How far can I go to discipline my child?

How can parents know when a discipline technique is just too harsh for a child? What types of punishment do you think are appropriate and what types aren't?

40  Answers

17 21

Disipline all depends on the child and the age. Any one who was abused as a child knows the difference between a beating and a spanking A little tap on the bum never hurt any child.

I always used counting before a bum tap.....age appropiate of course, younger, count to 5, older to 3. They knew what was coming and if they pushed it, they got it.

There is a big difference between a child doing wrong, who doesn't know better, and one who should know better, and does it anyway.

Kids test bounderies, test rules......as a parent it is your responsibility to enforce those rules, If it isn't done in their youth, when then? . My kids talk to me, sometimes share more detail than I want to know, ask for my advice. They know that I am there for them. In the end, isnt that what is important?

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I certainly agree with you. though my baby is very young ( 3 m.o.). But that what our mom used 2 do when we were kids. LOL, she used to frighten us by taking a rolling-pin as if she was going to beat us.. but she never did so. and the efficiency was 100%.we really avoided doing things the consequence of which was a rolling-pin in front of our eyes. So, I think, when the baby is at the age of 4-5 and < mother should really teach him/her whats right and what's wrong. And beating- is the last tool for that..

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I have raised 10 children and if nothing else have learned that each child is different and responds to discipline differently. Some are just crushed when you even frown at them, but others take that swat on the backside to get their attention. I ALWAYS took immediate action, no matter how small the offense. Even if I had to get up from a chair I had just sat down on (with a sigh of relief,) I would immediately get up to act appropriately to whatever the child was doing wrong. A three year old who wasn't picking up his blocks after being asked once was overseen by a mother standing right over him, with a frown, then a swat. I never asked more than once because I needed instant obedience for those moments that might come in traffic or other dangerous environments. "Do as I say!" was the clue that something would happen if you didn't IMMEDIATELY DO AS I SAY!
Older children had privileges revoked. Once I threatened to cut up a teenager's license, and the same teenager had the radio controls ducktaped on the family car after he caused a near accident reaching for his favorite station. I enjoyed finding ways to "fit the punishment to the crime" as they got too old for swats.
But I always remembered Dr. Dobson ( a Christian psychologist) and his rule that you never punish for childish irresponsiblity, like leaving the bike out in the rain, or tromping in mud through the house. Even not sharing is a mark of immaturity, not defiance. But Dr. Dobson said once you have defiance, you have to act immediately.
The other thing is to train children to meet your own standards, not others. I had a friend who had very sensitive ears, and spent a lot of time and effort eliminating "whining" from the tones of her 7 children. I didn't even hear whether whining was happening or not, but eye rolling and shrugging got my goat. So all eye rollers and shruggers in MY family (ie teenage girls, of which I had 7) had to repeat the motion, right to left, left to right, or shrugging up and down, several times before they could leave the room. Hysterical to watch and usually not repeated.
I also trained children to change empty toilet rolls, hang up towels, put tops on toothpaste etc by calling them all into the small bathroom and doing a perky "demonstration", ie "now, first you grab the empty toilet roll firmly in one hand, releasing the spring bar, at JUST the right moment, and the empty roll drops right in to your hand!!! BUT the job is only half done!!!! After carefully placing the empty roll into the trash, you grab the FULL toilet roll....AND now we turn to the dextrous motion necessary for capping the toothpaste.....AND to conclude, we will practice the bending=from=the-waist and SIMULTANEOUS pinching motion necessary to retrieve those pesky wet towels from the floor..." With luck, I could keep a crowd of them in there, for at least 5 minutes of valuable play time.
In the future all I need say would be a smiling "Is it time for another demonstration....?"
Mothering I found was a lot of fun, once the ground rules were established, and if questioned, reinforced. I have often wanted to write a book, as my youngest is now through with college and the title will be "DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN CHARGE". I watch these seemingly helpless mothers struggle with their misbehaving youngsters in the store...For those situations I created a "training session". Unbeknownst to the child who is acting up repeatedly I created an artificial trip, with a warning outside that as soon as there was misbehavior (I would state what that was) we would go home. And we did! Right in the middle of the store, or the line we would leave the cart and head right out!
That's another training technique for when they acted up when I was on the phone. I have a fake conversation, or one with an understanding friend and at the first sign of misbehavior, I'm off the phone and applying whatever was the designated punishment.
Rowdy kids in the car, means I pull over and take out a nice book I've happened to bring a long for the "training session" which I read, until things calm down and we are just late enough for wherever we are going...Sounds fun! when you are in charge...

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Great points Susan! I believe in spanking, as a last resort when all others fail to work but never to be done in frustration or anger. Sometimes it's tone of voice that works just perfect. Other times it'll be a little swat if they aren't listening but that is rare. As a parent you have to make sure your child knows you are in charge and not the other way around.

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My child had severe sleeping issues and screamed often as an infant, but I held her close and never let her cry it out. My daughter had behavioral issues when she turned 2, but I never hit her. Eventually we found out she has autism, a neurological disorder that explains all of her behaviors from the day she was born. I thank God every day I chose the path of love and acceptance, rather than the easy way out (hitting, leaving her to cry). With support of good behavioral therapists and developmental physician, things are getting better every day. Don't hit, it is not necessary-there are other proven methods widely published that can deal with any behavior.

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This makes me so happy to hear how you work with your child. I will reiterate just what you said: "Don't hit, it is not necessary --there are other proven methods widely published that can deal with any behavior.

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There's one easy rule of thumb. If someone bigger and more powerful than you did the same to YOU, would it change your behaviour? In the long term, the only disciplinary measures that change behaviour are the ones that continue to show respect for your child.

So imagine someone bigger than you belting the hell out of you because you broke your diet. Would it fix it? Of course not. You'd just feel angry and abused. Violence doesn't change behaviour- it only relieves our feelings if we inflict it out of frustration.

On the other hand, if someone bigger than you sat you down and said 'I understand that you're feeling bad inside and eating all the chocolate makes those feelings go away for a while. But it's not fair to eat everyone else's share and you've upset them all- look at their faces, they're sad. What are some other ways we can help you to feel better when those feelings take over? Oh, and it'd be really nice if you could say sorry and go buy some more chocolate to share... that might help those sad faces over there get happy again.'

Would that change your behaviour? It certainly wouldn't put your back up and make you more bolshie than ever. You'd probably feel that someone was trying to help you be a better person, you'd probably be more inclined to take ownership of what you'd done because someone was trying to understand WHY you did it and give you a better plan.

That's what to aim for. Loving your child means supporting them emotionally when they get it wrong, explaining the effect of their behaviour on others and guiding them to better habits, not imposing some rising scale of penalties. Punitive measures don't change behaviour (unless the person who did the wrong thing has been part of deciding what's going to happen to them if they muck up and sees the penalty as fair)- you only have to look at the rising numbers of people in jail.

Put yourself in your child's shoes. Children are people too. They're still learning what's okay and what's not, and they're dealing with feelings that are sometimes too big for them to handle. They need help, not a clip around the ear.

Here are some reference sites for you:

http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/handling-anger

http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/04/no-bad-kids-toddler-discipline-without-shame-9-guidelines/

http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/rules-2010-11.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TeacherTom+%28Teacher+Tom%29

https://www.facebook.com/notes/parenting-coach-alison-astair/teaching-your-child-good-judgment/200403096672602

And some more ideas from my own blog...

http://auntannieschildcare.blogspot.com/2011/08/no-danger-money-dealing-with-violent.html

http://auntannieschildcare.blogspot.com/2011/01/respectful-parenting-how-to-say-no.html

I hope this helps you to work out your own ways of dealing with your children when they muck up. It's not easy! Far from it! But in the long term, you want your child to feel that you're on his side. You need to still be talking to each other when she's 16... don't you?

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What will you do if by coddling the child by talking all the time, that child just laughs in your face like it's all one big joke? How is that teaching them right from wrong and how not to behave in life? Children understand perfectly well but sometimes they need that extra swat on the behind to get the point across that the way they are acting is completely wrong. All amount of talking and coddling the child is not going to teach that child to behave. It's sending the wrong message and okaying the child to be able to do what they want and they will know that they can get away with it. After all, all you're going to do is talk talk talk and the child can get back to being a brat. And rewarding a child at every little thing they do right is spoiling the child. Not a good way to teach a kid responsibility or how to behave in the real world. Spare the rod, spoil the child.

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I am a Mother, Grandmama and a Great Grandma.. We raised 5 Children which are now very successful and lovable Adults. I let them know while growing up who was in charge... I told them that's why God made me first so I can teach them what to do. I would always discipline them right away when they misbehave.Sometimes it meant a spanking and sometimes it was a firm talking too .Children have to be taught right from wrong at an early age because their Parents may not be around them all the time. They can not have their way all the time nor can Adults. Misbehaving is misbehaving and there are consequences. I do think different behaviors ( good and bad) requires different disciplinary actions. Some things that my children did was just being a child and I was blessed to be able to recognize the difference. Cuddling and hugging at the right time teaches the chidren to be lovable childen and letting them know that they are loved which is very important while growing up, also. They must understand what is dangerous , healthy, and what is not tolerated, as well as respectful for other people. As a Mother I always wanted my children to show respect to others and to be respected in any situation. Parents have to figure out what works for them, whether it calls for one learned thing or a combination of learned things combined together. I am a firm believer that we can learn from others .. Just remember every individual is different so what worked for one person may not work for others. And when there is more than one child in the family, Parents have to sometimes use different ways of discipling. Some children can learn just from watching and listening and from their own mistakes. Others may need more help from their Parents. We must remember that Children are not minature adults, they are CHILDREN.

Carolyn J. Phillips.

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Spanking is a necessity as a last resort. Children should never be coddled and allowed to get away with bad behaviour. The more you let a child do this, the more that child learns to walk all over you and eventually you will have to deal with way more than the average rebellious teen. Time outs are not 100% effective and neither is just telling that child "no" all the time. A little swat on the bottom with a little paddle is perfectly fine to make your point, but you must also explain why they are being punished. Spanking should never begin when the child is an infant. I would say 3 years and up, maybe just a little earlier depending on the child.

I also believe that other people need to mind their own business when it comes to a parent disciplining their child. There are way too many nosey people that assume a little swat on the behind is child abuse. It's the opposite. It's more abusive to let your child run rampant to do whatever they want without being taught right from wrong.

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Jennifer, Thank you! you are so right! I'm not against other forms of disapline if they work for that child, but a spanking done propperly will not cause emotional harm to a child. Coddling and not teaching a child right from wrong very well may cause them a life time of disapointments if not worse. I don't want anyone to think that I'm for abusing a child their is a HUGE difference! If anyone thinks they are over doing it they should go on youtube and look up child abuse I promise that will make you want to hold your baby more and listen a little closer to their needs, but disapline is also a need.

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Children NEED to be disciplined. Discipline is different at each age though. And all children react differently to each sort of discipline. I spank my children when necessary. They are well-behaved, happy children and do not suffer from any disorders. I never spank when I am angry at them. The see a controlled and calm reaction from me when I spank them. I do not hit them with belts, sandals etc . I have a small wooden spoon that I use and i take them somewhere private. Before I spank them I tell them why they are being spanked and afterwards they explain to me why they were spanked to make sure they understand why I spanked them. I use a spoon because I do not want my children to fear my hand or flinch if i move myhand to caress or hug them. And I do not spank them for everything as there are times other forms of discipline work better. Time-outs, removing them from a fun environment if they are misbehaving, taking away their toys, etc. I firmly am NOT a believer in counting. A child needs to learn IMMEDIATE response to a parent. When you count you are teaching your child delayed obedience. They learn that they do not need to obey or modify their behavior until mom reaches whatever number she is supposed to reach. If a car is coming and about to hit your child...or a rabid dog..do you want immediate obedience or delayed obedience?

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Jessica, I love your answer! I really learned some pointers from your response. Well said!.

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This question in and of it's self disturbs me. I mean come on......If you really are questioning whether or not you are disciplining your child too harshly then seek help, go to the nearest hospital, church, police station and tell them you are unsure if you are disciplining your child too harshly. I am sure any of those places would be more than happy to help you. They can set you up in a parenting class to help you understand how to take care of a child. Please I beg of you, talk to someone other than the mothers here on line. Good luck and God bless you and your child.

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Since I work for a an agency, where parents may ask for help for their child and have been asked many times if they have not heard of blistering their child's butt good and hard. Watch for those answers and look elsewhere-- Looking for help in the wrong place is not a good idea. Look on-line. Do what we did, we took our grandchild to his own doctor for referral. It worked and was a blessing. He is a happy, well adjusted 7 year old now.

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Discipline is an essential component of raising children...and each child must be studied and dealt with in accordance to what works for that child. This is definitely a trial and error process. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD CHILDREN BE ABUSED!!! What works for one child doesn't always work for another. I have four grandchildren and I'm an "old-school" grandmother, like my grandmother and the elders, whose care I was under, when I was a child. I can remember several whippings I got that definitely got the point across. Of course, at the time, I thought those who were my disciplinarians were the meanest people on the planet. But as an adult I am glad that they were stern and staid in their approach to dealing with me. Being clear about what is acceptable and what is not is an important lesson that children MUST understand, accept and adhere to. The world is a much harsher disciplinarian for children who grow up with a sense of "entitlement" and there is rarely any love attached to the treatment they will receive from people who couldn't care less about them. Parenting is tough, but life for our children is even tougher for children who we allow to do whatever they want to do. If they don't get it now...they will get it later and they definitely won't like it and neither will we!

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Yes but people need to learn the difference between spanking and abuse. They are not the same and too many good parents have had other people calling CPS on them for no reason and their children are taken away. No child deserves to be taken away from their parent for no reason and that will damage the child into not being able to trust any type of authority figure. Bad enough we have real nasty cops that abuse their power but to have them all lumped in as bad is just wrong and that's what the child will do in those situations. A good parent knows the difference between a little spank and what real abuse is. Those are the parents that are being chastised and hurt more often than the real culprits. So unless you know for a fact that a child is being abused by their parent, stay out of it. No child was ever hurt by a little spanking.

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I have a teenager growing up in this "entitlement generation". I did not spank or yell much when she was younger. I tried to talk things out with her - BIG mistake. Now everything -she thinks- should be a negotiation with her. I have grounded her, taken away things, spanked, and talked to her numerous times about her attitude through the years. There is not a set-in-stone book on parenting and each child reacts/acts different. It is up to the parent to make the choice of how to punish- not DFS, DCS, the police, etc. (the parent). When I was growing up- everyone got spankings - we are just fine and have more respect then kids these days will ever have. Granted, my child says please, your welcome, excuse me, thank you, bless you, etc., but her geniune respect- not so much. I don't feel I have failed - I continue to correct and support/love her but what a battle we have with child and behavior these days. You should not leave bruises or marks, however, punish your child with what works for you/them- because that is why we have such terrible, disrespectful little ones these days... the fear of discipline!!! If this seems to harsh for some of you, bet your children are not teenagers yet :)

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I agree totally. I have 3 wonderful well adjusted adult children who got through their teenage years relatively easily. I have great open honest relationships with all three of them. I spanked them all, with a wooden spoon, but never had to spank them after about the age of 5. They had learnt by then that I meant what I said. I also have a 9 year old. Because society has changed I don't feel I am allowed to spank her so have been using all the other forms of discipline available - talking, time out, removal of priveliges etc. Although she can be a lovely happy little girl this isn't always the case by any means. She is a much unhappier child than the others were. She is constantly pushing boundaries and having tantrums. We have such battles too. This inhibits the growth of relationship between us. I'd go back and start like I did with the others if I had the chance.

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I do not believe that spanking is required for discipline. Positive discipline works wonders for all ages of children. Yes I was spanked as a child, as were my children; however with my grandchildren, I discovered that spanking is not needed in raising children. It really does work and in a word it is "I love you but no." It requires immediate action for unacceptable behaviors and firmness with kind words. I have enjoyed using this technique with my grandchildren and for the older ones it now works to tell them to talk about their issue and to try to work it out without parental intervention. Most of the time it works without separating the children or timeouts to their own rooms. --I think in many cases a timeout is not even required but is acceptable. I found that going to the child and showing them what you want from them gets much more desirable results. Training and teaching takes much more time but well worth the efforts. I do understand that when a child is in the mist of a meltdown or temper tantrum a timeout is required for both the parent and the child.

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lol. It is *always* when a person is a grandparent that they "discover" this! Even Murray Straus (the leader of the "no spank" revolution with plenty of junk science to back it) DID spank his own children! Then "discovered" it wasn't necessary with the grand kids he would spoil and then hand back over to his own, very mature, very responsible *grown* children (who had been spanked!) Unless you have ever been asked, or volunteered, to RAISE these grandchildren completely to adulthood, I don't think your "discovery" is really relevant. I would tend to believe those who are with those kids every minute of raising them.

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I have 4 kids. They are 17, 15, 12 and 6 years old. With the first 2, I was a spanker and an enforcer of immediate obedience. With the second 2 I have mellowed and realized that sometimes a spanking is necessary but you can usually avoid it. I think that different types of discipline work according to each child's personality also. All 4 of my children are sweet, loving kids who adore each other and have a good relationship between themselves and me and their father. I have faith that they will become loving, compassionate adults.

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You need to find out what works best for your child. It all depends on age. Find something he / she likes & take that away for short periods, I was spanked as child. I used it on both of my kids too. They both have been raised in a very loving home. We are very affectionate. My children are 15 & 12. They are going to be great adults/ parents one day. I have FAITH!

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One guiding principle I have always used is how would I react if someone else did the same thing to my child, or what might the consequences be if I did that to another person's child? For example, would you tolerate another person slapping your child or spanking their bottom? Is this something you would do to another person's child? Also, would you do the same thing to another adult that you do to your child? If they/you did, what would be the consequences? Children either learn to respond or react to stressors in their environment based on what their parent's modeled, e.g. responding/loving guidance or reacting/hitting, slapping, etc. I always try to think in terms of the short- and long-term lesson I want to teach my child. Do I want them to do the right thing because they are fearful of being punished or do I want them to do the right thing because it's the right thing to do? What happens when the 'fear inducer' is removed? Isn't it better, as Candy implied, to help them learn self-control (when they are developmentally able to do this) and empathy? As caregivers we have to take responsibility for what WE do that puts our children into situations that might be dangerous, e.g. pouring caustic soda in the presence of a child. We also need to be mindful of the words/terms we use. For example, don't forget that the term "rule of thumb" originated in violence, e.g. a man was allowed to beat his wife so long as the instrument he used was no bigger around than his thumb.

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Yes, there's a certain irony to that. :)

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I'm 22 years old and my parents would spank me when I would misbehave & I thank them for that, my 15 year old sister doesn't get spanked and she's doing drugs and comes home the the next day and ditches school. My parents don't spank her because the social workers say they should talk because spanking won't help my sister takes advantage of that and does what ever she wants. My other two sibling were also spanked and the are not addicts or ditch school or come home till the next day.

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I am learning discipline starts with setting clear guideline for the child PRIOR to the bad behavior occurring. This avoids impulsive, anger based punishments being given that can cross lines, cause fear or resentment in the child and guilt by the parent. Obviously physical harm to a child teaches no "life lesson" and that's what I keep in mind when disciplining. What can they learn from this mistake and how can they change it in the future? Because as a child, repetition and follow through, along with consistency is key to learning. as an adult, it can be to late. I use the "three strikes your out" as a discipline strategy, similar to a court of law. I remind them to learn now because later there are no excuses. In the real world, you'd be fired, or arrested, or fined a lot of money for behaving in appropriately.

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Spanking a child with an object and leaving marks definitely goes too far.

Other than that you run into some pretty gray areas. When my three kids were growing up, I primarily took away privileges to discipline. The younger kids got time out or sometimes had to copy things in writing.

While I never used an object, there were times I spanked. I saved it for behavior that was dangerous or life threatening or sometimes behavior that showed great disrespect to an adult. Bullying was something I would not tolerate. My youngest son and another boy picked on a girl in school one day. He can remember the spanking he got for doing it with his pants pulled down to this day.

Parents need to remember to think clearly before they discipline. Don't do it when you are angry. Take a whole evening to calm down if you have too. Consult your spouse or even your parents if they are available.

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My just turned three year old granddaughter for whom I am raising has started a new behavior. She will not do anything she is asked to do. Her response is " I'm not gonna......" and if made to do it will kick and scream at the top of her lungs in what appears to be anger. She is disruptive in daycare and have to sometimes be removed from the room. She was doing really well with potty-training but now she even refuse to do that and will wet herself. I'm thinking it is just a battle of the wills (she is very strong willed) And maybe she is having her terrible two's at three. Whatever it may be, I need some advise. How can I relay to her in a manner that is healthy for both of us (because I find that I get anger just dealing with it) that this behavior is unacceptable,

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If no amount of time outs or taking away her favorite things helps your granddaughter get the hint, you can spank her as a last resort. Just a small whack on the bottom without leaving a mark. Enough for her to open her eyes. Then you explain to her why she is being punished and it will happen again if she continues with this behaviour. My sister in law's oldest turned three this year and she has had to resort to this because he is a little out of control. Hopefully you won't have to do it often. Just keep your disciplinary actions on your granddaughter out of the public eye because the last thing you need is some CPS whacko taking her away from you and putting her the foster system, which is a ton worse for her development than the loving discipline you can give to her.

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BEATING A CHILD ISINAPPROPRIATE

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DEFINITELY!

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If the discipline causes pain, humiliation or disrespect for your child, it is not worth it ever. Always show respect for the child's feelings and never embarrass then in front of anyone.

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It's a two way street. You must teach your child how to earn respect and how to give it. SO guess what you do when that child needs a little spanking? Take them out of the public eye and do what you need to do. Spanking is an effective tool when no other options have worked and it is NOT abuse. Unless you see some adult really injuring a child, leaving bruises, welts or making them bleed, it is not the same and to equate the two is just plain wrong. Learn the difference first and foremost. And remember, stay out of other parents business when they are disciplining their child. If that child is receiving a small spanking they are not being abused. Just stay out of it period.

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Every person/preofessional you come into contact with tells you "every child is different".
This to is true when it comes to discipline. What works for one might not work for another.
I was told by my maternal nurse that a certain age was a good age to smack to show course and effect. I did do thisyet not in anger or frustration and you know what it was too early and smacking was not affective cos by the third smack she laughed and wanted more lol - I think it was about age 1yr or bit younger. There is no point keep trying something that doesn't work, you are best to keep looking for the right one and that one will or can change! As children's development progresses so should your technique, as their vocabulary increases you can use more verbal conversation and explainations to the child.
Rule of thumb if you are going to discipline follow thru. From the moment my child was born - even thou she could not understand me I would explain everything to her, if she pulled my hair why that was wrong - no point yelling at a baby!! Use appropiate language (including body) to the child's development. Children hate being away from mum's so send them to their room/couch/or the floor infront of you and don't speak. My 2 1/2yr old understands completely when we do that and only for a minute (we don't time) we follow what her reaction is - you don't want them to be stressed and end up clingy and then you have another problem.
Your job is not to control yet nuture them in life, allow them to experience failure, boundries that ain't in your boundries yet controlled, sadness, all the stuff we as parents don't want our children to go thru yet life is the best teacher and the more experiences you give them from the word go the more they will (hopefully) understand life and be a better person.
My child shows empathy towards others, can sit thru a church service for hours, sit at a restuarant nicely, sit in emergency for 8hrs for someone to be seen, be quiet while in hospital with croup, respect other's properties and know when strangers are being naughty. And of course she can be a little devil because that is what kids do - push boundries again and again and again you just need to change as they change.
Not sure if that answered the question lol yet thanks!!

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It is true and you need to learn how your child is, not let someone tell you what they think. Or what's right and wrong. You are the parent and it's up to you. I agree that spanking any child under the age of 2-2.5 is too much. They're still learning just like you are, but that age and above is okay to spank as a last resort when nothing else is working. But you have to do so calmly and then explain to your kid why they are being punished and what your expectations are in regards to that behaviour. The control you speak of is not for you to control them necessarily. It should be taught to the child so that they learn to control their own behaviour in public. If you let a child act like a fool in public, that's a problem. It's okay to let kids act like kids but when it gets out of hand you need to reign them in a bit. Teach them the difference. Heck, point out rowdy teenagers as an example because that's what they'll turn into if you don't nip it in the bud early. Explain to them that acting like a savage little animal gets you nowhere in life and will likely land you in jail if it gets worse. I agree with following through in discipline. Too many parents don't and the child learns nothing but the fact that they can get away with bad behaviour. Coddling the child is ineffective. Children will grow up with a sense of entitlement and that is what you don't want.

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Most of us who are age 40 and older grew up in homes where spanking was a normal consequence for a child’s poorly chosen behavior. Then, popular opinion shifted, and spanking became viewed as a form of child abuse. Now, there’s a new spanking study out that shows that children who get spanked
grow up happier and more successful than those who aren’t, and (according to this study) the spanked children are even more likely to want to go to college. Obviously, this recent research differs from findings over the past decade, which have been strongly against spanking. What’s a parent to do? Let’s take a time-out to assess the facts of the situation.

This recent, controversial study was headed by Marjorie Gunnoe, a psychology professor at Calvin College, a Christian-based college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Research for the study involved interviewing 2,600 people about spanking. The study concluded that spanking a child up to age six can generate the positive outcomes referenced above, whereas spanking a child after age six was linked with behavioral difficulties such as playground fighting. Why would age make a difference? Could it be the sense of personal dignity that may or may not be affronted when spanking a child? Could it be the degree of force used when spanking an older child as compared to a younger child? Could it be the reason for the spanking: a need to keep the child safe (as in I-told-you-NOT-to-play-in-the-street) or a need to redirect safety-irrelevant misbehaviors (as in I-told-you-not-to-talk-back-to-your-mother).

Perhaps just as important as these questions is the behavior of the parent that is concurrent with the spanking or time-out. Is the parent spanking...
http://tinyurl.com/42t5555

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(interesting study) The findings also found that if discipline is consistent, it's the pivotal key to success, not whether or not the child was spanked. Lack of parenting is found to be the problem, homes with no discipline. It also linked violent behavior in adolescence to children that were still being spanked at a later age. It is an interesting study, it does locate when to absolutely stop the practice of spanking, if one does, in order to avoid negative outcomes in later life..

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I agree with the parents who say that hitting is not required. The word discipline comes from the root word "disciple" Children learn by following your lead. If you hit, they will hit. I have raised 5 and I cannot say that I never gave that little swat to get their attention or sometimes out of frustration. My children have all grown into responsible adults and good citizens. We are close and speak often. They know I am here for them and I love it. I now also take care of 2 of my 3 grandchildren and am so hapy to be in their lives. Kids are people, just smaller. We only earn their respect by respecting them. I am blessed because of them. Grandma Mary

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I was disciplined as a child and received spankings. I'm proud that my parents loved me enough to show me what was and was not acceptable. Many are against spanking, but in my home, we spank our children. I believe that today's society has went to far with the abuse issue. I love my children and they love us. We have our family time and enjoy spending quality time together. If they cross the line, they do know what to expect. My 4 children are grown now, our babies are 16, but we chose to spank them and talked to them about why they received the spanking. Our children are well-behaved and well-mannered young adults. I choose to be in control of my children, not my children in control of me or the situation. I believe that is the reason you hear so much violence and killing now is because of society and letting our kids do as they wish. The Bible says "Spare the rod, Spoil the child". I don't think that actually means "beating" them with a rod. but I think it does mean you as a parent are to be just that, a parent.. Some children don't respond to spankings, others don't respond to grounding, and others don't respond to time out. You as a parent must find out what you child does respond to, but I don't think it's anyone's place to determine what my child should respond to. I am a nurse and have seen many things, I've seen "monster children" that are yelled at constantly and they do not respond at all, I've seen abused children ,and a spanking is not it. I've seen parents that base their plans by what their 2 year old says (Example: Mom would like to go out and eat with a friend, is that ok?) What?? We all want respect, but you won't get it if you appear weaker than the child. The child is just that, a child. How do you know right from wrong? Someone loved you enough that they taught you. How do you know acceptable from unacceptable? Someone loved you enough that they taught you. You have to let your child know that you are the parent and adult, It's not abuse, it's called respect.
As I said earlier, I was disciplined (spanked) and so were my two sisters. We are grown adults and all have well-behaved children because of the teachings of our parents. Neither I, nor my sisters have behavior issues or do any of our children. We have all grown into successful adults, that accept responsibility for our own actions.

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I am saddened by many of the remarks, having studied child development (I have a masters in Education). I strongly believe it is never alright to hit a child, it encourages a person to handle situations out of fear rather than for intrinsic reasons, it also communicates it is 'okay' to hit another. I have three children the oldest is 15 he is male and has never been hit and is an extremely well behaved teenager, who has never 'acted out' as implied will be the result of not hitting (also his GPA is a 4.0). As a parent I DO have control over discipline and choose to take away privileges which are strongly felt by the child. I also have a thinking spot and encourage all problems to be thought of carefully as to what happened/the problem and what they did and how they could make a better choice the next time. My teenager comes to me to discuss his problems under the same framework. It has encouraged us to have a good rapport. I also analyze the situation in which a problem occurred to better understand the circumstance(s). Learning to deal with ones feelings and others is our jobs as parents and the more loving we do this it encourages them to choose a similar path. Hitting is irrelevant to good parenting all research on child development corresponds to this finding.. It does not lead to a better outcome.

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Site the positive and build a child up and you will be bring out the best in your little human.

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This subject is hard for me. I personally feel that children should be disciplined, but I was abused so I have a hard time with the spanking thing. I have a 2 year old son and he knows what is right and what is wrong. He will turn around and make sure I'm watching before he does something. I've tried taking toys away, time outs, distracting, and etc... When I put him in time out He will dangle his feet from the chair and say "mama" or "da" and inch it closer and closer to the floor. As soon as we walk towards him he jumps back in the chair and laughs. He's also gotten very bad about throwing stuff at me and hitting me. Everythings turned into a huge game. I love my son dearly and I know its normal behavior for a 2 year old. But obviously we need to try something new because nothing we are doing is working. So if anyone has any advice... please feel free to share. :)

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Lauren, I too came from an abusive home and was very afraid to spank a child. I didn't spank my daughter for the first time until she was 7 years old because she wouldn't listen to me and talking did me no good. The thing to remember when spank is to never do it angry, upset or in excess. What helps me think about it being excessive is the number and how it was done to me. To spank a child 3 times on the butt is usually enough to get the right message through to a child. Anything more than that and your message is lost in the punishment. I think just because we were abused does not mean that we will abuse our children. Good luck with your son.

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Legally spanking is defined as swatting your child with an open hand one time. Anything more and/or with anything besides a hand is considered illegal and child abuse. SO people posting wonderful advice on here need to also be aware that is some states it can be considered abuse.

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In some states the people that make the laws need to make sure that the child is REALLY being abused. Why do all you NON Disapline people on here think there are so many young people in the prison systems now days? Why do you think there are so many rude young adults? Do you think maybe those people weren't disaplined as children. You MUST train your child just like you train your puppies or you get rude ill mannered children just like you get dogs that run the other way when you call them. I don' tlike comparing children with dogs, but it's true. You must train them when they are young or they do as they please when they are older.

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Spare the rod, spoil the child. I am in no way for abusing anyone especially a child or animal. However, yes I agree that a small spanking on the bum has it's time and place. I think our society has lost it's ability to parent and feel obligated to treat their children like a friend. If we continue to give our children everything..cell phones, make up, nail polish, ice cream, candy every day, game boys computers. shoes that cost more than my gas for the month...etc etc. than what in the world do they have to look forward to as adults? Also they learn that they can do whatever they want and someone might just say..don't so that. Schools can barley keep classrooms under control as a parent has no care in the world when their child looks at porn on thier cell phone. The school takes it away, and low and behold..the parents are threating to sue the school. Parenting is the word here. The disrespect that children have for adults is absent. I do not go out to eat to listen to your child scream because they don't want eat what they ordered ..they want another soda and ice cream! Giving into a temper tantrum teaches the child thats all they have to do to get what they want. As far as what if someone bigger than me was mad..than maybe I would shut my pie hole and apoligize. Lastly I have never had my co-worker throw their chair at me after eating my entire birthday cake and then saying so what! Then steal my make up , my jewlery, lie to me and I do not have to be responsible for another adult or pay their bills.

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I agree with you about parents trying to be 'friends' with their child. That is totally misguided. Children don't even WANT their parents to be their friend. They look to parents for boundaries, not mateship. But I don't agree with 'spare the rod, spoil the child' at all. What spoils children is a lack of clarity and consistency in boundaries, coupled with a lack of feeling that their parents love and respect them for who they are. Hitting a child might stop them doing that bad thing while you're looking, but it doesn't address why they did it and it doesn't create trust- and to find out why they did it, and to discuss it in a way that means that they don't do that bad thing whether you're looking or not, you need to have a trusting relationship.

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Candy makes some good points. I do think that spanking a child for wrong doing is a good thing, depending on the wrong doing that the child has done. I have spanked my kids in the past and will do the same with my son however I never spank a child when I am upset or angry. If your upset/angry then take 10 or 15 minutes to yourself to calm down then go and talk to the child. Tell him/her what they did is wrong and what/why they are being punished. If you do decide to spank a child then I would suggest no more than 3 smacks to the butt. Anything more than that and your not really getting the message you want to convey across. A lot of times only one spanking can get the message across to a child for a lifetime. I have a 15 year old daughter and in those 15 years I only spanked my daughter once, the rest of the time I could just sit her down and calmly talk to her about what she did wrong and why it was wrong.

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Yes, if you're going to spank, the kid often doesn't see it coming if you spank him when you're mad. You may also spank him harder and more times than is needed. You being upset shouldn't cause them anxiety because they associate being spanked (unexpectedly) with you being mad. You want them to connect the spanking with their choice.

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I feel Candy offered some great advice. I'd add, there are situations in which immediate safety is the issue and you need to get their attention. In those situations sometimes the punishment or action seems quite harsh but you can have a discussion when there is a more calm moment. You may jerk your child by the arm to prevent them from pushing another child down a set of stairs, but once the threat of injury has been removed you could explain the danger to them.

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Absolutely hear where you're coming from, Audra. I had a friend who smacked her stepson's hand hard enough to make him cry. Why? He'd just tried to stick his hand into a stream of caustic soda after she told him to stay away while she cleared a drain, and she smacked it out of the way so he didn't get burned. Sometimes you just have to act, but afterwards it's important to explain what happened there.

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Here is my question…I know how I feel about the incident but I'd like another opinion…My niece harshly slapped her three yr. old on the mouth several times, in public after he told a stranger next to them waiting in line that she was ugly and he didn't like her or her shirt. He just turned three two months ago. They also just made a huge move away from family to another state while living with relatives they just met. I felt this was just too struck. I told her she should have just explained (right then and there) how not to talk mean to others. Afterall, he is just three.

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all i can say is don't slap or punch/kick them. Lightly tap your child(ren) on the wrist or leg or warn them you'll hit them (even if you don't) thats the best way to do it. Make sure you only use hitting as a last resort though.

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when we look at spankins what comes to mind do we want to spank or not spank

http:// parent magazine once siad its ok to spank a ok to use a spanking can't say if it works or not in most cases

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my kids are really bad my daughters both made a thirty five on their test what should i do?

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I tried to spank my kid and he lashed out at me and broke my wrist.
None of that is an exageration sometimes spanking just doesn't work.

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If he bites you when you put him in time out, then just give up on that too.

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There are not limits on how far you may go. Results are the only measurement!

When you child start to obey you and follow your instructions then you are right on the spot. No need to go further and no point in doing anything if you stop short of the point when obedience is acquired.

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I have 4 kids from age 20 to 9. I used a little spanking when they were little but it wasn't effective. My youngest was extremely strong willed, arguing dozens of times each day from age 2 until age 5. Sometimes we held him until he calmed down. When he was little we held his hands to stop him. We held him accountable and didn't give in, even though it was very difficult at times. He is now a sweet 9 year old. He still is strong willed once in a while but has developed respect for us and knows that he will lose privileges if he disobeys. Dr. Dobson is right. Know the difference between childish irresponsibility and defiance.

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Gee. How far are you trying to go? I'm not sure I understand this question, because if you are a parent or a caregiver, etc., then you should already know the answer. Meaning, you shouldn't have to ask. No offense and no disrepect meant. :)

A child is never to young to be disciplined. The earlier the better. Meaning, when your 7 or 8 month old child is sitting in his/her highchair and throws his/her food on the floor.....it's NOT FUNNY. If you laugh......you only ENCOURAGE your child.....allowing your child to think it's ok to do it again. It's not. Break the habit....with VERBAL DISCIPLINE. Never too young to start.

Say, "NO, not for......" Give food back. If your child does it again, take food away from him/her. End of story. As your child gets older, discipline would depend on the misdeed.

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I myself was diciplined to the point of abuse. My father used the belt on me to the point where I would be covered with bruises all over my butt and legs. At the time i hated it, but now looking back, I had been very naughty and deserved it, not to that extent but still a hard spaniking would have worked.
To this day I thank my father for being so strict with me, It taught me Many things i needed to learn in life. But again I do think sometimes he went overboard, but sometimes i pushed him to do that.
Being stubborn I always tried not to show Dad how much he hurt me and restrained myself fom crying out or showing any pain until he left. This usually angered him more and he would hit me harder trying to get a reaction out of me. I Still love him and have all the respect in the world for him as a father, my step mother on the otherhand never disciplined me and i have no respect for her. And probably never will.

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I would definitely check with your DCF department to find out. Some states say you can still spank a child as long as you do not leave marks and its only one tap. Some say you can not do it at all. Also, washing mouth out with soap or others things I would not do. I however, choose to put my child or myself in timeouts. I also take special toys away and give him a reward for behaving. He gets a sticker/pop-sickle stick every time I see him doing something that is good. The stickers and pop-sickle sticks can get taken away also for doing things he knows he shouldn't. And if he doesn't know what it is he does wrong I write it down and have him look at it and tell me things he could do differently. Then we hang the paper on the fridge at his eye level.

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My child has a choice of consequence at the age of 2 . He understands when I tell him pls don't do something , he can chance doing it , then I say do it again and you can have a smack. He tells me no thanks mum. Included in that is why he can't do that and plays this out with his toys later. You can't always use dangerous chemicals or a hot water tap away from a childs sight if sole parenting etc. I have named the cold tap his and the hot tap mummies and he knows why. He gets to experience a little hot in a controlled safe way with me. All children need to understand via experience and consequence in the safety of their responsible loving parents. My child tells me now cuppa tea is hot and to be careful . They learn quick so show them and nip the nonsense in the butt literally but not abusively.

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