The New Age Mum

Raising Boys without Shouting or Spanking (Part II)

Posted on: Thursday, September 4, 2008

In a few posts back, I have written on Raising Boys without Shouting or Spanking (Part I). It was on based on my feelings and how I want my boys to turn out based on the book- Raising Boys. Right now I am going to touch on the second book I have finished reading.

Discipline without Shouting or Spanking

Favourite line from the book: In the hierarchy of moral development as defined by Lawrence Kohlberg, the lowest level is “following rules only to avoid punishment.” The highest level is “following rules because they are right and good.”

What I love about this book because it really makes me push the “pause” button in myself to think about what I want to get out from the boys if I were to discipline them. The authors had touched me in a way that they have made me recall a lot of things from my childhood like why I have to be nice to my younger brother. I was nice to him only in front of my parents then because I did not want my parents to scold or spank me for ‘bullying’ him and not because it is good and only right to be nice to my younger brother. I remember how I use to hate him and how I use to be jealous of him because he is the ‘baby of the family’ then.

I am not saying that my parents are unfair or not nice because if usually there is to be a spanking, my younger brother will get it harder too. (Just like what I have mentioned in Part I; he is the to-be-man of the family. He must be stronger). But I believe that my parents did not understand that spanking and shouting are counterproductive. Shouting and spanking just sends the wrong message to the child. And most importantly, it only stops the bad behavior from happening in front of the parents.

Therefore being a mum of 2 boys now, I will pause and think of the values that I will like to instill in my boys so that they can be a better person in their growing up years.

This book is actually very easy to read and it goes into details of why we should not hit or shout at a child. It is also much organized in a way that they have written the various problems chapter by chapter therefore it is very easy to flip to the chapter of the problem that you are encountering currently.

I also like the fact to know that all children are born with the capacity to be empathetic. They have the ability to comprehend the feelings in others at the age of 4 and it is up to us as parents to nurture this development. They do not like their parents to be upset therefore if we can explain and teach them properly with patience and love, I am sure we do not need to spank or shout at them.

The book also teaches about praising the child’s behavior rather than the child. For example now I will say to Clemens, “Good sharing Clemens. I love the way you are nice to your brother.” instead of “Good boy Clemens.” I realised that there is a huge a difference in Clemens after 4 weeks. He is now very willing to do things that are right because he knows that his action pleases me and he knows it is the right thing do. How I know he is not doing it in front of me only because I do observe the boys from afar when they are playing on their own. I notice Clemens being nicer and kinder to Damir. Even the way he talks to Damir is kinder. He hardly retaliates when Damir hit him, instead he tells Damir, “Don’t hit me. It is painful.” In that way, Damir (20 months) knows that he has hurt his older brother and at times, he will just pet Clemens where he has hurt him. I can’ say how proud and happy I am of the boys at times.

I have also come to realised that the “Time-Out-Chair” is not a form of punishment. It is just a place for the child to calm down when they are feeling angry or throwing a temper. It is also a short time for the parents to calm down because by now, we will feel like spanking the child. Yes it is something that works for Clemens too. However initially I have to explain to Clemens that I am not punishing him but it upsets me to see him angry so I want him to calm down for 3 minutes (because he is 3 yrs old). It is all about teaching him to handle his own emotions and anger. Hence whenever now he is unhappy, angry or upset, he will just walk away to look for me to let me know he is upset. This is the time when all the consolations and explanations have to start. However when Clemens and I crashed on different opinions, he will head to the chair to sit and as for me; I will take my quick breather and worked out a solution where we can agree on and we are good again after 3 minutes because we have calmed down.

The downside of this book, all these are hard work because it is all about disciplining yourself before disciplining the child. You have to know in your mind the outcome you want, you have to discipline yourself in your action and the way you talk to the child. My first week of starting this was like hell, because I am not the most patient person on earth, there was a lot of pent-up frustrations. I felt like crying and giving up all the time because I am not seeing the result I want to. However during that week, I saw a mini-angry me. That was Clemens. The way he behave and shout was just like me. It was absolutely horrifying. The way he treat Damir unkindly, was also like the way I have treated him. But now I am glad, I have pulled through and the boys are behaving even better than before.

All in all, I just love this book because I do not condone spanking or shouting at a child. If I have to hit anyone of my boys, I will just be so painfully upset that I do not want to do anything for the day anymore. I will feel just so lousy.

In my opinion, spanking and shouting is definitely one of the laziest and lowest levels of discipline. Perhaps we should not even call it discipline. It is just complete violence.

  • Note: This book is not going to transform you into the perfect parent or transform your child into the perfect child because no matter how perfect you are or your child is, problems will rise when the needs and wants of the parents and child don’t fit well like the pieces of puzzles.

2 Responses to "Raising Boys without Shouting or Spanking (Part II)"

thanks for sharing this. my son of 20 months is driving me crazy .l have shout when saying no . but it has not work but l know better now.

I have my fair share of challenges too. As my boys are growing older now, sometimes this approach don’t work cox the older boy will challenge me and the younger one will follow suit. It does drive me crazy and sometimes to the verge of desperation. However at the end of the day, we know that we do love them. 🙂 That is what parenthood is all about isn’t it? A love-hate relationship. 🙂

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Welcome to The New Age Mum

Hi I am Angelia Giam! This site is basically dedicated to my 2 very precious boys who have filled my life with the all the colours of the world. It is also about me striving to lead a balance and fulfilling life with the family I have created. I have also added some basic food recipes which I have tried and tasted; and recommended some parenting books which I have read and found it to be useful as well for all to share.

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