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Mondays with the Mamas: Disciplining your Kids

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More than discussions around vaccines and breastfeeding – disciplining kids seems to be the biggest source of parenting controversy. After all, if our kids’ behavior is a direct reflection of our parenting skills, and if we want kids to behave, there are diametrically opposed philosophies about how to achieve that.

Many parents before us accepted spanking – even hitting (sometimes with belts and other objects). When we were kids, lots of us were spanked. And we all turned out “fine” – right? Maybe. Depends how you define “fine.” Childhelp, a non-profit dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect, cites 6 million children are reported as abused every year – a sign that some of us who were hit didn’t turn out fine at all, but rather angry and abusive. Plus, why are we striving for our children to be just “fine?” Is “mediocre” what we aspire for them? Don’t we wish our children to become exceptional, wonderful, happy?

In Sweden, physical punishment of children is against the law. Thirty more countries have passed bans on corporal punishment at home, and even more have banned it in schools. However, no countries in North America ban physical punishment by parents, and it remains legal in all 50 states for parents to hit their children, and for schools in 19 states to physically punish kids.

We thought that alternatives to spanking had penetrated this generation of parents. Time-outs, redirecting behavior, plain-old distraction, many other approaches became culturally acceptable — until recently. At The Mother Company, we’ve noticed spanking coming back into the fold. Well meaning parents are asking “how best to spank” their children.

The thinking is that children become disrespectful brats and bullies when they aren’t correctly disciplined. If that’s a fact, it’s true. Children who aren’t “correctly disciplined” and are without boundaries – often act out. But there are very different definitions of “correctly disciplined” depending on parenting beliefs. This week we dive into the research, talk to experts, and get some hands on tips to help you raise people who don’t turn out “fine” but turn out exceptional. — Abbie Schiller, Founder and CEO, TMC

Please share your thoughts/anecdotes/musings about this topic below in the comments section. We love hearing from you!

The Mother Company aims to support parents and their children, providing thought-provoking web content and products based in social and emotional learning for children ages 3-6. Check out the first episode of our children’s series, “Ruby’s Studio: The Feeling Show,” along with our beautiful children’s books, music, handmade dolls, and more. We want to be a truly helpful parenting tool… For you!

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