While reading the local news tonight, I stumbled upon an article entitled: "Utah Relatives say 'hot sauce' Mom Getting a Bad Rap" (horrible writing, I know, but that's KSL for you!). I have heard of parents disciplining their children with hot sauce before and was interested in what the article had to say about the parenting style. The article shared the story of a woman who was arrested for child abuse after her story of being an "angry mom" was aired recently on the Dr. Phil show. I read the article and thought: "Well, that is definitely tough love...but to be arrested? She must have taken it too far." I then watched the video clip of her "teaching" her adoptive son not to lie.
Half an hour later, I am still in tears. I was speechless, horrified, and sickened. I usually use my blog to talk about my family, job, or random life events, but I felt as though I just had to say how much I disagree with this approach to disciplining your children. I showed Nathan parts of the video (I couldn't watch it all before turning it off), and he made a wise observation. He noted: "None of this is done out of love for the child. It is done out of frustration."
Lately, I have been frustrated with Eliza. She enjoys throwing her food on the ground, turning off the computer as I attempt to work (or blog), breaking cell phones, ripping important papers, and turning the television off repeatedly with a mischevious grin (not the end of the world, I know). I often find myself comparing her to other children and feeling frustrated she isn't a calm child in any sense of the word. However, after listing these so-called grievences of mine, I feel so embarrassed that menial things (and acts of a BABY) could upset me. She is one!! She is normal!!
I am lucky to have a husband who is so patient and laid back. With his help, I know we can continue to parent Eliza with love instead of harsh words and ridiculous forms of punishment. And although most parents are typically driven by well-meaning intentions, it seems as though many acts of physical punishment/tough love result from the parent's inability to control their own anger and frustration. I'm definitely not saying this is the case all of the time, but I know it happens more often than not.
I keep thinking the phrase: "I was spanked, and I'm ok." I heard that line somewhere ages ago, and I have often repeated the sentence when defending the way I was disciplined as a child. I remember telling Nathan: "Maybe I needed it? Right? Maybe some kids need to be spanked." Just a few short months later, I have definitely changed my tune. Secretly, I always hated the fact that I was spanked. I just ignorantly assumed it was what was expected of parents. I , therefore, thought I deserved the myriad of spankings I received as a child and believed I would probably have to spank my own children if/when "they really needed it." Mr. Nathan Robbins has told me that will never happen, and I couldn't be happier.
Proverbs 15:1 comes to mind: "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." I think the words "answer" and "words" could very easily be replaced with the word "reaction" or "actions." Don't you think? Easy.
Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing other thoughts/suggestions on the topic. What works, parents? Am I being too idealistic?
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
3 days ago