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7 Responses to Don’t Snatch

  1. Amy Carr

    My 1 year old and 3 year old sons used to do anything they could to hang on to something they shouldn’t have. We found ourselves pulling things, temper tantrums ( parents and adults ) and trying to catch them as they dashed away with their coveted loot. Finally one day, ( mostly out of defeat ) I said ” may Mommy please have that?”, and the heavens parted, angels sang , and my three year old said ” here you go” and parted with his beloved stolen item!! We as parents sometimes need to remember that children deserve to be treated with ” the golden rule” too!!

  2. Jessica

    I appreciate this article…however, I don’t think I agree. One of the problems I believe we have today is that we have forgotten to instill in our children a level of respect and obedience. I do have a one year old and a three year old. We have not really “baby proofed” our house because I believe my children need to learn to obey their mother. This means that things that will physically hurt them are put up but other than that, it is all out. It is a lot of work but they have learned that when I say “Don’t touch” or “That is not for your hands.” then I mean it. I am assuming you do not believe in spanking but we do. Not all the time but for disrespect and disobedience. If my son has something he should not, I tell him to “Give it to mommy.” If he obeys, I say thank you and smile. If he does not I slap his hand lightly and tell him he needs to obey and ask for the object again. My children do not have a fear of me but they have learned to respect and obey their parents. And this does not mean I spend all day spanking. I find that firm words and an occasional spank or slap on the hand has reminded them I am their parent. A firm voice does not mean yelling either. I think you have some good points but I do think that sometimes we are too passive, too easy going and too in a hurry to be ‘sensitive’ and end up blurring the line between parent and child.

    • Lauren Wayne  

      At NPN, we do not advocate for corporal punishment and consider all physical punishment harmful to children, but we thought this post could facilitate a respectful, educational conversation about alternatives to hitting. Thank you to the commenter and to any respondents for keeping a respectful tone.

    • Juliet Kemp

      You’re right, I don’t hit my child, and as Lauren has already said, I think that hitting a child, however “lightly”, is harmful to them.

      I think that true respect is something that is earned in part through modelling – that we respect those who respect us. Hitting isn’t respectful, and so I don’t think it promotes a mutually respectful relationship. At a very young age it may make children more compliant, but that doesn’t last as they get older. Putting the time into a mutually respectful relationship now is an investment in my relationship with my son as he gets older and moves out into the world.

      The evidence is that what children learn from punishment is “don’t get caught”, and that the only reason not to do something is because of the punishment. It doesn’t help them to internalise their own values and make their own choices. So, again, as they get older, they haven’t learnt to make good decisions for themselves, especially when there’s no one else around to enforce obedience to an external standard. What I want is for my child to learn to make his own good decisions when I’m not there. I think treating him respectfully and modelling the behaviour I want to see facilitates that. Hitting doesn’t. It just teaches that people get their way by using violence. Boundaries can be set without hitting, and as you say, a firm voice isn’t the same as yelling.

      I actually don’t want to teach my child to be compliant, either. I certainly don’t want him to be compliant to authority (or to perceived authority, or to his stronger-minded peers…) as a teenager and an adult. I want him to be independent-minded and thoughtful and prepared to stand up for his own values. Again, I’d rather put the effort into parenting him now in a way that encourages those qualities, than push him into “compliance” now and be surprised when he makes bad decisions or is easily swayed by others in his teens and adulthood.

  3. Kellie

    One of my favorite techniques for dealing with this situation is to agree to a certain amount of time that the child can examine/do something, and then they will give it up. When they are little, they can’t tell time, but we count together. So, for example, my 2 year old picks up my nail clippers and I tell him that he can look at them while we count to 5, and then I am going to need them back. I count to 5 and then I ask for them back. This almost always works for me. A lot of the time, the child gets so excited about counting that they forget whatever it was they were going to play with to begin with. And I always have a good what-we-are-going-to-do-next idea to move them along to.

    • Juliet Kemp

      Oh, fab, I like that! L is very into his numbers at the moment so that would likely work great for us too 🙂 as he’s getting older saying “I need that back now, please” is working more often, too. I do think that minimising the times when I insist helps, as it means I’m not always saying “no, give it back” and gives him less to (need to) push against.

    • Sara

      Great idea! I’m going to try it out.