Military Style Discipline

Charlie - posted on 08/14/2011 ( 61 moms have responded )

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HAs anyone heard of this , using excercise like sit ups and leg lifts as punishment .

All I can say is WTF !!!

Where exactly is the merit in this , how exactly does this punishment tie into ...any action a child could do to deserve punishment , it boggles my mind .

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Tara - posted on 08/15/2011

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Exactly right Laura! This type of punishment is designed by nature to break the will of the child/recruit/prisoner etc. etc. so it can be very effective, which is why it is used in the military and in prisons, you (you as in you the leader/sergeant/warden/parent are in effect systematically breaking down the will of the recruit so that they will obey you without question. The goal is complete obedience and compliance without any dialogue or learning. Simple control.
Works great on new recruits. They don't have to love their Sargent, prisoners don't have to love their warden. But kids, children need to trust the adults in their life to help them learn to be good decision makers, not good recruits.
They need critical thinking skills to survive on their own.
This style of "discipline" should be left to institutions such as training camps and prisons. Children deserve and should have more respect.

Tara - posted on 08/16/2011

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Again this style of discipline is meant for the military and prisons etc.
The goal in those places is not to promote a sense of accomplishment for a job well done or for good behaviour, the goal is not to foster independent thought about ones actions and how they affect others. The goal is not to develop effective communication skills nor is it develop positive accountability for ones actions. The goal of using this style of discipline on recruits and prisoners and now children is simple control.
The idea isn't "Do 50 push ups and you will learn to make your bed neater."
Obviously one has nothing to do with the other. The message is clear.
"I can control you. I control your body. If you do something that does not conform to my ideals I can force you to do unpleasant things."
This is in essence on a deep level, on a psychic level saying "you are no longer a separate entity. You will obey me. I own you."
Think of the way basic training is accomplished on a whole, the whole premise being to destroy the sense of self, of individualism. This is necessary in the military to ensure a very strong sense of reliance on your fellow recruits.
So I see it has a place. But not on developing minds, not on children who are only learning how to handle social and emotional issues.

At those young ages the formation of millions upon millions of synapses in the brain is a very active process, our emotional intelligence is being formed as we learn by our role models how to process complex emotions such as guilt, fear, sadness, anger toward people we love etc.
The skills needed to live in happy, secure relationships (isn't that what life is all about ultimately? Relationships with other humans?) can not be learned adequately when we force our children into molds and holes.

I agree Jodi, this seems to be a largely American style of parenting. Boarding schools alone, let alone military schools for children under 12ish to me is dangerous to the emotional and mental well being of people.

off the soap box now....

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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"And again, if using this as punishment will make a child hate physical activity, then why would anyone punish their child by saying "now you sit here and THINK about what you did!""



Asking a child to sit and think about what they did is a logical consequence of certain actions. It is totally related to the behaviour that is being corrected, and I wouldn't actually refer to it as punishment. After all, as adults, we sometimes sit and think about our behaviour too - it's called reflection. It simply isn't an equal comparison.



I can't see how "drop and give me 20" is any sort of logical consequence to anything in a young child. In a team sports setting where someone is slacking off on the team or something in the mid to late teen years, yes, it makes sense, but for a younger child as a random punishment? I think the parent really needs reevaluate their methods.

JuLeah - posted on 09/02/2011

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Yup ... kids with a lot of anger or energy. So, the kid is sassy, rude, violent. disrespectful ... taking away x-box only makes the situation worse, grounding doesn't work, time out?? yah, that will happen ... but, something about getting all the anger out - 50 jumping jacks, 50 push up ... based on age and ability ... make them sweat, make them breath hard, get their blood pumping ... something about that allows them to then actually listen, actually focus



I have a friend who gets depressed if she doesn't job/run every day - whatever chemcial is released in the brain is something she needs



Ideally the kid learn this about her.himself and will take a break when things start to go wrong in their day. I know school children who will ask and be allowed to go run around the track - they come back breathing hard, and in a different mind set and able to follow through with whatever they had been asked to do



So, as a punishment ... no, but punishments never work as they don't teach anything of value save how to avoid punishment. But, as a tool, yes

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I would probably not try this for two reasons:
First, I fail to see how doing sit ups would teach a child how they should have acted in the situation for which they are being "disciplined"
Second, I think this would put a negative spin on exercise. If I associated sit ups with punishment, I probably would not do them very often. With obesity at an all time high in my nation, I think we need to be doing everything possible to put a POSITIVE spin on exercise--not using it as a punishment (I'm calling it punishment because I fail to see the teaching aspect, and I feel that is a fundamental part of discipline).

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Queenie022807 - posted on 01/06/2014

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It depends on the child. You do what works for them not you. I am a mother of five. When one of my children won't talk to me about their behavior i will have them walk the steps to clear their head until they're ready to talk. I see nothing wrong with it at all It gives them some excersize which is a positive, seeing as though many children are overweight these days & it's proven that excersize releases endorphines that could put you in a better mood. It helps my kids and makes it a lot easier to talk to them. I would never make them over do it or Drop down & give me 20! It's just a helpful way to open up the lines of communication.

C A - posted on 06/16/2013

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I was forced into foing military squats and pushups as a child. My father has stabbed me thrown me down stairs and abused me in ways i dont really want to tell anyone. I remember everything. Now with all my teeth falling out holes in my jaws, bone issues and tons of other symptoms i am left to pick up the pieces while my parents still play it off as if they were the perfect parents. This is where a authoritarian parenting style gets your child.

Erin - posted on 03/04/2013

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Well a lot of military excersises are being scrutinized for causing permanent injury to troops so I wouldn't go that route. Although ethically it seems like in some cases at some level it could be a legitimate technique. I personally would stay away from it. Just because someone in the family agreed to join the military doesn't mean the whole family did despite what others might think. The kids will hate whoever dishes this punishment out.

Cecilia - posted on 02/25/2013

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I will agree full on military style is wrong. I will support the fact that in some cases physical activities as a punishment can get a point across.

I read a post not too long ago written by a dad. He was telling a story where he son was failing. Every day for one hour his son had to dig holes in the back yard.

After a week of this he turns to his son and says "you don't like doing this do you?"
Of course he says "no"
The father says to him, "then bring up your grades so you don't have to do this every day for the rest of your life."

Great point made out of what would be just physical punishment.

Yes i think doing jumping jacks for an hour teaches you nothing. I think with everything it does depend on that you're doing and how.

J M - posted on 02/25/2013

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Yes as this site is based in America, the things they are allowed to do with their children, to even say punishment now in some countries would not be heard of, rather correction.

Parents and teaches are to either teach and or Parent, some parents are good teaches some are not , but a lot of teachers may no be parents, thus you can get good teaches and some not good teaches to.

I have read some american sites her eon C O Moms, and the words and terms used seem as harsh.

When you " Lead and direct children in to meaningful activities you are correcting them.

Punishment as be proven counteractive to often, to often only making children sad and angry adults. Prisons are full of them, to often those in prison had no proper parenting at all, or had such harsh punishments only send them opposite directions, then some will just do what they will, as most agree you cannot Force a Punishment onto any one. YOU LEAD a better example.

Explain what you are about to do, correct their behavior, DON"T use threats as some do. BE their example and LEAD.

Dont give any punishment you would not like yourself, or feel would have no effect teaching you.

Grandma - posted on 08/31/2012

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Try this one- my grandchildren are placed with us by DFS, the home was horrible when they were removed. For protective care. Any way after a year the kids are still with us and may go home in November. The kids have told about things in the home- Dad's idea of breaking up fights is to fight until there is a winner, doing pushups (10 per year of life).

Today dfs sais that pushups are ok as long as the limit is 20.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!!!!!!!!!

These kids are 11,10,8,7 Give me a break.

Mom, dad and dfs can't understand why the kids don't want to go home. They'd rather stay here where grandpa is grouchy and grandma is tired.

Our punishment is go to your room or you have to hang out with grandpa and watch;

pawn stars, swamp people and oh yes the dreaded fishing and hunting shows.\

My personal favorite is the senate hearings with no one on camera just that awful music.

Merry - posted on 09/02/2011

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Johnny said- Some times I think people have children just so they can have someone to boss around. They don't think of them as little developing individuals, but as goo that they can shape and mold into what they want them to be.

This describes my dad perfectly. Its sad because he was a great dad when we were young and worshipped the ground he walked on but once we started getting minds of our own he got awful. He claims he loves me and misses me but it's quite obvious he just misses the control he once had, he can't accept I'm not his little subject anymore.

Johnny - posted on 09/02/2011

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I find the OP style of harsh physical excercise very extreme to the point of abuse and I have a hard time believing that it would teach anything at all. It just punishes. And that isn't really "discipline".

I do use physical exercise to focus my daughter, but not as any form of punishment. It's not really for when she's done something wrong, it is for when her emotions are getting out of her control and she needs something to redirect her energy to so as to regain control. It is designed to make her feel better, not worse.

She's only 3. When she gets very worked up about something, her words get away from her, so talking about it just exacerbates the problem. So I'll either get her to stand on her balance board, hop on one foot, march on the spot, squeeze my fingers very hard, or even do jumping jacks (like 5, not 20 OMG!) I've fournd that it works very well, settles her down, and gives her a chance to work on what is bothering her. Then she is able to verbally share the problem.

Some times I think people have children just so they can have someone to boss around. They don't think of them as little developing individuals, but as goo that they can shape and mold into what they want them to be.

Merry - posted on 09/02/2011

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Switch your page style to 'most recent' it makes it glitch free :) the newest posts are always right there at the top

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

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I posted one which was just dots to hopefully see if something was posted and then deleted it. Maybe everyone else is doing the same.

Jodi - posted on 09/01/2011

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I thought so too Sherri, so I posted a word to see, and nothing, so perhaps everyone is deleting what they post? Or there is a glitch again....... I got notifications that you have now posted 3 times?

[deleted account]

I can only see using exercise as discipline working if you are really using it as re-direction. Like most mums if I can see Ethan getting bored and twitchy I give him a simple follow my commands game...stamp your feet, jump like a bunny, turn around in a circle, run to the goal posts now run back etc, things that burn off energy the difference with this and what you describe is we do it together and I am notbpunishing him.

I saw an episode of wife swap where they made their kids collect rocks amongst other things for punishment but didn't fit the crime, I like logical disipline so this would never work for me.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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"Most military style punishments don't seem to teach anything a child would understand. Heck I'm an adult and I can't comprehend how doing squats until my legs want to fall off will make me want to make my bed any neater."

That's why I have issue with it, I just can't see the point for that exact reason. It teaches nothing, and is probably really a form of bullying kids into doing things, rather than teaching them right from wrong.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/15/2011

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I was being sarcastic. The worst my 6 year old gets is her DVD player taken away. The pen thing was done to my ex husband at Basic when he was 19. He probably talked back to a drill sergeant. He's an ass anyway so I wouldn't be suprised if they put a pen in each hand.

Most military style punishments don't seem to teach anything a child would understand. Heck I'm an adult and I can't comprehend how doing squats until my legs want to fall off will make me want to make my bed any neater.

Kellie - posted on 08/15/2011

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Jennifer - The other OP involved an answer where children as young as 5 were given sit ups as punishment. It also involved them re-doing their sit ups if they hadn't finished crying when said sit ups were completed.



I don't give a fuck where you come from, that's fucking child abuse.



"but to say any and all parents who use physical exersize to discipline are abusive is kinda silly"



No one has said any or all parents who use physical exercise as a form of discipline/punishment are abusive. Just that some of us don't agree with/can't wrap our minds around using exercise as a form of discipline. Again, it's not something I would ever use.

Jennifer - posted on 08/15/2011

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Holding a pen over their head till their arm hurts?!? Ummm, that's abuse! 20 push-ups for a 5 year-old? NO. 5 push-ups, OR 5 jumping jacks, OR 5 squats, I feel that's acceptable. Expecting a 5 year old to sit still for 5 to 10 min is much harder(at least with my boys it was!) "Punishment" does not work unless you also redirect, as with training dogs(something I have a bit of experiance with) at least 90% needs to be positive, and any negative should be short and to the point. As I said earlier, ANYTHING can be done to the point of abuse. I have never used this with my children, quite frankly it never accurred to me, but I have seen it used affectively. And most of the parents that I've seen use do it in a very good natured, fun, game type way. I did not read the post that this one sprang from, so I don't know if I would consider that abuse or not, but to say any and all parents who use physical exersize to disicpline are abusive is kinda silly.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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See, I find that sad too. No elementary school child needs to be shipped off to military school. Seems to be a very American thing. Really, really sad.

Sherri - posted on 08/15/2011

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No I personally wouldn't but there are military boarding schools for elementary school children as I already said. So although I personally wouldn't many people do everyday.

Here are a few that are in the US. I only listed a few but their were 6 pages of them listed and many began from the age of 5.

Admiral Farragut Academy
Military School, Secondary School
Co-ed - Grades K - 12
St. Petersburg, FL (United States)

Army and Navy Academy
Boarding & Day School, Military School, Secondary School
All-boys - Grades 7 - 12
Carlsbad, CA (United States)

Chamberlain-Hunt Academy
College Preparatory, Military School, Religious School
Christian All-boys - Grades 7 - 12
Port Gibson, MS (United States)

Eagle Military Academy
Military School, Public Residential
All-boys - Grades 5 - 12
North Charleston, SC (United States)

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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So you would send your 5 year old to the military or boot camp then? That's my point. YOUNG children. You can't compare boot camp and 17 year olds in the military with a 5 year old child.

Sherri - posted on 08/15/2011

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I have heard being done more in ex military families more so than the avg. family.

As I said I wouldn't do it but as long as it isn't overboard I don't have a problem with having them do some exercise as discipline.

I would much rather hear about someone doing this which I don't feel abuse vs. a beating or a cold shower which is very much abuse.

Heck our 17yr old kids who join the military do this everyday in basic training. Kids are sent to military school as young as elementary school and have to do this as well. Or military style boot camps in the summers it is considered fine and beneficial in those situations. So I don't see it any worse that some parents opt to use this type of discipline either.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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Well, that show is an extreme example, hardly a Bible on which to base one's every day discipline of young children.



And I must admit, I've never seen them use military style discipline either.

Charlie - posted on 08/15/2011

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I cant say I have ever seen parents on "worlds strictest parents" do this type of "discipline" .

Sherri - posted on 08/15/2011

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As long as it isn't as rigorous as you would for teens then no I don't think it is horrible by any means.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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What about younger children Sherri, like 5 or 6 year olds? Do you have no problem with that?

Sherri - posted on 08/15/2011

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Yup sure have. It is actually fairly common. They actually have a reality show on TV where they send unruly teens to go live with such families for a period of time. It actually makes a world of difference in their behavior and respect.

I personally don't discipline this way but certainly don't have a problem with it either.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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As I said in the other post, I saw an episode of Wife Swap once where they used military style punishment for their kids.

Merry - posted on 08/15/2011

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We have often compared raising toddlers to dogs :) in fact I remember watching for when Eric surpassed the dog India in knowledge! Lol she's still smarter then the baby :)
I defiantly don't agree with this type of punishment, reminds me of the lady on dr Phil who made her adopted young son take ice cold showers when he lied to her. Poor kid screamed and screamed but she made him sit in that shower way too long.

Charlie - posted on 08/15/2011

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Ok Im not talking about specific training where the child knows physical workouts are part of the program like martial arts , I am also not talking about using excersize to channel their energy ...that would be common sense , child has lots of energy = send them out to run around and kick outside.



what I am thinking these parents are talking about is :

James doesnt pick up toys ....drop and give me twenty .



Megan holding a pen above the head ? ugh.



Yes this did come from the welcome page she asked not to debate her style there so I brought it here.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/15/2011

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Yes I'm totally for making my 6 year old hold a pen above her head until her arm hurts because her bed isn't made correctly... riiight.

I've heard of military style punishment, but only in the story I was reading in Glamour about this girl and her brother who were mentally and physically and sometimes sexually abused by a man their mom had dropped them off with. Military punishments in themselves are ridiculous, the pen thing was something my ex had to do when he didn't have his black socks on with his combat boots. WTF is right.

As for using activity for a punishment on ADHD children I agree that it doesn't work. My 6 year old has either ADD or ADHD, what works for her is taking things away. Or threatening to pierce something.

If you want to really punish your child, make them listen to John Tesh.

Jennifer - posted on 08/15/2011

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Amie, Martial Arts is not nearly as physical as most people believe. It is about knowledge over matter, control over emotion, if you will, Our kata's are about teaching your body the right stances and strikes to defend yourself. Everything is controlled, though, even the way you hold your fingers. This is why it is beneficial to ADHD kids. They learn mind and body control. It does take them longer to learn, but they tend to excell in it. Several other 'sports' are more active, but provide the same benefits, dance, horseback riding, skateboarding..........

As to the exersize being abused- Everything can be abused. I've seen kids confined in 'time-out' for hours, or days....even being put in cages due to not staying in the time out chair......an abusive parent is an abusive parent!
And again, if using this as punishment will make a child hate physical activity, then why would anyone punish their child by saying "now you sit here and THINK about what you did!"

Tara - posted on 08/15/2011

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I agree with Mary and Jennifer about the dogs/kids overlapping thing.
But I think it's because I raised my dog with my kids, I had four at the time, youngest was 1. She became my side kick, she followed my lead with everything. So while she wasn't raised with my kids per say, she was raised along side them and a lot my parenting reflects in her behaviour now.
And yes, tired kids and tired dogs make for more reasonable, happy and adjusted animals.
It's simply chemistry and biology at that point.

Kellie - posted on 08/15/2011

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The shit that's on the welcome page is abuse "hiding" (very poorly) behind the word Discipline .

What some of you are talking about here is redirecting a high energy child and giving them a positive outlet in which to burn off their excess energy.

One is totally different from the other.

It's not something I would use. Ever.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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There is SUCH a big difference between channelling into a physical outlet, and using physical exercise as punishment.



I just don't see the logic in it as a punishment. Sorry, you won't pick up your toys? Drop and give me 20. Nope, not doing it for me. Unless it is the logical or natural consequence of the action, I just can't see the point. I can see the possible detriments screaming at me.

Jenni - posted on 08/15/2011

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@Mary, so I'm not the only one that feels dog training and child training can very basically overlap? lol I was a little worried someone might take offense to the comparison. ;)



Oh yes, I mean passive as in not directly relating to a particular negative behaviour. But identifying that my child is 'acting out' because they're bored and need something to fill that boredom... or preventing a lot of negative behaviours by ensuring my children are 'well exercised'... ;) for my preschoolers that would be something like going for a walk to the park, or playing tag or hide and go seek in the yard.

Mary - posted on 08/15/2011

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Jennifer, I honestly have found that there is some overlap between "raising" a child and my dogs. Perhaps, because I love my dogs so much, I don't find this comparison derogatory to my child in the least ;-)

And yes, I have found that one of the keys to keeping both my dogs and my kid happy and (relatively) well behaved is to keep them physically active and stimulated. So, while I have no interest in any of us doing sit-ups or push-ups, I do find that when she is "acting up", one of the best ways to deal with it is to channel that energy into some form of physical activity. She's not yet three, so this is not some passive, "go run some laps, kid", but rather something that I am engaging in with her. I guess it's more of prophylactic thing for me; if I run her ragged with physical activities, it is much less likely that she will need any type of "discipline".

The same holds true for my dogs - wear their assess out, and they are very well-behaved. It seems to work for us, and is why she and I devote a chunk of each day to walking the dogs. I wear her on my back for the long walk to tire them out, and then later, we walk them again, but she is walking/running along side of them. Of course, this is also why my house is never spotless, and I collapse into bed well before 10pm every night!

Tara - posted on 08/15/2011

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I think it's unfair to the children and will only lead to either defiance and they simply will not perform the actions demanded of them, or acceptance and suppressed resentment. In which case they will do them but will likely avoid doing any similar physical work for joy or training etc. etc. Who wants to think of their parents and their judgments of you when you are trying to train for a marathon or trying to gain strength etc. I just think it's counter productive to the goal of healthy, physically fit, happy people.
It's forced physical activity that can lead to a resentment of physical activity. I just think like some other forms of discipline that this one has many faults and few redeeming qualities, not something I would put in my parenting tool kit.

Jenni - posted on 08/15/2011

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Oh, I also think that turning exercise into a 'punishment' (negative) will make some children loath exercise. Which could possibly cause them to reject it in adulthood. Exercise is healthy and very important for all of us. It should be made into a positive, not a negative.

Jenni - posted on 08/15/2011

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Ok, well... I'm not big on punishments. And I'm not sure I agree with this sort outside of sports/military. I don't believe it's the *worst* punishment in the world unless it's being abused.

I do believe in using activity as a form of passive discipline. Meaning, if you have an high energy child it would be very beneficial to keep them physically active and make sure they are exercised well. (I feel like I'm talking about care for your high energy dog breed) ;)

High energy children and all children, really, at times need to burn off steam in a physical manner. I believe it contributes to their overall behaviour. If they have pent up energy and nowhere for it to go... some children will find negative outlets to release it.

So positive physical 'activity', not so much work out 'exercises' can take boredom, idle hands and pent up energy and channel it into something positive and healthy.

[deleted account]

Martial arts etc is perfectly okay.Set in a safe surrounding with professional teachers.I just don't like the idea a child being bold or what not at home and mom or dad making them do 50 sit ups lol.



Parents will take this to far like many who spank do.Using it as an example.I do not intend on making this about spanking.

They all have there OWN take on certain discipline methods etc.This is what i don't like as many cross the line were it becomes abusive.

[deleted account]

Thats parents taking the fecking biscuit if you ask me.I would not do that to my kids and would be shocked to see others discipline in this way also.

Stifler's - posted on 08/15/2011

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Not unless it was in cadets. LOL. That sort of stuff is punishment to me anyway, I hate exercise. I wouldn't have even thought of using it on my kids as discipline/punishment.

Amie - posted on 08/14/2011

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I really can't see where this is beneficial except in a PE class, a dance class, martial arts, etc. Any class that has a physical component to it.

I wouldn't use it.

Jennifer, It's activities that focus on the mind and body (physical and mental discipline) - together that help kids with ADHD. Not just meditation like activities. That's why things like martial arts - where you are taught to focus and are still physically exerting yourself that work wonders for kids with ADHD.

Jennifer - posted on 08/14/2011

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BTW, some parents think 'active' punishments will help kids with ADHD. Don't count on it! With ADHD it is the mind that is overactive, the body is just following the brain. Many times increasing the activity level of these kids will make them even more hyper. Teaching meditation like activities, where the child focuses the mind works much better!

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