The Art of Being a Present Parent

One of the biggest challenges the parents I’m connected with say they face is being present when they are with their child.  This is an area that I have studied in depth because I believe PRESENCE to be super important to my relationship with those I love.  Today I want to share with you some of what I’ve learned about being a present parent from others and from experience.

It goes without saying present parenting is something you have to be intentional about.  You have to make up your mind that while you’re with your family, it’s family.  While your working, it’s work.  While you’re at church, it’s worship and faith. And so on and so forth.  Then you just start practicing shrinking moments down and focusing on the task at hand.

In studying the art of being a present parent, I learned that many people are seeking balance, control, and freedom in their life.  If we are intentional about BEING wherever we are in the moment at that moment we will start to feel better about all 3 of these areas.  The goal is present living!

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Get 3 simple tips that enable you to be a present parent and positively impact your parent-child relationship along with making your child feel more loved. #mindfulparenting #positiveparenting #howtobeapresentparent

A Few of the Benefits of Being a Present Parent:

  • Happier family
  • Closer family
  • Strengthens parent-child relationship
  • Sends the message of love to your child
  • Better behavior and cooperation

Tips for being present during Family Time:

1.  A Present Parent Puts Their Phone Away:  

If you work, leave it in the car or at the door for the first hour you get home.  If you are a stay-at-home parent, schedule hours in the day when you put your phone and other screens away completely.

When a child is trying to communicate with us and we are looking down at our phone, it sends the message, “What is on this phone is more important or more interesting than you.”  When this happens a couple of times, our relationship will begin to suffer.  Give your child extended periods of time of not checking your texts, emails, or social media.  The most successful leaders have media scheduled.  If you are a parent, you are a leader.

Communicate with your child.  “You have my complete attention for the next 45 minutes.”  “I have some work to do now.”  “I am going to make a phone call at this time…”  The better the communication and discussion of expectations, the more successful the time will go.

A study by global tech protection and support company Asurion found that the average person struggles to go little more than 10 minutes without checking their phone. And of the 2,000 people surveyed, one in 10 check their phones on average once every four minutes.

2.  A Present Parent Is Intentional About Their Time: 

When you are creating your schedule, schedule in family time.  During this time, you make sure you are fully a present parent.  Your family having an hour with you being fully present trumps 3 hours of time with you “sidetracked” by life.

 


You can shift your thinking to building your life around your family rather than fitting your family into your life.  Too often our family gets bits and pieces of our leftover time, and then in that time, we’re worn out from all the other things. A present parent takes control of their schedule.  Design your life around faith and family.

Related Article:  10 Easy Ways to Slow Down Time

 

3.  A Present Parent Takes Control of Their Day: 

Change from reacting and responding to dictating what takes place in your life.  How is this done?  Do not look at or check your phone for the first 30 minutes of your day and the last 30 minutes of your day.

If you start the day with your phone, you start reacting and responding to texts, emails, and social media and the rest of the world gets to decide how your day goes.  But if you start your day by focusing, praying, gratitude, movement/stretching, look at your schedule, reading scripture, whatever you decide your healthy morning routine to be, you will start living your best life because you are in control of your day to the best of your ability.

Related Article:  4 Ways to Spend Special Time With Your Child

 

Present parent- Get 3 simple tips that enable you to be a present parent and positively impact your parent-child relationship along with making your child feel more loved. #mindfulparenting #positiveparenting #howtobeapresentparent

 


Call to Action

At the end of the day, pray, reflect on your day, think about your schedule and what you want to accomplish the next day.  Be gentle with yourself.  Don’t guilt and shame yourself.  Learn from today’s mistakes and celebrate all your wins- big and small.  You do not want the last thing you experience before sleep to be a screen.

I guarantee if you focus on these 3 areas, you will feel more in control of your life, more productive, and more connected to those you love. Furthermore, your people will feel more important and valued, and as a result, they will treat you this way as well.

 

 

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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!  Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS

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Why Moms Lose Their Patience? And What To Do About It

The million dollar question.  Why do moms lose their patience?  Have you ever had a moment where your child barely does something or says something and you POUNCE on the child as if they committed the ultimate misbehavior?  Only to think a few minutes later, “Wow!  I really overreacted.  Where did that come from?”  

Have you made a conscious effort to think about what causes you to snap?  Everyone has a breaking point.  We have to be aware of the behaviors that drive us there.

I’m not necessarily talking about your usual triggers such as siblings fighting with each other.  I’m talking about just an out of the blue Momzilla Moment about a usual incidence such as your child repeating, “Mom, mom, mom, mom!” or you see some toys lying around on the floor and you blow a fuse.

 

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In this article, you will find out 6 reasons why moms lose their patience with their children along with ways to overcome each of the issues. Simple and easy methods. #whydomomslosetheirpatience #howtobepatientwithkids #losingyourpatience #howtostaypatientwithkids

How do you want your child to remember you?  I doubt you want them to remember you as being a ticking time bomb ready to explode when they spill their milk.  This is why parents have to be intentional about their thoughts and allowing themselves to feel their feelings and move through them.

Of course, I wish I could tell you that I don’t have any experience with this, but it turns out most of what I’m about to share, I learned from experience.  Previously, I started paying attention to the times when I snapped at my kids, and I tried my best to figure out the reason behind the SNAP!

I got intentional about making sure it happens as least as possible by making a plan BEFOREHAND of what I would do when the scenarios occurred.  You can too.

Why Moms Lose Their Patience?  And What To Do About It

1.  Your Thoughts: 

From the moms I’ve talked to, this is a BIGGY!  You are thinking about something your husband said or did that made you mad, you’re wondering how you’re going to pay the bills, your still thinking about the rude comment your neighbor made or getting cut-off in traffic, your inner critic shows up and you start thinking of your To-Do List and what you should be doing instead of playing with your child, whatever negative self-talk has you all worked up…

Then “something” happens and you play out your emotions from that story on your child.  Your child barely does anything and you freak out on him.  He does a level 1 misdemeanor and you react at the felony level.  This happens because of the negative thoughts you were having before the incident.  This is why parents have to think about their thinking!

Ways to Overcome: 

  • Practice Present Parenting.  Forget about everything except this one moment.  Watch how your child feels the energy of your full presence and responds with happiness and cooperation.
  • When you’re having these types of thoughts, take a moment.  Give your kids independent time while you are intentional about doing something that will help you simmer and move through the emotions.  Just an FYI, rehashing the negativity only escalates it.  Feel it and move to something else.

2.  Distractions: 

We get distracted on social media, cooking, working from home, texting a friend back who thinks her husbands cheating, etc.   BEEP! BEEEEP!  BEEP! Your child’s radar goes off that you are sidetracked.  Let the DRAMA-ARAMA begin!  When the interruption abruptly occurs, we respond inappropriately.

Ways to Overcome:

  • Only/mainly check your phone when your kids have independent or nap time.
  • If your children are old enough, communicate and set boundaries before you begin the task.
  • Create a schedule or routine and include your needs and “me-time” in it as well.
  • Tell your child you need 10 minutes to do your task, and then you’re all theirs.

 

3.  Filling Everyone Else’s Cup EXCEPT Our Own:  

When we’re depleted, we can’t give what we don’t have.  Mom’s should be the sacrificial lambs of the family is outdated thinking that is getting us nowhere.  It’s hard to change your mindset, I know, but it necessary.  We have to believe that self-care is by no means self-ish!  How do you want your child to grow up and practice self-care?  Then, you have to model just that!

Ways to Overcome:

4.  Expectations: 

Too often, we expect our kids to behave in a manner or do a task that is developmentally inappropriate.  When our plans backfire, we lose our cool.  Some examples can include when they act up in public and people start to stare,  we wait for our names to be called at the doctor’s office for over an hour, or we expect them to sit quietly in a church for over an hour.  We have to be mindful of their age.  They are going to act like children because they are children.  Why does it surprise us?  Why do moms lose their patience?

Ways to Overcome:

  • When your child has challenging behaviors, always reflect on WHY they could be behaving like this??  Behavior is communication.
  • Keep back up snacks and bottled water in your car and bag.
  • Excuse yourself.  Remove the child from the area.  Go for a walk.  Use some energy.  Tell yourself, “This is not an emergency.”  In fact, it is a wise thing to do!
  • Don’t try to rationalize with an emotional child.  The part of the brain that helps us do this, the prefrontal cortex, is not fully developed until adulthood.  Your child just needs support. 

5.  Lack of Sleep: 

This seems like a given, but the only time you may have to yourself is after the kids go to sleep.  If you have a lot to catch up on, you can easily look up and be in the A.Ms… If your someone who doesn’t have the energy or your losing your patience, make a promise to yourself that you’re going to go to bed at least an hour earlier.  Keep that promise for a week.  When you see the difference in energy and mood, it’s hard to go back.

One more thing, I recently read if you sleep well during the week but stay up late and sleep in on weekends you are doing your health so much harm.  (I was guilty!)  It’s called “social jet lag” and it’s serious.  It is linked to lots of fatigue, heart disease, and bad moods!

Ways to Overcome:

  • Get help and get sleep when possible.   Don’t stay up reading after a rough day.
  • Use your essential oils in the diffuser.
  • Go to bed at the same decent time every night.

 

6:  Overwhelm: 

The clothes need to be switched to the dryer, supper needs cooking, the dog needs to be let out, the trash floweth over, and Suzy can’t find her shoes.  By that time, the other child starts screaming, “Mom, Come wipe me right now!” and you’re supposed to be at ballet practice in 20 minutes!  

What I have found is most overwhelm is caused by not giving our family enough time to transition from task to task.  When we start to feel pressured for time, then we start to react in ways we wish we hadn’t.

Ways to Overcome:

  • Keep a tasks schedule.  On Monday I… On Tuesday I…
  • Adopt a What’s done is done the rest will have to wait mentality or mantra.
  • Let go of perfection.  If you’re a perfectionist, I highly recommend Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection
  • Some things have to go undone for some seasons.
  • Give the kids chores.  Go on Pinterest and search chores by age.
  • Asking for help is bold, not weak!Why do moms lose their patience?

Call To Action

Maybe you can relate to some or all of these.

We can’t control everything that’s going to happen to us throughout the day.  Life is going to happen.  The only thing we can do is get intentional about how we respond to what happens to us.

Just being aware of behaviors that lead to Momzilla moments and being intentional on what to do instead, is enough to make a difference.

 

In this article, you will find out 6 reasons why moms lose their patience with their children along with ways to overcome each of the issues. Simple and easy methods. #whydomomslosetheirpatience #howtobepatientwithkids #losingyourpatience #howtostaypatientwithkids

 

If you are finding yourself pouncing on your child out of the blue, REFLECT.  Ask yourself: What was I thinking about previously?  What was I doing?  What language should I have used?  What’s my new script?  How can I change my behavior?  How can I react differently?

As always, don’t hesitate to apologize to your child for overreacting.  Be as honest with them as possible.  Don’t blame or make excuses about why do moms lose their patience.

You’ve got this.  In case no one has told you lately, you are ENOUGH! and you are loved!  God loves you, your kids love you, and I love you!

 

 

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subscribe to This -N- That Parenting Tribe.

 

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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!  Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS

 

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5 Time-Saving Tips For Busy Moms Who Want Their Life Back

One thing 99.9% of moms have in common is that they are busy.  Every mom you talk to these days starts sentences with, “We are just so busy…”  Moms feel there are not enough hours in the day, and they need all of the time-saving tips they can get. 

New research shows that busyness has become a social status in the United States.  At the same time, research proves that busy does not prove progress or productivity.

On the one hand, we have an insatiable need for things to do, FOMO.  On the other hand, we know experts are right when they say being present is the best and healthiest way to live. 

So a juggle begins.  Is it possible to find harmony between the two? In order for that to happen, we need time-saving tips, so we can give more time to the things that mean the most to our family.  How can moms save time?

With this said, there are ways moms can take back their time.  In order to do that, moms have to be intentional about implementing time-saving tips and carving out time in their schedule for the things that are most important to them.  Now more than ever before, this is a smart priority for you.  After all, living in the information age, you are bombarded with an unfathomable amount of material on a daily basis.

Parents must be intentional about what their family does with their time.  If we do not plan our life, our life will be a series of things that happen to us, not for us.

time-saving tips:  there are ways moms can take back their time.  In order to do that, moms have to be intentional about implementing time-saving tips and carving out time in their schedule for the things that are most important to them.  Now more than ever before, this is a smart priority for you.  #timesavingtipsformoms #timesavingtipsproductivity #timesavingtipslifehacks #parentingadvice

5 Time-Saving Tips Taught At Busy Moms Rehab

 

#1. Morning Routine:


For years, I read how beneficial waking up before your kids could be.  I tried several times, but it never lasted long.  Now that my kids are mostly sleeping through the night, I have managed to start waking 2 hours before they do, and it is the best thing I have ever done.  I can’t believe I waited as long as I did.  Don’t be like me.

You may wonder how waking up earlier saves you time.  Believe me, your day goes so much smoother.  Your mindset is better.  You have fewer distractions because you took care of this morning.

  • You have to be intentional about what time you go to bed, so you still get plenty of rest.
  • It is said that the best morning routines have spiritual, emotional, physical and mental involvement.  These would include your mind, heart, body, and spirit.
  • You have the most self-control after you wake, and then it digresses throughout the day.  Start off with the thing that means the most to you.  Prayer/meditation, exercise, hugs for family members, a healthy eat, coffee, music, podcasts, sex…
  • A morning routine is a trial and error until you find your flow.  Don’t give up.  What works for Mary Beth may not work for you.  Get ideas from others, but don’t try to copy it to a T.  You will have to figure out what’s for you and what order works for you, but once you find it, Girl, this time will become sacred You Time!
  • Do not check text or emails.  This leads to having a reactive morning instead of a proactive morning.

One Word for great morning routines:  REV-O-LU-TION-ARY!!

Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning says, “Focused, productive successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days – which inevitably create a successful life.”  That’s what I’m looking for!  You?

 

Related Article:  How to Get to Church On Time Without Losing Your Religion

 

time-saving tips


#2.  Meal Planning: 

Meal planning is not only a time-saving tip for moms, but it is also a money-saving tip.  There are so many ideas about meal planning.  You can give yourself some time, go on Pinterest and easily get your meals planned out for a month or more.  Then you can copy that every month, making variations when needed, and you will also have the same grocery list each month.  This saves you more time.  If you don’t like that idea, too monotonous, get 2 months worth of meals planned, then repeat 6 times. 

  • Use curbside or delivery if your grocery store offers it.  My friends ask me, “How do they do on picking out your roast? How do they do on picking out your produce…?”  There have been times that I have been disappointed with dented cans.  I mentioned it in the survey and got my curbside charge refunded.  You have to decide for yourself what your time is worth.  Is picking out your own meat and produce worth however much time it takes you to shop?  
    Usually, the first 2 tries are free.  I used 3 stores for free until I found my fit.  Shop your options.  Take advantage of trial periods!  Same for delivery!
  • Keep your grocery list on Alexa.  As soon as you realize you are about to run out or out of something.  Tell Alexa to add it to your list.
  • Save time by keeping a snack area in the pantry and frig for your kids.  Once a week mass-produce baggies and containers of snacks, so your kids aren’t expecting you to stop what your doing to constantly give them snacks.  This teaches kids to self-regulate.  When the snacks are out, they can wait until you restock.
  • You can save time by cooking large meals 3-4 times a week depending on the size of your family.  Eat leftovers the other nights.  This gives you at least 45 minutes for each leftover day.

 

#3.  Be Smart About the Chores:

This is an area all moms wish they could perform magic on.  The best time-saving tips I have for this area is getting the whole family involved and create a chore routine.

  • Give the kids chores to do.  Figure out what your kids can handle and run with it.   You’ll be amazed at how much they can do and how much pride they’ll take in their jobs.  There are tons of lists on age-appropriate chores if you need a place to start.
  • Have the whole family deep clean once or twice a month.  Everyone cleans until it’s all done.
  • Laundry seems to be a biggy for moms.  I’ve tried every tip imaginable on laundry.  You have to find what works best for your schedule, but the least stressful and most economical I have found is one load a day.
  • Google any area of cleaning that gives you trouble.  You can find more than enough tips to get you on the right track.
  • The more organized your home, the less chaotic your life.  It’s a fact you’ve got to take responsibility because our minds are influenced by our external environment.  Like it or not, outside (environment) chaos usually means inside (mental) chaos.  Both children and adults who live in an environment that is cleanly organized are higher functioning.  This does not have to be so rigid it takes the “home” out of our “house”.  But there needs to be intention.

Related Article:  Declutter Your Home in 21 Days

time-saving tips

#4.  Plan and Schedule Ahead. Have a Daily Routine:

This is another ultimate of the time-saving tips.  The key is finding your flow and your calendar/schedule system.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  Shop planners or make your own.  Learn about time blocking.  You have got to be intentional, and you have got to keep at it until you find your groove and system for your family. 

Once you do, it is life-changing in time-saving, productivity, and money savings because you’re no longer living reactively.  Oh, we’re out of milk.  Let’s run to the grocery store.  I need stamps.  Let’s go to the post office today.  We’re invited to a birthday party.  Let’s go get a gift tonight.  I didn’t have anything to cook for supper.  Where can we stop?  You’re just taking care of the low hanging fruit instead of the things that are going to move the needle forward.

By the end of the week, that’s a lot of time that could have been spent on the things you really care about.  Family togetherness!

  • When you are creating your schedule, schedule in family time.  During this time, you make sure you are fully present.  Your family having an hour with you being fully present trumps 3 hours of time with you “sidetracked” by life.
  • You can shift your thinking on this by building your life around your family rather than fitting your family into your life.  Too often our family gets bits and pieces of our leftover time, and then in that time, we’re worn out from all the other things.  Take control of your schedule.  Design your life around faith and family.  Pencil in faith and family, then the other stuff.
  • If you don’t create a daily plan already, I encourage you to start making a list the night before or morning of each day.  Even if you just start with 3 sections:  Nonnegotiables/Must-Dos, Should Dos and Would Like To-Dos.
  • Every Sunday, take the time to plan your upcoming week.  Game Changer!
  • Children thrive off of routine.  You don’t have to do things at the same time every day, but it helps kids if you do them in the same order.  The more kids know what to expect, the less chaos you will have in your home.
  • If you have kids, everything is going to take longer than planned.  Create flex time in your schedule.
  • Take the time to write out, What Does My Perfect Day Look Like?  Visualize it.  Now, you have a goal to work towards.  Ask your family what their perfect day looks like?  Live purposefully. 

#5.  Limit Your Screen Time, Especially Social Media

Do not look at or check your phone for AT LEAST the first 30 minutes of your day and the last 30 minutes of your day.  This is one of those great time-saving tips I am glad I learned within the last year!

Truthbomb:  If you start the day with your phone, you start reacting and responding to texts, emails, and social media and the rest of the world gets to decide how your day goes.  But if you start your day by focusing, praying, gratitude, movement/stretching, look at your schedule, reading scripture, whatever you decide your healthy morning routine to be, you will start living your best life because you are in control of your day to the best of your ability.

  • Only allow yourself so much screen time per day.  These apps will help you keep track of your screen time.  
  • Freedom will block certain apps, websites, and even internet for periods of time, so you can get your work done without any distractions!
  • When a child is trying to communicate with us and we are looking down at our phone, it sends the message, “What is on this phone is more important or more interesting than you.”  When this happens a couple of times, our relationship will begin to suffer.  Give your child extended periods of time of not checking your texts, emails, or social media.  
  • Put your phone away: If you work, leave it in the car or at the door for the first hour you get home.  If you are a stay-at-home parent, schedule hours in the day when you put your phone and other screens away completely.  
  • Delete all the unnecessary notifications that are causing your phone to be the biggest source of ADD-D (Attention Deficit Device- Disorder) a person could experience.  Yes, I made up the term.  Good one though, right?  The only known cure:  SELF CONTROL!

 

 

 

 

Screens are controlling lives. It’s easy to hop on quickly … and then an hour, sometimes two, go by. A few minutes turns into lost hours with almost mindlessness, clicking, liking, adding a few comments and just plain old curiosity—what else is “someone” doing or saying.  Your time and your family have to be a priority and we have no choice but to be intentional.

Does anyone really want to get to the end of their life, look back, and think, I spent more than an hour a day on a screen that wasn’t work-related?

 

Call to Action

At the end of the day, pray, reflect on your day, think about your schedule and what you want to accomplish the next day.  Be gentle with yourself.  Don’t guilt and shame yourself.  Learn from today’s mistakes and celebrate all wins- big and small.  You do not want the last thing you experience before sleep to be a screen.  Besides, they have negative effects on our sleep.

I guarantee if you focus on these 5  time-saving tips or just pick a couple of them, you will feel more in control of your life, more productive, more connected to those you love, your people will feel more important and valued and as a result, they will treat you this way as well.  Most of all, you will be in control of your time and your life.  Not only are these time-saving tips, but the effects will be money-saving, sanity-saving, stress-saving and relationship-saving to name a few!

3 Day Challenge: 

If you need support, I highly recommend this FREE 3-Day Challenge.  You have all the answers inside of yourself.  You just have to take action.  This challenge will help you do just that!

 

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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!  Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS

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What To Do Instead of Spanking or Punishment

When you make the wise decision to quit spanking, it doesn’t take long before the questions arise.  “What am I going to do instead of spanking?  I can’t just let my child get away with murder.  I don’t want to be a permissive parent.  What if my child grows up to be a criminal?” 

These are totally normal thoughts.  Without a doubt, you have to have a mindset change when you switch from practicing punishment to using connection instead.  You now take the time to teach the desired behavior instead of inflicting suffering for the wrong behavior.

The goal is to raise children who do what is right because it is the right thing to do NOT because they are afraid of getting hit or receiving any punishment for that matter.  Think about it.  What good is that for your child short term or long term?

The first belief that you must accept and own is that parenting is just as much if not more about your behavior than your child’s behavior.  It is about your self-control and how you do life. 

Children will be children no matter what.  They go through developmental stages and they test the boundaries every step of the way.  Your job is to model the self-control of navigating life within the boundaries.  To do this well, self-care and connection with your child have to be priorities.

 

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This article informs parents on alternatives to use instead of spanking and punishment. Focus on self-care and connection is key. Use natural and logical consequences instead. This guide is priceless. #stopspanking #positiveparenting #alternativestopunishment #consequencesforchildren #toddlers #preschoolers #teenagers

Self-Care

In order to be the best version of yourself, you have to be taking care of yourself. If you’re expecting to have self-control, you need to be on your A-game.  The better you treat yourself, the better you will treat others.  It is likely that you’ll be a more peaceful parent.  Self-love impacts how others perceive you and how the world treats you.  Ultimately, self-care can change your descendants’ lives.  This whole self-care thing is a domino effect.

There are 5 areas of self-care to pay attention to.  The areas that you need to focus on are your physical, spiritual, intellectual, social and mental/emotional habits.  The 3 most important to focus on are sleeping, eating well and moving your body.  The moral of the story is – if your self-care journey only ever has one season… the hardly any self-care season, it’s time to be intentional about loving yourself.

If you are not taking care of yourself, this will affect your mental health.  Quitting spanking and punishing will challenge you mentally.  It is more likely you will be successful in quitting if you take care of you first!

Which of the 5 areas are you doing well in?  Which ones do you need improvement in?

Related Article:  Self-Care 101:  Be Intentional About One of the Hard Basics of Motherhood

 

It’s All About the Relationship – Connecting With Your Kids

Staying connected to our child is our most important job as parents.  Staying emotionally connected to our child sets us up for positive relationships with our children.  Also, it is preventative maintenance because it increases the chances our child will listen to our request. 

Children do not care how much you know until they know how much you care! That’s it- it’s all about relationships with children. Children want to please the adults they feel connected to, and it is the parent’s job to stay connected while setting limits.

Parenting isn’t a set of strategies.  It is a relationship. We intentionally use strategies to see the results we desire in our relationships with children.  Again, parenting is about teaching and modeling the behavior we desire to see in our children.  Here are 4 ways to stay connected to your child:

  1. How do you spell love to a child? T-I-M-E!  The number one way to connect with your child is present parenting.  The better off you are with your self-care the more you will be able to offer presence. Set a goal to give your child X amount of minutes of your undivided attention a day.  At least 20 minutes is best, but do what you can.
  2. Eat at least one meal a day with your child.  This is the easiest way for the whole family to connect, find out how everyone is doing and what is important in each other’s life.  At the same time,  your children learn group conversation etiquette.
  3. Take your child on a special one-on-one outing.  This tells the child, “I see you. You matter.”  At the end of the day, that’s what children want.
  4. Build-in rituals that enable a connection with your child.  Examples:  Morning rituals, bedtime rituals, in the car rituals, I Love You Signals

Connecting with our children and creating strong relationships with children takes time, intentionality and work.  I have found if I think of it in terms of the quality of the time I spend with my kids instead of the quantity of time it takes off some of the pressure.  Finally, if we show up and give our best for that time, kids know we care.

Related Article:  Children Do Not Care How Much We Know Until They Know How Much We Care

Related Video:  Become a YES Parent.  Connect With Your Child

 

what to do instead of spanking and punishment

3 Types of Consequences to Use Instead of Spanking:

By now, I’m sure you’re thinking, all of this sounds great, but is my kid going to just automagically not have any challenging behavior if I do this stuff?  Guess what?  No.  They will be a child just like God created them to be.  They will test the boundaries, ignore your requests at times, have an insatiable curiosity, unload their emotional backpack,  and do things in public that make you want to run away.  After all, if you know anything about the development of your child’s prefrontal cortex, then you know these behaviors are all normal and expected from children.

What can you do when your child displays behavior you don’t care for?  You use consequences that teach and guide your child to the expected behavior.  I know.  This is all so different than what your family is used to!  It was for me too.  Again, repeat with me, I want to raise a child who does right because it’s right NOT because they’re scared of being hit!

1.  Natural Consequences: 

Natural consequences allow discomfort to occur naturally rather than a parent creating a consequence.  These are imposed by nature, society, or another person.  When at all possible, this is the best consequence to use. 

These are the consequences that parents tend to protect their child from experiencing the most, but unfortunately, this can lead to enabling.  In fact, try to let the chips fall where they may.

Examples:

  • When a teen doesn’t do their laundry, eventually, they have no clean clothes to wear.
  • If a child doesn’t eat, eventually they’ll be hungry.
  • When you don’t wear a jacket, you will get cold.
  • If you don’t put up your shoes, the puppy will chew it up.  (Ask me how I know!)

Don’t Use When:

  • The child is in danger  Ex:  Playing in the street
  • The consequence doesn’t occur immediately  Ex: Failure to do school work
  • If it affects others such as peers, siblings, parents or pets

2.  Logical Consequences: 

The parent creates logical consequences, but they are in direct correlation to the negative behavior.  No physical pain, blame or shame.

How To:

  • Only come up with consequences you will follow through on
  • Wait until you have both calmed down before you speak
  • Don’t make up the consequence while angry
  • Think about the consequences in advance when possible.
  • Parents need to discuss consequences and agree before implementing them when possible

Examples:

  • The child keeps breaking their curfew or boundaries when they leave home, so they will stay home for 2 weeks.
  • She has not been doing her homework because she chose to play video games, so she will not play video games on school nights until she has turned her homework in on time for 2 weeks straight.
  • He spills his milk.  He cleans it up.

3.  Conflict Resolution:

Conflict resolution involves the child in coming up with a solution to the problem.

How to:

  • State the problem with positive intent and a focus on what you would like children to do.
  • Ask the child for ideas on how to solve the problem.
  • Hold family meetings to brainstorm solutions to chronic problems that are happening in your household

Examples:

  • The bathroom is continuously messy.  What can you do?
  • Both of you want to use the camera.  What can ya’ll do?
  • The teacher emailed me that you haven’t turned in your homework much this week.  What can we do to make sure you get it done every day?

 

what to do instead of spanking or punishment

The Benefits of Using Consequences Instead of Spanking or Punishment:

  • Reduces hindering relationship
  • Develops self-discipline and internal motivation
  • The child will be less likely to lie, blame, and hide because they don’t have FEAR of punishment.
  • Reduces rebellion and low self-esteem because the child learns that they’re not under the judgment of the parent
  • Teaches accountability
  • The child makes good choices because they are right NOT out of fear.
  • Much less of an impact on the child’s mental health.

*If the consequence doesn’t fit into one of the above 3 categories, there’s a good chance it is punishment:

  • Makes the child feel ashamed
  • The child will do better out of fear.
  • It’s not related to the behavior.
  • Sends the message that the child is the problem instead of the behavior or the damage done
  • There is physical pain.

 

Call to Action

You can and you will do this!  How are you going to switch from punishment to connection and consequences?  You’re going to remember your why is much bigger than your how!  Think about all the research that shows the negative effects of spanking.  You will think about how you want your child to remember you as a peaceful parent NOT a punishing parent.  You’re going to think about the fact that you are changing your family’s legacy and mental health for generations to come.  You can think about how it feels ludicrous to punish your child for misbehavior yet no one punishes you for yours. Think about the GENIUSness of now teaching your child how to behave instead of them behaving because they fear you.  Remind yourself that spanking is the lowest form of parenting, and you will NOT be a bottom feeder.

I encourage you to come up with your own list of Whys.  In the hard moments of parenting, your script of WHYs will get you to the other side as peacefully as possible.  Secondly, it is a great idea to study and know what positive parenting alternatives you will use instead of punishment.  Don’t expect to come up with these in the heat of the moment when your brain is already in fight-or-flight mode. 

Beforehand, have a plan for how you will stop spanking and what you will do instead.  Furthermore, if you follow the suggestions given, you will look back a year from now, and you won’t ever believe you were ever a spanker!  Lastly, keep in mind that when you focus on self-care and connection with your child, it will be so much easier to use modeling and consequences instead of spanking and other punishment.

As you can see, a lot of effort and intentionality goes into being a parent who has self-control.  This -N- That Parenting is built on what I learned in 15 years of teaching and what I am learning on this journey to becoming a better parent every day.  If there’s one thing that stands out, it’s that it is beneficial to surround myself with others who want to get better at parenting too.  You can find information to help you on your journey on the blog and on the YouTube as well as in the weekly letters I send my tribe.  Stay connected. Parent Together.

 

GET SUPPORT TO STOP SPANKING

If you would like some support in quitting spanking, email me at [email protected]thisnthatparenting.com.  Seriously, let’s get on the phone and see how I can help make this experience easier on your family.  We are better at things when we do them together, and we feel supported.  Remember, it is stronger to ask for help than to do nothing.

 

 

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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!  Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS

 

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How To Stop Spanking Your Child

Quitting spanking is possible.  How often you spank your child, the reasons for which you spank, whether your parents spanked you and how entrenched your belief system and self-talk is in spanking are some determining factors for the level of difficulty you will have with stopping spanking.  Whatever it takes for you to stop spanking, I urge you to do the work.  Surprisingly, when I share how to stop spanking your child, you’ll find that spanking is not about your child but about your own self-control. 

Are you up for the challenge?

Dictionaries define spanking as hitting, striking, and smacking.  Sit with yourself for a bit and think back to the times you hit your child. I truly believe while you reflect, a piece of you feels something isn’t right about your actions.

Research shows spanking has multiple long-term negative effects that are not worth the short-term fix that spanking gives.  If you are unaware of the effects spanking can have on your child, I encourage you to read 10 Reasons to Stop Spanking That Are Backed By Research.

After deciding to quit spanking, it took my husband and me 3 months to stop.  It floored me it took this long.  After a while, it literally scared me.  The awareness of the fact that I could not go cold turkey on this spanking deal, made me realize how much self-control I lacked in the area. While surveying other parents who stopped spanking, they had the same experience.  Just know, quitting is a process.

 

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This post contains steps and tips to help a parent who is currently spanking their child to stop spanking along with what you can expect when quitting. #howtostopspanking #parentingadvice #whyshouldiquitspanking #howcanistopspankingmychild

 

 

Please Use My Experience and Research

Being vulnerable about this topic pains me greatly, and honestly, I’m embarrassed and ashamed that I ever hit my child.  I share because I want to give you hope that you can quit.  Don’t give up on yourself. If my vulnerability spares one family from the effects of spanking, it is worth it.

After much research, I figured out what I needed to do to stay in control of myself.  I have gone back and identified how I finally stopped spanking my child.  These are the steps and this is the information I wish I had when I stopped spanking. 

According to psychologists, the key to properly managing your anger is to distance yourself physically and emotionally from the situation and get control of your negative thoughts that are dominating the situation.  Eventually, replace the negative thoughts with new thoughts, so the old dialogue no longer plays.

How To Stop Spanking Your Child

#1.  Promise yourself that no matter what your child does, you will NOT spank.  No exceptions!

  • Do not break this promise to yourself.
  • Make a commitment to do whatever you have to do with yourself to get through the anger and fear.
  • Get an accountability partner.  Tell them your plan to stop spanking and you will need them to be someone you can lean on during the first couple of months.
  • In the beginning, do not worry about the consequences you give your child for their behavior.  Just focus on not spanking.  Your main priority right now is to rewire your brain. When your first instinct is no longer spanking, then you can think about the consequences you will use instead of spanking.
  • Switch your mindset about behavior.  If your focus is on obedience, then you use fear and force to get it.  If your focus is on raising a child who does right whether your present or not, then you use connection, coaching, and empathy. 
  • Have a discussion with your partner and come to an agreement about spanking.  If they will not agree, you will have to decide how important the topic is to you.  You can still quit.

#2.  When you get triggered, drop what you’re doing and remove yourself from the situation. 

Sidenote:  You need not leave the room unless it would be best for you and your child.  Just make sure you are at a viewing distance from which you can’t hit your child.

  • While you are removing yourself, say nothing damaging to the child and don’t raise your voice. 
  • You can respectfully say at an appropriate volume before you go:
    • I need to think about how I will handle this.  I will take a moment to calm down now.”
    • It’s hard for me to believe you pushed your brother down after we have discussed how you should treat him.  I need to think about your behavior, and we will discuss it later when I have calmed down. In the meantime, I expect you to treat him with nothing but love.
    • “I need some time to think.  I don’t want to say or do anything I will regret.  In the meantime, I need you to sit on the love seat until I tell you otherwise.”
    • “I am too mad right now to talk about this.  I’m taking 5 minutes.  While I’m doing that, you will be on your absolute best behavior.”
  • The important thing about anger is not to act while you’re angry.
  • Notice your thoughts.  When you make yourself aware of your feelings and emotions, you are one step closer to managing them.
  • Breathe.  In through the nose, count to 3, out through the mouth, slowly. Again.

#3.  Have a plan of what you will do while you gain control of your emotions.

  • Some options and ideas for releasing fear and anger:
    • Shake your hands out.
    • Hug yourself by wrapping your arms around yourself and trying to reach your shoulder blades.
    • Splash cool water on your face.
    • Exercise.
    • Put on music and dance.
    • Look at a baby picture of your child.
    • Stretch.
    • Imagine yourself hugging your child. 
  • **Your job is to feel the anger, fear, sadness or disappointment but not act on it.  This does not mean you don’t have a right to feelings or that they are not important.  It means you are in control of how you react to your emotions.  You are teaching your child a more important lesson than you would have had you stayed on the scene.  You are modeling self-control.  High-Five!

 

#4.  Decide what and how you need to think when you remove yourself.

Anger is an emotion that hijacks your thoughts, words, and actions.  If you continue to think aggressive thought after aggressive thought, the anger will turn into rage.  Therefore, have a plan to replace the angry thoughts.  Use mantras, affirmations, and Bible verses to change your hostile mindset to a healthy mindset.

You can say these aloud.  It is fine for your child to hear you.  You are modeling what it takes to have self-control.

Here are a few of my faves:

  • This is not an emergency.
  • (Child’s Name) is not my enemy.
  • Only love today.
  • (Child’s Name) needs my love most when he is at his worst.
  • I won’t take this personally.  This is not about me.
  • I can handle this with dignity.
  • How do I want (Child’s Name) to remember me 15 years from now?
  • I will love (Child’s Name) unconditionally.
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13
  • Name all the things you love about the child.
  • I can quit spanking!
  • (Child’s Name) is acting like a child because he is a child.
  • How does (Child’s Name) see this situation?
  • My triggers will not control me.
  • What does (Child’s Name) need of me right now?

**Repeat Steps 2-4 until you know you are calm.

How do you know you are calm?:

  • Your breathing has slowed. 
  • Your muscles have relaxed.
  • You have positive thoughts about your child. 
  • Your child is not your enemy.
  • You can talk to your child about changing the behavior without shaming them or raising your voice.

 

#5.  Take a moment to see the situation from your child’s perspective and reflect on what happened.

  • Just know, research shows that very few parents take time to make a plan and reflect on their actions.  Most are reacting and responding off the cuff.  You are taking your parenting to the next level.  This should feel good.  Your child is blessed to have you.
  • All behavior is communication.  What could cause your child to behave in this manner?
  • How does (Child’s Name) feel?  How can  I help my child with their feelings?  They can not learn from you while they are feeling angry or anxious.  It is best for everyone to get to calmness before you discuss the inappropriate behavior.

 

This post contains steps and tips to help a parent who is currently spanking their child to stop spanking along with what you can expect when quitting. #howtostopspanking #parentingadvice #whyshouldiquitspanking #howcanistopspankingmychild

 

#6. Keep a list of behaviors that are triggering you.

  • You will want to reflect on your list in your downtime or alone time.
  • Here is a list of questions to consider about these triggers:
    • What was I thinking about previous to the behavior that triggered me? negative or positive thoughts?  
    • What was I doing when the misbehavior occurred? 
    • How will I use natural or logical consequences?
    • What language did I use when the incident occurred? What will I say next time? The same or different.
    • What will I say to (Child’s Name) about his behavior?  How will I teach or model a new behavior?  How can I get his input on coming up with a better plan if the incident occurs again?
  • Start to create a plan of how you will respond the next time you are triggered.

 

The Challenges To Expect When You Stop Spanking

  • If you have used spanking as a punishment for quite some time, you may feel that your kids are getting away with too much or your consequences aren’t harsh enough.  You may have fear you will raise a hellion! These are the thoughts that need replacing.
  • Prepare yourself. There’s a good chance things will get worse before they get better.  The human brain prefers the familiar over the nonfamiliar.  No spanking is new for your child.  The brain would prefer being hit over recalibrating.  Scary right!  
  • Most children have a lot of emotions pinned up from the spanking, and they now feel safer to release them.  It is not uncommon to experience crying and fits for a bit.  Don’t mistake this as “a child who doesn’t get spanked goes nuts”.  Give empathy and patience.
  • Unfortunately, if you come from a family who spanks, prepare for them to give their opinion about your decision.  Especially when your child acts like a child.  Nevertheless, do not give in and hit your child because of pressure from others.  Furthermore, in the beginning months of quitting spanking, it is best to limit your time spent with those who think you need to spank.
  • Ultimately, it is harder work to think of ways to teach your child through loving guidance instead of controlling them through spanking.  If you spank out of anger and rage, it is even harder work to retrain your brain and hand.  Not spanking is definitely taking the high road. The benefits and personal development are positively endless!
  • You may fall off of the wagon and spank.  It took Chris and me 3 months to stop spanking.  You can track your progress on a calendar.  Give yourself a check for each day you don’t spank.  Try to go further each time.  If you fall off the wagon, do not give up.  Tomorrow is a new day.  A year from now, you won’t believe you were ever a spanker.

 

The Benefits of Quitting Spanking

  • The parent-child relationship, bond, and connection strengthens.
  • Your child is not behaving out of fear.
  • Your child expresses their emotions.
  • You teach your child how you expect them to behave.  
  • You model self-control for your child.
  • Your child does not feel the need to lie or sneak.
  • Your children will be more emotionally intelligent.
  • The child will not grow up believing that people who love you hit you or vice versa.

 

Call to Action

Nowhere in this article did I say it was going to be easy to quit spanking which is another proof that spanking is not about the child. Obviously, it is about the parent blowing off steam.  Therefore, it is worth every ounce of your effort, energy, and personal development to create a family culture that does not use corporal punishment.  When your children are grown, do you want them to remember how you spanked them to enforce obedience? Or would you rather them remember how you loved them through the hard times and modeled and taught them the behavior you desired.

 

Get Support To Stop Spanking

If you would like some support in quitting spanking, email me at [email protected]  Let’s get on the phone and see if I am a fit for you.  Sometimes we are better at things when we do them together.  Remember, it is stronger to ask for help than to do nothing.

 

To be notified about new posts and receive the weekly newsletter, subscribe to This -N- That Parenting Tribe.

Subscribe To The Tribe

 

 

Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!  Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS

 

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10 Reasons to Stop Spanking That Are Backed By Research

Were you spanked as a child?  Do you spank your child?  Afterward, do you feel guilty and wonder if there could be a better way to discipline your child rather than hitting?  Maybe your family and friends have told you the guilt is normal, and it hurts you to spank more than it hurts your child.  Maybe the culture or church you grew up in believes in spanking? However, there’s something in your gut telling you spanking isn’t right.

Rewrite Your Family Legacy

Whatever your case, if your answer to any of these questions is yes, I want to share some moral reasons and research-based reasons you should quit spanking your child.  The way your family did things does not have to be the way you do things.  You can stop the cycle.

Ultimately, you decide what you believe to be right for your family.  I encourage you to make an educated decision not solely based on opinion.  You can change your family’s legacy from spanking to one of problem-solving.  Essentially, you will strengthen the emotional health of your family.

 

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Reasons to Quit Spanking That Are Backed By Research: This article informs parents on how the negative affects of spanking outweigh the benefits. Quitting spanking can lead to a healthier emotional legacy for your family. #corporalpunishment #theeffectsofspanking #theresearchonspanking #whyyoushouldstopspanking

 

Spanking Is Controversial

Spanking is a controversial topic.  I’m not here to argue or tell you what to do.  I’m here on behalf of your child to ask you to read this article with an open mind. My job is to deliver the facts that research and child development prove. If you continue spanking your child, no judgment against you.  I believe that quitting spanking is an evolution for families. If not you, hopefully, one of your descendants will stop the cycle.

The research on spanking is now more accessible and new research is out compared to when we were growing up.  The laws in the United States permit parents to spank their children, and they leave it up to the states for the “specifics” of discipline.  19 states in the U.S. still allow for schools to enforce corporal punishment, and most of those are in the south.  60 countries and territories in the world have laws that make it illegal to spank your child.

Questions To Ponder About Spanking:

  • It is against the law to hit prisoners, criminals, the elderly, our spouses, and bureaucrats in the United States. Why not children?  What makes it OK to hit little people?
  • How does a parent decide how hard to hit a child?
  • At what age is it appropriate to hit a child?  How is that age determined?  If it is OK to hit a child for doing something wrong, shouldn’t it be OK for someone to hit an adult when we do something wrong?
  • Would you have hit your child as an infant?  What makes any other age different?
  • In order for children to understand why they are being spanked, experts say you need to spank them immediately after the offense and every time they commit the offense.  Experts also say parents need to wait until they are not angry to hit their child.  When is the right time to hit a child?
  • What makes it OK to hit a child, but tell that same child not to hit?
  • How can we expect a child to process or understand, “This person who says they love me -hits me.”?
  • Why are you spanking your child?  What if there is a healthier way to get them to learn not to do these unwanted behaviors?  What if you don’t have to hit them to teach them a better way?
  • Is spanking done to soothe the parent and relieve their frustrations? Who feels better after the spanking? (Read that again and really think about it.)

 

Spanking Research to Consider When Deciding to Spank or Not to Spank:

My husband and I started out spanking our child, but after much research, we decided that it was not the family culture we wanted.  My husband and I quit spanking because of the information I share with you.  I want to add that there is much more information and research that I could add, but out of respect for your time and mine, I chose the following because I believe them to be the most powerful.  

 

#1.  Brain Development

First, brain research shows that the human prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until around the age of 25.  Studies show children receive the most spankings between the ages of 3 and 6. Consequently and alarmingly, child development and brain development facts show that most of the reasons these children are being spanked are for the exact things we should expect them to do at these ages.  Their decision-making skills are not developed.  Hitting a child will not improve brain development.  If anything, it will hinder.

 

#2. Adults Who Seek Pain

Next, if a child is seeking attention even at the costs of getting a spanking, this can merge the concepts of pain and pleasure in a child’s mind.   The Journal of Pediatrics reported that researchers at the University of Texas found a link between corporal punishment as a child and dating violence as an adult.  For more on this topic, see “The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children”.


#3. The Long-Term Negative Effects of Spanking

Although many parents are unaware of it, continual spanking can have long-term negative effects.  A 2012 study reviewed and confirmed researcher, Dr. Elizabeth Gershoffs findings. Kids who get spanked have less gray matter in their brains. Further, they are more likely to exhibit poor mental health including depression, anxiety, antisocial behavior, alcohol abuse, drug use, suicidal tendencies, and aggression.  Source


#4.  The American Academy of Pediatrics Says Don’t Spank

The American Academy of Pediatrics most recent recommendation is for parents not to spank.  The AAP recommends that adults caring for children use healthy forms of discipline, such as positive reinforcement of desired behaviors, setting limits, redirecting, and setting future expectations. The AAP recommends that parents do not use spanking, hitting, slapping, threatening, insulting, humiliating, or shaming.  In fact, you can find in-depth research and detail on spanking on the AAP site.

 

 

#5.  There’s No Research to Back Spanking

Meanwhile, no study or research has proven spanked kids are better behaved or grow up to be equally healthy emotionally. Source

 

#6.  Spanking Does NOT Solve Problems

Children who get spanked only quit performing the offense temporarily.  Not to mention, the child stops the behavior due to fear. What about learning to do what is right because it is right?  In the long run, these children become sneaky or lie, so they won’t get caught.

 

#7.  It’s OK To Be Hit By Those You Love.  It’s OK To Hit The People You Love.

Because children learn through parental modeling, physical punishment gives the message that hitting is an appropriate way to express feelings and to solve problems.  Spanking does not teach an alternative behavior or a better way to behave. The intent of parenting is to teach self-control.  Spanking is the lowest level of moral development.   Source

#8. Do You Remember How You Felt After Being Spanked?

The response I keep hearing is, “Well, I got spanked, and I turned out okay.” 

I’m not talking to parents who want their kids to be OKAY.  I’m talking to parents who are trying to raise great humans with strong mental and emotional health.  If you were spanked, you might be okay, but your mental health could probably be stronger had you not been spanked.

Without a doubt, spanking not only erodes the child but the parent-child relationship.  Children will never forget how you made them feel.

#9.  Behavior is a method of communication.

You need to know that the child who needs the most attention or connection will perform the most “dramatic” behaviors.   Instead of trying to change or stop the behavior.  Try to figure out what causes the behavior.  What does the child need?  Meet your child’s needs.  

 

Reasons to Quit Spanking That Are Backed By Research: This article informs parents on how the negative affects of spanking outweigh the benefits. Quitting spanking can lead to a healthier emotional legacy for your family. #corporalpunishment #theeffectsofspanking #theresearchonspanking #whyyoushouldstopspanking
#10. Does the Bible Tell Us to Spank?  Spare the rod, spoil the child is not in the Bible.  

Last but not least, the United States has the largest Christian population in the world.  Sadly, we also have one of the largest spanking populations.  Some Christians use the verses in Proverbs as a justification to spanking children. Most popular is Proverbs 23:13-14, which states, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.”

Many Christian leaders teach that parents should spank their children.  Most of what they instruct is their opinion.  Maybe you experienced this in your church.  I want to reveal to you that there are plenty of Christians who do not interpret these verses to mean that parents should spank their children.  To learn more, I highly encourage you to download and read Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me: Christians and The Spanking Controversy by Samuel Martin for free.

 

 

Call To Action

As you can see, the negative effects of spanking far outweigh the benefits of spanking if you have your child’s best interest at heart.  They say we do better when we know better.  If you read the ten facts above, you now know better than to hit your child.  It’s up to you to take educated action to do better.

I want to challenge you to consider your own self-control.  What if instead of judging your child’s behavior, you hold yourself accountable for maintaining emotional control and self-control when your child behaves in a manner you don’t care for? 

Related:  How to Stop Spanking

Dr. Laura Markham states, “Your first responsibility in parenting is being mindful of your own inner state.”  When these misbehaviors are happening in your family, someone needs to stay in control.  It is only natural that we should expect it to be an adult.  I want to mention again that hitting is the lowest form of control.  

If you stop spanking, it is no easy feat.  The more you use spanking to discipline your child, the harder it is to stop. But I am here to tell you it is so worth it. There are many families who are a testament to the fact that you can raise amazing children without spanking. Above all, the amount of self-control and personal growth it takes for a parent to stop spanking, the trust and connection you will gain with your child, and the impact you are making for your decedents is all well worth your efforts – a hundredfold.

 

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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!  Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS

 

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