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To think that we are too scared to discipline our children as a nation?

(26 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Thu 06-Mar-14 20:04:35

I am a teacher and a mum. Back in the day my parents would give me a slap if I was naughty and our teachers would do thinks like scrape gum off tables if caught chewing gum at school.
I'm not suggesting corporal punishment but a friend of mine got grassed up to social services as she shouted at her kids in tescos car park! I mean wtf? They are well fed, clean, treated etc. as a result of her strictness they are also very well behaved.
As a teacher I get so much back chat and threats of 'we will report you' if I keep them in for detention. Aibu that we are too soft on our kids?

superstarheartbreaker Thu 06-Mar-14 20:09:45

Forgot to mention that I'm confused about how to discipline my dd and feel guilty no matter what I do.

RhondaJean Thu 06-Mar-14 20:14:32

I wouldn't say as a nation we are, no, but part of my work is with parents and there are definitely some who are afraid of their children.

My tips for parenting?

Talk to your kids as much as you can (easier said than done with a huffy teenager), be clear, be firm, be consistent, and don't be afraid to impose sanctions. Make the sanctions related to the "crime" and fair, give your children plenty of chances to get it right and let them know when they are, also give them plenty of chances to fail so that when they do, they know the world will not end and that it's okay to try again.

And I, of course, manage to do all of this every single day with both my children and have never been known to shout at them in a tesco car park <cough>

Fairenuff Thu 06-Mar-14 20:17:21

Discipline should not take the form of hitting, slapping or shouting. That's not discipline, that's anger.

Discipline is setting out the rules, the consequences for breaking the rules and following through. As a teacher, OP, you would surely know this. You don't hit or shout at your pupils do you, so why do it to your own child.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 06-Mar-14 20:18:32

I think it's just that shouting is seen as 'bad' that annoys me. It's not ideal but it is not 'bad'. It is a last desperate resort. It is the judgy pants parenting stuff that gets in the way of common sense.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 06-Mar-14 20:18:58

I'm anti smacking on the whole btw.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 06-Mar-14 20:19:44

I do shout at my students when they are being awful and they normally shut up and listen!

KingR0llo Thu 06-Mar-14 20:20:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pyjamaramadrama Thu 06-Mar-14 20:22:00

I'm not afraid to discipline ds or to shout at him in a car park.

I try not to shout because I think it serves no purpose other than to teach ds that it's ok to shout at people, and it gives me a sore throat.

I'm not afraid to give consequences and see them through, I'm not afraid to physically remove ds from something that he shouldn't be doing.

I see children everyday completely ignoring their parents and they learn that they can.

UriGeller Thu 06-Mar-14 20:23:15

I think some people think its not cool to admonish or set thir kids straight. I know its definitely the case for a few of my friends. They want to be 'best buddies' with their children and don't seem to have the confidence to be the bad guy and are scared their kids won't like them.

LoonvanBoon Thu 06-Mar-14 20:25:00

I know I'm being pedantic, OP, but your thread title really should have been "AIBU to think that we, as a nation, are too scared to discipline our children?". Unless you're thinking of some mass nationwide detention for naughty children.

Oh, & I think YABU, because it's just too much of a generalisation. Some parents don't discipline their children effectively, but I don't know if it's a result of fear. I certainly don't have any desire to go back to, say, the '70s, when many parents' default method of discipline was, as you say, just to slap their children.

I'm not even convinced that behaviour is getting worse. Did you read the thread recently about schools in the '70s & '80s? There were tales on that thread about behaviour that would not be tolerated in any school I (or my teacher DH & teacher friends) have ever worked in.

I do think consistency is key, whatever methods of discipline you're using. One headteacher I knew always used to say that the most effective deterrent isn't the severity of the consequences (of poor behaviour) but the certainty that those consequences WILL happen; & happen every time.

KingR0llo Thu 06-Mar-14 20:26:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wherethewildthingis Thu 06-Mar-14 20:26:14

Hmmm...OP there is absolutely, definitely no way that any social services department contacted someone JUST for shouting at a child in a car park. No way. If that was all your friend was reported for, she would never have known anything about it.

peggyundercrackers Thu 06-Mar-14 20:30:46

I agree lots of people are too soft with their kids but I think that's because the kids generally think their rights trump everyone else's and are happy to tell you 'you can't touch me or I'll report you' - my first thought is really? more people need to call their kids bluff and discipline them.

Smacking has nothing to do with anger fairenuff.

Piscivorus Thu 06-Mar-14 20:30:58

I agree that many parents do not have enough discipline. My children are now in their 20s and I think higher standards of behaviour were expected of children when they were small. We live in a holiday town and I never cease to be amazed at parents who will ignore their children running wild and behaving appallingly in a way my child and their friends would never have been allowed to.

I also think one big difference is the defensive attitude from parents if anybody comments on their child's behaviour or intervenes. Some parents will go into battle against teachers or anyone who crosses their child now. It is not just parents who are now afraid to discipline, outsiders are afraid to ask parents even when the child is behaving dreadfully There are often posts on here saying how dare a teacher, dinner lady, passer-by, etc tell my child to stop marauding or causing mayhem. God help those parents when their little darlings become teenagers

Anonymai Thu 06-Mar-14 20:33:48

I don't think it's fear. It's not knowing how to discipline in a way that will work.

RhondaJean Thu 06-Mar-14 20:38:07

Uri has it in one, it's not cool, there is this great misconception that it's important for your children to like you all the time when I would strongly argue that if you are doing your job as a parent properly there is NO WAY your children can like you all the time.

But kids can have lots of friends, but only two parents (or four dependent on circumstances) and they need those people to stand up and parent, even if they find it uncomfortable.

peggyundercrackers Thu 06-Mar-14 20:39:06

Wherethewildthingis I was out with a friend and his 2 kids, we were in mcdonalds. They were playing up something silly, jumping about, spilling food etc. etc. they wouldn't take a telling so after telling them off a dozen times he said "right thats enough, your going home" In a raised voice, he wasn't shouting though. As we got up some woman came forward and said I'm so and so and am a social worker- you cannot speak to your children like that, it's abuse, she asked for his details and said some other stuff. I'm sure the words off and fuck came out his mouth and pushed her out the way and we left but she didn't follow.

We don't know if she was a social worker or if she was serious, if I wasn't there I wouldn't have believed it. Too many do gooders out there.

AnnieMaybe Thu 06-Mar-14 20:43:14

I really don't think Social Services would become involved for simply shouting at your own children as a one off in a supermarket carpark.

Unfortunately, and maybe not what you want to hear about your friend, but if Social Services have become involved there is probably more going on?

Where you there when it happened? It could be someone being vindictive or she perhaps she was going overboard on the language she used?

Fairenuff Thu 06-Mar-14 20:45:39

Smacking has nothing to do with anger fairenuff.

Really? Why do people smack then? And why do adults assault each other if they are not angry?

they wouldn't take a telling so after telling them off a dozen times he said "right thats enough, your going home" In a raised voice, he wasn't shouting though

It was probably all the stuff that went on before he raised his voice that caused someone to speak to him like that.

oohdaddypig Thu 06-Mar-14 20:49:31

The trend for discipline is now too soft.. We were smacked as kids which I don't agree with. But equally trying to softy explain why we don't treat a chair in a cafe as a trampoline does not work either.

I really try not to shout at my kids, especially in public!

But I do follow through with last warnings, removal of treats etc and it usually sometimes works.

I also agree that kids feel more secure knowing the boundaries.

What a waffle this is. I think parents don't know what the heck to do. I do remember laughing my head off when a friend tried to reason with her tantruming toddler. She was using logical words to a 20 month old who just needed to scream.

Fusedog Thu 06-Mar-14 20:58:58

poster oohdaddypig

Agreed and the fact that some think that shouting at a child damages them beyond repair says it's all.

The trend for letting children self regulate I do not care for it's very American and also poor parenting I do think this is a hangover from middle class parents who think there being terribly trendy

My oh suffered with parents like this as a result he was excluded from school in year one and was pretty much wild all of his school life sadly his brother has carried this on with his own children and as a result his son (6) nearly killed his sister who was 5 weeks old and his grandma whitened up with 7 weeks in hospital

pyjamaramadrama Thu 06-Mar-14 21:10:27

I've seen children completely ignoring their parents because they learn that they can.

I've seen kids refusing to leave soft play, lying on the floor, and the parents standing trying to reason and plead with them for half an hour. I'd just scoop ds and leave with him, and he'd be possibly losing a treat or privilege as a warning not to do that next time, before he gets too big to scoop up.

Fusedog Thu 06-Mar-14 21:14:58

My favourite one is watching children hit there parents and there parents doing fuck all when I am in soft play

Were I sided to live I remember all the kids were playing outside it was getting dark and most of the kids were in so next doors mum comes out and says get in NOW and he turns and says you fucking get in and guess what she did the lad was 8 at the time btw

taratamara Thu 06-Mar-14 21:15:47

YABU I try to treat my children with the same level of basic respect I'd treat an adult with, therefore I wouldn't hit them (which is assault IMO) or swear at them but sometimes I shout, mostly do stern voice and hmm as needed.
They're very well behaved

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