topiary cats

topiary cats

Monday, August 22, 2016

Positive Nonviolent Discipline (PRT)

This is a really rambly ranty post. I set out intending to be concise but that didn't happen.

A friend of mine shared this Facebook video.
I watched it once and I can't watch it again, it has got me so upset.

PLEASE take a moment to look at these pages which are a starting resource to change understanding of corporeal punishment and learn non-violent approaches to dealing with conflict and discipline.

It is NEVER ok to hit a child. 
There are far more effective ways to correct 
and manage your kid. 
Hitting them is "justified" violence and bullying.
It is abusive.

Nothing, absolutely nothing will ever convince me otherwise.
This video really hit my nerves and my heart on so many levels.

I don't believe in punishment.
I DO believe in consequences.
I DO believe in discipline.

Punishment is making someone suffer because they did something "wrong" so they have to be intentionally hurt because of it.

Consequences are the natural outcome of one's actions, positive or negative.

There are, of course, times when a person must be disabled of their ability to commit acts which hurt themselves or others.

But I want to talk about children right now, not adults, not criminals.


The child in the video was definitely needing correction and guidance, and he's probably a smart-ass but beating the crap out of him is just awful.  That's not going to solve anything.  He'll learn that when he is an adult it will be ok to hit others smaller and younger (or his girlfriend/wife)

He has also learned that he cannot get help or protection, that because he is a child he can be bullied by those in authority.

This is a horrible message at best, and a very dangerous one at worst.

AND- No one is willing to assist the mother in learning better parenting skills.  

She doesn't know any better.  She needs help too!!!

It certainly is very possible to be a parent instead of a friend and never hit your kids.
I'll never be parent of the year (or even parent of the day) but I do think Daya is a great kid and she pretty much listens (almost always on the important stuff) and we don't have a lot of "discipline" issues. We DO communicate a whole lot and I never hit her.  I can't even consider it, not even hypothetically. I don't mind being scary but I can't stomach the thought of hurting her.

Perfecting the Terrifying-Lazer-Mom-Stare-of-the-Apocalypse is imperative.
It's ok for kids to be a little bit afraid of their parents. But not because they will get the crap beaten out of them.

Daya absolutely HATES the Terrifying Lazer-Mom glare.
I'm so good at it that several times she has stopped whatever she was doing just because she didn't want "The Look".

I am good at being non-violently scary.
Daya regularly tells me I am scary.
But I never hit her, ever, and I never will.



During the writing of this blog post Daya was in the bathroom and she knocked over the cup that has all my makeup brushes. I went in to see what happened.  It isn't worth getting mad over.  Accidents happen, it's not a big deal. Daya had to pick everything up, and when her friend goes home she has to wash all my makeup brushes.  I'll show her how and then she has to do it.  That's all.

All kids need guidance and correction in order to (hopefully) become decent human beings who are an asset to society. When I need to, I take away privileges such as electronics or computer time. Daya lost her $20 metrocard so she had to pay for it with her allowance.

If Daya starts having academic problems in school due to either skipping school or not doing her work, she knows dance will be the first thing to go. (She got a straight A report card so I am not too worried about school)

Occasionally (not often) I get REALLY MAD at Daya.
She remembers these times much better than I do.
I was furious when she lost her phone this past May. Because she didn't follow the phone rules I must have gone over about a thousand times...., (Keep your phone charged, keep it in your purse when you aren't using it)  So, yeah, I was really furious. And I said so and she sure knew it but I never even thought about hitting her.

Yes is yes and no is no.
As parents we definitely need to make threats sometimes...the trick is to never make a threat you aren't willing to follow through on. And TALK to your kids.  Communicate with them in an age-appropriate way.

You CAN reason with an 8 year old.
You CANNOT reason with a toddler. They do need immediate feedback but they don't need the crap beaten out of them, ever.

I had a notorious troublemaker child over once, he was acting terribly. I informed him his mother was goig to know about it.  This child (he was 7) looked me right in the face and said "What's she going to do? Smack me and yell and say not to do it again? I don't care. It's not going to work. I'll just do it again."

This was a child in desperate need of enforced boundaries.
His mother once yelled herself red in the face at him for 20 minutes about how he wasn't going on an easter egg hunt, then when he calmed down she started packing his things to go.

I said "What? You just spent 20 minutes telling him he can't go."
She said she would feel bad if he missed out.
And she regularly hit her child.
Real effective.


  1. Jessica, coming from an abusive home I am with you... my sisters and I were in fear daily of when the next time we would get a belt, a slap upside the head, told we were useless... this DOES NOT work... you know what we ended up doing, we snuck behind her back and did everything we shouldn't have... So I am with you, physical abuse doesn't work... I get mad at Valentina, she says I can be scary but I have NEVER hit her and I never will... nor did I hit Valentina.

    One of her friends is a bit of a bully and had even been that way with Valentina in the past, I sat her down and told her that I wouldn't tolerate her being a bully and that I would call the police. She tried to play the victim card about her dad... I understand this but I explained to her that I was abused and that I could not use it as an excuse to abuse others... I told her she was better than that... She and Valentina get a long wonderfully now... she told Valentina I was scary and I never even raised my voice or threatened her... I just told her what I would and would not put up with.

    My rant is over but that video ticked me off too... now that boy has no one to turn to and that policeman gave his mother the right to do it... that is sad and wrong...

    1. I meant I never hit Andrea my oldest either ... and the girl that was bringing up her father no longer lives with him, she lives with an understand mother ...

    2. You are so freaking awesome Launna. Yay to the scariest non-violent moms out there! <3

  2. Hitting is never good. Neither is abusive language such as name calling. A friend did try to employ consequence based correction by taking away a Barbie doll for each infraction. Unfortunately the kid went through 128 barbies in a day. Parenting requires leadership. I used to apologize for commenting because I am not a parent. But I am a member of society and I see what happens when kids rule.

    1. 1) why does the child have 128 Barbie dolls? 2) what in the world was a small child doing that she needed discipline 128 times in one day? 3) Obviously taking away one Barbie doll at a time wasn't working.

      You are correct it does require leadership- which is very different from bullying.

  3. My point exactly.

  4. I was fostering a dog and I used to hit it when it misbehaves only by my hand and then it kept quite. I think hitting is ok to discipline someone who has done something very wrong but as last resort but not beating the crap out of them. Later on, I did not beat the dog because well, it was not necessary when it misbehaved and I showed my hand it was ok (: ... its better to communicate and understand the child than show your anger and dissatisfaction on him or her... they would come around realise their mistake and respect you... but lill beating if something very wrong id done is ok, because we undergo lot of stress... certainly not beating crap just hand hit and only to smaller kids, big kids no lifting hand... but I agree its there are better alternative to discipline your kid, parents should lean that.

    1. Please do not hit animals either. Hitting is not ok.

    2. And now your dog is afraid of your hand.


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