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Palm Tree
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Sort of strange how we "grow"

Category: Happy Times | Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:09 pm

Sort of strange - I was not always the one to cook the family meals. In fact my "culinary expertise" was always only put in practice only on special occasions and those odd days when hubby just could not manage to do the cooking and I happened to be at home. Most of the time though I was the one who would say things like WHAT WAS THAT DEAR, or SORRY I CANNOT HEAR A WORD YOU ARE SAYING (and in my mind I would complete the sentence - OVER THIS ROCK MUSIC).

I cannot help but think back of the way we disciplined our children. When my youngest was about seven years old and right up to 12 years old, and whenever she would resort to behaviour such as playing soccer indoors, or cutting up plants, or pulling the dog's tail, or better yet, ask for spaghetti when everyone else is eating fish; then hubby would rush to the kitchen drawer, whip out a terror-inspiring item. This item would then not be dramatic music or wind howling instruments, or anything of the kind - this item would be a spoon. And not just any spoon - a WOODEN SPOON. (Let me not neglect to add here that hubby did not actually use the spoon for anything other than, I thought then, spooning spaghetti out of the pot.)

However by waving that spoon in something of a threat display, the message is quite clear: Such behaviour will not be tolerated here, this is the last time that I am warning you. This type of disciplining action usually had the desired effect as my baby would then run off to her room to play with her lego toys. This is all fine and well - but for me I never really believed that the spoon wielding trick worked. My plan of action when dealing with a situation involving disciplining the children was always as follows: turn the volume control all the way to the right - this would drown out the sound of sibling squabbling, things breaking, or - most importantly - nagging when hubby wanted me to do something about the kids.

It was on one such occasion when my sister told me about Spock. Telling me that I should try the Spock - immediately my mind went STAR TREK. I mean what could a pointy-eared vulcan ever know about disciplining children, really. Then she said - no - Benjamin Spock - an American Pediatrician. Now Benjamin Spock believed that children should never be threatened, cajoled or spanked with a wooden spoon. One should rather try and be firm, patient and friendly - almost as if you are dealing with a person behind a counter when you are trying to explain why the last three months' payments did not go through. It certainly does not help to shut or throw things when disciplining children. Spock says that you should get a handle on your anger. Well hubby's handle was a wooden spoon.

I suppose all I want to say is that disciplining children is a sensitive issue that should be handled with empathy, trust and the understanding of both parents. Always avoid the threat of punishment and rather favour an approach that is rational and consistent and maintain an even-tempered approach ... WHAT!!

Nowadays - because I cook more often - whenever I have a wooden spoon in my hand I am transported back to those days. Now my baby is turning 16 and my eldest is 23. Gone are the days where a wooden spoon was a disciplining tool - now it is truly a culinary tool. I am still not a wonderful cook, but I have come a long way since then. Let me put it this way - I have grown as a cook.

Last edited: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:46 pm

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Biita wrote on Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:48 pm:

I'm glad the wooden spoon is being put to the right use,,lol. I believe children should not be spanked or such. always take your time with them, i mean you choose to have them, so choose to take the time to guide them, has always been my belief. good blog!

I love spaghetti!


eileen wrote on Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:02 pm:

I think if children know right from the start that you're the one in charge then they won't be too much trouble. My three weren't angels, by any means, but they never went 'over the top' either. One look from me and a NO and they knew not to push things any further although they never actually found out what I would do if they ever did. Funnily enough I always trained my dogs in a similar fashion when they became members of the family. HaHaHa
I think a lot of todays children get away with far too much and could do with a few rules in their lives.

I love spaghetti too!!!! LOL


Droopy wrote on Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:15 pm:

The perfect mix when it comes to children. A bit of Spock, a lot of patience, a hideaway with sound-proof walls and a wile "mom-eye". Does the job every time. :)


toni wrote on Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:53 pm:

With my oldest daughter I learned I had a 'Mommy voice'...the one that you lower in pitch, I think you would call it, and say their name. When she heard that she knew she was in deep doodoo.
In public I would hold my hand to my side or behind my back and snap my fingers when she did something unacceptable, she heard and stopped. No one else around us heard it so it saved an embarrassing scene and got the message across to her.


Palm Tree wrote on Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:21 pm:

Thanks Biita - I am not always in the mood to write, in fact most times I would voice my feelings however, today was one of those days when no one was at home and I just had to let someone know the thoughts that were racing inmy head while cooking.
Oh my Eileen - my dogs are more obedient than the children ever was. And you are so right - when we were kids we could not even think up the things they do - thinking aloud was dangerous enough.
And Toni - that is so cute a 'Mommy Voice' - very clever avoiding public embarrasment in that way.
Droopy I also did the wile 'mom'eye alas it did not always make me feel heard even though it sometimes did the job. I did not really have a lot of time with my children when they were young - I was always the breadwinner - however, now that they are older I can appreciate and still think back of the "few" times that I was called on to do the discipline job.

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