After reading this article at http://www.nbc-2.com/story/23764243/three-charged-in-barbaric-case-of-child-abuse#.Umkoovl1woo, I was both saddened and outraged. There are ways to discipline a child without physically abusing them. There are many questions that also come up when you read something like this. Such as:
1) Why was a child left in the care of someone who had already been charged with abuse in the past?
2) How could a grandmother allow this type of treatment?
3) As a stepfather, shouldn’t he have tried harder to help the child?
I’m sure no one will ever know the answers to these questions. It is really sad that a small child had to pay such a high price for just being upset. We all know there are “guidelines” that DCF (Department of Children and Families) go by to determine what is or isn’t considered child abuse. Do you know the guidelines? If you don’t know the guidelines for your state, make sure to find out what they are. Many people are “old-school” when it comes to discipline. They may discipline their children like their own parents disciplined them. This may work for some, but not all.
Children need to learn what is expected of them. You do this by TALKING to them. There are so many other ways to get a child’s attention. My suggestions:
1) TALK to them.
2) Remove them from a situation. Place them on a chair facing a wall or put them on a time-out mat. It is recommended that 1 minute per age in the timeout situation. Then talk to them about what happened and how to correct the problem.
3) NEVER discipline in the heat of the moment.
4) Take “prized possessions” from them and have them earn them back.
There are so many other ways that don’t involve physical harm. The next time your child does something wrong, I hope you think about this story and the consequences of the actions you may take. Your child’s life may depend on it.
The opinions expressed here are that of the author.