So you have gotten married.
Many people would say children.
Children are not required by marriage, but mant newly wed couples find their friends and family expecting news of pregnancy, asking “are you pregnant yet?” and looking disappointed when they are told “no”.
I think some couples are pushed unconsciously in the direction of having children because it is normal for couples to become parents as the next step in their marriage, or because their parents’ want grandchildren. Let me tell you; you are not obligated to fulfill your family’s wish for grandchildren. Your parents should understand that.
It is natural for our parent’s to want grandchildren, but that is not why you should have kids. My parents got married, enjoyed each other’s company for a couple years, and travelled before I came along, soon followed by my four siblings. The point is, have kids when you are ready to spend time with kids, not when you still want life to be you and your partner.
Because the first thing to parenting is patience. Your baby will scream. Your four year-old will defy you. Your seven year-old will disobey you. Your ten year-old will make trouble.
I admire you if you are a parent who approaches these situations with patience, and takes the time to sit down with your child and talk with them about their behavior. I admire you if you are a parent who teaches rather then punishes.
Also, because many parents employ the use of daycare and the free childcare school affords, so they can live a ‘normal’ life, it seems to me some parents barely know their kids. And when parents do not know their kids; when they do not care to get to know their kids, it is easy to turn to punishments like spanking.
When you have parents who spend little time with their children, those parents end up unprepared to handle difficult situations that come up during the time they do spend together as a family. So they do what their parents did to them. Spanking is a quick way to suppress, not solve, a problem.
Spanking is a punishment that relies on fear to work. It is my opinion that spanking teaches kids that what their parents do not know will not hurt them.
In many other households, one parent stays at home. The parent-child bond is stronger between that parent and child, but this is not a recipe to avoid spanking. Many parents still spank because they lack patience and have little tolerance.
Many parents are not willing to take ten minutes to sit down with their child and understand the emotions that led their child into misbehavior. These parents have no time to care for their children’s emotional needs. And they have little to no patience when it comes to discipling.
Little tolerance leads parents to punish their kids for natural childlike curiosity. Children will smear paint on the walls and scribble on places other then paper. Children will play with their food; I know I did. Most of the time, all it takes is a little gentle, repeated guidance to a piece of paper or spoon. It takes patience to do this over and over again until the lesson sinks in. It does not take patience to dole out a few smacks and say “mama loves you” to appease your own feelings.
Leaving your child with the memory of a conversation in which you both understand each other’s emotions rather then the memory of someone bigger and stronger then them spanking them will more likely leave a longer-lasting impression.
Your child is also more likely to feel as though they can come to you and express troubled feelings and ask for help if he or she knows you will listen to them. Your connection with your kids will grow stronger.
On the flip side, children who are spanked may feel hesitant expressing their feelings to their parents because parents who spank do not take time to listen to their children’s feelings and emotions. Controversially, children who are spanked do their best to forget the spankings because the memory hurts.
Is has been said one must spank a child until their cry of defiance turns to a cry of repentance.
This can be translated into practice to mean to hit the child on the behind until their cries of pain turn into broken promises and apologies. Now, I know many people consider a spanking a few ‘pats’, but no matter how it is defined, it is still hitting. And hitting is something that should not be in a parenting toolbox.
You can learn patience. You can learn tolerance. If you pay attention, your kids will give you opportunities to exercise what you are learning every day. Your kids will learn with you because children are famous copycats and love to copy their parents.
Naturally, patience cannot be present all the time, and there will be days when you are driven to your wit’s end. But the more you remember to take a breath or even walk away for five minutes, the more your patience will grow.
Do not be a parent who takes no time to listen to your child before discipling them. Be a parent who listens from the heart; who teaches gently and kindly. Your family will benefit from it.
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