I've never mentioned it on this blog, but my husband and I are both opposed to punitive punishments. We use gentle discipline methods with our children and have never spanked either of them. Sometimes people ask us if we're sure we can raise responsible, considerate, (fill in the positive adjective here) kids without raising our hands against them. The answer is, we are positive that we can. Two short situations happened independently of each other last night that illustrates this fact.
Both kids really love Annies Homegrown Bunnies. They're little crackers or cookies and come in many flavors. We usually buy cheddar or chocolate. Last night, Ja was crying because she'd spilled her share of bunnies. Without me asking him to share, or even saying a word, Toe wordlessly gave her a bunny. After she ate that one he gave her his entire share, saying "Here you go, Ja!" as he dropped the baggie into her lap.
The second situation happened during dinner. Toe knocked over his cup and spilled his cocoa. Ja pushed away from the table, slid down from her booster seat, ran to the towel drawer and brought Toe a kitchen towel so he could clean his mess. "Heah, Toe!" she said in her little two year old voice. "Thank you, Ja!" Toe replied and wiped up his mess.
Yes, I have no doubts that we're raising fantastic kids without resorting to spankings or time-outs, or other punitive punishments.