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I have to say from day one (well from the day she could understand) I have used to naughty step and counting routine with my daughter. It seems to work really well firstly I count to five and then if that doesn't work its off to the naughty step for a minute of her life age. I think really I have been lucky as she has always been a pretty good kid and I only remember her having one full blown tantrum at about four (which at the time I thought I had got lucky) she threw herself on the floor in the middle of town and screamed at the top of her lungs. I was so shocked that I just carried on walking and ignored her luckily that had the desired effect and I didn't get too far before a hand slipped in mine and she was saying sorry. I have to say it was the reaction of another woman, which annoyed me when she said you should have dealt with that better until I said yes I could have stood there and it would have gone on longer but this way it's all over. I have been known to sit my daughter when she was much younger in a shop on time out because she has constantly pestered for something and I have said no to until I am blue in the face. It's not that I don't agree with smacking and I would never comment on another parent using that technique but for me my way works for me very well. She is 10 now and the threat of grounding works really well to curb unwanted behaviour even though friends try to come round and "rescue" her. I stand my ground and she knows her boundaries.
Picture the scene, you're standing in your local park, with your children and they're misbehaving to a massive extent. Do you ask them nicely to behave? Do you resort to a light slap to their bottom? Do you lose your rag and shout at them? In this day and age a parent could be criticised by the watching strangers for any of these responses. If you try to talk your child down people will think that you're too soft, a namby-pamby touchy-feely parent of spoilt kids. A gentle slap can be misinterpreted as child abuse and an overtired, overstretched parent who loses their rag is beyond the pale. Other people's opinions on how to discipline your children should never come into it yet how many of us react to out childrens occasional tantrums differently when we're in public. I'm sure we've all seen the advert from a couple of years ago where the mother reacts to her toddlers tantrum in a supermarket by throwing a mock tantrum herself but in reality this approach is hard to pull off (just ask the manager of my local Sainsbury's). So whilst we shouldn't be swayed by the views of strangers, and in itself that is sometimes something difficult to do as we're all suseptible to peer pressure (why, only today I completely re-wrote a Dooyoo review because of the reaction of fellow reviewers), we do have to be careful. I personally feel that there is nothing wrong with a very occasional very light slap if my children are stepping way out of line or doing something that could easily become dangerous if they don't learn to stop. For example if I caught one of my kids playing in the road after being told numerous times to stop or attempting to set fire to a younger sibling. However, in my opinion anything beyond a light slap is too much and I believe the only reason a light slap works is becuase of the shock of the slap not becuase it's caused pain. If you find yourself slapping your children in an attempt to cause them pain then you need to stop and think and equally if you find yourself resorting to slapping on a regualr basis you need to stop and think. I believe that in the right circumstances, where a lesson has to be learnt fast, where there's a danger of my child or someone else being put at risk otherwise that a quick slap to get the right amount of attention is correct. You might disagree and you're entitled to your opinion. The danger I fear is that other people, in a well meaning bid to help and protect would see a gentle slap as being abuse and that could lead to the involvement of Social workers and all kinds of worst case scenario situations. As a parent I obviously agree that Social Workers & / or the Police should investigate fully allegations of abuse as no-one wants to see a repeat of the horrendous cases that have been featured in the press of late but there's a tightrope that has to be walked. My wife is a teacher and over the years she has seen standards of behaviour slip, teachers simply can't discipline the children in many cases for 3 reasons: 1) Corporal Punishment was stopped & in my book, rightly so. I would hate for either of my children to be caned yet I would also hate for either of my kids to break the rules so badly as to require such punishment. 2) Children know their 'rights' and are more than happy to point that out on a frequent basis whilst simultaneously ignoring the rights of fellow pupils to gain an undisrupted education. 3) Parents. Some parents (& obviously not you, reading this on Dooyoo - I refer directly to those inferior parents) refuse to back a teacher who hands out detention or raises issues regarding their little darlings behaviour. Parents who see their kids through rose-tinted glasses, believe that the teachers got it wrong or that it was harmless or someone else did it. These are the parents who refuse to discipline their kids and therefore spoil them. I believe that parents should take responsibility for their kids actions. Too often we hear about sob stories about how a parent couldn't control their child or their child got in with a bad crowd. Well, I'm sorry but that's bollocks. The key to discipline is respect. As a parent you need to teach children to respect themselves and respect others. As parents you need to set an example. If you don't show your kids that you respect others, including teachers (& yes, even if it grates you, that includes P.E Teachers), the police and other figures of authority then they won't learn. If your kids are running with a bad crowd stop them. No child has a god-given or legal right to roam the streets at all hours. If you can't stop them from leaving the house and you believe that they're doing things they shouldn't and you honestly, truly believe that you can't control them then grow a pair and ask for help. Being a parent is a tough gig and it's the most important job you've got. If you don't discipline your kids you're not helping them to grow up, you're not helping them to be the best they can be and you're wasting their potential. Don't fail your kids. How you discipline your kids is up to you, with-holding treats, taking away mobile phones, the naughty step, no TV, a short sharp shock, public humiliation on facebook, telling them the truth about Santa, having to spend afternoons with mad uncle Bernard.... Whatever it takes is what you need to do. Help them to enjoy childhood, nurture them but don't be their doormat, don't believe that you're protecting them if you deny that they ever cross boundaries and help them to learn respect. When they do break rules don't be heavy handed but remind them that they're still children and still have things to learn.
Always a hot issue how to discipline children, personally I'm of the opinion that a light smack does no harm. Children need to know from an early age when they are out of line and I'm not sure reasoning or shouting at them does the job. I must admit I got the odd skelp from my father growing up and like many people say - 'it never did me any harm'. I know I came from a loving family who let you know when you did wrong, by wrong I mean big time wrong not the minor stuff. Did it keep me in line?, yes it did, I was in no way in a hurry to get a slap across the backside so it was effective in letting me know when I had crossed the line. There is a huge difference between a light smack and beating a child black and blue and any decent parent knows this, in no way do I condone excessive discipline. Perhaps I'm just getting old but it just seems to me that so many children nowadays have no idea of consequences for their actions and a lot of parenting leaves a lot to be desired as well. It used to be if you caught a kid vandalising your car for example you could give him a clip round the ear and march him to his parents where he would get another one but these days you are more likely to get a mouthfull of abuse of the kid and another mouthfull of his parents. I hear stories of teachers in primary and secondary schools struggling to maintain order in the classrom because they are no longer allowed to enforce any kind of discipline. I like to think my 2 teenage kids have turned out alright as they have so far stayed out of any serious trouble, I'll share my secret to a sucessfull punishment - when I send them to their room I keep their mobile phone and I also switch off the upstairs power at the junction box so no TV or video games for them, this really annoys them and they soon tow the line. Good parenting is not an exact science and disciplining children will continue to be an issue that will divide opinion.
This is such a difficult question to answer, because we really do not know what another parent is going through. It's a question I really waver on, and while I am completely against the thought of ever hitting my children, I think it's hard to judge another parent. I do think being taken into care would do a child in a loving home where a parent feels smacking is necessary would do more harm then good. And of course many, if not most parents will do whatever they please in the privacy of their own homes anyway. If however the law set a maximum penalty for first offenders as having to attend parenting classes I would be in favour of it. There is the argument that parents like myself, who swear we will never use smacking, have children who are easier to discipline anyway. I know I just got lucky because my own sons are so well behaved and I am complete rubbish at discipline! If I had a child who tortured and killed small animals though, who seriously harmed younger children, and I could think of no other way to control the child, I suppose I might. Especially if you have a younger child in the house who is at serious risk. I'd have tried every therapist in the book first though! All the children I have known with such serious violence problems were smacked though - often. An interesting study in US prisons wanted to compare what percentage of inmates had been smacked and were surprised to find entire prison populations without a single inmate who was not hit as a child.It's hard to say what another parent should do when we haven't walked in their shoes, but in the long run, I do think smacking is useless at best, when they are very little, there is always another solution. Once they get into their teens things may get harder, but you can not smack them then anyway, so I think it is best to develop other means of discipline from an early age. There have been two incidents where I considered smacking my son. And at the time I even felt I might not be doing my job as a parent because I could not hit him. And of course everyone else was quick to volunteer "I'd have smacked the **** off of 'im!" The first was when he was about 3. He acted like he wanted to take my other hand and was walking around to the other side of me before darting across the road in front of a car. I was terrified. I ended up lifting him and carrying him home, and explained that Mommy was very very scared and he could be hurt very badly and be in hospital for a very long time. I even showed him a picture of a broken bone and casts etc... But when he wanted out later, I said no, we would stay inside. The next time we left for the park, he again did not want to hold my hand at the street, so we went home. I told him if he didn't want to hold hands at the street, we just wouldn't cross streets anymore. No more park, no more river, couldn't even get an ice cream from the ice cream man, as he stops on the other side of the road. My son soon decided this was quite boring and it would be best to behave when going out. The second time was last spring, he was raced across a road on a bicycle. This time he was quite close to a car. I screamed so loud the whole estate must have heard me, and the driver slammed on his breaks. I was shaking, near tears and could not even speak. When we went home, I locked his bicycle up in the shed. He really loves his bikes and not being able to go out and ride anything for a week nearly killed him. Looking back on it - he'd have rather been smacked. But the loss of the bike made an impression, and in my opinion, the punishment suited the crime. His father said if it happened again the bicycles would be in the attic for a very long time. I'm glad I never resorted to violence. Now with my youngest I have a lot more confidence and have no problem finding another way to deal with a difficult situation. I've also learned as a parent to ignore what anyone else thinks. I do not allow my children to be nuisance to others, but other than that, what we do is our business. I did over hear some rude comments about allowing my sons dessert before their dinner at Pizza Hut ( from a parent who was angry because her child wanted the same). Well, my sons don't get Pizza hut often, it's a big treat, especially making the ice creams. it's kind of a waste because they only eat a few bites, but they do have fun. I have found they will eat a tiny bit of ice cream and then tuck into the pizza, which they absolutely love. But even if they didn't, even if I just took their Pizza home for later, a few times a year of dessert first will not seriously harm them, so who cares what anyone else thinks? As a parent you ca always find someone who will criticise the way you do things - I think we all need to learn not to be swayed by others opinions, and do what we feel is best for our own child. I known discipline is my weak point in parenting, but I do mean no when I say no. I do always take the time to explain to my children why they can't do something though. I also always explain how another person or animal might feel. I think most of the time they behave because they don't want to hurt anyone else or their feelings. I am so lucky that I have boys close in age who always think how the other one feels and are kind and share so easily. Once they know something like shouting in a restaurant isn't being nice to other people, they do not seem to want to do it. Most of time explaining why not is all it takes to make them stop, although this doesn't work as well with the 2 year old. If however my son can come with a logical argument - I might change my mind. For instance " I know I am supposed to finish my school work first, but I really want to see this show. Can I watch it first if I go right to my room and finish afterwards ?" Sounds fair to me, so I will agree. The kids in our youth group even had me down to a tee on this. Every time they wanted to change a rule, they would ask why they couldn't do something, then go into a huddle and find a logical way around every one of my concerns, come back and present their case, and they did always win, but only because they found a way for me to satisfy every safety concern. If they couldn't come with a way around my concerns, they didn't bother to ask. But I will only listen to politely phrased and logical arguments, no screaming whining or just going over the same point 100 times. If I must resort to punishment, I do think the punishment should suit the crime. My youngest may have his golf club taken away for an hour if he runs about whacking everything in the house. He has to learn if he doesn't use things properly, they get put away. My oldest might lose the use of his video games for a day if the kicks up a fuss when it is time to turn them off. I think the child ends up thinking about what they did more this way then just getting whacked, and while it may lead to some immediate feelings of "It's not fair", most children will in time see it is fair. At least they will not feel alienated or unloved. When you resort to hitting though, the child never has a chance to give their side, to come up with positive solutions. It is illegal to hit a child to the point of causing real pain. this leaves humiliations as the only deterrent factor. I can not see ever wanting to make my children feel humiliation and deep shame in front of me. To be embarrassed to see me for while, or worse to fear me. With my interest in serial killers there are two points that stand out - Most were subjected to excessive physical punishment. But more victims have had abusive backgrounds as well. Sexual predators seek out their prey with as much skill as wolf pack selecting the weakest of the herd. they are drawn to children, or in some cases women with lower self esteem. Many young people become victims because they are afraid to call home when they feel uncomfortable or threatened. Worse if they have already done something wrong - like underage drinking, something they fear getting in trouble for. We often inadvertently teach girls it is OK for someone who loves you to hit you. I would prefer to teach my children, people who love each other do not intentionally hurt each other. I also teach them that their body is their own and no one should every touch them against their will. That includes smacking them. No human should have to stand quietly and allow another person inflict physical pain ( unless of course it is the dentist). I have to admit my husband was rather unconvinced on this no smacking thing for some time. I ended up reading him several passages on spanking and developing sexuality. I don't think all are suitable for reviews here, but you can always look them up for yourself if interested. If nothing else this put images in my husbands mind that will make spanking completely out of the question for him as well, although even if he did not agree, this is one area I put my foot down. My argument was that if I can't hit everyone who annoys me in the house, neither can he - of course I would need a frying pan to even things out a bit - and I have just the pan for it too! He has agreed violence should not be a solution for anyone in the house. I do remember being hit as a child very clearly and how I felt. I swear by everything I hold dear, I will never ever have my own children feel that way. I will never hit more children or stand by allow any one else to hit them. But perhaps my MIL put it best. You see my husband was raised by his Granny, who MIL says was just like me and would never allow anyone to hit him. She disagreed with that, and felt he should have been hit more - but also says, he was the one who never gave them trouble as teen, and the only one never to have been in serious legal trouble. Funny how the method that had the best result still didn't seem right.
I admit to (occasionally) smacking my children when they were school age, but at the time, (they are now 28 and 30 respectively) it was the "norm" and perfectly acceptable. Smacking by reasoned, loving parents in a controlled way can I think be harmless and even useful, but it is not with these parents that the risk lies. I don't believe that smacking should be illegal but it should not be socially accepted as a desirable practice. There are always better alternatives. In an ideal world all children should be brought up to recognise and respond to adult authority in a disciplined framework and learn that "no means no". I realise how pompous that may sound but discipline should start in very small ways with very young children. Children need boundaries; they have the ability to understand rules from very early on and will thrive on reason and explanation rather than chastisement. How often do we see parents of young children calling their offspring to their side only to be totally ignored and rather than enforce their request they will just repeat it ad infinitum until eventually the parent bellows out a "get here now" and is still ignored. The child has thus had its first lesson in disregarding authority and asserting his/her own desires over those of the parents. Parent's have the responsibility of ensuring that a child learns to respect their wishes as a fundamental to learning good behaviour. When a child has reached the stage of ignoring the parent then the parent is well on the way to losing the power to reason with the child More often than not I think I used smacking when harassed and short on temper and was never very proud of myself afterwards even though it never amounted to more than a rap on the bottom or back of the legs. I do remember on one occasion however, smacking my 6 year old hard for running across the road and being very narrowly missed by a car. This, I think was an automatic response to fear and anger, almost as if the body requires a physical action as a result of a sudden mental trauma. So I believe that smacking is to a certain extent is a coping mechanism when a quick solution is required and a natural outlet for a parent's stress. But what about the child? What of his/her feelings both mental and physical in response to the physical reprimand? For a child rarely smacked I would take bets on their main feeling being an affront to their dignity and humiliation if in a public environment. Any pain felt (assuming the rebuke is from a responsible parent) is secondary to the emotional impact. I base this on my own childhood recollections and the response of my own children. Of course it is a totally different picture if the smacking results in real pain and injury and this is where the real danger lies. This has nothing to do with discipline and everything to do with violence, deplorable parenting and total absence of self control, in short, criminal behaviour. A child subjected to such treatment must quickly learn to fear and then feel anger and resentment which in themselves can manifest in antisocial behaviour. Of course the problem is as always, where do we draw the line? Smacking is a lazy means of punishment; it sidesteps the process of thinking out and enforcement of, suitable alternative punitive measures. There can be little excuse for smacking pre schoolers who have yet to learn what constitutes "naughty behaviour", far better to teach them why such behaviour is unacceptable and considered naughty. After all, smacking in itself is really nothing short of a demonstration of a sort of violence which few would like to see children copying. It is deemed unacceptable for a teacher, controlling a classroom full of youngsters, to resort to a short, sharp slap and they are expected to discipline a child with alternative means. How then, can it be acceptable for a parent to not make the effort that alternative methods demand and shortcut to physical punishment? I am certainly not making a case for smacking to become a legal issue but I do think that as it is very difficult to generally determine, occasions when, how frequent and how severe, smacking may be then as a means of disciplining a child it should be regarded as socially unacceptable and as such parents would seek a more constructive method, that doesn't set an example of violence to their children.
For my 200th review I thought I would choose to write a discussion topic rather than review a product. With this decision made I can happily have my say, and hopefully receive some of your views in response. I have chosen to air my views on disciplining children and mainly wish to discuss, 'to smack or not to smack.' I am mother to four grown up children. They are aged from seventeen up to twenty eight and, so sensibly, I certainly wouldn't smack any of them now! But I admit that in the past, on many occasions I did. By many occasions I don't mean that I was always smacking them but, over the years of bringing up four children there are lots of times when if one does smack then one there wil be lots of times to smack! I hope that mine had far more kisses and cuddles and fun times. In fact, I like to think that my children were well behaved, especially when taken out, and weren't often particularly naughty. They probably were more trouble indoors when feeling confident and rebellious, at times. They would over step the mark and refuse to do as told. They were always good at school. I would always try to use what I think is referred to as reverse psychology. I would give a choice such as' will you tidy up your toys now or would you like to have a drink first?' I found this often worked. Or saying things such as, 'Which job would you prefer- collecting up your toys or clearing up the pens from the table?' They usually just thought of which option they preferred but, never considered not doing either. I have always believed in rewards and we even had a sticker system once when, if they were especially good they would receive a small gift at the end of the month. You may think this is not a good idea as children should expect to behave well and not be rewarded by for this, but it did seem to bring out some really nice behaviour. Then it was fun then to take them to Woolworths to choose their reward. I would still do this if I had those years back. I also found that it is much more effective to praise a child when they have been good rather than make a big fuss over wrong doings. After all, which event would you rather they remembered? But they were mostly good. I suppose the naughty things were more getting them to go to bed on time, or just the fact that when you have four kids of school age there is a lot going on and sometimes things become too difficult. For instance it becomes very stressful if the baby has been screaming for hours and eventually goes off to sleep and then one of its siblings starts making a noise when told its bedtime. One can get more annoyed when there is more than one child to deal with. One of mine though would not be sent to his room. I always think this is the best way to deal with behaviour issues-separate yourself and the child so that you can both calm down. However he would not stay in his room and used to lean over the bannister calling and doing his best to wind me up. I realise now he just didn't like to be alone and would rather face my wrath than his solitariness. His elder sister would have probably been naughty just so she could be sent to her room and have time alone to play or read. But she never missed a trick! I often think that if I had only had the one child, it would have not been smacked, or the occasions would have been very few. I honestly believe that. Although every time a new baby joins the family the love just gets shared around, the stress can increase at certain times, such as bed time or trying to get out somewhere. But believe me, I loved having four children, and if it had been only my decision I might have had two more! I did feel somewhat environmentally unfriendly when increasing my family after having had two though. I had a six and a half year gap between child number two and three which, in many ways makes life easier because the older two were great with their young siblings but difficulties can arise because of the different ages and the things they will want to do. But it's all swings and roundabouts; when I now see young mothers with three or more children close in age I think they certainly have their hands full. But in some ways its easier to have your family close together in other ways not so good. It's very difficult now for young parents when their children are acting up, especially in places such as supermarkets or on public transport. There is always someone saying that the child needs a smack, and if the child is smacked, others remarking on the brutality of smacking! It is hard, especially when young, to stick to your beliefs and have faith in your parenting skills. I can still remember my mother giving me a clump. One time sticks in my mind when we were out, walking alone to do some shopping. I must have been around twelve or thirteen and answered back, or something. As she wacked me her wedding ring caught me. But it wasn't the pain that hurt so much as the awful feeling of humiliation it brought. My mum had been brought up in a time when it was natural to smack a child. She was a great mum, but at that time if anyone had said you shouldn't be allowed to smack your child most parents would have been incredulous and thought the speaker an alien. So, I never intended to smack my own children (or anyone else's). I imagined being a lovely earth mother who always reasoned, spoke calmly and explained patiently. But real life for most of us isn't like that. However much we love our children parenting can be difficult something learnt as we go. Also, as a mother of four I am insistent that children can all be brought up in the same fashion but be very different. What works on one will not work so well on another. There is one time with my third when I smacked him and it was premeditated and carried out wholly as a deterrent, but not in anger. I had collected him from playgroup. He was just four then. I was holding his baby sister and his paintings. Our house was opposite the playgroup in a very quiet, private road, which had very little traffic. However, this gave many, even much older children, a false sense of security. When playgroup and church events took place in the church hall opposite, the traffic increased greatly. My third child was the sort of boy who usually thought about everything before he did it, and was especially well behaved. He wouldn't wander off, or do anything dangerous, but one can never be too sure. At this time, excitedly leaving the playgroup building with his friend, a more mischievous type, he darted across the road, following his friend, before I had his hand. Luckily there wasn't a car that near but he wouldn't have known if there was. This was so out of character for him. We entered the house and I smacked him, telling him why. I still don't think this was particularly good parenting, but even at the time, I was aware of that, but just felt that I had to reinforce upon him the importance of road safety, which he had seemed to know, and if a smack helped in any way at all then I would do it. So should smacking be made illegal? In my opinion, No! Although I don't personally believe it works, most of the time there are occasions when a short sharp slap might possibly work as it will be remembered. Although I think these occasions are very rare, that's just my own thoughts, and I may be wrong. I believe parents should be advised that smacking probably isn't the best form of discipline; I don't think they should be taken to court for a small slap. Smacking, of course should never be hard enough to mark the child or traumatise it. I know that when I smacked my children it was usually because I had simply had enough of their bad behaviour and was at a loss as to what to do next. I might have stopped the naughtiness at the time but wouldn't have been a cure. What's worse though, is that most children know when they have wound a parent up so much that a smack happens, but they will still do the same thing again. The only time I think that smacking a child will stop bad behaviour is if the smack is so hard that the child is frightened of the one administering the punishment, and wouldn't dare act up in he or she's presence in case of a repeat. But this cannot be right, surely? Whatever your views this is a difficult matter and I feel sure that the majority of parents always do their best. We aren't trained to be parents, yet it is such an important job. I believe It is for each and every one of us to decide, within reason, what is best for our own family.
I have no children at the moment but plan to start a family in the next year. Like most people I look at other peoples parenting skills and I am always full of criticism and constantly thinking how I would of handled situations differently. Above anything else in the whole world I just want to be a good mum, in fact I want to be the best mum ever. And with all the books, websites, TV shows and people willing to give advise how can I go wrong. I will have a constant stream of advise to guide me. But of course there is nothing like hands on experience to really give you an idea of what you have let yourself in for. Well let me point out that I already understand the struggle that parenthood can be. My next door neighbour recently had her fourth child. She now has a 8 year old and 3 under 3's. Her two year old has a speech problem and screams her head off when no-one can understand her. Now most the time I am understanding. I don't bang on the walls and swear, but I run a bath and ignore her. I turn the TV up or walk around the garden. How my neighbour copes is beyond me. After the second hour of constant, high pitched wailing I am about ready to drown her daughter in the water bucket at the bottom of the garden. Instead my neighbour comes outside has a cigarette then goes back into the house and talks to her daughter until she calms down. I am in absolute awe of the woman. Her child is screaming like she's in the worst pain in the world and her mum is all calm and collected and eventually manages to sooth her to a point of tranquillity again. I really don't think I would have the patience. But maybe it is one of those things that automatically switches on after you have children. Now I do have some opinions in regards to my future children which I think will stay true once they arrive. I don't like people that treat there children like adults. Now I know that sounds odd but honestly, your babies are only babies once. Let them get covered in mud and eat chocolate at Easter until they are sick. Its part of being a child and part of the learning experience that shapes them into the responsible adults that they will eventually become. A balanced and healthy diet leads to a balanced and healthy mind, but a MacDonald's as a treat doesn't hurt. I hate it when I hear the all to familiar thwack as a parent strikes there child for being naughty. How will that calm them down and improve your situation and to top it off what is that teaching the child. When you have had enough of someone a good smack should shut them up. No people!! I understand the stress but if you had a bad day at work and was having a bit of a whinge at your partner, how would you feel if he gave you a quick slap across the face?? It just does not make sense. I know that punishing children has become a hot topic in the press, what with the travesty that was baby P. When ever I see a story about an abused child on the News I cant help but cry. It makes me so much more possessive of the children I don't even have yet. So this is what bases my opinion on parents disciplining there children. I believe whole heartedly that if a child does something wrong but it is an accident, then why not let it pass. If a child is being naughty intentionally then ignore them. Children tend to be naughty as a way of getting attention. If you ignore them when they are naughty and praise them when they behave surely they will learn what behaviour gets them what they want. In my opinion the world is a scary enough place as it is. Why make it worse for your child by having them be afraid of you?? Protect and love your children because they don't stay little for long. And finally a big thanks to my parents for never raising a hand to me or my brothers and for loving us with every breath in there bodies. We owe you everything we are.
Being a parent really is the hardest job in the world and I don't think we fully appreciate how hard it is until we take on that challenge. We have many hard decisions to make right from the offset such as whether to breast or bottle feed, cloth nappies or disposable, home made food or jars? We make these decisions based on what we feel is right for our children and for us and yet we can often be questioned about the choices that we make. Disciplining our children is another topic which we must make a decision about and one that will no doubt be questioned by someone along the way. I write this after a hard week with my son. I was away last weekend and my son stayed with his Dad. I have often found that he can be more tired after staying with his Dad and will often try and push my buttons a little more when I come home and this is basically what has prompted me to write this. I am a thirty year old woman and my son is now five but I still find at times that I am unsure about how well I am doing with my son. He is bright, lovely and caring and so I must be doing something right but of course we can all doubt ourselves. Before I had my son I was a nursery nurse and had very firm ideas about how I would be disciplining him when he was older. I was adamant that he would not be physically punished under any circumstances. This was my personal choice. I was brought up with the odd slapped leg or hand and it didn't do me any harm but I felt before I had my son I did not want to go down this route. There have been various methods I have tried over the years as my son has grown and I thought I would share them with you. Firstly came the "Time out". If anyone has ever watched Super nanny you will know that this is one of the main methods used by Jo Frost on there. This was a method we also used for children when I was working in a nursery and so I felt it was worth a go. Basically whenever my son did something that warranted discipline he would have to sit on the bottom step of the stairs for a minute or two. Afterwards we would explain to him again why he had been sat out and then after he apologised we would give him a cuddle. This did not work for us at all. My son refused to sit and have a time out and as such we would have to physically restrain him for the couple of minutes. This went against what we wanted to be doing for our son and so we decided to knock this on the head. From this I admit that there was the odd time when I would smack my son's bottom. Again this had no effect other than to make me feel incredibly guilty for doing it and I would often end up in tears myself afterwards. So the next thing I decided was a sticker reward chart. I decided to do this when my son was around two and a half. He had a decent enough understanding of what was good behaviour and what wasn't and so it felt like a good time to try it. This is still the method I use with my son. Now whilst this may not seem like discipline it actually works in both ways. When my son does something good he is positively rewarded with a sticker on his chart. However, if he does something wrong which needs disciplining he loses a sticker from him chart. The chart has around 35 spaces for stickers and when he fills it completely he gets a treat- a toy, a day out, basically something good for filling up his chart. My son is traumatised when he loses a sticker and really does try to not lose them. Of course the other method of discipline I use with my son is simply speech. I explain to him why I think his behaviour is wrong and how I would like to be. Sometimes this alone is enough to change his behaviour for a while. Of course this isn't a fail safe method and I am certainly not perfect. I yell, I lose my temper and often beat myself up for seemingly dealing with something in the wrong way but at the end of the day my son is the most important thing in my world and I am just trying my best to get it right. I don't think anyone can tell us how the best way to discipline our children is. All children are unique, as are their parents and only we can make a decision which we think is right-but I still stand by my decision to say that using force on a child is not the way to go.
Disciplining children; is using force a way forward or a step back? I have only in the last few years of my life matured into adulthood, and begun, through personal reflection and the courses which I study, Psychology and Sociology, to question and think about the way I and other children are raised these days. I have very vivid memories of my childhood upbringing and that of my two brothers, one of which is a couple of years older and the other a year younger. In addition to this I have done much child minding and work with children, sports programmes and such, in addition to this I have spoken with my parent s on their experiences of being raised, although in no way does this make me an expert I use these experiences to compile my thoughts and theories on the subject. The main issue in the debate of how to raise a child is whether or not it is acceptable to use force, as in psychical force such as hitting or smacking. My questioning of my father on his raising prompted a deluge of negative and positive responses. His father being a military man was a strict disciplinarian. On one hand he praised and respected the methods of his dad, who often used force to discipline him, saying how this firm upbringing kept his in check at home preventing him from more extreme bad behaviours. However on the other hand he spoke with a tinge of resentment, saying in some cases the force was unwarranted or very excessive, and where the force was so excessive or unwarranted he would lash out himself, often with bad or rebellious behaviour away from the home, he continued to say that after a while this use of force had distanced him from his father, he behaved, but saw his dad a more of a boss than a father figure. So in his experience the use of force was acceptable to make him behave at home but at the cost of the relationship. This then prompted me to ask him why he had never used force against me or my brothers, except for once or twice in our whole upbringing, he simply answered, he wanted us to grow up to be friends. He later added that using force all the time "wasn't how you did things anymore." I pondered this for a moment or two then asked "how did you raise us then?" He began by explaining that he used a mixture of letting us learn for ourselves, in many cases the consequences of our behaviour would be the punishment, cooperative parenting, in which both parents show a united front to the children, this however was often undermined by us, where we having been refused by dad would sneak and ask mum instead often getting the answer we wanted, and rewarding good behaviour, with games or attention. These methods I feel worked well enough, of course as in any family there would always be times where nothing worked and there was chaos, and I recall once incident where I was way out of line, and I quickly found that out, from a sharp smack to the back of my legs, suffice to say I never went that far again, of course at the time I was angry and scared, this I believe is the price of this method, you get discipline, but, not through respect , you get it through fear, is this the way to raise a child? I myself believe I would never hit my child, of course not having children makes this a bold claim. I remember how badly me and my brothers have behaved in the past and I think sometimes, if I had been my parents, and lost my temper through frustration, I would have hit me. This made me think, I have often been frustrated and lashed out, is that all this is type of parenting is? A last resort? Driven through exhaustion and frustration, then I think back to the incident where I was smacked, and recall how well that worked and think again, maybe there is something to it? I dismiss this thought however when children are placed in my care, I would never ever use force on a child that is not mine, and as I said I still am unsure as whether I would use it on my own. During my charge of care for children I usually am only looking after them for a few hours, which compared to parenting is a breeze, having said this I have had to suffer tantrums, and dealing with these tantrums have been some of the most challenging experiences in my life! The techniques I use are that of distraction, with toys or games, rewarding good behaviour, the basics really, however I have also used the more risky and nerve racking practice of ignoring a tantrum, I say risky and nervy because when you are out with a child who is misbehaving in town or a park the looks you get and the comments you hear can be truly harsh and vicious and hurtful, even for me not being the parent, I can only imagine how much worse it is for the parent. I am not going to lie and say that I've never been frustrated or mad with a child who won't do what I say, and felt that frustration boil over into a red mist, however it's at these times I exercise my self-restraint and know that the more agitated I become the more agitated the child becomes, and take a second to calm down, having said this, I rarely deal with these situations and so I find it relatively easy to do this, I can completely understand that had I had to deal with it daily it would be hugely more difficult Parenting is perhaps the biggest and most fulfilling task, no, task is almost the wrong word, parenting is the biggest and most fulfilling responsibility and pleasure, not only to the child but the parent as well and is a long and arduous road. As my final thought on the subject I have personally concluded that force in the rarest cases is acceptable, as long as it does not become abuse or tantamount to abuse, and is used with a balanced parenting style. Again I say this biting my tongue, knowing that many parents who read this will be screaming "It's not that easy!!" As I write this I feel as though I have not provided many answers, and it feels almost like a cop out to say the best way to parent should be left to the parents, and yet this is what I believe, who I am I to tell someone how to raise their child? Do I even have the authority to offer advice? I'll leave that decision to you. These ramblings are merely my thoughts, and I welcome comments and criticisms.
...(A)bsolutely, (B)loody, (C)onfusing!!!!! This issue is a minefield these days and being a parent of two children myself, I can really sympathise with any other parents out there who find implementing discipline these days a real nightmare. I have a seven year old son and a five year old daughter who are like chalk and cheese. She is sunshine personified and he is a very serious and sullen little boy most of the time, prone to crying, sulking and backchatting and outbursts of rage. He is competitive and can be mean when he doesn't get his own way yet there is also a smashing, kind hearted little boy in there who just seems to struggle to come out on a regular basis! There must be a reason for it, we think, but we can't seem to fathom out what that reason is? His teacher tells me how sulky and miserable he is at school if he is not interested in the topic at hand. If he is interested he is the most happy, animated child there! As much as I hate to admit it, in the end it does seem to come down to the fact that he is happy when things are going his way but turns into a different child the moment things aren't. I do not smack my children although I have done so in the past as there was a very dark period for me when I was suffering from depression when I would get so frustrated that I did shout at him and on a couple of ocassions, smacked him and the same with my daughter. I felt terrible about it immediately as the look of fear in their eyes made me so sad and disgusted with myself. We should not hit at all and particularly not when lacking control but lets face it, it is only usually when we have lost control that we do resort to smacking. In my opinion we shouldn't and it isn't effective in the long run. I find time outs are really good for when you find yourself getting angry or drawn into an argument with your child as this is when frustration and loss of control can occur. Time outs give both the parent and the child a chance to calm down and think things through. Yes, in my day we were scared of my mum and particularly my dad who would give us a good smack or clout and so we did have more respect and wouldn't dare back chat them but they had respect through fear and I would rather have respect through less hurtful means. I have Supernanny coming out of my ears most of the time and have tried most of her methods. Some of them work and some don't or only work for a while. I have done star charts, rewards, confiscated toys etc. but none of these punishments can change my son's character although they do on ocassion give him pause for thought. I do also find that rewarding good behaviour with lots of attention and withdrawing that attention when the behaviour is not to my liking is also a very effective means of making my children rethink their behaviour but none of these methods are foolproof or will suit all children. I hope that my son will grow out of his somewhat petulant nature because if he doesn't I fear for him in this world. You want nothing more than for your child to be happy and popular and to do well in life but there is only so much you can do to help them. A lot of it has to come from within themselves. I can't make other children like him or his teachers like him. All I can do is guide him and always be there for him. Perhaps his behaviour stems back to witnessing my depression, perhaps the birth of his sister only sixteen months after him affected him more than we realised and stems from a jealousy issue or may be it is just part of his current make up and I have to accept this to a certain degree. My husband and I tell our children every day, several times a day, how much we love them and give them quality time both individually and both together but this never seems enough for my son - he always wants more attention whether it be good or bad and this I cannot understand. Neverthless I go on day after day letting him know I love him but don't always like his behaviour and that there are consequences for it. I have come to the conclusion (and I am guilty of this myself) that it seems in this day and age we expect far to much from our children in terms of their behaviour. We fear that we are being monitored by outsiders and judged as parents if our child doesn't exhibit the most perfect of behaviours particularly when out in public. Competition between mothers at the school gates is high and children aren't in some respects being allowed to be just children and to behave as children have a want to do! Desite our fear of getting a wallop from our parents in our day, we were still naughty weren't we and got walloped again and again? Perhaps we need to let our children own some of their emotions a bit more and accept that they WILL often feel pee'd off and have a paddy at times just like adults sometimes do! Yes, we must discipline our children so that they know right from wrong but let's not lose sight of the fact that these little often imperfect people are just starting out and learn through their emotions and from pushing against the boundaries we put in place for them - it is in their nature. We should be less obsessed with having a perfect child and learn to enjoy the experience of them a whole lot more warts and all! Thanks for reading. x also on Ciao under ryanellaxx
I find the disciplining of children a difficult topic to comment on. We all have our own ways of raising children some work others don't and what might work for one child will not for another. I have got highly active children and my eldest son has always had some anger issues, he used to bite me, punch me, throw himself around the bus and spit at me when he was 3. These actions did not go unmissed by viewing spectators on the bus that would huff and puff as if I was the bad parent and I was doing something to make these actions happen, thank you all for giving me that nice feeling. I spoke to the nursery teacher who gave me some copies of a child care book that they use following guidelines and teachings from social services. These did turn out very helpful and the nursery tried to find out what may be troubling him to try and help me. They did not judge me by his actions and helped me a lot which was good. They made sure that they constantly told me that it was not my fault and I was a good parent with a lot of patients. Although he was that bad at home and with me at nursery he was the golden blond hair blue eyed boy which is typical. We tried all options, the law states you can smack a child and leave no mark this did not work it just taught him to hit me so after trying it 3 times we gave up and have never smacked our children again. I can always remember getting a smack and we would feel ashamed and punished and we would not do anything like what we had again we were scared of my mother. My son calmed down after I had my daughter and then started again when I fell pregnant with my second child, we hadn't told him that I was pregnant but my partner and myself joked that he must know when I am pregnant which is what sets him off. I have later found out that they can sense these things. He didn't go back to the hitting me but started to smash his toys and rip down his curtains. At this point we decided that he had got too much energy and built up anger that we put him into a swimming club and Karate, one reason was to release all the extra energy that he has and the other was to teach him discipline. He loves these clubs but still his attitude is terrible. I have noticed that all children at his age are the same so I am not the only one going through this. We tried the star chart and losing or gaining items that would be an assertive, this didn't work. We have tried banning toys or computers. The computer works slightly but as soon as he gets it back his attitude starts again. At the minute he is grounded from going in the garden to play with his friends and to his friend's house 2 doors down to play for a week. This is for ripping down his net curtains and refusing to walk and dropping on the floor and slamming the doors in the house just because he didn't want stew for tea. I know the reason for all this behaviour and it is because he is spoilt and gets way too much. It is hard to stop him from having stuff because the grandparents get it and bring it. If I can hide the things they buy I do and he has them when I think he should get them. I have tried telling them to stop buying things but I am ignored which doesn't help my situation. The grounding is working so far but he is 6 now and has a bit more freedom and friends to play with. I think that you as a parent know how to discipline your child and if you need advise don't be scared to talk to anyone, I have spoke to my doctor who was helpful and honestly they do not try to take your children away from you. It always helps to talk to other mothers and strangers sometimes to release your tension so you do not take it out on your children. Smacking is good if it works but it is you're built up frustration that makes you do this and may teach your child to smack back so beware. I think that the social services are making a big deal from some smacking cases and as soon as a child knows this they will always hold it against you try alternative ways so that you keep safe.
This is a difficult one! I have two children: my daughter is 8 (going on 13!) and my little boy is 2 (and at that delightful age of throwing a tantrum over the slightest thing!) I have never disciplined my children through physical punishment, and neither has their dad. It's not because I don't agree with this form of punishment; I was raised by my Nana who was of the generation that believed in giving a good slap around the back of the legs to a misbehaving child. And I could misbehave with the best of them! The back of my legs were regularly slapped for what I would myself consider to be quite minor misdemeanours (at the time). I don't feel that this has had a negative effect on me; I am quite a well-rounded responsible member of society. It's just that, up to now, I have used different strategies when disciplining them. My daughter was a really well-behaved toddler; very few tantrums; great sleeper. She very rarely needed to be punished, and any time that she was it was always "the naughty step". Now that she is older I use withdrawal of privileges. She has her DS taken off her, she's not allowed to play on the front with her friends, she's not allowed to watch CBBC, and she has to go to bed an hour earlier. The problem being that she has hit puberty quite early and her mood swings are unbelievable! I understand that she's going through a difficult time but I refuse to accept the way that she speaks to me sometimes. What makes it all the more annoying is that she would never dare to speak to her dad that way; although he has never smacked her she did once witness him smacking his nephew (who is an ungrateful little soul at the best of times) and I think this image has stuck with her! It has now got to the point where I have threatened to smack her for the disrespectful and frankly rude way she speaks to me sometimes. I have seen other mothers let their children get away with it and I have seen how these children turn out as teenagers, and I'm determined to put a stop to it. I really don't want to have to resort to smacking her but she needs to know that it could happen. My son is a little gem (he's currently trying to crawl over the keyboard as I type this, so apologies for any grammatical errors!) but as a typical little boy he can be very hard work! I have tapped his hand (gently) when he's out himself in danger; for example when he went through a phase of persistently trying to light the oven! I haven't moved on to the naughty step with him just yet; this is something I intend to do over the next few months. At present I get down to his level and tell him calmly but very firmly that whatever he has said (usually shouting "shut up" at the top of his voice, something he has picked up from his cousins) or done (drawing on the walls, spreading yogurt all over the TV screen) is very naughty. I really personally believe that it's down to parents to decide how to discipline their children. It really annoys me that the state feels the need to interfere in such matters. I used to give the NSPCC £3 a month out of my bank account, but after reading through some of the stuff they sent me I cancelled this and gave the money to Barnardo's instead. They place far too much emphasis (and no doubt spend far too much of their supporters' money) on trying to stop parents from smacking their children when in my opinion they should be concentrating on children who are physically, sexually and emotionally abused. Many people have this argument that things were better in "the old days" when it was a societal norm for children to be physically disciplined. They blame many of today's ills in society, such as gang culture and anti-social behaviour, on the fact that parents do not physically discipline their children any more. My argument with this is that in my opinion it is the children who ARE physically disciplined to an unacceptable point who create the problems. Poor parenting is the cause of many of the problems we have with youth in this country, but this has little to do with a lack of physical punishment, and more to do with it being overzealous and inappropriate. I don't like the idea of bring corporal punishment back into schools, but teachers definitely need to be given more power to discipline children without fear of being reprimanded or even prosecuted.
I'm a 25 year old male with a set of twin 9 year old boys. The amount of people who I see hitting their children really galls me. I see far too many parents who lash out and hit their children, no explanation given just a big smack meant to cause pain. For myself I could never raise my hands to a child. I prefer to talk to them and explain things. Explanation is the key to good discipline for me. As a child one of the most annoying and frustrating things for me was my mum never ever explaining why we shouldn't do anything, she always maintained, "I'm your mum and you do as I say". Children will always do things that are wrong and will annoy you, it is in their nature and we were the same at one point. Children like to explore, to push the boundaries as they get older and they think they should be treated as adults in the way that they should be allowed to control their own lives. My twins are great well behaved boys 99% of the time, don't get me wrong they still act up and mess about and do things that I don't believe are right some times but on the whole they are a pleasure to be around and to care for. When children are really small I believe talking to them like an adult and just explaining why you don't want them to do something does the trick. When they do something right after you have asked them not to then give them a hug, tell them they have done well. Its positive reinforcement. They soon get into a routine of knowing right and wrong and when something is explained to them they take it on board and they end up talking to you about, saying things like "That's wrong and I shouldn't do it because...". When children do something that makes you angry and you have that will to lash out, count to 10 and explain to them what they have done wrong. It's hard and it takes patience but do it. The older a child gets the easier it becomes. I've had the urge to smack and lash out before but thankfully I have never done it. Now at 9 when you tell them not to do something they stop. They have never been smacked in their lives. I only wish more parents would talk to their children instead of lashing out in frustration. It really breaks my heart to see children, especially the really young getting hit. No explanation just a smack, that doesn't teach anything in my book other than I'm hurting you because I am bigger. I realise not everyone is against smacking and a lot wont agree with me but I hope people with children will at least try the non violent way.
Being a mum is hardest, most rewarding, emotional and fantastic job anybody could have. I've been blessed with such a beautiful, healthy, happy baby and I sometimes take it for granted. Due to problems I'd rather not go into, I ended up as a single mum. Very stereotypical for somebody my age, and mud sticks. I am not a young, lazy mum who's interested in nothing more than using my child benefit to go out drinking every weekend or giving my child a bar of chocolate and a packet of crisps for their tea and parking them in front of the TV. I interact with my little girl, I teach her, read to her, sing to her, and we will sit and watch TV together when all other options have been exhausted and all we want to do is cuddle and just be with each other. I'm fortunate and unfortunate, in a way. Due to serious health issues, I'm no longer able to work. However, I do get to spend my whole time with my daughter. She's currently going through the phase all children go through. The pinching and hitting stage. She only seems to do this to me and my own mother, maybe because we spend the most time with her. And it's strange, I don't believe in "smacking" children, it just seems wrong to me, but both me and my mum punish Paige in different ways. My mum puts her on the floor and tells her she's naughty and then doesn't pick her up for a while. She screams and cries during these times and perhaps I don't help by picking her up and comforting her. I just can't see my only daughter in such distress. I, on the other hand, give her three firm no's, after the third time, she gets a light smack of the fleshy part of her leg. I must stress again, I don't believe in hurting children for punishment. And I don't hurt her; I simply shock her enough to change her behaviour. There's never any red marks or bruises afterwards, it's just quite literally a light tap. I'm stressing this point for a reason, pain should never be a punishment. Afterwards, she'll have a cry and we'll cuddle and this usually does the trick. For how long this will work, I don't know. For the rare occasions it doesn't, I simply put her in the cot and close the door for 6 minutes - one minute for every two months she's been here - giving her no attention. This is her "naughty step", I suppose. After this, she's tearful and slightly upset, but all she wants is a cuddle and a song. And we'll settle down with each other and forget about the incident. I find it takes patience to discipline a child, and its parenting at its worst. But I think parents need to remember one thing; babies aren't born with a sense of right and wrong, they learn from mainly their parents what is acceptable behaviour. And I believe using pain as a punishment promotes violence in later life, where it be in school, work or on a night out with friends.
I am the mother of a two and a half year old toddler who is generally a very good boy but on some days I truly believe would test the patience of a saint. I read a book while pregnant that stated that the tantrums are a sign of normal development so take comfort from this. One thing about being a parent is that for some reason everyone thinks that they not only have a right to judge you're parenting style but also have the right to comment. I have always believed a little knowledge and a lot of mother's intuition is the way to get the best out of your child. I have been told by some that I am not strict enough or on other issues I am too strict but I do think that we all have our ethics of what is and isn't acceptable. When my son was crawling around and we were in temporary accommodation which certainly wasn't baby proof for him and as curious as my son was he would go and explore everywhere he could. He would actually empty one cupboard and goes and sits in it which I would see rolled eyes but it kept him happy and things could easily be put back. I moved things out of his way he shouldn't touch rather than haven't to say no all day to him. As my son has grown he has developed an understanding of right and wrong. I am a great believer in positive parenting and have a motto that he should learn independent through security and part of that is having a basis of understanding of what my boundaries are for acceptable behaviour. I do believe that should a child be behaving badly to gain attention then that is time to ignore the behaviour but you must teach a child that something is wrong before disciplining them for doing something is unacceptable. Since my son was about two we have an equivalent naughty spot in the hall which he goes and sits in when he necessary. I chose not to use the stairs as he loves sitting on these I do give him a warning that if he continues or does something again he will go in the hall. I explain why he has been sent there and tell him to think about it which he has recently started pointing to his head saying "think, think, think" I then go out and have a small chat about this behaviour, he is expected to say sorry and we have a kiss and a cuddle and then return to what we were doing. I do at find at time when he puts puppy dog eyes or tries to entice me to smile it can be really difficult to not crack a smile and have be heard saying "and stop making mommy smile when you are in trouble". I do sit and reflect on my own parenting style particularly after we have had one of those long days and I do have a theory that it is important that you are happy to deal with a behaviour in public the same was as you do in private, My son has gone through a recent stage where as soon as someone else comes to the house his tests all his boundaries but have stood firm and that seemed to really help. On Sunday he gave me my biggest test in public that I have so far had. After dropping a friend home we needed to go to the supermarket as he has come out without shoes on when he stated he wanted to walk then I explained as he hadn't got any shoe sit wasn't possible and that mommy needed him in the trolley as I had a lot of shopping to do. He was fine been carried from the car but once I tried to sit him in the trolley the screams and tantrums started. So I sat him on his bottom on the shop floor and told him he could get up when he was ready to sit in the trolley. I did find the stares and disapproving looks very uncomfortable but I know there was probably equally many parents were saying thank god it's not my child. I didn't really need support as I knew I am doing the best for him and myself but a supportive word from the kindly lady at customer services who got a perfect view of my son's tantrum was actually appreciated. He did eventually calm and then we were able to complete the shopping relatively strop free. I do also work very hard to reinforce and encourage positive behaviour after all why would anyone be good if you only got attention when you were misbehaving. This does include time playing and chatting to him. I do think routine is great for kids helping children's behaviour. Children do tend to like knowing what will happen and when and see to then find it easier to understand what is expected of them. When I compare my son's behaviours to his peers I see no difference in his unacceptable behaviour to those of very strict parents. I do think he understands the consequences of behaving unkindly to other children and though clearly not an angel seems to be developing well and this I have had doubts about with children I know whose parents tend to disregard or ignore bad behaviour. I do see he does have the balance of wanting his own way and wanting his mommy to reassure and cuddle him and think it is important that parents do consider this when disciplining their child. I I do think it is worth chatting to other parents or health professionals about ideas and to get support through what can be difficult periods bur then consider what works for you and your child to get the best out of both them. Some days are tough but those are the days with firm boundaries and consistency you are making a difference to the person your child will develop into. Nobody said parenting was easy and can be a very stressful job but equally extremely rewarding.