Push Ups for Punishment

Erica - posted on 12/21/2011 ( 45 moms have responded )

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What do you think about Push ups for young children (30 or more push ups) and laying on a coffee table horizontal with your childs legs hanging off the edge or leaning against a wall spreading your legs and holding arms up for a punishment for as long as 20+minutes?

I would not inflict pain on a child what so ever, and am disgusted when I hear parents are doing this. What do you think? I was asking this question bc my neighbour does this and my children playw/ them and tell me its painful

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Jamie - posted on 07/27/2012

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My husband did these things as a punishment. He did a lot more. Reverse squats and so on. He is special forces. He continually states this type of punishment as a kid was the best thing his parents could ever do to him. My husband continously states that the problem with children is that parents try to baby their children. The amount of physical fitness a child should endure should be based on age shape and other factors. There is no set amount for every child. The number and type should be based on an individual basis. A little PT will not hurt anyone. The age of computers has made this country lazy and ignorant. Kids do not want to work anymore I am glad my son is one of the few children raised in this generation that will push himself to out work his peers

Minnie - posted on 12/21/2011

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My mother used to send my brother for a run around the property when he was being difficult. But it was never used as punishment- she used it to help him learn ways to control his body and cope with big feelings. "You're feeling very angry right now, go for a run so you can focus and calm down."



Exercise for punishment? What a way to make kids hate staying fit. We can't compare what works with ADULTS who willingly join the military with children. Military discipline should have no place in raising a child to learn self-confidence, responsibility and empathy.

Penny - posted on 12/21/2011

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It really depends what the "bad behaviour" is. If my daughter is in a bad mood and acting out I give her a bucket of water and a scrubbing brush and send her out to clean the verandah. It isn't punishment it is just giving her something to do that distracts her from her bad mood. Sometimes jumping jacks do the same thing. Neither she nor I consider it punishment so it is fine. Maybe when she is older she will resent being told to clean the verandah in which case I will have to adapt and find something else.

Celestina - posted on 12/29/2011

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I think everyone is over thinking the idea. Number one doing push ups is not physically hurting a child. Unless your kids are overweight. In which case I would not suggest doing them. As far as illogical discipline goes, how is taking your kids ipod going to teach them consquences? They did or said something you did not like so you removed something they like. Does this mean they are going to hate using their ipod? Or will they stop watching tv because you used it as a discipline measure? I don't think so My kid loves to exercise and I've done the push thing since he was 8. I found it was the best way to get through to him after watching him in ATA karate. They do the same thing when the kids wont stand still or are disrepectful to the teacher or other kids.

Anyway, I feel a lot of adults on this board are projecting. Just because you may hate push ups or it causes you pain. Does not mean your son or daughter will feel the same way.

Just my two cents

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Heather - posted on 08/16/2012

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We do it. NEVER that many push ups cause my guy is 4 but spanking him has no affect. push ups or wall sits.

Sherri - posted on 12/29/2011

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@Erica my kids at 3yrs old in karate were expected to do 25 push ups, 25 sit ups and could not quit till they did. If they were the last ones the class would stand up and circle them until they had done it. Once they reached 5 or 6 they were expected to do 50 push ups and 50 sit ups. 3 days a week.

Also I will say the home in which my best friend just fostered her children from made all the kids run 4 miles every morning before school. No matter what the age, no there were no babies but there were children as young as 5 yrs old in the home.

Minnie - posted on 12/29/2011

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I had SUCH a horrible view of physical fitness as a teenager. I'm not a fast runner, despite training every day. In highschool, our PE teacher forced everyone who ran over an 8 minute mile to continue to run every class while those under an 8 minute mile were allowed to sit and watch us.

That sort of humiliation just enforced my hatred of physical education. I'm 28 now and the fittest I've ever been, because I've taken it upon myself to do so- but I'm still not confident in using my body for a sports activity in front of a group of people because of the way punishment was used in our PE classes.

This sort of thing WILL cause children to connect punishment with exercise.

Jodi - posted on 12/28/2011

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You know what? Doing them in martial arts or as part of a sports program or team training is one thing. Using them as general punishment is another. Push ups as punishment is not going to solve the obesity problem, and not using them as punishment is not what is causing kids to be obese. So what that has to do with anything, I have no idea. If anything, forcing kids to do them as punishment puts such exercise in a NEGATIVE light in the child's mind, and is more likely to create a situation where the child will try to avoid the punishment (i.e. avoid doing exercise). Pavlov people.

Hollie - posted on 12/28/2011

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Heidi I dont think that Erica H. Said anything offensive how was it disrespectful of stating an opinion about this topic?
If you gave your opinion I think you need respect others as well. She , like others expressed their opinion. Thats all there is to it. : )

Erica - posted on 12/28/2011

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Yes Lisa but children as young as 5yrs of age are doing this, I know adults that can't even do 20!

I think 30 push ups seems a bit excessive to me, even DCS doesnt want this type of punishment administered among children

Lisa - posted on 12/28/2011

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Too many kids are out of shape or overweight. Pushups shouldn't hurt. We did them in PE when I was a kid. My kid does them (& much more) in karate, but they don't allow it in PE anymore because of the increase of childhood obesity. That's just sad.

Sherri - posted on 12/28/2011

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They do a lot of this in martial arts. My kids started karate at 3 and had to do push ups, sit ups, squats, and run a mile. So really if it is okay because it is considered a sport for kids, I really don't see it any worse to use it as discipline and find it to be okay.

Lisa - posted on 12/28/2011

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My 12 year old would much rather do pushup than hear one of his dad's lectures. Jus' sayin'...

Tina - posted on 12/28/2011

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Each has their own preferred version of punishiment/discipline. There needs to be an understanding as to the kind of discipline given. A few light swats to the bottom with the understanding that the child needs to confess and ask for forgiveness after learing why it was wrong to do what ever action it was to be age and subject appropriate for the situation at hand. A little child needs to understand in their language why it was wrong to 'steal', or tell a lie, or go wandering, for the dangers that imposes on their lives and affects on others. Reading Scripture and prayer with the child also is useful here as it helps them to understand that there is a need for honesty, Truth, and obedience. But even adults act wrongly at times, and how do they pay for their wrong actions ? So there is a balance here that is needed. My son, when he got frustrated did a lot of push ups outside while waiting for something that was taking him a long time to get. He imposed his own anger in a harmless way that affected nobody but himself. But to do this on the table, is not something I have heard of . A floor, or a bed, ? or a mat would seem more reasonable a location for such action. But again the child's age is a factor as well as the kind of wrong that was done. The Word of God makes clear the preferred kind of discipline, but people today take that too far, and make it abusive, that's not neccesary just what is best as long as it's not too much for the problem at hand.

Hollie - posted on 12/27/2011

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No, it is not appropriate. It would be interesting to see what their relationship is with their father when they are adults, and what kind of parents they will be

Erica - posted on 12/27/2011

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I agree with most others on this, children need to be raised in a home, not boot camp. I'm all for strong parenting, and consistant and strict (when necessary) discipline, but I believe discipline needs to be used as a tool to teach children right from wrong, not fear to just control them.
I also have to wonder, what's going to happen when these children get out in the big bad world on their own? It's unlikely they'll be prepared to take 'safe' risks, make good choices, and be responsible for themselves and their decisions. As soon as they're out of their parent's immediate control they're up for a fall, in my opinion

»Heidi« - posted on 12/27/2011

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MidWest... It is obvious that you don't know much about military lifestyles and households. There are many rules that wives must follow, along with the children. Each household (on and off base) go through routine inspections. If something doesn't meet the standards, there is a short amount of time for it to be complete the RIGHT way (aka the MILITARY way). If not, the enlisted person suffers the consequence for it. This is not a choice, it is a life style.
If a parent chooses to use some Corrective Training as another mom called it, it is that parent's right, especially if they are affiliated with the military or were in the past.
You have a different opinion, which, you are entitled to. However, to tell others that it is wrong and try to persuade others who do not think the same way you do is simply peer pressure...
Your feelings and thoughts are your own. Respect others thoughts and feelings as well.

"Child Discipline is the process of teaching children to behave appropriately in different circumstances. This is often done with punishment, either physical or involving loss of property or privileges. It is a vital factor in shaping one’s personality."

Erica - posted on 12/26/2011

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@Heidi these is cruetly to a child himself or herself, "High Rank " or not, its cruel and inflicts pain amongest their bodies. Downright wrong.



@Debrah I agree!

Kaitlin - posted on 12/24/2011

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I think it's an age thing- 'child' is different than 'teen'. A young child, heck no. A surely 14 or 15 year old, maybe. Like others have said, military punishment can be a tough but good tool IF administered in the proper way. It should NOT accompany humiliation, words of worthlessness or physical beatings. And it should only be used with young adults, not children.

Kathy - posted on 12/22/2011

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According to our state law such things are considered the same as beating a child. Keep in mind that until a child goes through puburty they do not produce the hormones needed for muscular development and doing such things as this could result in permanent joint/tendon injury. We don't beleive in hitting our children and even though we said we would never do it, we did make the exception of a life and death situation.

Pamela - posted on 12/22/2011

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Any kind of physical acts such as these can be called cruel kinds of punishment for children. Besides punishment, per se, belongs in criminal courts, not families.

Discipline, on the other hand, does belong in the family and should start there from an early age. In these days of enlightened thinking and acting such things as separation from others for a "time out" when the child is instructed to think about their behavior and have an answer at the end of the specified time, or the removal of certain privileges for older children (about age 6 and above) are appropriate means of drawing a child's attention to unacceptable behavior.

Again, let me emphasize...PUNISHMENT is a part of the legal system and should not be a part of discipline.

Tracie - posted on 12/22/2011

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This is military discipline, so unless your child has enlisted, this is not an appropriate way to discipline (which means "teach"). It doesn't teach them anything except that you don't care about their physical well being and that if they don't do what you say, you will cause them physical pain. Is that really the message any parent wants to give their child? Proper teaching requires no physical consequences.

Zahrah - posted on 12/22/2011

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It's not the exercise that's the punishment, but the inconvenience and embarrassment of having to do it as a consequence to bad behavior that is punishment and it's a healthier alternative to having them waste time in a corner or in their room on "time-out". Additionally, push-ups or other exercise is not about inflicting pain - exercise for a child who is physically fit, should not be painful. If it is, then there are other issues the family should worry about, like turning off the t.v. & going for a walk after dinner. Food is used too often as a reward, but it doesn't stop people from over-indulging on other occasions. Therefore, push-ups as a form of punishment, should not deter a family from still incorporating exercise into family fun.

Michelle - posted on 12/22/2011

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Sounds like a great way to teach a child exercise = punishment.

Celestina - posted on 12/22/2011

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My kids would not say no over a punishment, they know it is not up for debate. Personally, I feel any punishment can be argued as illogical. Push ups or running around the block to me helps them focus. It brings their emotions down to where they are more apt to listen. At least that is what I have found with my son and step sons

»Heidi« - posted on 12/22/2011

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I went to school with a guy who did these things as a punishment. He is in the Marines now - and pretty high rank. His Dad is ex-military, ex-prosecutor and was a great Dad...
I have some friends who were in the military who also use these types of punishments with their children. These children do not often need correction, and mind you, if they make a small mistake, they only stand in time out. They are very well-behaved children and their parents are wonderful people.
I can understand your disgust though - seeing it from a point of view where it could hurt your children. Personally, I think I'll just stick to time out or removal of privileges.

Minnie - posted on 12/22/2011

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Ok, so people for using push-ups for punishment....do you add another punishment on top if the child won't do the push ups?

Basic logic fail for punishment. They're not logical consequences that teach anything. Use physical activity for burning off energy and to teach a child a way to channel big feelings but to -pay- for a wrong-doing?

Beth - posted on 12/22/2011

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In 5th grade I had a football coach for a teacher his punishment was to sit back to the wall without a chair. It caused great pain on the legs for days. It was stopped soon as parents were informed. He was a great teacher and young, so everyone ended up loving him. But he didn't do that punishment again.

Lisa - posted on 12/22/2011

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My 12 year old has a black belt in karate, so he's already physically fit and used to pushups as punishment for infractions in the dojo. I have resorted to pushups a time or two for him showing blatant disrespect towards me. For HIM, I think it's perfectly acceptable. He does them every time he works out anyway. Now, with my 10 year old, I wouldn't even consider it. It's totally inappropriate for him.

Sally - posted on 12/22/2011

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Parental disciple is about teaching inocents how to behave properly according to the mores of their society.
Military discipline is about teaching people who (hopefully) already know that how to be soldiers.
Apples and oranges.

Aniesha - posted on 12/22/2011

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For God's sake, they're children, not little commando's, parents should get a grip on reality.

Beth - posted on 12/22/2011

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Some of those cause real pain on growing muscles, cleaning or running makes more sense. Burn energy and doing a chore hurts no one.

Celestina - posted on 12/21/2011

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I think it is a great idea. I use push ups and running with my son. It helps him focus and actually calms him down. Now I do not yell at him or demean him while he is doing them. So I don't really think of it as Military discipline, but as a way to bring him to focus. And on the positive side he is in great shape.

[deleted account]

The way I see it, it's like giving food as a reward for good behavior. Many people feel like giving food as a reward for good behavior creates poor food choices later in life. Using something positive (like exercise) as a punishment, seems to me that it would make the person (kid) dislike exercise. I wouldn't do it to my son because I want him to LIKE exercise, not see it as a consequence or punishment.

Jodi - posted on 12/21/2011

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If it is being used purely as a punishment and is not any sort of logical consequence to the behaviour, it is a form of humiliation - done purely to make the child feel bad. If you like to do push ups and do them because you enjoy doing them, then of course it isn't humiliating. But being told to do some push ups as punishment for arguing with your sister, that's just stupid and designed purely as a form of humiliation.

Amy - posted on 12/21/2011

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Just curious Jodi how is push-ups humiliating? I'm not being snotty I'm serious...I like push-ups hence why personally I don't want them associated with punishment

Jodi - posted on 12/21/2011

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What is the point? It doesn't teach the right behaviour, it is simply punishing for the wrong behaviour, and to next time avoid getting caught. This seems like a rather pointless disciplinary practice designed purely to humiliate the child, nothing else.

Krista - posted on 12/21/2011

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I'm not a fan of military discipline, and I am REALLY not a fan of any disciplinary methods that cause pain. There's nothing wrong with sending a kid outside to run around the house half-a-dozen times if he's wound for sound, but the punishments you describe? No. Not for me.

[deleted account]

Doesn't fit my family, but I'm not sure I can automatically say it's wrong or not. I'm not sure.

I know a mom who used to send her son for a run when he was being extremely difficult. She started it as a punishment, but he continued w/ it as a means of getting control of himself.

That's a different scenario though.

Sylvia - posted on 12/21/2011

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I don't think pushups-as-punishment is likely to do any physical harm, but as a reluctant exerciser myself I would tend to consider it a bad idea in general to use physical exercise as a punishment. (Using it as a way of working off excess wiggles and thus improve behaviour is, obviously, a different story.)

The other things just sound flat-out abusive to me, although I may be misunderstanding what you're describing.

Johnny - posted on 12/21/2011

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I do not want my daughter to see exercise as a punishment. So this is not a technique I would ever use. I see logical consequences as a more useful technique in general. There are not many misbehaviours that push ups would be a logical consequence for, so it also wouldn't work for us in that way.



Growing up I had a friend whose parents were into military discipline.They ran everything like a boot camp. He wasn't abused in the traditional sense, but it damaged the family bond, he ran away at age 16, and to this day, he has no relationship with them. He wasn't a particularly bad kid, he did not get into any more trouble than your average child. He certainly wasn't a candidate for desperate measures, this was their normal discipline technique. Knowing how disconnected he feels from his parents, despite the fact that they claim to have done it out of love and hope for his future success, I have to say that I don't see it as having a positive influence at all.

Amy - posted on 12/21/2011

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I don't do it with my son because I don't him to see exercise as punishment. That said I know it works well for some people...I had a friend growing up who parents used military discipline & he turned out just fine, he doesn't hate his parents & he still enjoys working out. I believe it is up to each person to decide. Btw any form of punishment is a form of pain...meaning even the nicest punishment if effective makes your heart hurt because you have done wrong. I remember in school having to stand at the wall with my nose on the dot for punishment...it did not hurt me physically but it was super boring

Sherri - posted on 12/21/2011

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I don't do it but it is called military discipline and I certainly do not have a problem with it.

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