I Won’t Discipline My Child

Not the way most people mean that anyway.

This past weekend I had an irate parent show up at my door. The outcome was that she forbade her son from playing with mine and screamed at me to “discipline your f@#%ing kid!”

I felt all of the emotions at once; doubt, sadness, anger, embarrassment, hurt, and heartbreak. It was hard to take in the situation without becoming reactive. I did my best. I talked with my son, I cried, I fumed and I called a friend whose parenting style is most like mine.

Once I was calmer, my brain could begin to break down the situation. I questioned my own parenting because of one angry person. But only for a while. What is hard about doing things differently than collective society is that you will be challenged. Ultimately, I’m at the point where I know that’s a good thing!

If my beliefs about how I’m raising my son were done with no more thought than following herd mentality, then maybe I should be swayed. But I’m not. I’m confident, even if that confidence was momentarily shaken, that what I’m doing is what’s best for my family.

The kind of discipline she would have me use requires physical punishments with a belt, grounding my son from play and instilling fear. Her goal is compliance. So no, I won’t “discipline” my son that way.

What I will do is spend time with him, listening to him and speaking to him as an equal. This is how respect and trust are gained, through relationship. If I see him doing something “wrong,” then I’ll talk to him and help him make it right. This is how he’ll learn consequences for his actions. If I see him acting out, I’ll find ways to build him up. This is how he’ll learn to better himself. This. Is. Discipline! Time consuming, thoughtful and often exhausting discipline.

Reflection after shaken faith led me to be even more steadfast in my goal of raising a good person. I have no doubt that he’ll turn out to be a good person. You know why? He already is!.


  1. She-Ra · March 6, 2017

    I have no doubt that your son is a wonderful person! What was the other parent so upset about?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Melissa · March 6, 2017

      That I allow my child to play with things that can be considered weapons (sticks.) Her son accidentally got hit with a stick while they were playing in our yard. Word has gotten around the neighborhood that B ‘never gets in trouble’ because the other children are so baffled by this. Apparently their parents are even more baffled and hostile. :/

      Liked by 2 people

      • She-Ra · March 6, 2017

        Sounds like a pretty normal thing to have happen. Kids can get hurt with anything. Accidents happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Melissa · March 6, 2017

        That’s why it upset me so much. It came down to my son losing a friend, not because of an accident, but because the mom doesn’t like how I parent. My son has no control over that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • She-Ra · March 6, 2017


        Liked by 1 person

      • Artie Duncanson · July 24, 2017

        Wow, how innocuous and innocent. That parent would’ve called for an Exorcist for my entire neighborhood where I grew up. Me and my friends used to wrestle, play King of the Hill (your objective is to be the only person remaining on top of the hill by pushing and knocking everyone else down), and shoot each other with B.B. guns (not recommending that though!). You’ve probably heard the old adage that if you’re not rattling some cages, you’re probably not doing anything worthwhile.
        One day your son will thank you for your rationality here.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. whattheskagit · March 7, 2017

    I’m sorry you had to take on that negative load from your neighbor! It’s great you have a like minded parent friend for support. I’m sure your little family is at odds in your neighborhood? Authoritarian parenting and corporal punishment seem to be a more common norm in the “mainstream culture”. I applaud your decision to “not discipline your son”. I too choose respectful parenting as I feel Authoritarian parenting is not fair, and disrespectful and corporal punishment is flat out cruel. I like how you mention you will build him up if you see him acting out, as he will learn to better himself. Such a great reminder! I was raised with authoritarian parents and a leather belt was used on our bottoms, or legs if we moved. Thank you for sharing this story and raising a new generation with compassion and thoughtfulness who will in turn one day lead another generation with the same respect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Melissa · March 7, 2017

      Yeah, we’re definitely the weirdos in the neighborhood. Seems a strange thing to be unpopular for but it’s for the best. Glad you enjoyed reading and thanks for the support!


  3. tahenryauthoress · March 8, 2017

    I have a friend, a long time friend, who often says my child is manipulating me, that he knows what buttons to push. Maybe he does. But I would rather he push the button, get my attention, and talk to me about how he is feeling, than stick to a line I drew in the sand, that turned out to maybe be in the wrong place. It’s hard in this day and age when everyone thinks they have the right/obligation to tell you off when you do something outside the “norm.” Stand your ground, raise a good human, and maybe you can avoid the years of therapy kids who are forced to comply often require. I know all about it, from the wrong side.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lyndsi B · April 14, 2017

    On Mar 6, 2017 1:02 PM, “Single Mom Unschooling” wrote:

    > Melissa posted: “Not the way most people mean that anyway. This past > weekend I had an irate parent show up at my door. The outcome was that she > forbade her son from playing with mine and screamed at me to “discipline > your f@#%ing kid!” I felt all of the emotions at once” >


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