We Prefer To Discipline Our Girls Instead of Punishing Them. Here's Why
It is no secret that parenting is not easy. Each phase a child goes through posses a challenge to the parents regardless of the age. Although they know boundaries, they will still cross them to see what happens.
Before having children, I always pictured my parenting style to be full of communication. I always wanted my children to be able to come to me with any and everything. I wanted for us to have open communication because as a child, I did not feel like I had that type of relationship with my parents; therefore found myself trying to figure it out with no knowledge what so ever of what I was doing.
I came from a strict home. My father was, and still is, a bit old school. He believes in the good old fashion butt whooping that most latin parents practice, with the infamous correra (belt). Not to say I turned out bad, but I feared my father. I was afraid to tell my father everything simply because I was not sure what was right and what was wrong to him. When I was going through something, I relied on my friends to get me through it. Even as an adult, there are still things I feel I cannot talk to my parents about. One example is telling my parents I was pregnant. For days I could not sleep with anxiety of how I was going to tell my folks I was expecting. It was the hardest most tauting thing I think I have ever had to do! And I was 26 years old.
As Amelia gets old, she certianly tests her father and I to see how far we will let her go. Being the amateur parents that we are, I found that yelling at Amelia each time she disobeyed us was producing more negitive characteristics that positive ones. I notice that Amelia became shameful, demonstrated self-pity and even fear. All characteristics I did not want Amelia growing up with. I do not want for Aylah and Amelia to fear me the way I feared my dad. Although I respected him, the open lines of communications was just not there.
Disciplining seems to be a more positive approach as it seems to be more future-focused. With discipline we show and explain to our children how to do something. We teach. We invoke the thinking aspect of the brain which results in making better decisions. Discipline supports an open dialogue where the adult acts like a teacher. It opens communication which is exactly what I want from my girls.
One technique that has worked in the Rosario household is that of praise and/or reward system. Amelia had a little chart with a list of items she was to be doing every morning when she woke up and at bedtime. Each time she completed an item, she earned a sticker. At the end of the week, if she earned 10 stickers, we took a trip to 5 Below where she was able to pick a toy of her choice. She was so excited every time she earned a sticker because she knew that if she did what she was suppose to do, she would earn her prize.
We must keep in mind that to our children, we are their entire world. When adults go through things, they are able to vent to friends or have a distraction from their problems by participating in other activities. However, kids don't have that advantage. We are it; so yelling at them may not seem like much to us, but to them can be a drastic experience.
Ariel and I have agreed to be teachers for our children. When we get mad, instead of yelling at her for misbehaving, we instead send Amelia to her room. We allow ourselves to calm down, and then we go and have a conversation with her about the behavior. Now I must admit, we are not perfect so there are still times we go off in the heat of the moment, but being conscious of it is the first step at making things better.
Do you believe in positive reinforment? Do you have a reward system for you little ones? In what ways do you discipline your children?