This post is written for inclusion in the Carnival of Gentle Discipline hosted by Paige @ Baby Dust Diaries. All week, April 26-30, we will be featuring essays about non-punitive discipline. See the bottom of this post for more information.
This is a guest post written by Connie. If you are a reader of my blog you’ll see her post comments as Mom – that’s because…she’s my mom! I found her submission for the carnival (her first since she isn’t a blogger) to be very moving. Enjoy.
When I was around 3 years old I was smacked on the cheek (slapped across the face seems a little harsh) by my father because I wasn’t doing what he was telling me to do. I was holding a large bowl of popcorn with buttery hands and it felt like it was slipping when my dad told me to give it to my bigger sister. My sister put her hands on the bowl, but I was not letting go after being told 2 or 3 times to do so……….and my Dad wanted to teach obedience. Well I let go of the bowl and climbed up on my mothers lap to cry, I think I felt humiliated…..I remember being able to tell that my dad felt bad about doing it but felt that the lesson learned was important.
Now I love my Dad dearly – he has always been my hero – the most honorable and dearest man I have ever known. I was never spanked or hit ever again…and all my memories of my parents are of gentle teaching, love and respect. So I tell you this memory because of another event that has made me think differently about the whole incident ever since.
When I was 56 years old my husband and I were in a Cardiac Rehab Stress Management Therapy session with a wonderful Psychologist at a community hospital. The therapist had us close our eyes and imagine ourselves alone and standing in a spot light on a stage. Then we were to turn into the child we once were – as young as we could remember – and tell our parents what we most wanted to say. To my astonishment I was transported back in time to the scene with my parents and sister having popcorn in the basement celebrating the new play area mom had painted for us. I hadn’t thought of that for years and suddenly I was crying and telling my Dad that I was sorry I didn’t listen to him, that I thought the bowl would fall to the floor and break if I let go, that I loved him and forgave him for hitting me……………………It was very powerful. It bothers me that I didn’t remember the time we all went sled riding on the biggest hill ever and climbed on our bellies on the sled – dad on the bottom, mom on top of him, my sister on top of mom and me on top of my sister and went heads first down that hill laughing all the way, falling off in the snow at the bottom and climbing the big hill to do it again. Why didn’t that come to mind or the many other great times we had together?
I do believe that we need to teach our children, but I ask you…. What will your child remember?
Please join us all week, April 26-30, as we explore alternatives to punitive discipline. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month in the USA and April 30th is Spank Out Day USA. In honor of this we have collected a wonderful array of articles and essays about the negative effects of punitive discipline methods, like spanking, and a myriad of effective alternatives.
Are you a Gentle Parent? Put the Badge on your blog or website to spread the word that gentle love works!
Links will become available on the specified day of the Carnival.
Day 1 – What Is Gentle Discipline
- Gentle Discipline 101 at The Parent Vortex
- The Power of Praise (hint: it’s not what you think) at Mighty Marce
- Golden Rule Parenting at Novel Mama
Day 2 – False Expectations, Positive Intentions, and Choosing Joy (coming Tuesday, April 27)
- Choosing Joy at Raising My Boychick
- Making It Fun – The Power of Play at Schmoopy Baby
- Assuming the Best Intentions at Hobo Mama
Day 3 – Choosing Not To Spank (coming Wednesday, April 28)
- 50′s Childhood – Guest Poster, Connie at Baby Dust Diaries
- I Have The Urge To Spank But I Choose Not To at Breastfeeding Moms Unite
- Mistakes at Breastfeeding Momma
- Undermining General Beliefs about Corporal Punishment at Authentic Parenting
- Choosing Gentle Discipline at Hybrid Life
Day 4 – Creating a “Yes” Environment (coming Thursday, April 29)
- A Tiny Word With a Powerful Impact at Little Green Blog
- Parenting a Toddler With Loving Guidance at Little Snowflakes
Day 5 – Terrific Toddlers; Tantrums and All (coming Friday, April 30)
- A Positive View on Tantrums at Edenwild
- The Terrible Two (and Two Parenting Strategies to Replace Them) a guest post by Code Name: Mama on Good Goog
- Gentle Parenting During Toddler Tantrums at Typical Ramblings, Atypical Nonsense
- Gentle Parenting Ideas from a Toddler’s Perspective at Code Name: Mama