Parenting Isn’t All About Cuddles

Some earth mother hippy has just claimed on Facebook that controlled crying causes brain damage. Brain damage. I have had my fill of hippy bullshitters and their attachment/gentle parenting nonsense.

Lindsey and I leave Verona in her cot every night around 19:00, after having fed her, changed her, sung her a song and kissed her goodnight. Some nights she cries, some nights she doesn’t. If she cries we leave her.

If she cries beyond 15 minutes we go and see what’s up. If she cries in the night we check on her. What we don’t do is stay with her until she’s decided that she’s finally had enough of our company.

To say that ‘abandoning’ your child while they cry causes long term damage, sounds like utter bollocks.

Parents that treat their children as if they are golden cherubs that must be gently persuaded not to behave badly, are creating a rod for their own backs and are a blight on society.

If – at the age of two – Verona were to run out into traffic, I will not be debating the subtleties of the government’s Twenty’s Plenty campaign nor will I be explaining to her how it made daddy feel seeing her do that. I will be slapping the back of her legs and telling her very firmly that what she did was dangerous. There will be no debate.

I would do this because I love her and wouldn’t want her to repeat her behaviour, not because I get my jollies from hurting children.

To me, her having to endure the stinging sensation of a slap to the back of the legs, that is then associated with running away from mummy or daddy, is to me infinitely preferable to a trip to A&E. Or worse.

Whilst I strongly believe smacking to be an effective tactic in situations where a child could suffer real, physical harm because of their lack of understanding of the world, I do not feel it is correct to physically punish a child for bad behaviour or even worse for accidents. If your child is running round the supermarket pulling things off shelves or has accidentally spilt their drink, a smack will not help nor would it be appropriate.

There is a twisted sense of what constitutes ‘child abuse’ in this country. With smacking referred to as ‘beating’ and anything that would have thirty years ago constituted common sense being treated with utter disdain. Yet those people who don’t have the first clue about raising their children (we’ve all seen children in buggies eating Happy Meals) are given free reign to ignore all advice.

Lindsey and I will raise Verona as we see fit. We are both intelligent, kind human beings that want the best for her, anything we do will be informed by that. There is no way that she will be allowed to run riot and control us.

The first step towards that is by practicing controlled crying.

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