Tag Archives: gentle discipline

Can Gentle Discipline Prevent Bullying?

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Reading a status update from one of my favorite sites, Peaceful Parenting, sparked the need for this post. She wrote:

Sitting at a mall play area with my children, a mother just screamed at her child, “Time to go home – now! You have school in the morning!” Spanked him hard, and then turned to a friend and laughed while he cried. My heart breaks for this little guy. Please, be kind to your children.

monkey leash

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a similar situation, and most of the time, the child is not doing anything “bad” but more inconveniencing the parent. I can’t help but think that the bullying epidemic is largely in part due to the way parents are treating their children. Many think that spanking or yelling at their child in public shows that they are  big disciplinarians and have established authority. If this is the kind of behavior parents find appropriate in public, what happens at home?

To me, it is just sad and disgusting. I don’t believe in physical discipline at all, and I also do not believe yelling is an effective tool. According to a 2009 study, for many parents shouting has become the new spanking. “If someone yelled at you at work, you’d find that pretty jarring. We don’t apply that standard to children,” sociologist Murray A. Straus, one of the study’s lead authors, told The New York Times.


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