How Will They Ever Learn?

This blog is going to attempt to explain to my Mother why we do not punish our children. Mom, this ones for you…

My mother often says to me “How will they ever learn?” or “If you keep doing it they will get it.”.
It is usually in response to something like Emmett, who is two, going out onto the road.
My momma suggests that I make him go into the house if he won’t stay off the road.
But I have a better way.
It’s more gentle and loving and it doesn’t damage the child/adult bond.
Any form of punishment could send the child the message that unless they do what you say, you will make them suffer. That’s sad!
I prefer to tell him “Emmett, don’t go on the road, baby. There are cars.” And I hold him and kiss him and he says “um”.
He will learn.
He will learn because he values his life, because we value his life.
He just needs to get a little older and a little wiser and then he will stop endangering his life in such ways.
He will stop running out into the street even if he is not punished for it.
And putting him in the house is punishment.
My method may not be as quick as hers but it feels better.
I feel connected and caring towards him.
His motivation for “listening” will also be internal, meaning that he is doing it because he wants to be safe and not because he fears punishment.
Do I have you convinced yet, Ma? Anyone else believe me?

For my next blog I think I’ll pick on my mom again and tackle when she says “They act that way because you let them.”
Oh, it’ll be an easy one. Love you, Mom!


6 responses »

  1. Well as long as there is supervision by the parents (not siblings who should never be made responsible for the well being of child) But if the parent is in the house the child who is too young to know they shouldn’t be on the road should be at least in an enclosed back yard, this is not a punishment but common sense. The responsibility as parents is to ensure that the child is safe first, learns lovingly and grows into a strong adult, this can’t happen if the child is killed because they have run in front of a car while no one was watching.

    • I think you missed what this was about. It wasn’t about right and wrong, or even child safety. Look deeper, it’s about kindness to children. And being silly with my mom. Lol.
      I am ok with ok with other children watching my kids. They roam like a pack, just happy to be together. It’s been like that for hundreds of Thousands of years. People do well in groups, of all ages. I like to roam with these packs too. We are all responsible for each other. Of course, this is not a truth, but merely my truth. You are still right.

  2. Yep and I guess my point was missed as well, it is important that ALL human beings have kind influences in their lives but adults have important life experience to provide children in their journey to adulthood. Roaming in a pack is one thing, but even 100 years ago we did not have the danger of fast moving vehicles weighing thousands of pounds driving down the street less than 50 feet from our front door. I hear from my sister, as an ER Pediatrician, of the devastation not only of the parents and siblings but also the emergency services personnel at the loss of a child after being struck by a car.

    She phones me often after a tough shift wondering how much longer she can continue to do what she does, when needless death happens. I consider parents who abdicate responsibility for the supervision and guidance of their young children into the same category as those who would abuse and beat their children.

  3. Pingback: Attachment Parenting Is Not Hands Off Off Off!!! Dealing with criticism… « Nadine LeBean and The Food Humblings

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