If you have been following my story for a while, you know that I am Belizean and my husband is Nigerian. The boys are very blessed to have such a diverse cultural standing in their lives. Growing up in our childhood households, discipline looked very different from what we are doing with Caleb & Joshua.
I can not even sit up here and lie to you about spanking the boys. I have. What I do know now, it doesn’t do anything. If anything, it just makes me feel bad afterward. I don’t spank them anymore, but I do still yell. Also, not the best and I am working on it.
In 2018 1,500 pediatricians in the United States found that 74 percent did not approve of spanking and 78 percent thought spanking never or seldom improved children’s behavior. (Source: The New York Times)
The first punishment I turn to, more reading. This may not seem like a punishment in your household, but I have one child who I have to force to read, and one who reads willingly. I like to do it for 15-30 minutes. Sometimes they’re counting down the clock, other times they will lose track of time and read longer. It’s like a time out with education!
Screen time or lack thereof. There is no screen time during the school week, unless we have a sick or snow day. But the weekends when we allow screen time, can be taken away or reduced. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that the boys LOVE their video games. I think this is the punishment that hurts them the most. I have downloaded the Nintendo Switch Parental Control app that allows me to remotely control the content viewed, the hours played and what games have been downloaded. No screen time also means, not watching Netflix or Youtube.
Talking. What is worse than making them sit down and tell me their thought process for the poor decision that they made? The things we usually punish the boys for are:
- following a classmate in disrupting the class
- being mean to each other/fighting
- getting a report/call home from a teacher
- incomplete chores
- report cards
I like to talk to them, let them express their concerns for the punishment they know is coming for any of the above behavior. Sometimes the report from the teacher isn’t as serious as I thought. And I find that talking connects me to them more. I always want them to know we’re on their side no matter what. Of course, at ages 10 and 8, no one is thinking that when they are getting their devices taken away. But like my parents with me, it will all make sense as they get older.
How do you discipline your children? Please let me know in the comments below. Let me also make it clear that this is a judgment-free zone and no one should feel like they need to correct anyone’s parenting choices here, thank you! I appreciate the love and support as always, stay chic!