Tag Archives: debate

Parents who punish children like a dog

25 Aug

I was up all night last night and this wasn’t due to the little man. I was engaging in a 24hr photobox mission on facebook (which I will write more about in another post a bit later on)! So,with no company but my own and those in cyber space who like me where pulling their homes apart in a bid for picture inspiration, I decided to pop the telly on.

Lucky I did, as BBC3 were showing a documentory (which I gathered was a repeat) called, ‘ Cherry Healeys Parenting Dilemma’ Fantastic. I remember being contacted by a PR when the show was in the piloting stages, at the time I had no interest in documenting my own parenting dilemma to the world, as Little man was really testing them parenting skills and my overall sanity, school was a huge issue and I was pretty worn out. Having seen the press release I was excited to see how it had all planed out. I was now gripped by a tv show and a photo challenge (good job I can muti-task)

Yet, I wasn’t fully prepared for what I was about to view.

The show was presented by Cherry Healey. I love this presenter, I first saw her present another bbc3 documentry on binge drinking which was brilliant. She has since covered an aray of topics even the journey through her own pregnancy, the debates surrounding breast or bottle feeding! Another recent one was a documentory on how womem see their own body image, which again proved to be fantastic viewing.

I quickly got my next photo challenge out the way (will again explain what the hell I’m referring to a bit later). I then settled down to watch the show. Cherry met a number of different families all with their own degree of problems or parenting style.

I just want to share my opinions on just one part of the documentary which covered a couple who had two young boys, I’m guessing the youngest to be 3 or 4 at a push.These parents believed that a very strict parenting routine was needed to keep the boys in order!

Firstly, let me state, “I’m not a judgemental person and I hope no one see me as one” I know as well as anyone, how it feels to be looked upon and have your parenting skills judged. I understand everyone has their own way/style in doing so, and I think that’s just fine! However, if you are willing to have your families day to day life broadcast on national television, then you expect people to watch and have an opinion. My opinion, These parents punish they’re children like a dog.

Cherry met the family at their home during meal time. Both parents were happy to contribute their views on “how children should be raised, and what works for them as a family” The family had previously been sent a video camera to film their day to day routine. During the interview mum states how both her children are made to sit and eat at the table (a fair request and rule, I think)! She told Cherry that the children have to eat all food including snacks at the table, there is no point ever when the boys are allowed to eat on the sofas! Friday is sweet or treat day and the boys are occasionally able to eat sweets while sat on the carpet. fair enough! Dad went on to say that the children are always picked up on their manners if they every slip. Please and thank you are at the up-most importance. He stated that the boys rearly need reminding when it comes to the little things like, taking their shoes off when coming in the house or not eating on the sofas, etc. Great, sounds perfectly normal and reasonable to me.

Then the subject of discipline was raised. I was both shocked and horrified By the parents approach to this issue, so much so,I cried throughout the rest of the programme. If the boys didn’t sleep or did something considered to be,”naughty” like getting out of bed more than once, etc… a disturbing action, (which at first I thought was a nasty threat) took place. The two young boys were told if any unwanted behaviour continued then they would be shut out the back door in the garden amongst the darkness. They quite willing filmed themselves following through with the threat.The Mother said at one stage, “stop it or your going outside in the dark” and that’s just what happen! The child was filmed screaming and you could see and hear the little boys heartbreaking pleas as he begged his mummy not to put him in the garden! Shit, I was horrified. It lasted just minutes but was enough to scare the little boy to death, he sobbed trying to hug his mummy as she tucked him back in his bed telling him to remain there.

God, he is a pre-schooler his brother not much older! These are children not dogs! The father states that he doesn’t like doing this but it’s never for long and does the trick they don’t get up again during the night!

“I’m not bloody surprised are you?” I had visions of the children needing to use the toilet but holding it in till daylight through fear of the back door and the cold darkness it brings.What if the child had a nightmare and woke up, would he be handled in the same way. What hurt me is strangely these parents didn’t see it as wrong, I actually think they love them boys a lot and really do believe it’s for their own benefit.

I’ve worked hard to help little man battle his fears and phobias and to see a child being punished by sticking them out in the dark makes me livid. No, seriously it made me so angry I didn’t know what to do with myself! Little man suffers from anxiety and to see those parents actually inflicting it, while I’m trying to help my child decrease such fears, hit me hard.

Another punishment inflicted on the boys was smacking. One of the parents stated that it’s only used as the last result in an attempt to stop the behaviour from escalating to far. I know parents smack, there’s a massive debate that will always surround smacking. Yet this little boy was smacked on his hand (the second time quite hard) for behaviour that I saw as nothing other than just child like behaviour. The youngest wanted some crisps, he was told no, he continued to ask and climb over his mother. He was then smacked on his hand lightly. He then went to where the crisp were (he was clearly just seeing how far he could go and was rather hoping he could gain access to the crisp) he was then smacked hard for a second time and then carried to his room. He sobbed and throw his arms about in an angry manner. His father was stood their obviously filming him causing him even more stress. Both parents said they were smacked as children and it didn’t do them any harm (umm, I beg to differ) Cherry was clearly shocked especially when they openly admitted smacking both boys up to three times a week (well I see two smacks given over the one small incident, so I’m guessing it’s more). I can get why some parents may snap and lose it for a second, I do understand that many parents do engage in smacking.

When a child has special needs parents with no help from the local authorities, deal with behaviours far more challenging than displayed by them little boys and smacking them would just make things worse.

The parents views were pretty far off, with mum stating she would rather use her form of punishments than have a child who can be seen as demanding and giving the parent the run around in public. Gosh, I wonder what they would make of my little man and me, what with the added addition of my daughter and demanding toddler she may have something to say! Sadly the parents seem to believe that any child engaging in behaviour seen to be challenging was a result of bad and non consistent parenting.

Although I agree, consistency is 100% best. I don’t agree it is always possible. I firmly stand by my opinion, that in my view such punishments (shut outside in the dark) shouldn’t even be threaten in the first place, let alone enforced. Yes, be consistent with routine and discipline but it’s worth remembering that if your child keeps getting out of bed (there just maybe a reason)!

There are times I’m a bit soft but on the whole I tend to stick to my guns. I just really hope that them little boys don’t grow into bullies as sticking your child outside in the dead of night dosent seem like a loving nor effective parenting technique to me. Does it you?

To find watch the show visit BBC iplayer or you can read the BBC blog (an interview with Cherry Healey)

With the rise in Measles it’s decision time!

24 Mar

This is such a hard post to write, and I really don’t know how to word what it is I’m feeling.

Nevertheless I need to try.

Tomorrow the 25 th March 2011 is the day I will make an appointment for my youngest child, (Little mans baby brother) to have his immunisation  (MMR) with our local GP.

He is almost 16 months old and should have had the vaccine almost 4 months ago. I wish I could just keep my baby under house arrest away from the worlds harmful viruses, but with two school age children how is this possible!

As a mother to a child with Aspergers this has been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it’s one I must make as a parent. Both little man and his sister had the MMR jab with little man having his at the height of the controversy over the possible link between that of the MMR and autism.

I decided to opt for single vaccinations but sadly with the country having no supplies of the mumps vaccine this is a no, no. So, I called the local surgery and arranged the baby’s appointment for his immunisation with much fear and dread.

With reported cases of measles rapidly affecting a huge proportion of the UK, the pressure rises.

Do I want my child to be autistic? No!
Do I want my child to catch a virus that can potently cause him brain damage, even death?
No!

I don’t wish for either. However with their being proven risks associated with each of these conditions (especially that of measles) do I want to realistically take that chance on my son’s life? Again, No!
I don’t think I can live with myself if anything happened to him!

Measles can kill, It’s not some myth, but a fact that a child’s life can be taken by a virus that has the capability of becoming deadly.

I think I would rather have an autistic child then run the risk of having no child at all.

Some may say that is selfish! Then again some may say the same to those who choose against such immunizations as it’s  not only their own child’s life in danger but those around them, particularly that of pregnant women! Regardless of what society thinks, I love this little person with all my heart and I can’t help that.

It’s not like I haven’t spent time going over this in my mind! It’s been there since the day he was born  December 2009′ Its something that’s always been there niggling away at me.

Since I discovered I was having a boy I’ve faced that worry of him having an ASD. Of course girls have this condition too but the risk seem much higher for boys (regardless of the number of girls who remain un-diagnosis). Whenever Harley does something ‘odd’ or someone comments how like Little man he is I feel my body freeze. Don’t get me wrong, I love little man just as much as I love his siblings, and though I see his Aspergers as a gift, it’s not something I choose for him. I would never change him but this isn’t the point.

Little man has AS and if anything as a baby/toddler I didn’t notice any developmental delays! My child seemed very advanced. His language was amazing and he was out of nappies being dry throughout the day & the night by the age of 2. I didn’t notice any regression once he had received the immunisation. However what I did notice after this time was his in-tensed interests, obsessions, poor play skills etc. However these were things that I would not have noticed prior to the MMR and would have only become noticeable with age!  I believe little man has always had some degree of sensory sensitivity and sensory seeking behaviours from the day he was born. He only eats certain food, would gag if given a dummy, screamed if his blanket was in the washing machine, and had his bottle to age 6 (just for bed) I also remember his interest in trains from a very young age, he loved lining them up. By around the age of two, he was absorbed in Thomas the tank engine mesmerized by it whenever it was on the telly he was there eyes glued to the scene

There was one change I noticed in little man after the immunisation was given. His sleep pattern become a whole lot more unpredictable. Before this time he would sleep well but only in my arms or my chest (would never sleep in a cot, which is funny as he isn’t a cuddle seeker  at least not no more) As a newborn he had bad colic that kept him awake for hours on end screaming, otherwise he slept through anything.

He wasn’t pre-term but 4 days over due. I did have quite a difficult delivery, with him being born with the cord tightly around his neck, very swollen head and features due to becoming stuck in the birth canal and a very strange tone of blue. His little lips trembled and he was placed under the light to warm him up.

He never cried (apart from them few times he had colic), he never went through the terrible twos, he actually didn’t start the meltdowns till he was around 4 years old.

Harley (baby brother) had a great delivery despite him weighing a whopping 9lb. He was ten days overdue which was quite a surprise given the doctors were trying to keep him in there from week 30!

His extremely advanced! At first I didn’t think so, but he said his first word at 5 months, was taking steps at 7 months and wait for it, “having huge full-blown tantrums at 6 months” these involve head-butting everything, resulting in him looking a tad like Mr bump.

Harley is very advanced in his language, even stringing together a three word sentence and he could count to three by 13 months.

Little sister who was born 3 weeks early and the smallest out the three, met all her milestones at a pretty average pace. She is two years younger than little man and isn’t on the spectrum. She had the MMR jab at 12 months.

I know there is a huge proportion of the world who are very anti vaccine, I also know that many of these parents claim their child/children have been affected by the vaccine! I’m not here to say whether I agree or disagree, that’s not the plan at all. I’m writing this as a parent who needs to make an informed decision on what’s best for her own child!

Harley was very sick at five weeks old and we stayed in the hospital by his side for over a week. He had developed a chest infection that progressed into pneumonia and then he went on to contract H1N1 even through I had already contracted the flu virus while in the latter stages of pregnancy. I never want to see my child with feeding tubs and relying oxygen ever, ever again. If Harley caught measles, mumps or rubella and it affected him in such away how could I cope knowing I basically put him there! Contributed somehow.

Harley’s appointment is in 2 weeks time, he will be sixteen months old. Yes, I will sit pondering questioning my decision for that entire time, but I will also be clinging to the hope he doesn’t contract measles, mumps or rubella either.

I could go on forever writing this, reasoning with my own mind while putting it down for the world to see! But I won’t drive my head crazy no more (at least for the rest of today anyway)

This topic has always produced a debate and is bound to for many years to come! Science is a wonderful thing that sadly normally leads to worry. With medical professionals working hard to prove each other wrong which is mainly done in a display of public statements smeared all over the press, us parents hold little hope of maintaining a smooth ride. Faced with choices that have become some of the most frightening choices we will ever have to make!

I guess this is one us parents will never escape.

NOTE…
This is a personal opinion and choice! I am not stating that those that chose not to vaccinate are bad parents etc. For this reason please have respect if commenting. Although I’m happy for all to comment what ever the opinion, abuse and rude comments will not be published.

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