanding why children are so out of control today. They are right. This is a problem. But Grandma had an advantage. She stayed home most of the time and could stay more focused on her family. She also relied more on her children because she had more of them. Years ago larger families meant being responsible at a much younger age.
Today, it is a juggling act. Many households have one single parent or two working parents. Even mothers or fathers who stay home have to juggle conflicting demands of school and daycare, after school activities, daily chores and other obligations. With all of these pressures and comings and goings, it sure is easier to just let our children take charge of their own behavior.
Discipline your son, for in that there is hope;
Do not be a willing party to his death.
First thing is first, when do we begin? We’ve all been there, or at least those of us who have had a strong willed toddler: the child who will not lay still for a diaper change- a poopy diaper. You sing, you make crazy faces, you give the little sweetie a toy, you practically stand on your head, but your child still arches her back, kicks her feet and before you know it you need a hazmat suit to clean up the situation.
How old are they when they become defiant and uncooperative? At what point do they think: “Well, I’m done, so what better place for my cut up cheese but the wall?” When do they start arching their back to protest getting into car seats and strollers? When do they learn the word, “NO!” in protest?
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
But the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
Unfortunately, the answer is as young as 7-9 months. Remember when we were strolling our perfect baby and we saw some poor parent wrestling with their 11 month old to stay in the stroller and we thought “My child will never act like that”? Well, our little darling who barely rolls over is now acting “just like that”.
What a child sees is what she wants. If he can crawl and pull up; it will be in his chubby little fingers before you have turned your head. Of twenty-nine things in a room, there may be one that your child may not have. This will be the one she wants.
How are we to deal with this? If using a firm, “No” does not do the trick and they are too young for time-outs, how do we get them to understand that there are consequences for not listening? The answer is a simple slap on the hand. I use spoons for spanking and I will explain but at this early stage, using your hands for discipline is fine. Some of you may gasp, some of you are saying, “Right on”. To the gaspers I say my mother slapped my hand to teach me not to touch things I shouldn’t touch and guess what? I don’t remember the slaps.
This will probably hurt their feelings more than their chubby hands because it will be the first time they are experiencing opposition from mommy or daddy. This is when you pick them up and as you rock them back and forth, you simply say, “When Daddy says no, you need to stop.”
Reckless words pierce like a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
But the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.