Friday, October 1, 2010

On Your Knees

I need to explain and share with this picture. I am often asked how I discipline. I know that in today's world it can be a loaded question. Some people are so afraid of harsh punishments that they never give their children boundaries. There are others that still use "the belt" or the "the paddle".

When I was 18 I had the privilege of working in a day care setting. I learned about what would and wouldn't work under the ever watchful eyes of parents that didn't trust or the state that was there to regulate us. We were forbidden, and rightfully so, to use any form of corporal punishment. We could not do anything except "time-out" and "telling the parents". Neither was very effective at all. Every now and then a newbie would with-hold snack for an aggressive child only to be sanctioned later after that child told their parents that they didn't get snack that day.

I have seen a child continually put their hand into an electric socket. How should one handle that? There are those that say let them experience the natural consequence. That might work unless they are electrocuted to death. Time outs don't work with some children, they just don't. I don't care what all the books say, they don't work. At some point every child will test that boundary and one out of 5 children are going to be the one that isn't even slowed down by "time out." These small children will not blink at the loss of a treat or a privilege.

"So how do you handle that Neen?" It might surprise the non parent readers how often this question is asked of me. Well the answer is in this picture. "On Your Knees" is my response when I need to get the child's attnetion. This is a very physical form of punishment. It hurts if they have to stay in the position very long. It can be embarrassing for the child but it isn't too extreme. If they have to go to their knees in public it is because they haven't listened to the first two warnings. In this picture the wild little monsters were kicking the plastic chess pieces. I told them several times to stop and they would not listen. I am sure they were pumped up on sugar as we had just visited the candy store. That being said they had to listen.

J's parents used some from of this years ago and that is where he got it from. I must say that it is very effective without being abusive. The children know those words and when they hear them they always smile. They were caught and they know it. You can require it of a teenager and of a toddler equally. I love that part. It doesn't require long term effects either. often withdrawing privileges means that often the punishment is unrelated to the actions. This method makes it immediate and the correlation between what was done wrong and the punishment is evident. This can be done with or without money and can be implemented anywhere. I love it and have found it to be very effective. (Always being careful to not overuse!)

The "One Your Knees" position requires the penitent to kneel straight. The legs must be behind them and kept still. The feet must be tucked under also remain still. Arms up and out. It is to resemble the outstretched arms of Christ on the Cross. This is where is starts to hurt, holding the arms up. The time to leave them in this position is minimal as long as they are up straight and arms are out. The "lazy" kneeler will be with you longer as you continue to correct their form. It doesn't happen that often because no one likes this punishment (unlike the soap in the mouth we tried one time, apparently I buy yummy soap.)

So next time you little one is acting up and you need to get their attention try saying, "On your knees". They are not allowed to talk but you are allowed to lecture while in this position. Good luck mom's and dad's. Remember no one wants to be around your children when they are unruly either. It is easy to begin using this around 2 1/2 or 3 years of age. Do your kiddos a favor and don't be afraid to parent!

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