As parents, we all have those moments where our patience just runs out when our children misbehave or repeat their bad behaviours. We have to understand that anger on our part makes everything worse. So, we parents have to manage our own stress and learn how to discipline our children effectively without beating them with a slipper.
This is an advice to parents from a podcast called Mish bil-shibshib (Not with the Slipper). Every Saturday for the last two years, Wissam el-Cheikh and Luna Abdallah from the UAE have been teaching positive parenting. They tell real-life stories of what happens between parents and children.
One of its most inspiring episodes – the slipper one – was a guide for parents to be positive rather than aggressive in disciplining their children’s bad behaviour.
“Beating is humiliating for children, and causes anger, aggression and resentment,” the podcasters say.
“Physical punishment rarely teaches the lesson you want. It can make children fearful of you, and we want our kids to behave because they respect us, not because they’re afraid.”
“Many kids misbehave to gain attention. Therefore, the most powerful tool for the effective discipline is to give them our attention, hear them out and talk to them.” This was the message of the ‘slipper’ episode, which ended with advising parents that dialogue, not yelling and beating, can help our children understand what they did wrong and how they should behave. Parents are advised to praise good actions by their children in order to reinforce desired behaviours. For example, “Wow, you did a good job putting that toy away.”
The personal impact of the episode is evident in the comments and discussions of mothers on the podcast’s Facebook page. One mother said: “We have to stop disciplining children with the weapon of every Arab woman: the slipper. Violence only creates more violence. Let’s break that cycle and actually start talking to our children. That works so much better.”
Another mother commented by sharing her own experience.
“I stopped hitting my 8-year-old son two years ago and started investing time to talk with him. It works like magic; you should try it.”