Shame on You, or Shame on Me?

In my last couple posts, we tackled the discussion of spanking vs non spanking and which discipline methods worked and did not work. My friend, Marcus Morgan (who reads my blog) shared a link with me regarding scolding children in public. The article discussed a couple different scenarios of children being humiliated in public by their parents. After reading the article, I could see the author's point of view and much of what I read made sense to me from a psychological viewpoint. However, as a mother, my mother senses went haywire! I have had to scold my children in public before because they did was unacceptable and some behaviors should not be "left alone until we get home"; they should be addressed right when they happen to discourage this type of behavior.

Is there a proper way to scold a child in public? Of course there is. We don't want to humiliate them but we do want them to understand that if you misbehave in public and embarrass me, then you will in turn be embarrassed. As humans, we are innately built to learn from our experiences and we experience things that don't make us feel 100% comfortable, we avoid the behavior which caused this effect (Cause and Effect). As I mentioned in a previous post, we don't want our children fearful to the point of being afraid of us physically, but afraid to disappoint us; a healthy fear.

If there are certain "agreements" you have with your children regarding their behavior before you leave the home, and they wait until they get in front of others to "challenge" this agreement, you have to act on it. As a mother and educator I have both experienced and witnessed children test their parents because they are in front of someone else. As a parent, I needed my children to understand that just because we're in front of strangers or in front of their grandparents, I'm still in control and what I say goes. Respect comes from a mutual understanding between us to respect one another's roles as parent and child without going back on that with disruptive behavior.

When a child challenges their parent in a negative way, it demonstrates a level of disrespect. As a parent, my children are able to voice their opinions and we talk about how they feel and if there is room for improvement or an apology on my part, I give them what is warranted. However, if you choose to go against me in a defiant manner, we no longer have a respectful agreement. All bets are off and I need to remind you who's in charge.

At the end of the day, when you experience something firsthand and it is not a good feeling, you no longer have a desire to feel that way again. As a parent, it's not a good feeling to be embarrassed by your child in public and for a child, it's not a good feeling to be embarrassed by their parents in public. Solution: Have ground rules for your children. Healthy disciplining and setting boundaries as well as realistic expectation and goals will eliminate a great deal of this type of unwanted behavior. Children who are raised with boundaries and language to express their feelings blossom into productive individuals who can clearly state what their needs are without being disrespectful.

For your reference, the Article

I want to thank Marcus for sharing this insightful article with me and i would love to hear your thought as parents regarding disciplining and scolding in public.

Until we chat again...