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Some Thoughts on Parenting....

I read a lot of blogs.  And by a lot, I mean several hundred.  Mostly they are craft, sewing and food related but lately I've been reading some that are more baby and child related (the so-called "Mommy Blogs"- which I guess is what mine is going to turn into eventually...)

One of the blogs I've enjoy reading is MetroDad.  He blogs about his experiences finding out his wife was pregnant, supporting her through the pregnancy, and now raising his daughter.  I find it interesting to get a guy's perspective (other than Paul's) on some of this...

Yesterday MetroDad posted an entry titled "Use Your Words: How We're Raising a Nation of Pussies."  And I have to say that I whole-heartedly agree with most of what he says... Now I certainly am not an advocate of violence, however I also don't want my child to stand on a playground and let some other kid push him around.  If he's asked the other child to stop and the other kid won't, then by all means push him back- there's nothing wrong with a little taste of his own medicine....

This leads me to another topic that will probably be considered controversial (hey, I'm feeling feisty today- this baby's been kicking me all afternoon and I CAN'T kick him back so instead I'm spicing things up on the blog).  Spanking.  Now, again, I don't advocate violence, however, I am NOT against a good spanking when warranted.

Last fall a Massachusetts State Representative sponsored a bill to ban spanking in the state of Massachusetts which would have made MA the first state to do so.  Now the bill also was meant to ban washing your child's mouth out with soap (which can poison a child) and electric-shocking your child (seriously, do people do this?  Besides crazy people I mean?).  And I definitely agree that those actions should be banned as they're seriously dangerous.  But spanking?  Paul and I agree that if spanking was banned we'd move out of state in protest.  We were both spanked as children on occasion and netiher one of us is totally screwed up now (stop laughing, peanut gallery!).  We agree that in certain situations it's a useful technique and that while we'd prefer to use "time-outs" and to take away privileges we'd consider spanking our child if nothing else is working. 

And while I'm at it, what's with all these parents I see at the grocery store either bribing their child to behave (bribery is, in my opinion, like spanking- useful once in a while but not to be used frequently) or trying to rationalize with a screaming 3-year-old.  "Now Johnny, Mommy needs you to behave because we're at the grocery store and it's not polite to pull all of the cereal boxes off the shelf, etc. etc. etc.."   How about "Johnny- you know how to behave and if you can't, we're leaving."?!?  Then you stick around when Johnny straightens out or leave when he doesn't. 

In our house there will be rules and there will be punishments.  If you push someone, they might push back.  If you misbehave, you might be spanked.  If you act up at the grocery store, we're out of there.  If you talk back to your father, you'll be sent to your room and not allowed to play on the computer.  There are consequences to your actions, in our house, and in real life, and it's something we want our children to learn early on.  I don't want to raise a child who places blame on others, thinks he can behave however he wants, and believes he should be given presents for good behavior.  Good behavior is expected, not optional and with treats attached.

Do what you will with your own kids, but Mr. State Rep. please don't tell me how to raise my own children- that's my job, not yours.  And while I'm sure there will be times when we mess up as parents, I'm pretty confident that overall we're going to raise some darn good kids...

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