how do you Discipline your children

Tootie - posted on 12/01/2011 ( 204 moms have responded )

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with different ages in the house, or step children or one child, down to the 3 yr old..how do you maintain order and control?

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Jenni - posted on 12/12/2011

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You know... there is a big a difference between listening to someone out of *respect* for them because you trust them, and listening to someone because you *fear* what they will do to you, if you don't obey them.

Heather - posted on 12/12/2011

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Liz I fully agree with you as to why the destabalization of our society has taken it's toll. But, I would not go so far as to say it's a godly matter. I would say it's more due to the seperation of the family as things began to increase in cost/earning potentials. Which boils down to greed within each of our countries. I see how you would come full circle to the bible and use it as a way to indicate your preferance for discipline but there is always a way to raise a child with old fashioned values and morales without the need to punish. My son is proof of that. He's beautiful, sharing, kind and lives with a light heart. I don't have to spank him. To try to use the bible as a referance to justify you're parental views is inappropriate, but only because the bible is made up of ancient histories they are not indicative of todays society.

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Michelle said: "Long years ago there were nowhere near the problems we face today. Long years ago parents, churches,neighbors, and schools all worked together in rearing children in a common effort to guide them in the correct path. Today the world has lost sight of what is right and wrong. If we continue on the path we are on there will no order to anything and there will be nothing but chaos. Ultimately the way to bring a child up in the way they should go is by following Gods word!! Amazingly this is exactly what our Nation was founded on and what families lived by years ago."



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You guys are softies. Beatings are wrong?



If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him. Lev 20:9.



I plan to live fully by the rules of "long years ago."

Michelle - posted on 12/12/2011

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Yes it is all hitting, but handled completely different. Anger and being out of control results in Abuse with whipping improperly and excessively.
When spanking or swatting on the butt with an open hand and done with good intentions, as to discipline or correct a behavior when a child refuses to heed clear verbal warnings is not abuse.

Jodi - posted on 12/12/2011

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Jesus, you hit your step kids? You'd better hope their mother is ok with that or you might lose them.



Anyway, my kids know who their mother is. I don't have to hit them for them to know and respect that.



And God did NOT say "spare the rod to spare the child you are only sparing your feelings and theirs". Just sayin'.



And all the kids out there who are uncontrollable are uncontrollable because they had no discipline at all, not because they weren't spanked.

Heather - posted on 12/12/2011

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If you want definitions look up each state's laws? It's usually very carefully defined. For some states it's using an item on a child, for other's it's punishing a child in a physical manner where control is lost and the child's body is marred? Depends on your geographical location. I would not go so far as to say that spanking = abuse or spanking = wrong. I would like to say the spanking/time-outs and such are indicative of the parenting styles each of us have decided to have. Just like we each have a right to opinions each of us have a right to our parenting styles as long as they are within the boundaries of the laws where you live.

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You have to let them know who is the mother that you will obey and respect me as your mom or step mom and they have to abide by the rules. If they get out of hand and they are young spank them. God said do NOT spare the rod to spare the child you are only sparing your feelings and theirs. Look at all the kids out there now that is uncontrollable because there parents did not spank them or punish them for doing things they are not suppose to do. It did not kill us as a child and you should not let them think it will kill them. It will only make them better. Treat all the children the same no matter whether step kids or your own. show them how much you love them and teach them how to learn to be respectable and loving to others. Teach them how to share and how to get along with other people and each other. I raised 2 boys and 2girls by myself and now I have 11 grandkids who are the most respectable you can find. Yes sometime they try you but a good paddle does not hurt to have around. It is to let them know you will not tolerate them not listening to you. It will only make them strong. Learn the hardway growing up and i got whippings all the time because I was hard headed. with switches and belts. But it only made me strong as a women and a mother. I am happily married and raised a step son to learn how to be smart and respectable now he is working an doing great. Hope it works out for you.

Michelle - posted on 12/12/2011

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Anita and all others who are totally against spankings.
There is a difference in abuse, spanking and whipping.The definition of abuse is cruel or inhumane treatment, wrongly or improperly or excessively. The definition of whipping is beating with a whip or strap or rope as a form of punishment. The definition for spanking is the act of slapping on the buttocks.
There is a clearly a difference in the three acts. I firmly believe that the world we live in today, that is filled with unruly, disrespectful, evil, acts that children and adults do everyday ,is the evidence of the lack of discipline in the households. Long years ago there were nowhere near the problems we face today. Long years ago parents, churches,neighbors, and schools all worked together in rearing children in a common effort to guide them in the correct path. Today the world has lost sight of what is right and wrong. If we continue on the path we are on there will no order to anything and there will be nothing but chaos.
Ultimately the way to bring a child up in the way they should go is by following Gods word!! Amazingly this is exactly what our Nation was founded on and what families lived by years ago. Those families that continue to live with God as the center of their lives don't face the problems of those that don't have Him as the core.
Children are a lot smarter than you think, and need to be disciplined, redirected, punished, and yes even spanked if need be, in order to learn right from wrong or to keep them from harm.

Kerrie - posted on 12/12/2011

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This seems to have gotten a tab bit off topic. It has become a heated debate on whether spanking is permitted or not. I will answer the question being asked. I have two children 1 and half and 3 and a half. And I am an avid user of the time out method. Consistency is the key no matter what form of discipline you choose. Time out has been VERY effective in my home. My children are warned about whatever they are doing. If they persist they are put in a time out. When the time out is over I get down to their level and tell them what they did and why it was not ok. We hug and carry on with our day. It works for us.

Christine - posted on 12/12/2011

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i am mother of a 9 year old and i also taught 4- years olds in classes of about 25. I used to discipline them by immediately stopping bad or unacceptable behaviour. i would tell them that the act is unacceptable and that they had to sit out of the game for a minute and think about what they did. When time elapsed I would ask them about what they did, why they did it and ask them how they coud have reacted in a better way. After a few lessons they caught on and stopped misbehaving

Mary - posted on 12/12/2011

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I get what your saying Anita. Just for me I dont regreat my spankings. I learned from them and don't in anyway feel I was not loved. I respected my mother, grandmother or who ever it was that was giving me the message. I just wanted you to understand that I also understand what abuse is. I see a difference. I also see kids that are mean, disrespectful, abuse their parents and siblings. And I know they had good parents. But they had their friends and peers also and sometimes I feel when your talking to your child and he/she just hearing the Charlie Brown teacher in it's head and not you. A good swat got my attention. I learned from it. That is all I am saying.

Karen - posted on 12/12/2011

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My daughter just turned 9 and we discipline with by 1st giving 1 warning and being very specific about what will happen if she repeats the same behavior. It normally entails
either grounding her or the one that works the best for us is taking away something she loves to play with for at least 2 days.
When she was younger 2-3 we would smack her hand for touching things that were potentially harmful to her and then redirect her to something else. From 4-7, she occasionally got a spanking but those were far and few between, we usually used a time out and no matter what age or discipline we applied it always came with an explanation of why she was getting the discipline. Oh and almost forgot, there have been times I used a dab of hot sauce on the tip of her tongue when she was being mouthy and disrespectful. I have found yelling just makes her respond in a negative manner and basically DOES NOT work. She now knows that when she doesn't clean up her toys...she gets no allowance. We have come up with a system. She gets $1.00 a day when she keeps her room clean and all toys picked up which comes to $7 a week. For every day she does not pick up a $1 is deducted. This helps in several ways.....first it keeps her on her toes with math LOL, 2nd it has taught her she has to work for what she wants, and 3rd it teaches her a life long responsibility. We started in stages, we are now teaching her the saving part. And to this date that little girl has saved over $100.00. Next stage is we will be opening a saving's acct for her!

Tara - posted on 12/12/2011

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Can I ask all of you pro-spanking/corporal punishment people some questions?

1. Is it okay to hit/smack/pinch/swat/flick etc. an elderly person because they do not listen to you when you tell them not to cross the street until you are with them?

2. Is it okay to hit/smack/pinch/swat/flick etc. a developmentally delayed adult child who has defied his parents and done something he knows he should not have done?

3. Is it okay to smack your co-worker on the ass when they piss you off or disappoint you?

4. Is it okay for people to kick/smack/hit/etc. their dog because it piddles on the floor or barks when you don't want it to?

Is there anywhere in civilized society where the use of any form of physical punishment against other humans and in most cases animals is not prevented by a court of law? Every person and most animals with the exception of children have protection from these acts.

That's fucked up.

Our most innocent, vulnerable citizens are not protected from bodily harm their own sense of bodily integrity is not respected even as much as an animal.

Sad...

As you can likely tell, I do not support nor believe that children need physical discipline of any sort at any time.

I have 6 kids 2, 6, 9, 11, 15 and 18.

They're respectful, trustworthy and intelligent people. It can be done. It's easy, you just don't do it. There are other ways, always.

Jenni - posted on 12/12/2011

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Actually, there's 29 countries where spanking is abuse and illegal. Although, my country isn't one of them. Using an implement of any kind is illegal here. I think one of the few developed nations where that is still legal is some states in the USA.

Kristina - posted on 12/12/2011

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Discipline is "training or teaching". My husband and I, before we EVER had kids, had talked and decided what behavior was acceptable in our family. We also talked before we were even married (while dating) about our views on discipline and punishments. We came to an agreement. Even though we thought we couldn't have kids, when we were blessed to have our three, our views didn't change on what is acceptable behavior.

Our job as parents is to raise our children to be the adults we want them to be. Our parenting must lead to that.

That said, our children are told the rules for their behavior. They are reminded with our words what we expect. They are also told what consequences there will be for their CHOICE of not meeting those expectations.

And in our house, it starts about the time they are old enough to be independently mobile. Once they are crawling, they are told where they can go, what they can tough, and not to put things in their mouths. If they don't, we remove them from the situation.

Once they're old enough to remove themselves, it becomes a matter of teaching them to remove themselves, OR build self-control to NOT do the behavior...

Control is maintained in our household by virtue of the fact that our kids know we are the parent, and therefore in charge. They can choose to do whatever they want within our parameters of acceptable behavior. If they step outside those parameters, they are punished.

Mary - posted on 12/12/2011

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I have heard of country's that "caining" is abuse. However I don't believe my grandmother did that to us. We had the extra lesson if you will of picking our own switch and bring it to her. There was value in that lesson as well. As I said I never did it again and I have never forgotten what I learned from being a brat and doing something that I really should have exercised my common sense and not done in the first place.

Jenni - posted on 12/12/2011

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I don't know about that Mary... in your "Spanking Example" where your grandmother used a switch. That is most definitely considered "abuse" in my country... by law.

Mary - posted on 12/12/2011

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As a child I was both spanked and abused. I reconized the differance. Did I deserve the spankings? I believe they where valuable lessons learned. Did I deserve the abuse? No...no one deserves abuse. But I reconized the difference.
Spanking example. Me and a couple of my cousins got caught breaking my grandmothers canning jars. We had to pick a switch and she warmed up our bottoms. Did we deserve to be spanked...in my opinion yes. After we cleaned up our mess - she sat us down and explained what the jars ment to her. They were a tool she used at the end of each spring, summer and fall garden. They were part of the hard work she put into providing great meals for her family-they had value to her and therefor should have value to us as well.

We got this-we understood we deserved to be punished-and we never considered breaking her jars again. She provided and emphasized with the spanking a valuable lesson we did not forget and still to this day I remember.

Abuse example: My stepfather liked to drink. He was mean when he drank. He'd come home and beat my mother. I got in front of her and tried to stop the beating. I was hit so hard it shredded my mouth. This was just one incident. I reconized the difference between abuse and spankings. I have no regrets for my spankings, I deserved them and learned valuable lessons, and respect with each one. With the abuse I had no respect for the person who did this and to this day I have very little for him. Sad but true. But I reconize the difference.

Heather - posted on 12/12/2011

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Each parent has a signature of thier own for the discipline they use. Personally, I am one to call attention immediately when negative behavior is introduced and I follow up with an explanation as to why I consider it negative to my son. He knows if he throws a toy it's going to dissapear for a while, why? Because he abused the right to have it. I see NO reason why a child should not learn that thier direct behaviors will have an impact. I do NOT need to use physical measures to bring my Son's attention to his inappropriate behavior. I sometimes just have to look at him and he realizes almot immediately what he's doing. Like I said I finger the negative behavior, explain why it's negative and even have a tendancy to include him in the punishment process. I would rather him think in advance later on about what he's doing and how it will impact another than have a child who does NOT understand what's going on around him or why I'm not happy with something he's done that so that he can apply it to future behaviors with other's. Of course he's 8 now and does fairly well with others it's amazing the glowing reports I get from his teachers about how good he truly is for them.

Jenni - posted on 12/12/2011

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I'm pretty sure I could train a parrot to call people "Mr and Mrs" without spanking it....

Denielle - posted on 12/12/2011

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This makes me sick!! A belt?? I have four children...I can't even imagine how anyone can think abusing children is ok!!!

Lise - posted on 12/12/2011

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"But seriously my grandparents spanked my mom and aunts and uncles and they grew up with respect!"



Yep... They also rode in cars without car seats or seat belts and survived - let's get rid of those silly things, since clearly they aren't needed. I mean, YOUR parents survived!



I think things like spanking/parenting/etc. should be based on your personal philosophies/beliefs, not "so-and-so did it to me and look, I'm not a criminal!" No matter what, there will ALWAYS be someone to support the rule and someone to defy it. There will be someone spanked who was an angel and loved their parents; there will be someone spanked who HATES their parents and grew to be violent.

Amanda - posted on 12/12/2011

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Wish they had a like button on here. !! So many judge like your beating your kids ! I just want my kids to grow up with respect and I see nothing wrong with how my granparents and parents raised us ! I agree with you a bunch of spoiled brats and they are rude and dissresepctful

Laura - posted on 12/12/2011

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! have a daughter of 30 in those days of upbringing a dissaplined slap was in order,now days we pussy foot around a generation of spoilt brats who may not be smacked or endure corporal punishment at school,I also have a younger child of 14 an endulged male so i know what imtalking about,in between 2 girls much easier,I still would smack ,they at least listen time out etc just prolongs the issue

Kate CP - posted on 12/12/2011

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"...But my children are heartbroken when I am that mad at them that I would actually spank them..."

Wow. Just...wow.

Amanda - posted on 12/12/2011

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Tootie I happen to Highly agree with you. IMHO often parents think that positive reinforcement is the best way to go. Im not saying it isnt in many cases. But seriously my grandparents spanked my mom and aunts and uncles and they grew up with respect! They respect their elders and their parents and they would never think about lying or stealing cause they new there was a consequence! A BIG one! A child can live without said toy or whatever. It is only a possession. But my children are heartbroken when I am that mad at them that I would actually spank them. My children respect adults! They call other adults Mr or Mrs so and so and never think of talking back. We do time outs and we take away priviledges and things as well and yes they are rewarded with items they really want when they do something particularly good. But I stand by my choice and all others to parent the way they feel is right! I am tough on my kids Absolutely But I will not let my kids grow up and be running the street drinking and using drugs and not coming home at night This is why I am so tough on them. And I make sure that each night they have a chance to talk about whatever is happening in their life so they know I am always there to support and help them too ! Maybe that is off track from punishment but it seems to go hand in hand in my thoughts. Well rounded consistant parenting! Sorry thats my rant for this morning !

Karin - posted on 12/12/2011

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I using spanking as a very last resort. I usually will put my son in the corner which he takes seriously and hates so he doesn't want to be there again. I used to try time out but he thinks it's a game so it was ineffective. After his punishment is over I will then sit down with him and talk to him about what he did and why he was punished.

Treasured - posted on 12/12/2011

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I have a 3 yr old. And I watch a 1 yr old. I've been doing time outs since my son was 18 months. I do spank and take toys away if the act warrents it. W the little girl I watch I will not spank (unless I feel she needs it then I will speak to her parents FIRST) but we will be starting time outs soon. With another one on the way I need them to both know they need to listen. Or I'm gonna be totally stressed out!!

Natalia - posted on 12/12/2011

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I have a 6 yr old & we use many methods of discipline including spanking, time-out & taking things away such as a specific toy, or a planned fun day out. It really depends on the nature of her behavior in which one we choose to apply. You must do what works for you. I know that one of the most important things is the level or authority & respect your children have for you. You must set the tone & be willing to follow-thru on your promises. With every empty threat, you will lose an ounce of respect. I also believe warning i important for smaller children. Parents must teach children to reason learning right from wrong, you as a parent are their guide, not only in what you say but in what you do.

Stephanie - posted on 12/12/2011

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My children for the most part are very well behaved. The part that helps me the most is routine and keeping it everyday. They know how everything is going to go and what is expected of them. We let them know they are loved and appreciated, I wouldn't want to do anything if it wasn't appreciated. If one of them wants to start throwing a fit, they go into a time out spot and not paid attention to until they are done. The two yr old and three yr old have already gotten past their fit throwing. They hate the going to time out thing, which is just sitting on the couch! The TV is never on anyway so its no fun to them. We also have a six yr old and a four month old. I recommend routine to everyone I talk to. From the time my babies were born, they adjust to what is going to go on and help me with chores. Kyle gets home from school at three, if he has a good day, playtime is from three to four, four to five is homework, dinner is from five to five thirty, six is bath and bed for him at seven. (We get up early for the bus). The babies start their bedtime routine after he is down for the night. For six yrs this has worked very well for me! I would not be able to clean this house, have dinner cooked every day and manage four kids and still have time to have fun and crafts, etc if we did have our routine. And I still manage to have sweet, loving, honest, responsible kids

Jenni - posted on 12/12/2011

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Delora, your post reminds me of another "Kids today..." rant.

""The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer
rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
legs, and are tyrants over their teachers."

--Aristotle via Socrates on the "Youth Today" errr rather 3000 years ago.

Susan - posted on 12/12/2011

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My boys are older but I took a class one time that made a lot of sense from the church we went to. Make the discipline fit the bad behavior. In other words, if they will not clean their room you tell them you will use their allowance to pay someone to clean it. They will learn the lesson better if there is a direct correlation to the bad behavior. Follow through!! With my two boys now being teenagers, if there is a problem we talk through it. Positive reinforcement is really the best way to go. Even with the teenagers I always let them know how proud I am of them and their behavior. They talk to me and I talk to them and as of today I have no trust issues with either one. I feel I am truly blessed as a single mother of two wonderful teenage boys. God has done well!

Melissa - posted on 12/12/2011

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my daughter is two, what works on her is the '1...2...3' and shell stop, or i stand her against a wall (corner) for about a minute until shes quiet and stops, that usually works for the most part, if its really late, close to bed time, or nap time, if the corner doesnt seem to work, i send her to bed, shell be good when she wakes up :) my daughter is very independant, in a bed since middle of nov, she turned 2 nov 24th, hates highchair, and hasnt been in a playpen since she was about a year and a half, if not younger, bc she would climb out of it, a reason shes also in a bed not a crib Lmy son was in his crib until he was about 2.5 if not a bit older

Jodi - posted on 12/12/2011

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LOL. Where I live a belt is considered abuse and is illegal. As it should be. And guess what? Our crime rates aren't as high and our jails aren't as full as those countries who think its still ok to beat a kid with a freaking belt.



No such thing as being *responsible* with a belt. Sickening.

Julia - posted on 12/12/2011

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if they are being responsible with the belt, then who are you to casll CPS, can they call you when the child end up in jail, or needs clothes or a new toy, if not mind your on kids. i spank but not if I am upset so theres a difference

Melissa - posted on 12/11/2011

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I agree with you 100%! Not only is this supposed to be used as a resource for parenting tips and ideas, I am shocked at the amount of judging that is going on! I have never hurt any of my children nor do I use physical punishment on a regular basis, for me it is only when the lesson must be learned immediately ( like a child running into the street) the outcome of a repeat offense would be far more dangerous, therefore leaving no room for error. Having said that, let me also state my opinion with reference to teenagers and disciplining of them. First if you are not the parent of a teenager, then you really don't know yet what you will do, trust me. It is very easy to say you know how you will react when you are looking at the cute grammar school child, or perhaps a moody middle schooler, but when your child starts to make drastic changes and behaving in ways that are harmful to not only themselves but others too, you will want to whoop them and you are well within your parental rights to do so. Teenagers are a whole new breed of the same freckle face kid you Are putting on the school bus today suddenly one day they come home and you would swear they are Linda Blair and need an exorcism. The peer pressure felt during this time is huge and some kids will just be stronger than others,regardless of all the positive reinforcement used at home. For any parent out there who has felt they "lost" their child during high school, you will do anything to get their attention to push them in the right direction one more time. So I say agin, if it means smacking them, then that is what I will do. In front I whoever is there when the task needs to be done, and if the situation has gotten so far gone that it has already gotten to this point, I would not dare a soul to step between myself and my children.
I am the mother of three, all my husbands and mine, two teens and a 2nd grader. If I hadn't already seen it twice I would never believe that my little one will ever fath some of the stunts the other two have confronted me with over the last couple of years. There comes A point where they do not want stickers, they have their own money because they have jobs, are convinced that they know everything. Making mistakes is easy, learning from them is the hard part.
My point is what is right for one child is not always right for another, so if the discipline is coming from the love you feel and the respect you deserve, however you choose to give it. Is your choice!! Happy parenting :)

Atty - posted on 12/11/2011

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Spare the rod spoil the child is not in the Bible.
It is not a Biblical reference at all.
You are thinking of Proverbs 13:24" He who spares the rod hates his son; But he who loves his son corrects him."
The thing is, the rod is not a stick with which to beat a child, it is the rod and the staff of a shepherd.
The shepherd guides his sheep not by striking them, but with a tap when they begin to stray. The point is to keep the sheep moving in the correct direction. The second part of the verse is key, he who loves his son corrects him. It doesn't say beats him with a belt, or even strikes him with a belt. Striking children was just not done in Biblical times. That was thought of as a pagan practice and barbaric. Children do need correction, but nowhere in the Bible does it say you should ever strike your child.

Kate CP - posted on 12/11/2011

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Delora, GOD never said *A N Y T H I N G* about beating children with a belt.

Mandee - posted on 12/11/2011

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We have an 18, 17, 5, and 1 year old. We have learned that the key is to know your kids well, and to make sure that you use whatever form of discipline works for the child. I have one child who responds well to simply being told no, and another who could test the patience of a saint. For us we set expectations from the beginning and stuck to it. Our kids know the consequences and they also know we will follow through. If we find that isn't enough for some of our kids we have also been know to make consequences "harsher" for them since they didn't learn the first time. Even so, the biggest thing i think is to set expectations, and then follow through with what you say you will do.

Delora - posted on 12/11/2011

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A belt! Read your bible. Spare the rod, spoil the child. That's what's wrong with this generation today. People decided that it was wrong to "spank" your children. Key word is your. Now these children running around disciplining them. Doing what they acting how they wany, with no regards to who parents are. No respect for their elders or themselves. This is what "those" people created & now can't handle it. Don't know what to do about it. Take back your children & raise them how they are supposed to be raised according to Gods word. Key word is your!

DeeDee - posted on 12/11/2011

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I can only imagine getting money for good grades. If I didn't behave in school, I was grounded. When I failed to meet my parent's expectations I was grounded and got extra work. We ( my siblings and I) would earn allowances when we met expectations. But my parents were close to us knew where we struggled and knew when we needed help or were just being lazy. You don't have to reward with money for good grades. That isn't what should be expected, necessarily, it should be enough effort to earn good grades. I was only grounded over grades when a teacher said I talked too much in class and that was why I had a B.

Chrissie - posted on 12/11/2011

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This makes me sad. As a mother of a VERY difficult 3 year old I can tell you that discipline in our house not been an easy road. I have even saught professional help. Turning on other mothers because they choose a different path then you is part of what makes being a mother so damn hard! Walk a mile in their shoes or be a mother to their children for a day before you judge.

Kimberley - posted on 12/11/2011

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I have 4, a 3 yo a 4 yo a 13 yo and a 15 yo and 2 step kids (12 and 14). I find it is almost impossible to discipline. The big ones argue about the little ones, and each other. the step kids get away with everything because their dad does nothing. So basically, I am going crazy....and forgot to mention, my two teens are steps to my husband. One thing I know, is that my hubs doesnt have a good enough relationship with my teens for him to discipline them and I won't tolerate it either. I know this doesn't help, but felt good to share!

Tine - posted on 12/11/2011

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We have a three year old and a one month old!
We use 'gentle parenting', basically the idea is that you understand where kids are coming from, and treat them with respect at all times.

As babies, they are carried in slings, breastfed and we always respond to them and meet their needs immediately. As toddlers we use distraction and naming (ie simply describing what they are doing well, different from hollow praise in that it builds their self esteem on concrete things about themselves - eg, I am helpful, kind, co-operative etc) and again respond to emotional and physical needs.

We also try to state things in terms of what we want our 3 year old daughter to do, rather than saying no or telling her not to do things all the time, because kids (and everyone else!) either turn off or become oppositional if they just hear no no no... (eg, 'please put your clothes away' rather than, 'No, stop throwing your clothes on the floor'). Kids hear the words and do what they hear...!

As they get older, kids need explanations of why things are important (I think that's only fair) as well as some boundaries for their safety and everyone's sanity. It's amazing how respectful and responsive they are when they have always known love and respect.

The word discipline actually comes from the latin 'to teach', so gentle panting approaches discipline by considering what a child really learns from the way s/he is treated by adults. And most importantly, we think about what we are role modelling... my daughter copies our actions really clearly!!

Before I had kids I worked as a high school teacher for 8 years and was a child protection worker, and it's amazing how effective just listening to kids is. When you listen to them, take them seriously as people and respect them, they are so much more likely to fee look about themselves and to want to listen to you.

Our daughter is intense, emotional, active and clever, she was a 'high needs' baby, and I'm so glad I put the extra time and energy into raising her this way, because now at 3 she's a fabulous, kind, caring responsible and responsive kid. She's so lovely with her baby brother!

There's lots of info on gentle parenting on the net, or there's a great book called 'Adventures in Gentle Parenting' put out by the La Leche League.

Stephanie - posted on 12/11/2011

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If it is just our son being too loud or getting crazy we ask him to calm/quiet down, if he does not then he gets a 1 minute time out. If he is being aggressive or doing something wrong on purpose then he gets a 3 minute time out and is required to apologize to whom ever the offense was directed at even if it is one of out pets.

Liza - posted on 12/11/2011

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It depends on the situation. sometime spanking is in order, and sometimes I an get my point across with just a look.

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