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You CAN Discipline Without Fear.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

I saw this today and it really struck a chord with me. This is something I devoutly wish my dad had understood. He was big on parenting through fear. My mom was usually the one I could just call when things went south even if she did get mad. She would still discipline me but I wasn’t afraid of physical harm, intimidation or that I was going to be living under the house because I was evil. (I can’t say that was true of my first step dad though. He was a lot like my dad in many ways and then add in a lot of booze and it didn’t get better from there.) I didn’t know my dads parents well as I was still a teenager when my dad’s parents passed so I never really got the chance to interact with them as an adult. I never got the impression that my Papa had ruled through fear but my Granny I could have seen the propensity for it in her but I will never know for sure. My dad cannot, even today, see where parenting through fear all the time was so harmful.

There were so many things that he did that majorly fucked me up. When my nieces & nephews began coming along I remember asking my oldest sister how she could stand to leave her kids alone with him. Wasn’t she afraid that he was going to teach them all the things like he did us through fear, intimidation & racism? She said that they figured that their kids were with them more often than our dad so that they more than balanced out anything he would tell them/do. I was fucking floored! I shouldn’t have been, but I was.

Let me say, my dad also taught us many great things about surviving, taking care of ourselves and so forth. Those wonderful, helpful, useful skills do not erase the fear mongering and hate that he also tried to ingrain, and often succeeded with (especially with my older siblings). Thankfully I was always the rebel black sheep and fought him tooth and nail because I knew in my heart that so much he said was wrong and hateful toward other people. I paid for fighting back, a lot but to this day I have never been sorry that I did it. I hated getting in trouble, whipped, grounded etc. but never once did I want to take it back.

I also want to add that this isn’t a all or nothing proposition. People seem to think that when you say things like what the picture says you are meaning that you should never discipline your kids. That is NOT what I am saying at all. What AM saying is that it is totally possible to discipline your kids without FEAR and making them think you are going to fucking kill them. For me, and I can only speak for me, it is my experience that the people who get all up in arms about not disciplining your kids and you don’t need to be their friend because you are their parent, blah, blah, blah. Those are the ones who often need this message the most.

This really hit me hard today and brought up a lot of feels.

 

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