Does parenting come naturally?

Cassie - posted on 02/28/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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So, my husband and I had a sort-of-talk this afternoon. The conclusion: he thinks parenting comes naturally and he doesn't need to read about it.

We've been having differences of opinion when it comes to disciplining our 15 month old. DH ends up yelling and threatening spankings. I distract DS when he's doing something wrong, giving him something right to do. I try to model behavior we expect from him; I don't think my husband knows what modeling is.

Also, he thinks that by not spanking our son, he will end up being a softy. My husband's dad gave him many a spanking/beating and regrets how hard he was on him. I don't have the guts to tell my husband that he complains more than any grown man I know.

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Crystal - posted on 02/28/2009

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parenting does not come naturally. Just like everything else you have to research and figure out which way you want to do things. Spanking is not effective and especially not on a child as young as 15 months old. My son is 15 months old too and he just doesn't understand when he does something wrong, you should always use distraction at that point.

Sheri - posted on 02/28/2009

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No, what comes naturally is never pretty - we have to have training in every other area of life (from the beginning), why not parenting? If it came naturally, everyone would be good at it. Also, "natural" carries a connotation of convenience, don't you think? And there is NOTHING convenient about good parenting! Keep working on him - have him talk to your son's pediatrician if he won't research anything else. Don't give up - your whole family will appreciate it later!

Brenda - posted on 02/28/2009

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I'd gently remind him that spankings are usually given out of parent frustration, and aren't really effective.  And at 15 months old, all the kid understands is that the parent is inflicting pain.  They really don't have the cognitive ability to understand what they've done wrong at that age which is why distraction works on one that small.  Children that age can't make the connection between punishment and something they've done.  Same goes for yelling, they really don't get it at that age.



I think parenting, to a degree, does come naturally, but usually when it does, spanking is not one of the things we instinctually use.  I think it comes more naturally to mothers, who have the mother's instinct.  Parenting with love usually leads to more confident children and more independent children (the whole of the attachment ideal).  Parents who have been parented with anger tend to resort to that anger, which leads to spanking and yelling.  The anger is on the part of the parent, and the child picks up on those emotions easily.  And so the child might resort to anger more easily later on in life. 



My husband and I are having some of these issues, with him thinking our kids should have some "fear" in them, while I dissagree with fear/anger based parenting.  However it is a long road to changing his mind because of the way he was raised.

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