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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Disciplining the Parents

What a concept.
My mom actually brought this lightbulb moment for me. Let me explain what it means and where I am coming from.
So today at playgroup things were a little more chaotic than I would have liked. Many of the moms had already left the room to go to see the parent educator and I was left to watch the children with the other volunteers. Needless to say, on the first day back, many of the kids did not have good listening skills. There was blatant disrespect and behaviour issues.
I listened to the facilitator ask the children time and time again to "please stop the behaviour" but they didnt. I started to get frustrated and asked the facilitator what course of action were we going to follow, and that my child would have been removed from the situation LONG ago. She replied that "We don't do time-out" and then continued to plead with the child to stop...
So, feeling that I had lost my power I decided to leave, as I was leaving a little girl (3.5yrs) looked me straight in the eyes with a "look at what I am going to do" and pushed my 2 year old to the ground, and gave me a smirk.
I was not going to let this child think that she could disrespect me or my 2 year old son, so I exclaimed. "(child's name) we do not push little children. You need to apologize to him." She looked so taken aback that *someone* was holding her accountable that she ran SCREAMING to her dad.
He promptly picked her up and asked her what the problem was, and what was wrong. I went right up to him and said, "She pushed my son, on purpose, I expect her to apologize."
Now, I know forcing children to apologize is just dumb. They are going to dig their heels, but for some reason, losing my authority in the playroom made me NEED to get it back from this child and her dad....and you know what, it took 15 mins of her crying and making excuses, but she finally apologized.
Did I handle that one wrong....probably. So while recanting the story to my mom she said, "why would you think that the children would care what you think? You need to hold their parents accountable."
She continued to explain that when a child is in school and skips or whatever, the parents are called and chastised by the principal, and then they put pressure on their child not to do the offending behaviour again.
So her solution for my issue would have been to go up to the parents and say, "Don't you teach (child's name) not to push younger children? That type of behaviour is not acceptable in my house." By shaming the parents they may think that perhaps instead of coddling their child they should step up and actually parent.
Hey, like I have said time and time again, I am all for gentle discipline and attachment parenting to a point; but some behaviours are just not okay. Period.
Hitting, Slapping, Fighting, Choking, Scratching, Spitting, Hair Pulling, Toy Throwing, Hitting Parents, Hurting Animals, Hurting Babies etc. No amount of talking and distraction is going to put a stop to these behaviours. The child needs to know that this type of behaviour is NOT acceptable in the least bit, and that their are consequences to those behaviours. Immediate consequences.
Thats my rant....


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