Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Pen is Mightier than the Paddle

I have been debating sometime on methods of discipline. It has been a long journey and large struggle for me.
My oldest Daughter is 20 years old and then there is a 12 year gap between her and my other children.
I was so used to having one child and then all of the sudden here came 3 of them back to back.
My younger ones are aged 8,7,4.
It is hard when you feel like you are being bombarded by the children and sometimes I would think that they take turns.
But I wrote a Ruv and the words he gave me were priceless. Love them and do not be violent.
Violent....Here I have the webster's dictionary meaning of the word violent.

Main Entry: vi·o·lent
1 : marked by extreme force or sudden intense activity
2 a : notably furious or vehement
3 : caused by force : not natural
4 a : emotionally agitated to the point of loss of self-control >
b : prone to commit acts of violence

I can say although I do not abuse my children but when one looks at the meaning of violent it broke my heart that my words and actions toward them may seem violent.
I have used force or intense activity when I restrain them when I just cant get control of them.
I have showed them anger maybe even fury when I grab my head and hold on for dear life and my son runs screaming as he grabs his brother to save and says...Run she is gonna blow..
I have been extreme and intense when I exxagerate their behaviour and compare them to what I believe the ideal child should be.
And can I tell you how many times I have been agitated to the point of loss of self control and start yelling around the house.

This truly has been an eye opener.
But...today I thought to myself I will not react or speak violently.(Loud)
So I received a phone call at work about the boys behaviour and I was ready for it. So I walked the whole center court to get to them and when I got there the fear in their eyes as to say "OH MAN WE are gonna get it....."
I sat them at the table and I spoke to them and explained to them the dangers of what they were doing. Als o the sadness of their disobedience.
I then proceeded to tell them that they were going to write what they did wrong 100 times on a paper. I will not...
Can I tell you it worked like a charm. I walked away stress free and they had time to think...
And the most beautiful thing was that they received what they did wrong because to write it a hundred times makes them think about what they did. I went back to work and an hour later my oldest daughter called me and they were done.
I came home and did my routine and then when it came time for bed my boys ran up to me and hugged me and said Mama we will not do that bad thing. It really taught us a lesson. We Love you and now we want to do our blessings before bed.
Baruch Hashem I may go through a lot of paper but the beauty is I wont go through a lot of aggravation.
Don't get me wrong I am a firm disciplinarian but sometimes we need to back up and make them think and an hour of writing a mistake may help it sink in. They write ot over and have a positive affirmation of what they are NOT going to do.
Them sitting there quiet also helps us reflect on ourselves and keep us calm which keeps a calm home.
That is what Shalom Bayit is about.

1 comment:

Mama Kim said...

This was wonderful and you gave some good ideas here. I deal with similar issues and will be thinking on how you handled this situation ;) Thanks -- Kim

One's belief in God must come through faith and not because of miracles. "Rebbe Nachman of Breslov"