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Parenting Style – Then and Now

May 4, 2017

bad parents - bad kidsFacebook is THE place to keyboard bash people you don’t know when they are having a public chat.  I recently received abuse via FB for a couple methods of punishment I used for my kids.  Apparently, DHS would have carted me off had I victimized my precious children similarly in this day and age.  I chuckled.  And I’m still chuckling.

My friend “Donna” has had trouble with her kids for years.  I know this because her oldest and my youngest were friends from kindergarten through 6th grade.  The girls grew apart, and went on to graduate last year from high school, but us moms stayed friends.

So she tagged me about door slamming humorously because she knew how I solved it years ago.  We went on to compare parenting notes on different methods to change behaviors.  And that’s when all hell broke loose.  I “should be in jail for abuse” according to one of her friends.

“Really?” I questioned.  “On what grounds?”   So let me put these three possible infractions out there.

Door slamming – I quietly grab a hammer and flat-head screwdriver, knock the pins out of the problem child’s bedroom door and lock the door in the shed for 30 days.  If they slam another door during that 30 day period, I added the bathroom door to the shed.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard a door slam in my house.  I don’t call that abuse.  I call that a success. The lesson – don’t have a fit just because you are  mad.  Throwing stuff around and slamming doors is no way to act.

Ignoring chores or homework – this was usually attributed to video games, especially during the teen years for each of my precious children.  I took the controllers and locked them in my room. I made the mistake of taking the games once, and I came home to the guilty kid playing a video game they borrowed from a friend.  So, snag the controllers, lock them up, then proudly dust and display all those game cases that are rendered useless.  The house started to sparkle within two days, and grades improved.  I didn’t have to raise my voice or a hand to my offspring to see results.  The lesson – time management.  You have work time and then you have play time.  Get the business done first.

Make fun of people who have less than you – I went to WalMart and bought 5 pairs of black pants, two packs of plain white t-shirts and plain $2.50 white sneakers.  I took every stitch of clothing, nail polish, hair gadgets and jewelry and boxed it up.  The child wore the same outfit for 6 weeks.  And the lesson learned – be grateful for what you have. It can disappear overnight.  My angel lost her “best friend” who started to make fun of her after two days.  Learning humility and compassion is a hard lesson for a 13 year old. There were tears, lots of tears.  She even drew flowers on a one shirt to decorate it. Today, she is the first to jump in and help strangers.  She has helped build Habitat for Humanity houses, and donates clothes and food to shelters.  I recently watched her help someone move cases of water and soda from cart to car in a grocery store parking lot because the lady seemed to be short of breath.  Was it because of  her little uniforms for 6 weeks? I don’t know, but I like how she turned out, along with her brother and sister.

So back to the present.  Did I really ruin my children’s’ self esteem?  Did I subject them to prison-like conditions? Would I really be in trouble if I used those same methods today?

Maybe, but someone had to raise those three kids into responsible adults.  And that’s what all three have turned into.

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