Debate tactics on discipline and what are better ways to teach discipline?

Jenny - posted on 08/07/2012 ( 88 moms have responded )

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"By spanking your children you teach them to hit when they are angry or upset. Don't forget you are their role model. and when your angry you hit. so what do you think they will do when they are angry? my advice to you is take play time or toys away."

I used this example of what an anti-spanker had written in a previous thread to bring up a point I want to discuss, but don't take it to mean that I'm pro-spanking.

If by spanking your children you teach them to hit other children when they are angry or to get what they want, isn't taking away their toys teaching them to take away another child's toy if they're not sharing or when they get upset?

If YES, then what's the difference, and how does this motivate a spanking mom to stop spanking, and if NO, then that just nullifies the argument against spanking.

Is this just a poor debate tactic or are both spanking and taking away toys poor discipline methods? And, what other ways do you teach your child discipline?

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Karla - posted on 08/11/2012

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I feel compelled to respond to this, even though I probably shouldn’t. It will be too long. :)



I have worked so hard to find a method of discipline and guidance for raising my children and I feel I did okay. My daughters (18, 23, and 27) have asked me how I raised them because they want to follow that model, and my son (15) has told me he likes how we do things in our home; so that’s a good indicator that my husband and I did okay.



Meme said, “I applaud each parent, that takes the time to teach and discipline their children in an ethical and loving way. It will raise young adults, that have a good sense of how to work through difficult situations, without losing control and/or giving up. You only know what you have been taught and it is what you have been taught, that makes you the person you are.”

(excellent by the way!)



That reminds us too that how we were raised is an issue. I have found the parenting I received definitely helped me be a good parent, but was also my failing. I did spank on occasion, not often at all because I had sworn it off, but I was raised with it, and I think when you are raised with it, it can be part of who you are and much harder to avoid. My parents spanked less than their parents did, and I spanked less than my parents did. I look at it as a continuum within a family. As long as each generation strives to improve then I have hope for civilization.



I also took toys away on occasion but I don’t’ recommend that either. I remember my daughters fighting over a baton. I told them I would put it up until they could figure out a way to share. My oldest was fine with that because her only goal was that her sister did not play with it. After that incident I began timing play, (time length depending on the age) “You can have it for 30 minutes, and when the timer goes off, it’s your sister’s turn.”



I found distraction to be my best friend as a parent. I thought it would only work for the young ages, but it works at any age, and it’s not a bad thing – it’s a people skill! You know how some people start joking around when family discussions get heated – that’s one form distraction. It calms everyone down a bit.



I really think parents can’t afford to be selfish. I remember being in a group setting and parents are having fun together and kids are as well. Then something happens with the kids and many parents want to ignore it and go on having their fun. I would force myself to get up, take my child to a quiet area and find out what was happening.



I’m not an advocate of lecturing so much and listening. So I’d ask what was going on, I’d either get on their level or have them next to me or on my lap. I would listen and ask how they responded in the situation. We would talk about better ways to handle the problem. And we would talk about walking away from trouble. And then I might suggest they play alone for a while, or go draw or color, and give them a low key activity to stay calmed down. (Some times I would start a game with the whole group of kids to guide them in a more constructive activity.)



I know many of you have seen me recommend books and I don’t do this lightly; I believe the advice from these authors had a very positive effect on my family.

“How to Talk So Kids will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk,” and “Siblings Without Rivalry,” by Faber and Mazlish

and

“How to Really Love your Child,” and “How to Really Love your Teenager,” by Campbell.



In “How to Really Love your Teenager” I was reminded to give my teen a hug every day. That advice alone really helped in our home. My daughter definitely was showing signs of not feeling loved, and she needed that physical touch. We had just been neglecting that aspect of our lives.



I want to add, that usually when children are misbehaving it’s a combination of not understanding and being tired or hungry or both. Punishment doesn’t help remedy the core of the problem. I cannot tell you how many times the kids were having problems and I stopped to think when they last ate, and how much food or sleep they had, and realized they probably needed a snack and story time (quiet time.) That (distraction or taking care of core needs) always helped. Every time.

Jodi - posted on 08/11/2012

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"In “How to Really Love your Teenager” I was reminded to give my teen a hug every day. That advice alone really helped in our home. My daughter definitely was showing signs of not feeling loved, and she needed that physical touch. We had just been neglecting that aspect of our lives"

I like that one Karla. I still give my son a hug every night before bed, and every day before he leaves for school (or wherever else he heads off to). They are never too old for a hug.

I may have to get a couple of those books, they sound good. But to be honest, punishment of any kind is a rarity in my house. It only really ever happens as a natural or logical consequence to an action, but my kids rarely misbehave. I couldn't even tell you the last time I had to implement any kind of real disciplinary interference.

And that hasn't been achieved through spanking. Oh, I know, some people would just say "oh, you've just got good kids". Actually, I believe all kids are good. But my kids are just like anyone else's.

It is how we deal with their mistakes that teaches them such positive behaviour. Children are human and make mistakes, just like we do. We need to accept that sometimes those mistakes are okay, and use them as teaching/learning moments rather than as moments to punish.

And yes, I have taken toys away as a consequence of certain actions. The difference between me taking away toys, and me spanking would be that the spanking from an adult is in no way an equitable consequence of any action of a child. There is nothing logical about hitting a child for misbehaviour. It's just the quick fix in the moment, but it certainly isn't going to make the child connect the behaviour with the punishment, which is really the way children learn. Spanking is a random, disconnected punishment that makes no logical sense.

[deleted account]

That is sort of a complicated question! It depends on the situation.
I do agree that if you spank, you are teaching your child to hit when they are angry or to use hitting to make others do what they want them to do.
As for taking the toys away, I use that method on occasion, but only if it is directly related to the offense. For example, if he is throwing a toy, or otherwise abusing a toy, I will take it away from him and explain that if he doesn't like the toy enough to take care of it, we will give it to a child who will value it. Then we take it to our shelter.
Another example would be if the toy is getting in the way of the completion of important tasks, like if he were shunning his homework in order to have more time for video games. If J's grades fall below 94% or "A" we talk about why he is having problems and address the root cause. If he is too focused on a game to focus on his work, the game will be taken away until the grades improve. However, if there is simply something in the work that he doesn't fully understand, we will spend extra time studying and explaining that aspect of the work, or hire a tutor, or solicit help from his teacher.

Often, taking toys away is recommended to control kids in public. Like if they have a fit for candy at check out. In that situation, I could see how a parent taking a child's toys away would teach them to take toys from other kids who were not doing as they asked, so I would not use that tactic there. Instead, I would just say "No" and if they fuss, they fuss, but eventually they learn that fussing doesn't get them candy and doesn't upset mom.

Sylvia - posted on 08/30/2012

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"i assume anti-spankers are so against spanking because they think talking to a child will solve everything."



Yeah, no, we don't think that. (At least, we don't once we've actually had a kid LOL.)



Here's how I look at it. Out here in the grown-up world, will there be consequences if I screw up at work, if I break the law, if I treat someone badly? Heck yeah. I know that I shouldn't do those things, and I understand why I shouldn't, and I also know that there would be consequences if I did. BUT: Is it OK for my boss to slap me, for the police to beat me up, or for a server I was jerky to to smack me upside the head when she brings me my bill? No, it absolutely is not, and if any of those people did any of those things to me, it wouldn't matter what my original offence was -- nobody anywhere would call their actions anything but assault.



So ... why, again, is it OK for me to hit my kid, just because she's (a) my legal responsibility and (b) littler than me? And how do I go about explaining to her why it's OK for me to hit her (but not to hit anyone else), but not OK for her to hit me (or anyone else)? Um ... well ... yeah, that's right, it isn't and I can't.



Another way of looking at it is this: Do I want my kid to refrain from doing naughty things because she's afraid of getting a spanking? Or do I want her to learn to refrain from doing those things because she understands why they're bad things to do? Which of those motivations is more useful in adult life?

Bobbie - posted on 08/29/2012

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spanking has been in many studies as of late. What child development behaviorist point out is the after effect emotionally to the child. Let's move past the immediate results of spanking vs. timeout and look at the data. Children who where not spanked do not carry that knee jerk reaction to spank. Spanking IS an emotional release of stress for the one doing the spanking. So when you are spanking chances are you are doing more physical harm than you realize. The child doesn't always get the same degree of pain, pressure, it depends on your stress out the situation. Spanked children prefer to spank their children because of this stress valve release for them as well. Children who saw their parent, though angry, step away and calm themselves down before addressing them actually learn this pattern to do the same. Therefor, children who were not spanked or who do not wish to pass on the corporal punishment, are those that can step away and calm themselves without a need to gain immediate and complete control.

My son married a woman with two children. He was always saying they just needed a good spanking and that they didn't listen to their mother. I could see the anger and frustration in his face. I pointed out that they didn't "need" a spanking, he needed a way to release that anger and stress without violence to bring his own emotions under control. Once he saw how well they responded to going to time out and how they calmed down immediately he realized that everyone in the home was learning to curb their reaction to overstressed in a positive way. The children learned more from the calm quiet time to adjust themselves than the time they would have spent crying with mixed emotions of pain and frustration.

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Sylvia - posted on 09/02/2012

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Maybe it depends on the kid ;), because my kid would TOTALLY ask that question. (In fact, she has asked it -- just not about us personally, because she's never seen spanking in real life, only heard about it.) She's going to be a litigator when she grows up, I can already tell :P



I guess I'm coming at this from the perspective of a belief that violence is seldom justified and "punching down" (i.e., violence by the powerful against the powerless) never is. Another parent might have a different answer for their child, but *I* cannot honestly say "It's okay because I'm in charge", so *I* am not willing to put myself in that position.



I also can't help feeling that part of what kids learn from being spanked is that "might makes right" ...



I understand intellectually that some parents are able to deploy spanking as a parenting method without their kids' experiencing it as abuse. But because of my own childhood experience (only my dad ever spanked us, and he only did it when he was SERIOUSLY pissed off), my own beliefs, and my personality, I know that this is not something I could do, so instead I've chosen to take spanking off the table altogether. I'm helped in this by the fact that spanking is almost unheard-of where I live, so I'm under no pressure whatsoever to do so, except from my SIL whose kids are older than me ::rolleyes::

Jenny - posted on 09/01/2012

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The way I see it, some parenting philosophies are further ahead than what's happening in the real world. The real world is not automatically the best nor the right example to compare against.



Regards to your other point, how can you teach your son not to hit if you hit him. I've thought about this a lot and I actually don't think this is translated across to directly from a parent hitting a child to them thinking it's okay to hit another child.

I remember a pro-spanking mum argued this point quite well, it was something about being in a position of authority. Teachers were in a position of authority and were allowed to (and still are in some schools) spank their students. People in authority are allowed to take measures to control those under them. If your son grows up to be a police officer, he may get to shoot bad people, because he'd have that authority.

So to answer your question "Because I am your parent and can use spanking as discipline so long as I don't abuse my power." Really, as long as its accepted by the law (which in some places it is) it's still valid, whether we like it or not.



I don't ever remember wondering why I wasn't allowed to hit, although my parents were allowed to hit me while growing up. It was clear to me that it was something parents were allowed to do and kids weren't. If as a kid I would hit another kid, someone in authority would step in to stop me; my parents, or my teachers etc. Obviously I was not on the same level. Another thing to note, again about it being about authority, my parents never once hit their adult friends, or other peoples children, because they were not in authority over them. Maybe if I had seen my parents physically fight with other adults, I would wonder why that is okay, but its not okay for me to hit other children. That is on the same level.



I did wonder though, how they could possibly love me and hit me so agressively all at the same time. It was clear that I was not able to focus on what I did wrong because I was too busy resenting them for being unfair to me. It was really disturbing growing up in the environment my parents created and I don't want to repeat that with my children.

Sylvia - posted on 08/31/2012

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Sometimes it IS okay for your boss to hit you, or the police to rough handle you! If you're being really disrespectful to your boss and calling him names, refusing to do what he requested, and if he tells you, you're fired, and you decide to start hitting him, then he is allowed to hit you back to defend himself.



Ah, but, see, in that scenario I'm the one guilty of assault, because I hit her first. And that is still not OK.



I'm ambivalent about police with heavy weapons, frankly. But in a truly dangerous situation, yeah. I do see a pretty big distinction between physically subduing someone who's demonstrably in the act of committing a violent crime (I don't see a problem there) and beating someone up in the course of arresting them or questioning them when they aren't actually physically resisting (I see a BIG problem there). The latter is not "necessary force", it's an abuse of power and privilege plain and simple. Like any other group of people, a given police force is going to include some asshats on a power trip. For that reason, there are rules about when police officers can and can't use force, and one of the rules is that they have to actually have a reason for doing so -- they can't (legally) just beat up a suspect because they feel like it, and they can't do it to punish him/her, either: Due process!



My argument above may not be the best one -- there are so many! -- but it's one that really resonates with me. I picture DD asking me, "Mama, if it's bad to hit people, how come you're allowed to hit me?" and I try to imagine an adequate answer to that question ... and I fail every time, because I honestly don't think there is one.

Jenny - posted on 08/30/2012

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I think Bobbie hit the nail on the head when she said that spanking is about "a need to gain immediate and complete control."



In my experience when a parent; actually I find this applies to anybody; wants to gain "immediate and complete control" over someone, they end up emotionally and sometimes physically abusing that person. That is the main reason why I prefer not to use forceful measures to discipline my children, because like the golden rule, I don't like it when others try to gain control of me in an abusive way.

Jenny - posted on 08/30/2012

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"Is it OK for my boss to slap me, for the police to beat me up, or for a server I was jerky to to smack me upside the head when she brings me my bill? No, it absolutely is not,This is another argument that I don't like, because its not"



I don't agree! Sometimes it IS okay for your boss to hit you, or the police to rough handle you! If you're being really disrespectful to your boss and calling him names, refusing to do what he requested, and if he tells you, you're fired, and you decide to start hitting him, then he is allowed to hit you back to defend himself.



If you are uncooperative with the police, they are allowed to man handle you. If you keep walking towards them when they've asked you to stop and put your hands up, they are allowed to shoot you (in the knee caps is what I'm told) to stop you in your tracks. They are allowed to use tasers and battens and pepper spray to physically stun you so that they can get the upper hand and get control of the situation.



Hench, I don't like this debate point from anti-spankers.

Jenny - posted on 08/29/2012

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Anti-spankers do exactly what you do, the way you described being pro-active about your daughter by preventing her from getting into anything she is not meant to as much as you can, and then when there is something she gets into that is not allowed, they may also put her in time out like you do, they just skip the spanking part...which seems a bit pointless if you do it so softly anyway.



Anti-spankers will think, is there any other logical way I can teach my child not to do X and to do Y, other than using fear of getting spanked as a deterant.



By the sounds of it Jamie, your daughter is too young to even be considered being "bad" if she ever were to act up. Just my perception of children under 2 years of age.

Jodi - posted on 08/28/2012

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"i assume anti-spankers are so against spanking because they think talking to a child will solve everything."



Um, no? I am pretty sure there are discipline techniques other than spanking and just talking to them.....I fail to see how you can make the assumption that anti spankers think just talking to their kid solves everything. Anti spankers actually just don't believe spanking solves it. They DO use other techniques that simply don't involve hitting their child.

[deleted account]

i haven't and don't plan on reading any of the replies to this thread. just responding to the main post.



discipline is not punishment, i just want to make that clear. discipline, to me, is an understanding and respect for how things are supposed to be. my baby girl is a good girl who hardly ever gets in trouble. then again, she hardly ever has the opportunity to. we make sure we don't have anything out that she could get in trouble with. for example, my husband doesn't leave his card collection out for her to tear it up, and if i forget to pack up my crochet hooks and she gets them and strews them around, that's my fault, not hers. if there is something that we can't get out of her reach, we tell her not to touch it, and she listens to us. or at least to me. if she does get into something she shouldn't, and it's totally on her, then we tell her no and explain why she shouldn't be messing with it, and if she continues to mess with it she gets a pat on the butt and goes to time out. mind you, the pat on the butt is like patting your knee to the beat of music. but it emphasizes to her that she didn't follow the rules, because patting her butt isn't something we do often. this method works because it's what our daughter responds to, and we stay calm.



can i speak for anyone else's child? no, and i would never try to. except for my mom and my brother, who definitely could have used a good paddling for some of the things he's done to my mom. but anyway...



i don't thinking spanking teaches your child to hit when they are angry unless you spank them when you are angry. if you are a swirl of emotions when you are punishing your child, then your child will be confused and won't understand the situation. if you are calm and assertive, and explain to your child what they did wrong, then chances are they will be more likely to understand and be less likely to repeat the act.



at least that's what i've gleaned. i assume anti-spankers are so against spanking because they think talking to a child will solve everything. and for some kids i do believe it can. but for others, other methods are needed. every child is different, a cookie-cutter way of disciplining is not going to fix everything.



by the way, do we take toys away from our daughter? no, because she's not behaving badly with her toys, she's behaving badly with whatever thing she doesn't need to be interested in. if she was throwing her teddy around and screaming then yes, teddy gets taken away and if she keeps behaving badly she gets a time out. but she takes care of her toys and like i said, is hardly ever bad. no, we remove whatever she's behaving badly with (removing the negative stimulation) and we try to redirect her attention, unless she's just in one of those crappy moods where she wants to throw things and scream for no real reason except that things aren't going her way, and then it's time out. it works wonders for her. the swat is only for emphasis when she just will NOT leave something alone. like when my MIL stayed with us and she wouldn't leave her things alone.



no idea how things will be for our son, but we'll see when he gets old enough to get into things and start throwing fits.

Jenny - posted on 08/28/2012

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I like that a lot Jodi :)

"Not necessarily LIKE it, but you can't argue with good logical reasoning." That's my belief too, good to see its working with you and your kids who are older than mine, gives me hope.



I think the hardest part, will be always doing my research to come up with good logical reasons, but it will be worth it, because they will have more chance of listening to logical reasoning, and if I can't find a good enough reason, then maybe it means I have to re-asses my no as being too harsh for that situation.

Jodi - posted on 08/28/2012

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Jenny, reasoning with them is always good. Nobody like to be told "no" without good reason. Kids are no different. And that is also how they learn consequences too, without actually having to experience them.



My son was not allowed to go to a party a while back, and I told him why. (1) The invites were all over facebook (big red flag - even he has seen repercussions of some of these parties on the news) (2) He didn't know the girl personally, only a friend of a friend knew her. (3) Her *uncle* was supervising the party, no parents in sight. (4) The party started at 9pm.



I gave him all of these reasons, and while he was upset, he certainly didn't argue with me about it. He knew my reasons were sound. He didn't like them, but he knew. Reasoning can still work with teens, you just need to have good solid reasons for making these decisions, and kids will accept them. Not necessarily LIKE it, but you can't argue with good logical reasoning. "Because I said so" just doesn't cut it.

Jenny - posted on 08/28/2012

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Jodi you are so funny, I think you must be scary! lol, to not ever have battles with bedtime, getting ready for school etc...:)



Thanks for explaining more Meme :)



Do you think debate and "reason with" are the same thing? I know with my son, so far, the best tactic for us is to reason with him, works 98% of the time. "No, you cant do that because this, and this and then this would happen so I dont think its a good idea." When ever we explain the no, or reason it out, he's compliant. I hope this will still work with him as a teen.

Jodi - posted on 08/28/2012

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"Jodi: "my kids are pretty good at knowing which are debatable issues and which aren't :)"

That sounds great. Is there any more insight you can share about this, or is it something that they learned naturally?"



LOL, I think I have just been super consistent over the years, and they know the things I don't budge on so they pick their battles just like I do. I guess they've just learned through that consistency the things that are non-negotiable. But there's not a lot that is not negotiable at some point, it depends on the circumstances. I have never had to fight to get chores done, and I've never haveto argue to get them to go to bed, no battles to get going for school in the mornings, no battles to bath or shower, or to clean teeth, my son has never even missed his bus, so for all those reasons, I am open to flexibility on other things. As I said, perhaps I got lucky ;) Or maybe I'm just really fucking scary....... :P



But MeMe makes a point. My kids don't have any diagnosed behavioural issues, that would make it more difficult.

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/28/2012

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Jenny---Meme, do you really think that "you must find an even balance. One that will not allow them to walk over you and I will tell you, one slip and they will." Has this been your experice with your daughter, or something you fear, or something relating to how you were as a teen?



This is my experience from being a teen. However, it is also an experience from raising my daughter to teen hood. She - like Jodi's and yourself were - is a very good kid. Thus far she has never ever been in trouble. However, I do have rules and I expect them to be followed for the most part. She does like to try and test the waters, which is normal I know. Although, if you allow it for everything, they will test for everything. I have found that often, if you give an inch, they will want a foot. So, finding an even balance there, is important. Since, of course you don't want to be a hard ass about everything but somethings, there is just no wiggle room. Especially, if it has already been wiggled. ;) I may have experienced it a tad more than some, as my daughter has severe ADHD. This tends to make them comprehend differently and require much more assistance and patience.



I do think it is very important to find an even balance. A balance that allows the child to express themselves and be heard but also keeps the parent as the authoritarian. Children need direction, whether they believe it or not. If we just allowed them to debate everything and adjust everything we say to suit them, they will walk over you. By the time they are 14, they will not longer listen to you, let alone you wanting to listen to them.



I had a hard upbringing, I was rarely listened to and never heard. I was emotionally abused (and physically until age 8 or so, not always, just when patience were lost). I was given material things to show love and as a child it was not what I needed. I was not given a firm ground. I was not given consequences that were followed through. I ended up being the absolute worst teen (and child) a parent could only dream of. By the age of 13, I was drinking, smoking and leaving the house for days on end. As a young child I was out of control. My mother could not control me. I was very angry and extremely lost.



So, with what I learnt from my child and teen hood, I know how important consistency, consequence, listening and complete love is. I make sure to instill good values and morals into my children (which most parents do) and thus far, it is paying off. Even if it means, I have to get a little tough sometimes (rarely but it has happened). There are certain things in my home that are not tolerated. If there is a slip, there is a serious reminder and at times, a consequence. This depends on their age, too. My daughter knows, my boy does not fully, yet. I have found a good balance, I believe. My children have never ever thrown temper tantrums or been so sad that they were inconsolable. My daughter has never been in trouble and I get great feedback from her teachers. They are very happy kids, which makes me very happy, too. ;)

Jenny - posted on 08/28/2012

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That would be very challenging dealing with your child when they think they are always right and believe they know best. Can't wait for my kids to be teens...not! I find it even more irritating knowing that I thought like that when I was a teen. It really felt like mum dad were living on a different planet and had no clue what was right or wrong for me. In my case, in a lot of things, they still live on a different planet ;)

I was a very goody-tooshoes teen anyway, dispite appearing difiant to my parents and knowing it all, I never once got into any sort of trouble, the worst thing I ever did was get a bit touchy feely with my boyfriend, whom I married 3 years later and am still married too :) Such a bad ass, me. lol.

Where was I going with this? I dunno!

I loved debating everything with mum and dad too. It annoyed the hell out of me when they would close up and not allow me to have an oppinion on something. I don't want my kids to feel that way. But I'm sure there are things that I would never want to debate them with either, i.e drugs and unsafe sex.



Meme, do you really think that "you must find an even balance. One that will not allow them to walk over you and I will tell you, one slip and they will." Has this been your experice with your daughter, or something you fear, or something relating to how you were as a teen?



Jodi: "my kids are pretty good at knowing which are debatable issues and which aren't :)"

That sounds great. Is there any more insight you can share about this, or is it something that they learned naturally?

Jodi - posted on 08/28/2012

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Actually, my kids are pretty good at knowing which are debatable issues and which aren't :) Maybe I'm just lucky.

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/28/2012

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Of course, Jodi. However, it is more often than not, a miscued debate and it is just because they want another 30mins on the computer BEFORE doing the dishes. Even though, it is already 7:00pm and they take an hour to do them. Not everything can be debated, if they were, you would become very worn. However, they will debate everything, if given the chance. Some things just need to be listened and done.



I am all for children having a voice and being listened to, as well. As I said, you have to find an even balance. Of course they are right sometimes but they believe they are always right. They believe they know best. This is my experience and not just with my teen daughter but it is how I was, too.

Jodi - posted on 08/28/2012

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"One thing I am beginning to learn and quickly. Is that teenagers, especially girls, have an act for debating the purpose for their mistake. They will often try very hard to get you to see their point of view, which is often very blurry and they are always right - in their mind."



And sometimes, as parents, we need to be open to listening to their point of view. Why? Because sometimes they have a very valid point and they are right, and we need to teach them that it is OK to debate their position if they believe in it. I can honestly say that there have been times my kids have stated their case, and I've accepted it because their reasoning was valid.

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/28/2012

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Nothing is perfect. This includes the outside world and us as parents. We have to do our best and consequence is important, IMO. It is not ALWAYS a requirement. You have to have good judgement and pick your battles. This is very important. You cannot be willing to die on every hill. 2nd chances are important, they are just not always. You don't always get a second chance but often, yes. I believe in self redemption and I often allow my daughter to do just that. However, not always. And if she is on her second chance and still pushes it, forget it. There are no more chances.



One thing I am beginning to learn and quickly. Is that teenagers, especially girls, have an act for debating the purpose for their mistake. They will often try very hard to get you to see their point of view, which is often very blurry and they are always right - in their mind. They can be very persistent and it can become very challenging. Since we as their parents know what "really" happened but one must remember they are not fully able to comprehend like us. So, you must find an even balance. One that will not allow them to walk over you and I will tell you, one slip and they will. Not because they are not being mindful but because they are teens (and teens can be very selfish - which is normal) and they believe they know what is best for them. ;)



It is important you do not set them up for failure. If we do not teach them that life is not a bed of roses, then they are not going to know what to expect when they are on their own, for the first time. People do not care about them in the outside world, like we do. They need a strong foundation of understanding or they won't make it, very easily.

Jenny - posted on 08/27/2012

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"They think parents are just over reacting and should loosen up and stop worrying."

There we are, that feels more like a teenager's response :) I know this attitude too well, I get it from my younger siblings and siblings in law. So annoying! But hopefully they do think about how worried you were. If you raise them as best you can I hope that they would have some compassion left for you :/



"it is my belief that it is important for them to have consequences, since they will once they are in the big world. We should be teaching them in a way, that they will be taught outside of our control or presence."



I get where this is coming from, and its a very valid point. I agree, that, for example, if you use the same punishment/reward system at home as is used at school, it will make it easier for the teachers to have a better follow through etc.



But, again I have my random thought on this one concept too.



There are loop holes in the law, there are ways to fudge the system.

Sometimes the law is unjust.

Sometimes you are given second chances with the law, depending on who you deal with.

The law changes. Sometimes you have to fight against the law for the rights of your family, and sometimes you win.

In some societies the government is corrupt.



Just saying, that the way the outside world works may not be perfect, so how important is it really to have our children prepared to be compliant with what may not be the best for humanity.



Do we progress as humanity if we raise our kids to be adhering to the current laws, or rather if we teach them an different morality, one that is more beneficial than the current law?



Sorry, I feel like I cannot express myself properly, but I think you can see what point I'm trying to make? What are your thoughts on this?

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/27/2012

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Actually Sylvia, what you did was privilege loss, not so much grounding. Unless she was not allowed outside, at all. This is something that happens to all adults and old teens, if they do not abide by laws. As our children are younger and laws are more in our homes, it is my belief that it is important for them to have consequences, since they will once they are in the big world. We should be teaching them in a way, that they will be taught outside of our control or presence.



Jenny---That is what I think would teach her. And its funny because its just reality. The reality is that you were so worried that you were out there on your bike looking for her, not desperately trying to hunt her down to punish her, but trying to find her to make sure that she is ok!



Maybe I forget how teenagers are, but if I were out without telling my mum where I was, and I come home to learn how freaked out she was, that would teach me a lesson, even without the grounding. The grounding is just the icing on the cake. Its just what we parents feel like we must do, we MUST make the lesson stick. We must make them think about what they did.




Once they are 13+, the trauma of their parents worrying is not in their forethought. They feel they are responsible and know everything. They think parents are just over reacting and should loosen up and stop worrying. So, in my experience a consequence is important, too. However, explaining how worried you are, is still just as important. They may think about it while serving their consequence (and they may not). ;)

Sylvia - posted on 08/27/2012

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@Jenny, yeah, that's how I think about it -- if an idea occurs to me when I'm feeling pissed-off and vengeful, then DD is likely to experience it as punishment rather than learning :P

Merry - posted on 08/25/2012

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I don't take toys away as punishment, if they're not able to play properly, then they loose the toy. I don't do time outs either, but I will make him sit if he won't listen, he can get up when he's ready to listen. No time set, he decides when he gets up but then we rediscuss the offense and he says he won't do it again. If he does he goes rit back

Sherri - posted on 08/24/2012

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I do a combination of both they do get punished but never without an explanation and a lesson as to why it was wrong and why we don't do such a thing. It is always a learning experience but I feel they need the lesson as well as the punishment to push the point home. I also punish and explain but rarely by yelling or in anger.

Jenny - posted on 08/24/2012

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I agree, sometimes punishment and teaching can look the same. But it comes from a different place, teaching will be dealt out with more compassion, understanding and a true desire to help the child learn.

Punishment is about getting them not to do it again, teaching them is about getting them to understand why not to do it again.

Sylvia - posted on 08/24/2012

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Well, see, if it were just me deciding, I probably would have skipped the grounding (I hadn't thought of it as grounding, that's never really been part of my life, but I guess technically that's what it was?). Especially since this was the first time she'd ever done anything like that, and she was obviously REALLY SORRY. But DH felt there needed to be consequences -- he was way more freaked out than I was; I think of DD as pretty capable, whereas for him she's still Daddy's Little Girl, even though she's 10 now -- and honestly I wasn't sure what to do, so I went with it.



I'm not a fan of punishment. I am a fan of teaching kids responsibility. Sometimes I find the line difficult to see.

Jenny - posted on 08/22/2012

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"But I think mainly she was affected by seeing how seriously freaked out we were."



That is what I think would teach her. And its funny because its just reality. The reality is that you were so worried that you were out there on your bike looking for her, not desperately trying to hunt her down to punish her, but trying to find her to make sure that she is ok!



Maybe I forget how teenagers are, but if I were out without telling my mum where I was, and I come home to learn how freaked out she was, that would teach me a lesson, even without the grounding. The grounding is just the icing on the cake. Its just what we parents feel like we must do, we MUST make the lesson stick. We must make them think about what they did.



I'm just thinking out loud, could we not achieve this (making them think about what they did and what to do in the future) by just genuinely bringing it up again over the following week? Every time you re-tell her how worried you were because she didn't let you know where she was, she'll be thinking about it, wouldn't she?



(Please don't take this post as an attack, I'm sure I would ground her too if she was my kid, I'm just wondering, whether the lesson can be taught without the punishment? Its something that plays in the back of my head a lot ever since I've read an article about parenting without punishment. Is it possible? What do you think?)

Sylvia - posted on 08/22/2012

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I don't spank. The only times I've been tempted to spank have been when I'm frustrated and at the end of my rope, so that has taught me that spanking is not a tool that I could use fairly or dispassionately.



This. I have heard many people say that they always spank calmly, never when they're angry, etc., and I just ... I can't relate to that. If I'm calm, I can think of a better alternative. In order for spanking DD to feel like a good idea, I have to be SO ANGRY that what I really need to do is give *myself* a time out.



We've never really done time-outs. But there have been times when I've had to remove DD from a situation she was clearly unable to handle, or tell her she could come out of her room when she was ready to be civil to the rest of the family ;)



I'm a big fan of natural consequences (you spill it, you clean it up). Sometimes that's tricky, though, as they get a bit older. A few months ago DD went to a friend's house after school instead of coming straight home, and didn't phone to tell us where she was. (Well, she claimed she had phoned and no one was home; we said, "THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT A MESSAGE.") We were fairly sure she'd just gone somewhere else (friend's house, park, etc.), but there was that 10% of my brain that was positive she'd fallen off her bike and broken her leg, or been hit by a car, or G-d knows what. So I'm out on my bike searching the neighbourhood when DD calls the cell to tell me she's finally phoned in, she's on her way home, and I can quit looking. By the time I got home DD was there too and was borderline hysterical because she could tell she'd upset us. DH and I had a long discussion about an appropriate consequence, and we finally decided that since she'd abused the privilege of coming and going on her own by going to a friend's house without telling us, the consequence should be a week of no hanging out with friends. A couple of years ago that wouldn't have fazed her, but by age almost 10 it was a BFD. But I think mainly she was affected by seeing how seriously freaked out we were.



Unfortunately I am not so great at not lecturing :( I'm working on that.

Janice - posted on 08/16/2012

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Thanks for the replies :) Unfortunately the time out did nothing- really no discipline works on my daughter. She will just continue doing what she wants until she decides she is done doing whatever. I just want to clarify that this was the first time out for these 'offenses' because we have discussed that both things are not okay about 2-3 times a day every day for over a week now. My daughter thinks locking the door is funny. She does it in her room, the bathroom, her brothers room and our room. Yesterday she did it again in her brother's room and then started crying she couldn't get out. I made her wait 2 minutes before I opened the door. Natural consequence right? lol In fact she only gets a time out if its something that we have repeatedly discussed, like climbing on our dog. The kid is going to get bit one of these because no amount of talking, time outs or spanking has gotten thru that she can not poke the dogs eye or ride him like a horse. And its impossible to just keep them separated in our 900 sqft apt. Sorry rant over ;)

Kelly, changing all the door knobs (4) to ones with out locks and installing eye lock would not be possible because we are 1. in an apartment and 2. on an extremely tight budget. But a good suggestion for if we ever have an issue with our son as we hope to buy our own home before he is 2. I wasn't mad that she ran away or hid in another room, only that she locked the door which has been discussed as not okay many, many times.

My daughter gets lots of my attention, we play games just me and her at least once a day. and she picks out which cup she wants to use every morning. I do think that the cup is an attention thing but I'm unsure how I could be there any more for her.

Meme I agree that my problem are not bad, I am very lucky that overall my daughter is very well behaved. She is great in public, unless she is miserable because of a timing issue concerning food or nap which obviously is not her fault.

Jenny we have helped my daughter blow on her food for a long time now. She found a random hot spot and got burned. We talk my daughter thru everything so I like this "Oh, mummy is worried this might be hot! Lets see, first I'm going to blow on it, there we go, now lets see if I put it on my lips is it hot? No! It actually feels okay, do you want to try see if its okay on your lips?" I will try that, thank you.

Jenny - posted on 08/15/2012

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My son freaked out about food being too hot too. I found that so annoying, especially when you know the food is not hot and yet he still wouldn't eat it.

I've thought him to blow on his food and also to "test" the food by touching it to his lips before he puts it in his mouth. This started with me talking him through the whole process "Oh, mummy is worried this might be hot! Lets see, first I'm going to blow on it, there we go, now lets see if I put it on my lips is it hot? No! It actually feels okay, do you want to try see if its okay on your lips?" At first he didn't want to try, but after doing this a few times, its actually one of the only thing that satisfies him that the food will be okay to eat.



He used to freak out about the bath water being too hot too. So I bought this little duck thermometer I put in the water, if it turns green with a tick its okay. I showed him how it works and now he believes me (and the ducky) if I say the water is not hot, just warm.

Jenny - posted on 08/15/2012

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Hi Janice, thanks for being open about your exact situation and honestly looking for other examples of what you can do.



Not sure about the locked doors yet. But with the sippy cup, I had a similar scenario with my son. My kids are 18months apart and my son would always take my little girls milk bottle to drink from, dispute having his own milk bottle. Nothing that I tried worked to teach him not to drink from hers, so in the end I bought him the exact same bottle as hers and if he really wanted to drink milk, I gave him normal milk in his bottle which looked exactly the same as hers and he was happy to do this. Not sure if you want to do this, but its one idea. I battled long about whether I wanted him to be drinking milk from a bottle at age 2+ (no I didn't) but in the end I decided it didn't matter, and to this day they have one bottle of milk a day, and he's now 3.5.



While they are so young its hard for them to get concepts you're trying to teach them. Its best to see if there is any outside factor you can change to eliminate the problem. I often bought both my kids the exact same toy (same color too even though one is a boy and other is a girl) if it was a cheap one, that in my experience settled a lot of arguments! Now that they're older, I have started to buy them different toys and they are learning to take turns by using a timer to time the turns. But honestly this did not work until my son was 3+.



With the locked doors. If she hasn't learned not to do it by now, I think its because she's too young to understand why she shouldn't be locking doors. I would just constantly remind her. She might not understand the why, but you can teach her not to do it.



My example is, my 28month girl keeps putting her water bottle and food right on the little table that holds our T.V and this drives me crazy because it gets under the tv, I'm especially worried when I find water under the T.V when I lift it to clean it.

I thought about punishing her every time she does it, but because I prefer not to, I just talk to her. Last week I told her not to do it, with an explanation and all, and then from then on every time I saw her water bottle on the TV unit, I would remind her what to do. "Issy, take the bottle off the T.V please."

It's been a week of reminding her, she still does it, but what I am most happy about, is that all I have to say is "bottle off T.V Issy" and she moves it straight away, no fuss, no tantrum, all of us happy, I can say "thank you Issy" and she'll say "your welcome" :)

I have every confidence that if I continue this, and catch her every time she does it, she will develop a new habit of putting the water bottle on the cabinet that is not holding the T.V.

I remember this is how I thought them to put empty plates on the kitchen counter and now they do this without me asking/reminding.



So, back to your scenario, I would just ask her to unlock the door every time she locks it. Maybe call out to her if you see her running away "Don't lock the door!".

Do you think this would work for you?

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/15/2012

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Yep, I agree with Kelly. I think those are great ideas and are ones I would also try myself. ;)

Especially, the special cup. Kids love that stuff. A nice little princess cup or something she really likes. She will want her cup ALL the time, then. ;)

Also, it definitely could be part jealousy. Which is completely normal. Setting aside some you and her time, only, is very important. She will cherish that time and look forward to it, for sure.

I hope it all goes well. I know it seems really difficult when in the situation and I don't want to make light of it but really, in the grand scheme of things, if that is all you have to worry about, you're doing great! ;)

[deleted account]

Janice, this is what I would have done. The first time your daughter locked a door, I would have taken the locks off of the doors. When J locked himself in our bathroom, I took the locks off both bathrooms and his room. I did add a top eye lock to the guest bath--adults can reach it, but no one under 5 ft. I know she locked herself in your room, which I doubt you could have predicted, but she did it because she was scared, not because she wanted to disobey you or be naughty. This is one of those situations where you have to look at WHY the child is performing the action. In this example, she was afraid, so once I got her out, I would have taken her in my lap and explained that I am letting the food get nice and cool before she takes a bite, so she won't burn her mouth. I might even let her watch ME take a bit to show her that it is cool enough.

As for the cup, it could be a couple of things.
First off, at 2.5, she will not understand why you don't want her to drink from his cup--she will drink from whatever cup she sees when she is thirsty. If that is the whole issue, all you can do is keep her cup full and available, keep his out of reach, and keep explaining to her that you do not want her drinking his drink. You could also try buying her a special cup that she is really excited about.
That said, it could be a deeper issue--she could be jealous of all the attention the baby gets and is trying to channel that attention herself by taking his things, and doing things he does. If that is the case, I would set aside 15 minutes twice a day (during his nap, perhaps) to spend exclusively on her--call it something special, let her have your undivided attention, and do whatever she wants to do with you.

Janice - posted on 08/15/2012

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Okay, so I have not read all the responses but I do see some that are for anticipating needs and talking only as a forms of discipline. While a definitely agree that those two things are extremely important and must be utilized most, what do you do if your child is misbehaving after their needs are met and talking doesn't work? I'm honestly curious. Warning: this scenerio will be long :)

My daughter is 2.5 and my son is 8 months. My daughter has recently become petrified of hot food after burning her mouth (not badly, she finished dinner)a few weeks ago. When she saw me pour the noodles into the water she screamed "I don't want to burn my mouth!" and ran off, I thought to her room but later learned is was my room, slamming the door behind her. Then my son started crying as he was already having a moody day. I stirred the food, set the timer and picked up my son and said lets go get sissy. I found my daughter locked in our room. Everyday 3-4 times a day my daughter is talked to about how she may not lock doors. Yet it keeps happening. When I unlocked it I found her drinking her brother's sippy cup.I talk to her on daily basis about that too. That if she is thirsty and her cup is empty she needs to ask me for a drink. So because of those 2 things in which she has been told multiple times not to do, she sat in time out for 3 minutes. As always after time out she tells me what she did wrong and apologizes and then we went and ate lunch and she happily proclaimed "I didn't burn my mouth!" Lol I have no clue if the message got through. But to those against time-out, what would you have done?



Now I do spank but not because I believe in it but because I've been very depressed and strung out and I'm really hoping my new medication will bring me to a calmer place and the spanking will stop because i know that it does not work at least not for my daughter. And when she is throwing a fit and we are home I just make her go to her room until she is calm like Kelly does with her son. I try to make my daughter's 'punishments' fit the crime, like if she is fooling around and spills her drink, she must clean it up but sometimes nothing seems to fit the 'crime.'

Jenny - posted on 08/15/2012

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We did that for about 4 mornings and then we broke. He's the most stubborn kid that I have ever imagined having. lol. We would take him back 20 odd times and he would still get out of bed and lie down by the door crying or banging his feet, all the way up till when we gave up and said ok, its 5.45am, that's good enough, you can wake up now. He broke me so many more times then I've tried to brake him when it came to sleep patterns. Just weird, I think he's a rear case. I kept trying different things all the time. Sometimes we gave up and just let him come out, even before 5am, and then we would go back to thinking, no, that's just not on! and the whole cycle will happen all over again of trying to control his waking up time. Anyway, enough about that. I hate reliving it, but at the same time, it was such a hard time in our lives it feels good to vent about it. But that's enough.

Congratulations on the new bubs if I haven't said it already. I wish you all the best throughout the rest of the pregnancy and delivery. And strength for the road ahead, I can't imagine it will be too easy for the first year with the two little ones, but then they'll grow up and be able to play together and that is just lovely.

Just go with it, you may not have a problem. I agree the second crib is a great idea, my daughter is 28months and has only now discovered how to climb out of her crib (and mind you she's very adventurous), it was so much easier to keep that one in bed because it was a cot :)

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/15/2012

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I agree, Jenny. I am not sure what I would do in that situation, either. I can only try to put myself in it and say I would make Daddy take turns with me. We would take turns from morning to morning, with putting him back in his bed. I know, it may not have worked. I think this is one of those situations where, you have to be in it, to solve it. As you said, every kids is different, therefore, what works for one, may not work for the other.

I know for us, my son slept through the night since he was 5 months but that is because I sleep trained him and it worked very well. So, I am unaware of true sleep deprivation. I am too old for no sleep. LOL I will do the same with this one coming, too.

I know with my daughter, I just let her come in bed with me. However, I was single then and young. I would never recommend this, now. She was 3.5 before I got her out of that habit. My kids do not belong in my bed, ever again! LOL

I will see how it goes for us, very soon. As my son will be transitioning to his big boy bed, so his soon to come brother or sister (in February), can have the crib. However, we have already decided, if it is a problem and too much for him, we will purchase a second hand crib (for cheap) and he will use that, until he is ready to sleep and stay in his bed.

Krista - posted on 08/15/2012

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I don't spank. The only times I've been tempted to spank have been when I'm frustrated and at the end of my rope, so that has taught me that spanking is not a tool that I could use fairly or dispassionately.

I think the discipline method really has to vary with the child. The same thing isn't going to work for everybody. My son is shy and sensitive, so we have to be more gentle with discipline than we would if he was strong-willed and spirited.

The biggest key, regardless of technique, is consistency. If kids know the rules, and know that the rules are firm, they won't push as much.

With our son, for the most part, a quiet but firm talking-to will suffice. If he hits, however, it is an immediate time-out. Other than that, if it's for everyday kid stuff like not listening, a quick but firm reiteration of the rules seems to work. I get down close to his level and look in his face and say, "Sam. When Mommy tells you to come get your shoes on, you do it RIGHT away." Then, if he dawdles the next time, it's "Sam, remember what Mommy told you about coming right away when I call you?" And 99 times out of 100, he'll listen. But...I have an "easy" kid. Your mileage may vary. :)

Jenny - posted on 08/15/2012

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Thanks for sharing Meme.
I loved the teenage daughter only wanting to wash her own dishes. Lol. My younger siblings still at home with our parents complain about this all the time, and always say, well if only every body did their own dishes! But it just doesn't work like that in reality. I agree, if you're doing the dishes, you're doing them all.

With the morning wake up thing Meme, what you detailed is the perfect way to deal with that, of course that would have been ideal, but life is just not like that. You have no idea how hard it was, he was not in his cot anymore because the cot was for my DD. Ideally in the perfect house set up it would be fine to just let him do whatever in his room till it was a more reasonable time to get up, but toddlers are not perfect. He would sit there howling by the door and banging with his feet very loudly waking every body up. It was such a hard thing to deal with I cannot explain, sleep deprivation because the young one is not sleeping through the night and then the next one waking up at whatever hour fancies him. I have no advice for anyone going through that, except to just go through the motions, grin and bear it, it will get better. Finally we don't have morning dramas any more because the early bird is old enough to do his own thing quietly or to go back to bed if it is way too early.
I agree, its not necessarily a scenario where you would use punishment. But then they do other things (like banging with his feet against the door) that would maybe require punishment or restraint or I don't know! I don't know how we got through those horrible horrible mornings, I don't remember how we ever got him to stop banging or crying to get out of his room at 5am, because all I can remember is him not stopping and it going on for ever. Even if I would go lay down in his bed with him, he would be thrashing and crying the whole time. It really was bad.

Just funny how kids are so different, the youngest one would sleep in till 10am if her brother kept quiet enough. What a blessing that was after such a notorious early riser.

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/15/2012

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Kelly---We don't do time outs either, in the traditional sense anyway. If J is overly angered and lashing out at us, we will send him to his room to calm down. It is not a "punishment". His room is full of toys, books, and other things to help distract him from the anger, and it gives him space to sort through his thoughts on his own. He is free to come out whenever he is ready, as long as he is willing to be nice. Usually, he came out and apologized within 5 to 10 minutes, other times he would stay in there for hours having distracted himself with legos and come out for dinner having completely forgotten his ill temper. We never force an apology, if he is sorry, he will tell us, if he is not sorry, it is pointless to make him say he is because it would just be teaching him to lie about his feelings.



Yes, exactly! This IS how we do it too. I do not take anything out of their room, when they are sent there. My daughters TV and laptop are in the rec room and she does not get sent there for a breather. Their room, is simply meant for them to calm down, take a breath and relax. Allowing them to regather themselves and perhaps think of better ways for next time. They can read, listen to music, play with their things, cry to high heaven, scream, kick, whatever. They cannot come out, until they have calmed down and are able to act rationally.



I do not force apologies, either. I also, rarely get one. I don't care, though. As long as the issue is contained and it does not continue to repeat itself, it is all good. Not everyone finds saying sorry easy and well, not always are they sorry. They felt the way they did for their own reasons. It is just important that they understand, valid reason to them or not, it is not acceptable behaviour and a better way is desired, for next time. ;)

[deleted account]

I do NOT spank, however, I do know how to do it without being angry. When J was about 2.5 yrs old, I began having problems with him that I was unable to resolve on my own, and bent to outside pressure to spank him. Here is an example of how I spanked without being angry. J & I were shopping and he asked for a toy. I said "No, not today." He glared at me and yelled "I WANT THIS!!" So I calmly took him into the ladies room (It never seemed right to spank him in public--too humiliating for him), explained that we do not yell and yelling doesn't make mommy change her mind, and swatted his bottom. Of course this didn't make him stop yelling, it didn't do jack shit, in fact, EVERY SINGLE TIME I spanked him, he yelled louder, and before long (I spanked him a total of 8 times, I think, over a period of just over 2 months before realizing it was not a good tactic for us) he was a quiet, broken little person who rarely looked at me, rarely laughed, rarely spoke at all.

Basically, all that to say, spanking without anger is possible, but it doesn't make a difference whether you are angry or not to the kid. All they know is that you are hitting them for expressing their feelings.


We don't do time outs either, in the traditional sense anyway. If J is overly angered and lashing out at us, we will send him to his room to calm down. It is not a "punishment". His room is full of toys, books, and other things to help distract him from the anger, and it gives him space to sort through his thoughts on his own. He is free to come out whenever he is ready, as long as he is willing to be nice. Usually, he came out and apologized within 5 to 10 minutes, other times he would stay in there for hours having distracted himself with legos and come out for dinner having completely forgotten his ill temper. We never force an apology, if he is sorry, he will tell us, if he is not sorry, it is pointless to make him say he is because it would just be teaching him to lie about his feelings.

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/15/2012

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Aleks--- the way I view it is if you have it fairly under control and a good rhythm of rhyme to reason, when they are young, it will fall into place as they become teens. Of course, you need to change pace a little, as they are older but this occurs over the evolution of parenthood, anyhow. What works for a 3 year old, may not work for an 8 year old. Same goes for teens. We as parents must evolve as they grow, it is a natural occurrence, IMO.



I would also like to add, that I am a complete believer in natural consequence, when it is available. I will always use this method over any others, if I can. Not always is there a natural consequence available to be used, though.



One natural consequence I employ is the hot oven and/or hot electric heater boards. I do not scold them or keep them away from the hot oven or heaters. If they is interested, we get it over with. I tell them it is hot and they should not touch but as usual, curiosity kills the cat. LOL So, I let them touch it (or sit on it, in the heaters instance). They doen't touch it for long and then they know, yes, it is hot. I think my son has touched it all of three times. Now, he goes up to it and says "HOT!" without touching. Perfect natural consequence.



Then there is another situation, I just went through yesterday. My daughter is home during the day, as it is summer holidays. My husband is sleeping because he works nights and I am at work. She wanted to cook some lunch. She is new to this, so naturally I worry. She wanted tomatoe soup and grilled cheese. So, after explaining to her how to do it (and getting the several "I knows".....**roll eyes**), I think she got it. I waited for 20 mins and text her back, to see how it was going, she said she was done and was eating. PERFECT! Then I waited another 10mins and text her again, asking her to please do her dishes and any that may be in the sink from the morning (her brother and I, having cereal). Well, that was not making her happy. She wanted to ONLY wash her own dishes. I had to explain to her that, when dishes are washed you do them all, not pick and choose. What would happen if I just washed ours and not hers? That, she says, she did NOT know the answer too (AMAZING!). Anyhow, there is no natural consequence here (I cannot or will not leave her dishes when she uses them). So, I called her (after going back and forth) and told her, if you do not wash all of the dishes, you can put the TV and Computer on hold for the next few days. Did she do the dishes? Yep. She also did them very well. ;)



So, I guess my point is, for us, we do employ several different approaches when dealing with specific behaviours. We do our absolute best to not get over heated. Yes, it happens, sometimes. When it does, we apologize. I think that it is normal to pull your hair out and snap, occasionally. After all, we are human. I think the most important thing is we are able to see our faults and if need be, let our children know, we are not perfect. Then work on our faults (very important) and ensuring we let them know, we are not looking for them to be perfect, either. We just want a happy household, with kids that grow with love in their hearts, fun in their bodies and a good head on their shoulders. At least, that is what I am aiming for. ;)

Aleks - posted on 08/15/2012

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Momma,
I won't even pretend to guess how to deal with naughtly teens. Not there yet, and won't be there for a while still (thank God for that, lol). Any discussion on parenting, I will only stick to kids aged 0-8 or 9yrs old.

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/15/2012

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Jenny---What used to drive me mad is when my son (who's always been a morning person) would wake up before 6am. As he sneaks out his room, That's 1, and I put him back. Comes out again That's 2. And again. That's 3.....um. Time out in your room??? Maybe this didn't actually fit the "stop" behavior and that's why 123 didn't work?

We tried everything to keep him sleeping in, black out blinds, put to bed later, an expensive wake up when the sun comes up clock, nothing worked! It's only now that he's 3.5years old that we can put him back in bed if he wakes up at 5am and tell him its not morning time yet, and he understands! That's the only difference now, he gets what night time/ morning time means and why its important to get as much sleep as you can so you have enough energy to have fun and play the next day. Finally he's able to comprehend that concept. No amount of discipline, punishment and teaching helped until his cognitive brain caught up.




I understand this. For me, I just accept that this is a part of parenthood. If my son (or daughter back in the day) wakes before his regular wake time of 6:30am, I leave him (but he is still in a crib right now) for a good 10 mins. If he does not fall back to sleep, I get up and we start our day. He will be in his "big boy" bed, in the next couple of months. I know, he will then be able to just get out of bed. I am prepared and we will just have to grin and bare it and get up. However, if it is before 5:30am, forget it. He WILL stay in his room, as I will just close the door. He can do whatever he wants in there, if not sleep. For me, this is not a reason for punishment/discipline. They are awake for a reason but this Momma is not getting up before 5:30am.



Also, on the time-out. For me, this is something I can do without getting angry. I am able to use my 1,2,3 method very very calmly. Perhaps this is why it works for me so well. My daughter knows, when I say "Courtnie, if you do not so and so, this is going to happen and I am going to start counting to 3", it is not very often, I even have to count. She just does it, without much resistance (since any attitude, gets me). This is always after we have began a back and forth scenario and I refuse to do such a thing with my children. I will always allow them to talk and get what they want out but if they cannot do it appropriately or resolve the issue at hand, then we move to the next course of action.



If I did not have time-outs, I would probably get angry. I know I am in complete control with a time-out and I know once they are in time-out, they are in complete control of thinking and calming down. I just simply say, "OK, time to go to your room. Go and think about what just occurred". If they want to fight it, I will pick them up and place them there, without talking (when they are under teenage hood). No, yelling (well, not often, it has happened). I don't know, even my coworkers have mentioned how calm I am when talking to my daughter and telling her how it needs to be.



I should say, though, my son has been in time-out, like twice and it was in his play-pen, in the living room. We have since put the play-pen away and he has not had a time-out. I believe in redirection for children under age 3-3.5yrs, it works like a charm. If he is getting upset, I assess when he last ate and had quiet time. If it was recently, then I tickle him! Gets him every time. LOL If it doesn't work, then I get the crayons out. He loves those. He is just so easy to change pace with, there is no need for him to be in trouble. ;)



Time-out, which is now grounding works (and always has) for my daughter but when she is grounded, she also does not get her TV or Laptop. These are her prized possessions.



The assessing when they last ate and had quiet time, works like a charm. But only until they are 10 or so. Have fun trying to get a 13/14 year old to eat, when they don't want to. ;) It is best, in my home, to take away privileges. Which in my home, is the same as time-out/grounding.

Jenny - posted on 08/15/2012

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I'm the same Aleks. A work in progress, hoping to get better, and over the 3.5years I've been a parent, I've probably read too many parenting books and websites. But I have not yet come across Aha! Parenting, so I am off to explore! Thanks for mentioning it :)

Aleks - posted on 08/14/2012

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Yeah, I am not a fan of "time-outs" either.. its the modern and politically correct "naughty corner".

Not as bad as spanking, but essentially does little good... mostly grows the seathing of anger over what has occured and and the feelings of "not fair". After numerous executions of "time-out", the child just learns to tolerate it... I doubt they care much about it, tbh. And the only thing learned is how to plan not to get caught, or they accept it as the "price" they have to pay (and will so) just to get things to go their way (at least for a little bit).

Count downs, similarly not a fan of, as its enforced compliance against a childs will. They have a no-win situation they have to submit to. Sorry, but as a child I really hated those and it just grew resentment within me. I prefer to get the child to understand why I request them to do something... and why I wish them to comply. Do they always comply? Of course not.



Honestly... as far as I understand (or may be its just my kids) but I have yet to see a child who seriously misbehaves for reasons other than:

- tiredness

- hunger

- lack of attention

- all or a mix of some of the above.



Therefore, if one tends to find kids not listening and misbhaving after being told and warned, its because of these things listed above. Having "natural" consequences is probably required in teaching and showing them their behaviour is not acceptable, of course together with an explanation of why not and what should they do instead. Though I very thoroughly an first handedly understand why many of us just out of sheer frustration resort to more extreme "punishments"...lol

Personally, my kids (7 and 3.5yo) will play wonderfully - sharing, caring, taking turns... co-operating, etc... until the point of one or both of them starting to run out of juice, so to speak.... (ie, hunger or tiredness).

On a rarer occasion will they just play up due to lack of attention - though it does happen from time to time.



ETA: I have my own failings as a parent and my biggest issue (with my parenting) is yelling and the on a rare occasion a swat/spank :-(. I am working on it and getting every so slowly better. I don't agree with using these as discipline tools, however, its hard to break a style one has seen one's own parents use and one has seen and grown up seeing. Yes, I am one of those kids that was spanked more than I spank myself now. And I do have anger/frustration issues myself. I am aware of these, and try to be more conscious about it and therefore, how I parent my own kids. I read extensively on parenting styles and stratergies. I love Aha! Parenting - www.ahaparenting.com Just to name one among a lot of others (which I am not going to quote here) Dr Laura Markham is fantastic and gives great stratergies.... I highly recommend that website :-)

I am a work in progress as a parent. And hope to keep on getting better and more conscious as I parent.

My other failing is sometimes spending too much time reading about how to be a good and improved parent rather than practicing it .... again.. the more I know now, them more I see what I have to do and the less I have to research.

Jenny - posted on 08/14/2012

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I went through a phase where I did not like time out, and still kind of don't. Hard to explain because there are so many reasons to why I feel uncomfortable with it. Maybe because dragging my kids to time out made me feel equally as angry as spanking them. The examples I had of time out were from SuperNanny and Tiny Tearaways. I watched these shows religiously while I was pregnant with my first and while he was too young give time out to. During that time I also learnt more about negative effects of spanking. And when I compare the two (spanking vs time out) I could see similarities.
So that would leave me with wondering what to do with when I got to the count of 3? Take a toy away? I tried this, but it just did not have an impact on my kids, they are not attached to any of their toys, believe it or not. Probably too young, and just their easy going temperament towards toys. Maybe it will work more naturally when my kids are older.

To me, it wasn't just about changing discipline methods, but changing my expectations of my children. Whether it was giving them a smack or a time out the frustration and anger I felt were equal. I even thought about taking out punishment all together. Its the "need to punish them" to teach them a lesson that makes me a bad parent in my opinion.

Like people can say about smacking, that its unnecessary, I could say the same about time out. And its the same with any punishment. It's only when I don't think about punishing them, but teaching them that I experience the mental shift from Angry and Controlling to Calm and Directing.

I wouldn't smack for biting either. And my little 2yo DD is an avid bitter. Its unnecessary. Same as I don't smack my kids to teach them not to touch the stove or not to run out into the street or to leave their car seat belts on. I have controlled all these behaviors successfully without having to punish. Easy peasy.
What used to drive me mad is when my son (who's always been a morning person) would wake up before 6am. As he sneaks out his room, That's 1, and I put him back. Comes out again That's 2. And again. That's 3.....um. Time out in your room??? Maybe this didn't actually fit the "stop" behavior and that's why 123 didn't work?
We tried everything to keep him sleeping in, black out blinds, put to bed later, an expensive wake up when the sun comes up clock, nothing worked! It's only now that he's 3.5years old that we can put him back in bed if he wakes up at 5am and tell him its not morning time yet, and he understands! That's the only difference now, he gets what night time/ morning time means and why its important to get as much sleep as you can so you have enough energy to have fun and play the next day. Finally he's able to comprehend that concept. No amount of discipline, punishment and teaching helped until his cognitive brain caught up.
Sorry, this turned out just to be a rant. lol.

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/14/2012

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I am a firm believer that one of the biggest reasons so many companies have to employ conflict management courses to their employees, is because most of them were spanked as a child. They were not given the chance to be listened to nor talked to, like they should have been. They were not shown the correct way or the reasoning of why they were in trouble. Too many parents that spank, do only that and do not take further steps in helping the child understand.

Most people that have been spanked as a child will claim they turned out OK. The only problem is they do not know how to handle conflict appropriately. They also often have other anger or fear issues, that they do not understand.

It has been proven that in Juvenile Delinquent centres, most, if not all, kids have been spanked. They are angry, broken, sad and fearful.

Now, I am not saying this will happen to every single kid. I am saying it is a chance a parent takes and I am just not willing to take that chance. So, please, Sherri, don't take offense. I am speaking in general.

When I was spanked as a kid, it broke me. I would cry and cry. It seriously killed me inside. No, it may not do this to all kids. I was obviously sensitive. I did become a very angry, teen and young adult. I have trust issues. I probably always will. I have struggled with conflict management issues but am much better now. It has taken me a lot of self reflection to get to the point I am at, now.

As I got older (8 or so), the spanking stopped and it turned to emotional abuse, instead. Although, I remember how I felt every time I was spanked and it tore me apart.

Momma (MeMe) - posted on 08/14/2012

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Ah, see with 1,2,3, I always say what the consequence will be before I start counting. So, if (again rarely) I get to 3, then they get that consequence. Which is often a time out, with a discussion after and the task (if there was one) still requiring to be completed, without fuss. Other times it is no special privileges for the remainder of the night, such as TV/PC, or fun play time. Sometimes, it is an early bedtime.

It really depends on the nature of the crime and whether there was a good reason for the behaviour. I will not use 1,2,3 for all things, only when it is to stop the whining, nagging or get them to get moving on the task that has been asked to be completed. You wouldn't want to use the same technique over and over again, as it gets old and they grow to used to it. So, I switch it up. Although, I always give the consequence before I act, regardless of what it is. I do, often, give them a chance. Unless of course, an immediate reaction is required. Of which, they already know what the consequence will be, immediate time out and lose of privileges.

I also like time-outs. I find they work well for my kids. It gives them time to think, own their actions and come up with their own way to do it different next time. So that when we have our talk thereafter, they have ideas of how it could have been handled differently on their part. I find this helps them work through, not only their anger/sadness but also their reactions for next time.

I have never spanked my kids. I have surely felt like swatting them but I kept my self control and walked away, even if for a few mins. It has always been enough for me to get my senses and come up with a better solution.

My son bit me tonight. My immediate reaction was to swat him (because it damn well hurt) but I did not. I knew he did not mean to, he was playing and trying to get my shirt. Even so, he should not be doing that, either. So, I pulled him back and told him, sternly, that really really hurt Momma. I showed him and he kissed it (his own choice)! If I had swatted him, he would have cried and not understood the reason for such a reaction from his Momma. He learnt this way, that he hurt me and he had to make it better. I would have done the same if it had been anyone else, he had bit. He is only 22 months, after all.

Sherri - posted on 08/14/2012

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I do have a pretty calm temperament. I kind of have to as I do in home daycare and have 4 of my own children and 3 others I watch daily so I have 7 kids 15, 13, 11, (2) 6yr olds, 3 yr old, and 6mo old all boys. Kids literally are my life so I have learned at a pretty young age how to redirect, get my point across in a stern voice without yelling and time outs are 95% my go to measures. There is that 5% of the time though that they push it and a swat is what works.

Jenny - posted on 08/14/2012

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Sorry Sherri, I posted before I saw your post.



So you spanked them after they got 2 warnings and a time out. At which point you got to thinking that behavior had to stop at that moment. This is where I personally get into trouble. If I get to the point of thinking "Heck no, you wont do that again, not on my watch", the I sure am angry and if I spank it is not pretty.

If you can get through 2 warnings and a time out without getting angry, then your must have a more calm temperament than I, because by that point, and thinking those thoughts I would be pretty mad.

I do much better when I don't let my self think "this has to stop right now." Then I can think of a nicer way to defuse the situation.

Jenny - posted on 08/14/2012

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I am honestly asking, how to do it? How do you spank without being angry. What's the textbook response to how to spank?



I've read a book by, gosh I forgot his name, but its called Dare to Punish, oh by Dr James Dobson. He's a christian and advocates spanking. He details how to dish it out. He does not recommend you do it out of anger.

I have tried spanking on and off with my kids even though I don't agree with it, to see if its a good way to discipline and can it be done calmly. I can do it relatively calmly if I do not smack hard. If I immediately resort to a spank, and lightly tap my kids behind. This I can do without being angry, but its not really a spank. A spank is meant to hurt (at least a little). I might as well look my son directly in the eye and say a firm No. It has the same effect.



I can't imagine how you could have been clam if you've only chosen to spank them 3 or 4 times. This sounds to me like when people say "I only spank as a last resort." By the time you get to the last resort, are you not increasingly frustrated and angry?

And what happens if the child does not stop the behavior with one spank, do you then spank them again, and how are you not somewhat angry by that point?



In my head, when I got to spanking point it was something like "Right, enough is enough, time for a spank."



Meme, this is hard for me to admit, but with 123 Magic, although I loved the book, in real life when I used this, I would find it really hard not spank when I got to 3. Nothing else seemed to fit the build up to when I got to 3. I find I parent more calmly and don't resort to spanking when I don't use 123 Magic exactly as its detailed in the book.

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