Sometimes a bad-ass fronting tweet is actually a cry for help. Teen Mom Maci Bookout tweeted, "im gonna catch a bunchaaa shit for spanking bentley.... #parenting." Huh, feeling a wee bit defensive, are we? Unless Maci is talking about something caught on camera and airing on Being Maci, I'm not sure why she even needs to tell us she spanked Bentley. Otherwise, we would never know -- and she could make her parenting decisions with confidence in privacy.
But that's now what's happening, and I can't help wondering if this is more about Maci knowing, at some level, that there is something about spanking that actually makes her a weak parent. Who needs other people to give you shit when you've got your own inner voice giving you shit, really? But she's frustrated, because she doesn't want to raise a spoiled child, either. Well fortunately for Maci and every other parent who's ever felt defensive about spanking, there are alternatives.
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1. Time-out. We all know about this one, and many parents swear by it. But it also takes some planning. You have to decide you're going to try it, and you have to think about how you'll do it before you need it. Also, sometimes parents need a time-out themselves.
2. Time-in. It sounds counter-intuitive, but many parents love this technique. When your child is acting out, you take a moment to pull your child closer to you and spend some quiet time together.
3. Get scary quiet. This doesn't work on every kid, but it worked on mine. Instead of yelling, get up really close to your child, put on a very serious face, and tell them to stop what they're doing in a quiet, calm, but I'm-not-effing-around tone of voice. Make it brief. Make eye contact the whole time, including a second or two after you finish talking.
4. Clap-growl. Child specialist Harvey Karp created this technique. “When you see your young child doing something that you don't like -- like she's just bitten her brother -- rather than spanking them, you give a good sharp clap, which gets their attention, and then with a serious look on your face, you admonish them. ‘No bite!’ with that index finger extended. And then, do what's called a double take; you look away from them for a second, and then you look back at them just a few seconds later with that stern look again and say, 'No bite.'"
It's all about finding what works for your child -- every kid is different, after all. But if you're spanking, and you find yourself feeling a little defensive about it, this may be your own inner voice trying to tell you something. Listen to that feeling and consider the alternatives. And don't worry, this is just between us -- we won't tell anyone you're having second thoughts about spanking!
Do you ever feel bad about spanking?
Image via MTV