Following through with your child

Apr 16, 2000

OK, I hesitate to even write this, but have decided to finally jump into the arena in the topic of disciplining your children.

First, let me preface this by saying that I was raised by very loving parents who did everything they could for us 5 children. However, they were strict in the sense that we knew they meant business. We got spankings if we had them coming (I'm sure you all realize I was a perfect child and never needed spankings) but my brothers sure did! :-) So, I am an advocate for spanking....onto the rest of the story.

I witnessed a scene in the grocery store that just makes my blood boil. A woman with a boy who I would guess was about 4. A brat! This woman took her little boy into the grocery store and right away, down the first aisle the boy started in, "Buy me.....(fill in the blank)" and "buy me......" The Mother at first said no. The decibel level of his "Buy me's" got up there pretty high on the next aisle which happened to be where the gum and candy are. She was just ignoring him while myself and others were staring at her as she walked along with a very loud kid demanding her to buy things for him. When he pulled a big bag of Peanut M & M's off the shelf and started to carry it, she reached down to pull it away from him. The fight was on! "Put that back!" "NO!" "I said put that back!" "NO!" She said, "If you don't put that back I am going to take you out to the car!" Again, "NO!" Right there she had given him an ultimatum; he could decide to put it back or he could decide to go to the car (although I was wondering if he'd be alone and unsupervised in that car???) But she didn't follow through. Instead, she kept at him to put it back and he kept hollering NO! She pulled hard enough on the bag to get it out of his hands and then he began screaming - literally screeching like a hyena. By now a small crowd is gathered and in order to stop the spectacle of it all, the Mother puts the bag of M & M's into her basket. I'm wanting to take not the child, but the Mother and spank her . She has just lied to her child. She said he had two choices a) put it back or b) go to the car. But she didn't do what she said she was going to, instead she gave in. He already knew that if he wanted to get those M & M's, he would get them by making it hard on his Mother. Obviously this has happened before.

Following through is the only way to teach your children to respect what you say. The kids know when I say something that I mean it. With this little boy in the store, he knew that his Mom didn't mean it, which is why he kept right on demanding the candy. If we don't teach our kids to respect us, then how in the world can we expect them to respect their teachers, our neighbors or even the law for that matter?

When you say to your child that you are going to do something, such as make them go to the car, then you had better follow through, or the next time they will push even harder knowing you really didn't mean what you said.

There, that's my 2 cents worth!

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