Spanking is abuse but Time Out is not?

Jenny - posted on 09/17/2011 ( 79 moms have responded )

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Thought just popped into my head. I’ve seen time outs demonstrated on T.V via Supper Nanny and by a Clinical Psychologist on Tiny Tearaways. Now that I think about it, the way they administer the TO’s seem equally as abusive to me as a quick spank on the butt.

In Tiny Tearaways the child is kicking and screaming trying desperately to get out while the parent is holding onto the door knob for dear life keeping it closed for the duration of the time out (one minute per age). Isn’t it abusive to lock your child in a room? Sure its for a short period of time, but so is a spank. (I’m talking about a spank where the parent administers 1 smack to the bottom.)

In Super Nanny the parents are encouraged to hold their child down, restrain them physically, physically drag them to the Naughty Spot/Corner/Chair to keep them there for the duration of the time out.

It’s almost as if this is more traumatizing and physically abusive than a spank to the butt.

What are your thoughts on these type of TO vs spanking? And how do you administer your Time Out?

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Kate CP - posted on 09/18/2011

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Hello, my name is Kate and I'm an ex-spanker. I'm also an ex-time out user.

Why?

For my daughter they just did. not. work. Mary Malinowski Neidich shared an idea called the glitter jar that I have implemented myself and it works great. Whenever my daughter starts to throw a fit we shake the jar and tell her she needs to watch her glitter until it all falls to the bottom. By then she's calmed down and we're able to talk to her.

We also use something called "love lights" where whenever she does something nice for us we put a little glass pebble in a jar. If we do something nice for her SHE puts a little glass pebble in the jar. This focuses more on her making good choices rather than bad choices and makes for a better day. :)

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2011

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Asking them to *help* clean up after they have drawn on the walls isn't punishment. No-one has suggested they should do it on their own at that age, but they are quite capable of taking on a level of responsibility with assistance.



Note the word *responsibility*. Not *punishment*.

Kate CP - posted on 09/19/2011

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Wow, I'm actually kind of insulted that you think I would stand there like a tyrant over a crying toddler forcing them to scrub the wall while they bawled and cried. Thanks for that, Jenny.

No, she wasn't crying when she did it. We used a magic eraser and I showed her how to use it. If she missed a spot I would point it out and help her scrub it. The entire time we were cleaning it up I would point out "This is hard work, huh?" "Yea, Mommy, it is." "Colors are for paper only, right?" "Yup!" and she happily scrubbed away.

Also, I don't leave my kids unsupervised for hours at a time allowing them to possibly create a massive drawing on the wall so no, it wasn't a HUGE mess.

Cara - posted on 09/20/2011

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I think either one CAN be abusive if done in the wrong way. I also think that which form of DISCIPLINE the child gets should depend on which they respond better to and what they did wrong. I see no problem at all with a swat on the hiney at times and nothing wrong with a time out sometimes. But doing either excessively is abusive. If a parent is having to do either very often then they should try a different for of discipline because the forms being used are obviously not working.

Minnie - posted on 09/20/2011

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Yes, the situation isn't "arrrgh you made a horrible mess- go get a rag and clean it up NOW or you won't get any dinner! Grrrrr."

But

"Uh oh! There is marker on the wall! We color on paper not the wall. :) Let's go get a rag and wipe that up." *helps child wipe*

"Ok it's all clean now! Let's go get our paper!"

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Charlie - posted on 09/20/2011

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" I've learned that to me 1-3 is a special age where I want to be the mum and just take care of them and let them have fun "

I would like to point out that none of that is sacrificed in having day to day responsibilities.

Jenny - posted on 09/20/2011

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With helping me clean up their mess, I try to involve them in it if its fun and they want to. My son has his own spray bottle and sometimes walks around for a good hour spraying things and wiping them clean, because he wants to not because its a responsibility but just because he wants to be like mummy and its fun.



Here's another example, my 2 year old always runs out after me to help me when I hang up the washing. He hands me every piece of clothing from the basket. He has been doing this ever since he could walk.

To me it was not about teaching him responsibility or teaching him about helping, but finding a way to balance taking care of my son & doing house chores.



I just don't intentionally teach them about responsibility and don't care to until they are 3+ and have a better grasp of language and expectations. I just want them to have fun and me be the mummy that's all while they are so little.



I understand now that a lot of you put more thought into this and want to prepare your children for responsibility by introducing it a little at a time at age appropriate levels and with your help that is also fine. I don't have a problem with that, but do when its about it being used as punishment.



And wow, I've noticed a few things about myself as a mother through this post that I didn't know. I've learned that to me 1-3 is a special age where I want to be the mum and just take care of them and let them have fun and I've learned that I don't like the typical Time Out.

Lissa - posted on 09/20/2011

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At present I am at college and two of the classes are curriculum (that may not make sense at this moment but all will become clear) and child development.

So lets look at this wall drawing from a childs point of view, lets say a two year old. Mummy told me not to draw on the wall but I forgot or maybe Mummy never mentioned it so I didn't know. I drew on the wall and Mummy said, I like your picture but we aren't supposed to draw on the walls. I felt sad because I like my picture. Mummy tells me my picture is lovely but we need to draw on paper then we can put it on the fridge. Mummy says we have to wash it off and lets me have my own cloth and like magic when I wipe it came off, I never knew that would happen, I keep wiping because it's funny to watch it disappear, where is it going, how does that work. Mummy and me are working together when we finish we draw a new picture and put it on the fridge, that makes me happy.



So curriculum just means learning in this case it would be hidden curriculum, learning through situations what we can and can't do. The child learned a little science, soap and water clears things up, it's interesting it just disappeared. The child learned drawing on walls means the picture has to go but paper means the picture can stay and be displayed. The child learned that when we do something we shouldn't do Mummy will explain and help without being mad, the child learned trust and that mistakes are OK. The child learned that Mummy values her and her artwork.



We for instance may find cleaning a chore we may despise having to constantly do it but we know how to do it, it isn't a new experience. Dealt with correctly the situation should be just an experience, it's not a bad thing.

Sherri - posted on 09/20/2011

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@Jenny if my 18mo old drew on the walls he would lose his crayons and get a time out for sure. I would also take the time to explain why we don't draw on walls and why I placed him in time out.



I don't see drawing on the walls as a toddler an accident or acceptable so yes they would be punished by losing the crayons for the rest of the day and a time out as well. That would be the punishment. If we continued to have multiple offenses then they are obviously too young to handle them and they would be put away till they were older.

[deleted account]

Its not that far fetched to see someone making their child clean up after a mess they made as a punishment. Its all about how you approach it. If you demand or forcefully make a child do something they simply don't want to do that is punishment. If you approach it in a loving and positive way, ask and they help simply because they know it will make you happy and will feel good to do so. That is not punishment.

Its the same as time outs. If i demand my daughter go on a time out and force her to go to her room, then its punishment.

If i explain we need some down time and that we need to figure out how to handle these emotions together. Then sit down with her and talk about self control. This time out is a valuable life lesson every child not only needs, but deserves to learn.

Janice - posted on 09/20/2011

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I haven't read all other posts but I have only seen Super Nanny and I've never seen her restrain a child. The parents were always instructed to walk away and then put the kid back if the moved which of course may include picking them up.

Anyways, I am not totally against a quick smack on the butt, my testy toddler sure has gotten a few. However, the point of a time out is to give the child a chance to calm down and think about their actions. By repeatedly putting them is to show that they can not get away with what they are doing by just running off.

If an older (5+) child is completely out of control and hurting others then locking them in their room till they are calm is not all bad. As long as the child is allowed to come out and get love once they are calmer. Definitely a last resort only used with certain children.

Every child is different and parenting techniques must differ for each child. No matter what a child must be taught some type of technique to calm down. I dont think spankings or time outs are abuse as long as the child is given a reason why they were punished and love after its over.

Jenni - posted on 09/20/2011

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I think Jenny, and I'm sure you already realize this, that you're projecting your own experience in childhood, to responsibilities. Where your parents treated it like a punishment.



Teaching responsibility in toddlers is not the same as punishing them for making a mistake. It should never be treated as a negative. That can be detrimental in teaching responsibility, cause resistance and inhibit teaching self-discipline. And of course I praise and encourage them in their efforts and a job well done.



My daughter is 16 months and as I've done with my other two, we clean up messes she makes together. She also *helps* me with chores as my other two do. We work together and it's a bonding experience. She is proud (as my other two) that she's doing *big people jobs*.



Now for a one year old, I hand her a paper towel when I'm dusting and she simply mimics what I'm doing. If we're tidying up toys, we all pitch in. She simply mimics what we're doing. We're putting a puzzle away in a box- she wants to help too. She spills some milk, I hand her a paper towel. She watches me wipe up the mess and she kneels down and does the same. But she is not *expected* to clean up the entire mess or to do as good as a job of the older two or myself.

I teach responsibility at that age by providing the tools and modelling the behaviour.



When my children are 2 and 3, it's the same thing. With a little more expectation. I've always reminded my children when they are making a mess, that they will have to pick it up before they play with something else. When they're visiting a friend's they are expected to *help out* clean up the toys when they are through. But we all pitch in.



I've never stood there and barked orders. It is just something we've slowly built up to, with me helping out a little less and a little less.



It isn't a punishment, it's a logical consequence... we make a mess... we clean it up after. They don't really know life as anything else. They've always helped clean up after a mess.



I think turning it into a punishment or making it a negative experience would just make them resist doing it... and they wouldn't do it of their own accord.



My son has and will clean up a mess he makes now, without even being asked. My SD use to be more resistant (but I'm not sure how her mom treats it at her house) When I do tell my children it's time to tidy up... I receive no resistance (not even from my SD anymore). I might be asked to 'help them' if the mess is really big, and I will.



It is just a value I've introduced to them slowly and age appropriately... and of course I don't expect them to tidy/clean up after themselves at an adult level.

Jenny - posted on 09/20/2011

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I wouldn't put them both in the same category. Just me. I could be wrong.

And sorry if i didn't hear others when they were trying to say that its not a punishment, that's not what came across to me. It seemed like some were saying that cleaning it up should be the consequence, which to be honest shocked me when it was referring to a 1 year old.
And although I understand what you are saying, my mind is still in shock at the thought of teaching a 1 year old about responsibility. Guess I haven't been exposed to that sort of thinking before.

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2011

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Sorry, I wasn't yelling, I was emphasising. I will edit my post to reflect that.



Several people have tried to tell you that it isn't necessarily a form of punishment, but you seem to be ignoring that. Just like asking them to pick up their toys that they made a mess with isn't punishment but learning/teaching responsibility.

Jenny - posted on 09/20/2011

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No need to yell it.

From what you said it seems like you feel that getting them to help clean up the drawing on the wall is teaching them responsibility and is not punishment. That I can understand.

Jenny - posted on 09/20/2011

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I love your list idea Karla. DH and I do this together when there's a lot to get done :)



I’m not talking about it being unreasonable to expect a child to clean up after himself – i.e put away his toys. That’s different. That’s more about a routine, like putting away the toys before bed. That’s a routine.



I'm referring to punishing a young child for an accident they have caused - a toddler drawing on the walls - I don't feel right about making them clean this up.



For me, in my experience I found that it was not necessary to do this for them to learn not to draw on walls. Instead I taught this desired behavior by redirecting them to draw on paper instead of walls and providing a consequence when they didn’t. I would take away the pencil/crayon. I feel like that is a direct & logical consequence, but that getting them to clean it off is a punishment. Here is where I don’t think it’s age appropriate. I feel that children 1-3 learn best through redirection rather than punishment.



I wouldn’t punish my 16month old for drawing on the walls, but if she was 5 and drew on the walls, then I would probably feel it is age appropriate to punish her and I could chose to do that by getting her to clean it up.



So in the same way I feel that a typical time out or smack would be equally as inappropriate for a young child, because it is a punishment and in that way it can come across as abusive if the child has no way of knowing better. It’s like when some people think their 4 month old is crying on purpose. Because a 4 month old is incapable of doing things to annoy someone on purpose it would be abusive to treat their behavior as such.

Karla - posted on 09/20/2011

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I just read through 3 pages of posts. There are so many methods and views on discipline and punishment, and I’m sure they are all valid for each family. (Though, I can’t really fathom using a “pop” on the mouth, with anyone – that’s just not the way my family operates.) I do wish I had the “glitter jar” when the kids were young though. ;-)



There are so many methods to avoid behavior problems in the first place; keeping the child’s emotional tank full is paramount to avoiding behavior problems.



I wanted to share a couple things about chores. Like Jenny my childhood memories of doing chores are not good. In my preteen and early teen years my mom would come home from work and scream at us about the messy house and dirty dishes, then she’d go in her room and cry, and then I would be at the sink doing dishes in tears. Just a few years ago she told me that in those days she was so stressed out and she thought us kids knew that’s why she was screaming and basically giving herself a time out. Well no, I did not know that. I thought she was totally disappointed and mad at me. (Whether or not that’s the reason I hate house work, I do not know.)



Because of this experience I knew I did not want that for my children. I needed to find and learn a better way. When they were young I did want them to help clean up, but we did it together. My oldest daughter was particularly defiant so I would make up games for chores such as “we’re going fishing” and all the toys are “fish.” The really great thing with most kids though, is they love to help and they like to try to sweep and use the vacuum and put their hands in soapy water. It might take 4 times as long, but they are learning.



Then when the kids were older I would make a list and put it on the table, we would put on some good loud dance music, and clean. They just keep coming back to the list and picking the next chore to do. (Though for a while my son would disappear and I would have to call him back.) ;-)



The thing is, I hate to clean alone, and I think my kids are the same way. So they are rarely made to do chores alone. Often they will do chores with one another, so I don’t always have to be involved. And of course as they get older and want their bedrooms to be comfortable they will attack that chore on their own. I guess I just look at chores as “we’re all in this together,” it just makes it easier for all of us.

Lissa - posted on 09/20/2011

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There is not shouting and screaming involved in cleaning the mess up. It's a case of nope we aren't supposed to draw there so now it has to be cleaned up and getting some cloths together and doing it. There is no shouting or mean voices in any way, it's a very matter of fact when you draw and the wall it has to get washed off but if you do it on paper we can hang it up.

Jessica - posted on 09/19/2011

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not age appropriate at 2 or 3 to clean up your own mess? can you say delusional?

Jaime - posted on 09/19/2011

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Jenny, there is nothing cruel about including a young child in clean-up. It's foolish of any parent to expect a young child to clean to an adult standard, or perfectly independent, but no one here is saying anything to that effect. I think you should stop watching Super Nanny because as much as I adore her accent, Jo Frost doesn't know everything there is to know about disciplining children. There are plenty of positive discipline resources out there. 1-2-3 magic, Triple P parenting among others.(the two listed are taught by people that have kids, so they are coming from an entirely different perspective on the matter of discipline and punishment). Time-out can quickly become negative punishment, but when it's used in true form, can make all the difference in a frustrating day. Everyone and their dog needs a time-out once in a while. Picture your worst moment and how out of control you felt. If you lashed out and conveyed hysterical emotion in an effort to confront a matter you weren't prepared to deal with, you likely wound up making matters worse. Now picture it from a toddler point of view....

Charlie - posted on 09/19/2011

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JuLeah thats exactly how our time outs work , they are a time for the child to recentre and gain control over their emotions.

Jenny I feel as if that underestimates the childs capabilities , a one year old ? sure it may not be under some one year olds capabilities to comprehend however I have found most two year olds both in a daycare settings where all children pack away their activity when finished and at home are quite capable of comprehending this.

Learning life skills is always age appropriate the only difference is the individual childs comprehension of the task even then younger children who arent at the stage can learn to do these things with adult help, leading by example alongside the child.

If the child doesnt like it offer help and make it fun.

It isnt so much about age appriopriatness that is the issue more often than not it is about parent willingness to accept what a child is capable of learning and what they are not capable of learning.

You say "I even think it's cruel to expect my 2year old to clean up all the toys he & his little sister messed up all by himself, especially if he's never done this before." how can anyone know a child is capable if they never offer the opportunity ?

Learning is all about opportunity to engage and progress.

Jenny - posted on 09/19/2011

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"I see that it's teaching them to appreciate how much boring effort it is to clean up messes so they won't want to do it again. I don't see anything wrong with that."



But I don't think a 1-3 year old can appreciate what a boring effort it takes to clean up a mess. That's where we differ, where I think its not age-appropriate. That's okay if we don't agree.

Jenny - posted on 09/19/2011

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Loved your post JuLeah, as always. Very helpful.

I will "practice" doing the time out like you suggested, I love that idea.

Jenny - posted on 09/19/2011

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Well I have no idea how you have done it and you did not specify so do not take it personally.
Also I was not referring to anyone specifically as a few said that they do this with their kids, so again, don't take it personal.

Thank you for clarifying. I admit that looks very different to the picture I had forming in my head. Nobodies fault about the negative picture in my head, that is a lot more to do with my past and how my parents would discipline. Yes they would get us to clean the mess up, and it did not matter if we were crying the whole time. So I'm sorry for offending you.

Stifler's - posted on 09/19/2011

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I see that it's teaching them to appreciate how much boring effort it is to clean up messes so they won't want to do it again. I don't see anything wrong with that.

JuLeah - posted on 09/19/2011

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Time outs are never meant to be used a punishment. I too have seen parents screaming at the top of their lungs - TIME OUT .. they mean 5 hours, or until they themselves are no longer angry.



As the kid sits there the parent continues to yell and scream - who needs a time out now?



A time out, is just that. Taking time out to breath, to think ... kids ought to practice 'time out' when not upset or angry. Practice sitting and breathing, practice talking it out with themselves ... whatever calming system you have taught them



Idealy, they will learn when they need to take a time out, and do so before they blow. -Just as adults should do



Time out is not a punishment



Time out as you discribe it, is not okay with me. I have not seen Super Nanny.



Some kids do get to the point where, for their safety, you must restrain them. If it has gotten that bad, something has gone very very wrong, but yes, kids do get to that point.



One needs to be taught how to restrain safetly and correctly. This is not to be done by just anyone.



I have worked with kid who will harm themselves, run into freeway traffic, jump out of a moving car, throw themselves out a window .... so yes, it can get to that point



These are kids who have been abused for many years and are very traumatized - not your average kid pitching a fit



I can't think of a situation in which I would hit a child

[deleted account]

Its not punishment if you approach it properly.



edit to add** My daughter will be 2 in December. So I am also not talking about a 5-6 year old.

Jenny - posted on 09/19/2011

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Teaching the child to clean up after themselves is different to punishing them for doing a mistake, i.e drawing on the walls and get them to clean it up.

It's the attitude behind it. The "heck no you wont." That I find aggressive.

When my son (at 18 months) drew on the walls for the first time, I cleaned it up, because I am his mother, and then I explained to him visually what we can and can't draw on. I.e "You can draw on the paper, but not on the table! We can draw on the paper....but not on the floor!" ect ect.

I would find it crule in that situation to "force" him to clean up the drawing from the wall. Sure if he wants to that's great, but I wouldn't keep it as a rule.

Now we are not talking about 5 or 6 year olds who know better than to pee everywhere and who know how to clean up. We are talking about 1-3 year olds expected to clean up.

Again, if its done in a fun and loving environment that is fine. But not them crying and we insisting that they clean up, because it was their mess and they must take responsibility for it. It is not cruel to teach a child responsibility at the right age, or in little bits until they are the right age.



Maybe in my case I'm imagining a massive drawing on the wall that a 1 year old is expected to clean up after himself? If its just a tiny scribe and comes off with a quick rub of a nappy wipe, well yes they can do that.

[deleted account]

How is it cruel to teach a child responsibility? Teaching a child to clean up is a healthy thing to instill at a young age. Gabby picks up her toys puts her cups and dishes in the sink, and puts her dirty clothes in the basket. She even helps me with the laundry by putting things in and out of the dryer. She enjoys doing it because its her choice. She knows she is contributing and is proud of it.
As for the drawing on the wall, I didn't mind it at all or punish her for it. I explained to her that we use paper to draw and paint on and she helped me wipe it off. I just make sure to find all the crayons after she is done with them so it doesn't happen again.

Jodi - posted on 09/19/2011

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Um, yeah, I can't see how it is cruel to teach them to clean up after themselves (ie. picking up toys, wiping the wall)...... :\



I don't think anyone means a crap on the floor.



Mind you, once my kids were older (as in 5 or 6), if they pee other than in the toilet (like all over the toilet as opposed to IN it), yes, they do clean it up. I don't see it as punishment. It's a logical consequence. After all, if WE peed all over the toilet seat, we'd have to clean it up!

Sherri - posted on 09/19/2011

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My kids have to clean up their toys definitely by 1yr old. I help but yes they are expected to do their fair share as well.

As far as drawing on the walls oh heck no. They is a punishable offense and is not tolerated under any circumstances and I most definitely do not appreciate the artwork.

Charlie - posted on 09/19/2011

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Lisa I do the same thing, A toddler does not do things purely to be malicious when Cooper has drawn on the walls I show him that I appreciate his artwork offer an alternative, explain that if he puts it on paper we can hang it from the "gallery" ( we have an indoor clothes line we hang their pictures on in the craft room) and then he has to clean up before I can get the paper and pencils out in the craft room.



Its the same with Harry when he starts throwing things off the verandah , I know he isnt trying to malicious , he is exploring cause and effect , gravity ....its toddler science !



So if I find he is using something I DONT want thrown I simply say "not for throwing , it's mummy's " and then offer him an alternative like a plastic ball.



Reguardless of reason for making a mess my toddlers know when we are finished playing we clean up our mess, its a good life lesson ....even my one year old knows how to throw his lego back in the box !



There is nothing aggressive about it , children are far more capable than a lot of parents realize and given half the chance you will find for the most part they enjoy cleaning up , my 2 ( almost three ) year old likes having a clean house and often feels proud he was partly responsible for it.



As for comparing doing a poo on the floor and making a mess with toys ...two completely different things.



An intentional mess through play or exploration is one thing but a child who has not yet gained control over his bowels is another.

Stifler's - posted on 09/19/2011

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What do you actually suggest that people do to combat them doing it again then?

Jenny - posted on 09/19/2011

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Depending on age, I think it's a bit cruel to make the toddler clean up all the mess they made by drawing on the wall.
I even think it's cruel to expect my 2year old to clean up all the toys he & his little sister messed up all by himself, especially if he's never done this before. Baby steps.

To me saying "if he does a poo on the floor he cleans it up off the floor" sounds just as mean as "if you don't stop your tantrum I'll give you something to cry about." It's just this mentality and expectation that is unrealistic for little ones and I find it aggressive.

Stifler's - posted on 09/19/2011

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I have a feeling (from experience) that most "naughty" things kids do are due to lack of supervision anyway. Every time I am distracted by trying to refill the pepper grinder, facebook or feeding the baby my son is in the laundry defeating the child lock and tipping things on the floor and like the others now that he's a bit older he helps wipe it up or vacuum it up. So I'm just like ": we don't tip things out Logan it's naughty". I do a "time out" in his room if he's throwing a tantrum until he stops carrying on.

Lissa - posted on 09/19/2011

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I totally agree Lisa, if the child draws on the wall etc, I wouldn't punish it. Reminded them the proper use of crayons and getting them to clean it up is much more effective.

Lissa - posted on 09/19/2011

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Time outs used correctly IMO shouldn't result in anything like this scenario. I only ever use them when emotions are getting out of control and it's time to go sit on the boring stair (simply because it is the one place where there are no distractions). I kneel down with them and talk to them calmly, help them breathe properly to calm them and when that's done we sort out the problem. I can't even remember when I last did it as I normally manage to avoid situation getting to that point.
the only other time I have done or recommended another version of time out is suggesting putting a toddler in a playpen minus the toys when you have tried everything to stop them doing something dangerous or something cruel to a pet. In that case it's simply a tactic to protect the pet or child and associating the action with then having no fun. Again though I would only do it or suggest it when distraction, talking and showing them how to be gentle etc does not work.

Minnie - posted on 09/19/2011

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I actually thought it was great when Evelyn drew on the wall. Lol. She's such an amazing artist, it was a cow, standing on two legs, completely anatomically correct. I think having a child clean it is a good thing to learn, if that is important to you. Instead I took a picture and just reminded her to draw on paper (and made sure to have lots available and easily accessible!) She never did draw on the wall again.

September - posted on 09/19/2011

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I think time outs work wonderfully if done correctly. Locking a child in their room is not the proper way of handling a time out imo. Our time outs consist of removing our son from the situation and we have a little talk with him. This seems to be more effective than having him sit alone plus it gives us time to explain why we're taking a break as well as an opportunity to learn about his emotions. We don't spank so I can't speak on that.

Leslie - posted on 09/19/2011

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I am actually for Spanking, but I have my rules for Spanking. I can't spank them in anger, if they do something that sends me over the edge, I walk away cool off and come back and deal with it usually with a talk. However there are times that my two boys get into something that they get a tap on the but for and a time out. My kids go sit in their 'naughty chair' and laugh the whole time they are in there... Doesn't really work for me, but a tap on the bum gets them both knowing not to do it. I don't in any way believe that it is abuse.

Sherri - posted on 09/19/2011

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We have done those consequences Kate and for us they have done zero actually it made them want to do it more. They could have cared less they had to wash there hands more or had to scrub the walls. Next time it just happened to be a black sharpie all over my brand new white refrigerator.

I think it is awesome that it worked for you but for us that did nothing for us.

Kate CP - posted on 09/19/2011

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When my daughter drew on the walls she
a) had to clean it up herself. Completely. She couldn't walk away when it was half-done.
b) lost her crayons for the remainder of the day.

Know how many times she drew on the wall? Once. Never did it again.

When my daughter lied to me about washing her hands after she went potty the consequence to her action was to have to wash her hands 3 times in a row. She has never lied to me about anything, really, since. She knows that if she lies to me the consequences will be worse than if she just fesses up.

When I was spanking she would repeat the same behaviors over and over again and I would just get angrier and angrier. I realized I was hitting out of anger and frustration and it wasn't doing a damn thing to help her learn to NOT repeat that behavior.

I think what helps is to realize that my kids are very strong willed and I admire that in them. I cultivate that and appreciate their thoughts and emotions. I'm not a total control freak and I DO let some things slide because it's just not worth the fight. My daughter is very respectful and doesn't talk back (much, for a five year old) and it's because she has respect for herself. I never beat her down, I never chastise her for being an child. I have no problem with my kids questioning me. But then again...I don't have control issues so it's not a big deal to me if I have to explain WHY they can't do something. "Because I said so" is not something said in this house. :P

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We use time outs as a last resort, but I never hold my son there. I generally use redirection or natural/ logical consequences, I can't remember who said it (maybe danielle?) but if my child is drawing on the Walls he knows it is naughty, he knows the consequence is his crayons get put away and he can't play with them for the remainder of the day, he learns that if he wants to play with them he has to draw on paper...he now asks if he can draw on things even paper and waits for a yes before he does. But he only learnt because I take the crayons off him AND I explain that we do not draw on Walls we only draw on paper, if I just took the crayon he wouldn't learn anything.

As for time outs I re-direct, then I give a warning if his behaviour continues he will have a time out, then I put him in a time out...telling him why and for how long (A min per age), if he leaves the time out corner I take him by the hand and put him back. Most times I only have to put him back a couple of times, once it's over I explain why he was there again then, he apologises and we hug. This is not abusive, but I'm not using time out to punish him I'm teaching him acceptable behaviours, things like not hitting etc.

We don't spank but for normal spankers I don't see it as being abusive, it is however an abuse of power, I'm not allowed to hit another adult so I don't feel it's acceptable to hit a child.

Minnie - posted on 09/19/2011

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Mary I use something similar to your idea to distract the girls- but I purchased it- it's a cylinder that's separated in half by a plastic wall and this green goo oozes down through it- then you can turn it over to start again.

I really like that idea- it's giving a child tools with which to calm herself down and control those big feelings. Good resource to have as an adult.

Minnie - posted on 09/19/2011

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I just think that we should draw a line somewhere (it'll be different for different kids) where we only call something "abuse" if it affects the child pretty badly, like even as adults, they still have issues because of it



I do agree with this- I know there is a line between abuse and non-abuse, it just can be so subjective and fine at times. I personally feel that it can be heading into sticky territory for the person who is meting out the punishment to say that it isn't abuse, when they're not the one receiving the punishment. It's not usually until a person grows up that they can put words to the feelings they had as a child. We have to be so careful.

Mary - posted on 09/19/2011

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Rebecca - Kate asked me about posting a link to the note I did on FB about The Glitter Jar. I tried to post the link, but I can't make it work. (although maybe she can!)

What I did do is post a pic in the photo section here with a description of how we made ours. My daughter will be 3 in November, and time-outs were not something that were going to work for us unless I forcibly restrained her - and that didn't appeal to me at all. This has worked really well for us. We made it together, which I think helped - it gave her some ownership in the whole concept.

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It can turn into a case of forcing a child to sit or holding the door shut so they cannot get out.What i say there is mom or dad needs a time out.You will achieve nothing by doing this.

Stay calm and do it with patience.

If your upset/angery your child will become the same.In other words the action can become abusive.

My children would not responed to having the door forced shut to keep them in or to hold them down.This is not what time-out is or should be.If your doing this stuff.Take a step back and ask yourself what went wrong and how can you make time-out better and less tramatic for your child.

Ashley - posted on 09/19/2011

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While I was pregnant with my first, I used to say I would never do this, never do that, always do the PC things. LOL.



Now, three children later, I am not ashamed to say I do swat them on the hand if they keep touching something they aren't supposed to, and I will pop their mouth if they sass me. If they are rowdy and not obeying me when I say to stop, I will put my two boys in different rooms to play. Not in a time-out but an enforced, temporary separation. All it takes is one quick swat to get their attention and show you mean what you say. It works every time. It doesn't hurt. Everyone in restaurants and other public places always say how well-mannered they are. And I know it's because we have rules in our home that are enforced IMMEDIATELY if they are broken. Even good kids are testy and they learn how to manipulate rules if they can.



I'm not trying to say that other parenting styles are ineffective. I was an elementary school teacher before having children, and many child psychologists agree that CONSISTENT rules and discipline, no matter what it is, produces the best-behaved children. Not wishy-washy, lazy, enforce-it-one-day-but-not-another parenting.



However, if you're the type of parent who thinks your child has the right to act/do/eat/play however they want (and I've dealt with this type of parent as a teacher before), you're actually doing your child a disservice. Discovering one's self is something that comes with maturity, something one should learn only after learning limits and how to follow rules.



A lot of parents are too busy granting concessions and respecting their children that they forget to also expect respect.

Sherri - posted on 09/18/2011

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I think you better watch supernanny again because never are children held or restrained in time out. They are placed there if they get up, they are placed back on the spot. However, never ever are they held there against their will.

I find Time out is a punishment but I am an advocate of punishments. They don't scream, I never hold them there. I simply say time out now. They walk to the time out wall and place their noses on the wall for 1min per age. They begin this as young as 1 yr and never have any of them ever had to be held there. Everyone of my children did this until around age 5, I still use this for the daycare children.

As far as my kids being able to be opinionated Oh Hell No!!! They are not allowed to question, talk back, or be disrespectful to an adult. They are taught this from day one. If they are there are consequences.

(Before anyone says it, yes they know the difference if someone tries to do something inappropriate and they know exactly what to do in a situation such as this).

Elfrieda - posted on 09/18/2011

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@ Lisa, who said " it diminishes the feelings of the person receiving the action. I see this frequently- one person didn't suffer abuse because another person says that what they suffered was oh so much worse. Its like as long as something is going on that's worse than what we do, or we suffered, then only that worse thing is considered abuse."



That's certainly a valid point. I just think that we should draw a line somewhere (it'll be different for different kids) where we only call something "abuse" if it affects the child pretty badly, like even as adults, they still have issues because of it.



Otherwise we'll be calling all the mistakes and misunderstandings that parents make "abuse" and then *everybody* will be able to say "I was abused" and it won't mean anything other than "My parents were human".



I like the glitter jar idea, too. The glitter is in water, right?

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@Kate -- I really like the idea of the glitter jar, but how did you get the glitter to float? Am I missing something? I'm wondering if that might work for my sons (because time outs sure the hell don't).

Tara - posted on 09/18/2011

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Neither form of punishment is used in our house. We have taught our children about emotions, we have given a language to behaviours and feelings that we all have, we have identified virtues and characteristics that we value and wish to see in ourselves and our children. This frees us from needing to punish our children for undesirable behaviour. We use experiences as teaching tools for learning appropriate and considerate social skills.
For example: Children are taught about the virtue of patience. They are given examples of what patience looks like, what it sounds like, etc. we do this the same way we teach other things at home. So I give a scenario to the kids, "Joey is really excited about going to the beach, his mom has to get the baby ready, pack lunch and let the dogs out, joey starts saying "when are we leaving? Can we go NOW?" Joey's mom explains that she has other things to do first and asks joey to be patient."
I then ask my kids what that might look like. They say things like "He could help his mom while he waits." or "He could let the dogs out" etc.
By doing this kind of teaching about the behaviours we want to see and then recognizing them when we do, we are giving our kids power over their own actions and we are giving them the control to choose to act according to the expectations.
When my kids are impatient I simply say "I think you need to show a little more patience right now." and they have also said it to me when I have been impatient with them.

Anyone interested I recommend the book "The Family Virtues Guide". It's a great place to start and was instrumental in my choices as a parent and how I parent.
:)

Lady Heather - posted on 09/18/2011

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So stealing those ideas Kate! I think they'd be really appealing to Freja.

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