Spanking under 2 a criminal offence

Jenni - posted on 04/29/2011 ( 31 moms have responded )

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Ok. So not new news and I know some of us disagree with spanking all together. Considering there's been so many posts on discipline lately, I figured I'd throw another one into the mix.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive...

On another thread in another forum. I've seen moms admitting to spanking their 1 year olds. Some saying that it's because some forms of disciplines ie: time outs are ineffective with certain children.

So thoughts on punishing children under 2 years old with spanking. And thoughts on whether certain discipline methods only work on certain children.

My question is; how do you know no other method of discipline works if your baby is only a year old? I personally don't believe in punishing a child under 2 years old because they completely lack impulse control. That doesn't mean you can't discipline them (teach) but to punish? seems a little fruitless at such a young age.

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Krista - posted on 04/29/2011

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I don't think that people can really believe that spanking is the only method that works...I think they're just lazy and a spank is the quickest way to deal with it, and it seems to work in the short term (they'll stop what they were doing...doesn't mean they won't do it again because they never learned anything!)

I can't imagine spanking my kids, especially a baby under 2! I figure that if teachers can manage to control a class full of 20 or 30 kids without physical punishment (and I teach 20 six-year-olds) then surely a parent with a few kids can manage without spanking! Can you imagine how a parent would react if I spanked their kid in class on a regular basis and used the argument that "no other method seemed to work"?!?

Tania - posted on 04/30/2011

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Well ....and I am not apologizing for this but I DO judge people who HIT....and yes spanking not matter how you try and sugar coat it is hitting.

What right do these people think they have tp hit a defenceless child. My sister just moved to Texas from Canada and can not believe the amout of people who hit their children.

These people are adults. Learn to EFFECTIVELY disciplin your child because hitting them does not work and what lessons are they even learning by it.

Child abuse is child abuse is child abuse.

[deleted account]

As I said... I'm not touching the spanking or even the punishment aspect of this post (sorry, cuz I know it's the main point). But... discipline is teaching so NO ONE is too young for discipline. Even from birth. Granted, discipline from birth probably doesn't even look like 'discipline', but from birth you are (hopefully) teaching your baby that he/she can count on you to take care of them and their needs. It builds the foundation for the discipline... and even punishment... that takes place later. ;)



An example of discipline at a year.... my son started walking at 9 months. We live in apartments w/ a huge parking lot, so by a year I was taking him to the edge of the concrete, pointing at it, saying it was a yes yes, then pointing at the blacktop, and telling him it was a no no. Granted, he was little, so not 100% reliable, but even now when we pick his sisters up from school.... He will run right up to the edge of the concrete (freaking out parents that don't know him) and stop right where the concrete meets the blacktop and wait for me and his sisters before crossing. Discipline at/under a year too young? I don't think so. :)

[deleted account]

Young or old, NO ONE deserves to have another human being physically force their will on them.

31 Comments

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Vera - posted on 05/01/2011

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Jeez I couldn't imagine spanking my daughter. She is 14 months now and wouldn't even know what happened.. aww the thought makes me wanna cry - seriously. Children that young shouldn't be spanked. They are learning and exploring.

Minnie - posted on 05/01/2011

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Well, there are whole groups of people who believe that the word discipline = spanking. Some who I know personally. They assume that we don't discipline our children (and have been told so) because we don't spank.



I rather prefer to use the word discipline as something I help my children achieve. Not something I DO to them. When did people start using it as a verb?

Jenni - posted on 05/01/2011

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Good point Teresa.... I think we all start 'disciplining' probably somewhere around 6 months and even earlier. Discipline is such a broad topic and can cover anything from teachings signs, teaching words, teaching gentle hands, teaching through reading a book.... etc etc.



I'm not sure why discipline carries a negative connotation to it. I know it covers any type of 'teaching' but even I still generally use it to refer to directing a negative behaviour to a positive one.



I mean, it comes naturally to us when our babies are attempting to do something where they could get hurt, we pick them up and say: "no no no". (At least for me) But I think most of us do not expect them to understand why we are stopping them or possess the self control to not repeat the behaviour. I think expectations are laxed but I think we still unconsciencely let them know that certain behaviours are forbidden and guide them through the world.

Penny - posted on 04/30/2011

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My son is 19 months old, and I used to smack him when he was naughty but it never achieved anything. Now my husband and I tell him to go to bed if he starts chucking a tantrum or misbehaving and he goes by himself shutting his door behind him. Doesnt even play with his toys just sits on his bed. Then after about 5 mins one of us will go in see if he has calmed down and give him a cuddle.

Merry - posted on 04/30/2011

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I have to disagree about timeouts not working on two and three year olds.
Example: Eric throws his toy blocks sometimes so here's what I do. Eric throws one block. I say Eric look at me, we do not throw blocks, say no throw.. Eric repeats no throw. Then he looks at me and instantly throws another block. I say Eric look at me, we do not throw blocks, if you throw another block you will have to sit down right here. He looks at me and throws it while making eye contact. So I pick him up and set him in the spot I pointed to before and say mom said no throwing, you have to listen to mom. Sit here. Then he starts crying and gets up, I put him back, he gets up, I put him back repeat until he stays there. After a minute or two of hum staying without trying to get up I go back and say. Mom said no throwing, you threw the block, we do not throw blocks. Then he says sorry and I ask him to repeat no throwing. Then it's over! Seriously it has worked so well. He now knows that when I give that warning that I'm serious and that I will make him sit if he dies it again and mostly he chooses to not do it. If he still misbehaves, we do the time out.
I started time outs when he was about 20 months and now at about 25 months I think we have done about 6 total.
If you do it 'right' with all the time necessary to do it thoroughly I believe every toddler will begin to learn the lessons you are enforcing.
(I wouldn't use timeouts for anything that could physically hurt another kid like hitting, or himself like running away from me. These things I feel need a firm 'because I said so' attitude so he knows that I'm not going to tolerate any of the hurtful stuff)

Merry - posted on 04/30/2011

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Teresa i totally agree, Eric walked at 9 months as well and by 10 months I started taking him into walmart target and grocery stores on purpose just to start teaching him to follow me. I would let him walk through the parking lot holding my hand and teaching him not to fight it, and inside I never used a cart, I was always teaching him to follow. Of course I understood when he didn't, and it wasn't naughty if he didn't follow, at that age it was a game type teaching. I made it fun for him to follow me so quickly he just did it out of habit. We also did the yes no boundary line alot at the park, sidewalks, and the road. He learned very quickly and listened well.
Around age 20 months bough he hit a stage where he knew what he was supposed to do but would decide to do the opposite. This was a time where he just wasn't allowed to walk much in the stores or sidewalks. He wasn't reliable and I knew it was a phase of him learning he had a choice, and he wanted to know what happens if he chooses what I said no to. So after a while,month or two, he gave it up and started listening again.
He is only two now but he knows many many rules and follows them most of the time quite well! And when he doesn't do it right he gets explained to, and he understands what he did wrong and he even says sorry without prompting.
So I'm sure that two hear olds need discipling- teaching. Cause and effect sort of stuff and lots of repitition of rules. I don't think anything needs to be done physically. They use their brains quite well this young and with simple rules repeated often they really do learn fast.

JuLeah - posted on 04/30/2011

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Discipline and punishment are two very different things.
Discipline teaches
Punishment teaches a child to avoid punishment
Timeout is not a punishment and should never be used as such; it is not a replacement for spanking
Spanking is not discipline

You can teach a child anything if you understand their developmental level and why they are doing/not doing the target bevahior

The problem I see is that people don't kow what to expect from their kids at different ages.

Also, they fail to see what it is their kid actually wants and needs - seldom is a temper tantrum about whatever they are screaming over .... acting out always has a reason ... all behaviors have a function (the kids is attempting to get a need met) but instead of meeting that need, and then teaching the kid a better way to get that need met, we fall back on punishment which teaches nothing of value.

Punishment teaches "don't get caught"
Punishment teaches, 'lie when ya do get caught' Punishment teaches 'my parents don't see or udnerstand me'
Punishment teaches, 'it is not okay to have needs and wants'

Mel - posted on 04/30/2011

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Under 2 yrs old, even udner 3 most babies are too young for time out. Its pretty much pointless whic may be why some peopel choose to smack instead. Im not sure of my opinion about it being a criminal offence under 2

Jenni - posted on 04/30/2011

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I didn't start disciplining until 18 months when I found it was necessary to prevent my son from hurting his friends and sister. If he wasn't a hitter I probably wouldn't have started disciplining until around 2-2.5 yrs.

I think around 18-24 mo the only issues I addressed was hitting and I encouraged (didn't enforce) sharing.

Bonnie - posted on 04/30/2011

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Personally I don't think a child under the age of 18 months should be disciplined or punished, but that's just my opinion.

Jenni - posted on 04/30/2011

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Oh, me too laura. I was very pregnant with very strong 20 month old who had kicked me in the stomach on a few occassions. I learned a trick, I'd sit on the side of him instead of directly in front of his line of fire. I found I could control his legs easier that way and it gave me a bit more time to block his kicks.

Merry - posted on 04/30/2011

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Eric has kicked me out of anger in changes, mostly if he is poopy he hates being changed so he fights me, he says no all done and tries to get up. If I don't let him get up he will try to kick me in the belly. I used to ignore it as just an outburst of emotions, but when I got pregnant it became really painful and dangerous for me to be getting kicked in the uterus so I had to start telling him no.
I wouldn't hit him back because that just sounds dumb to me, he hurts me so I hurt him back? What good does that do! Just teaches them bigger humans get to dominate because of their size.
So I simply hold his legs still and say a nice firm no, we do not kick. He fights me until he gives up, then I say you have to lay nicely so I can change you. And usually he is done with the kicking and lays nicely.
Now he doesn't ever do it and hasn't in months because one time he kicked me and it hurt really bad and I cried. He got really scared and upset and he hasn't kicked my belly since.
He turned two this month. :)

Jenni - posted on 04/30/2011

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@Tara, I'm not sure if you've experienced this with any of your children but what would you/have you done or not done with a toddler who is hitting other children out of frustration/anger (lack of words for emotions)?



I can relate to the squirmy toddler during changing time! My son always hated getting changed. As a newborn he cried and as a toddler he faught it. (So glad he's out of diapers now!) It was difficult to maintain my own emotions but I figured turning a diaper change into something painful or to fear would only elevate the problem. So I just tried to make them as pleasant for him as possible (ie: giving him a toy or paper to crinkle, singing, talking) and counting down the days he'd be out of diapers!!

Tara - posted on 04/30/2011

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I know someone who will smack her 15 month old's thigh if he kicks while she is changing him, she has been doing this since he could kick her while she was changing him. Only now he kicks harder so she smacks harder, now he cries when she does it, he used to just keep kicking. So she figures it works because he will stop now, mostly because he is crying.
My son is a little older. He throws his legs up in the air when I am changing him, no biggie, I can manage to change one wiggling toddler, he's not doing it to hurt me, he doesn't know that he can hurt me yet, he's only doing it cause he loves to test his body, he loves to discover all the ways he can move himself around, whether he is sitting, standing or lying down.
So I ignore it, I change him as best as I can. There is no lesson to teach here, none. He is in no way trying to deliberately hurt me, he does not need to "obey" me as I have no reason for him to lay absolutely still, just cause it makes it a little easier to change him? And I have no reason to teach him to lay still or else, or to teach him that "kicking hurts me" as he isn't actually kicking me on purpose or trying to inflict pain, he is not malicious or deviant. He is just a toddler.
She goes into every diaper change with the attitude that he is against her and wants to hurt her with his flailing legs, until she smacks his thigh. Then sadly he cries from pain and wriggles around instead of throwing his legs up, she quickly does the diaper, roughly gets him dressed and stands him up and says "see, if you just lay still you won't get smacked".
Poor kid.
:(
I have considered call CAS, because it is illegal in Canada to smack a child under 2. but this woman's mother works for CAS and is aware of this problem and is trying to help, the mom is taking some positive parenting courses, but it's the attitude that has to change. She honestly thinks her son needs to obey her 100% of the time, on her demand, on her schedule, and she feels he can't understand logic so a quick smack is more effective.

Merry - posted on 04/30/2011

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I think time out is discipline. I don't think I've punished Eric yet. I think punishing is something beyond rectifying the situation.
Discipline would be fixing a wrong, by teaching a lesson and getting to the I'm sorry part. Punishment is beyond the apology, when parents say I know you are sorry but there's still going to be a consequence....
So Eric is definitely too young for punishment in the way I see it. Idk what age I'd do that anyways, I think it would have to be quite older to go beyond the apology.

Jenni - posted on 04/30/2011

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Oh yeah, I'm all for explaining but I view that as a form of discipline, not punishment.

I am kinda torn on this one. That's why I started the thread.

@Laura, I issued time outs before the age of two with my son and I found them initially effective. I used them as a tool to help with my son's hitting and aggression. Although it wasn't until he was around 2.5 yrs when he completely stopped hitting. When he found his words for his anger/frustration.

But I'm not sure where time outs fall, are they discipline or punishment?

I didn't use them as a punishment, persay. I used them as a chance for him to calm down and remove him from hurting another child or person (myself). As to ignore the negative behaviour in a safe environment and not give him the desired results he was looking for. A chance to calm down to be receptive to the simple message at the time I was giving him: "It's ok to be mad. We don't hit when we're mad, it hurts. We use our words: 'I'm really mad right now'".

So is a time out really a punishment (negative consequence for a negative action)? Or a discipline (teaching tool)? Is it both?

Merry - posted on 04/30/2011

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My son for sure needed discipline before two. He would deliberately make a choice to do what I said not to. Yes I know he was just testing the limits but he had to learn that the rules I set up had to be followed. Before age two he learned a few hard rules, never hit anyone, never run away from me when I say stop, never kick me while I'm changing diaper, and never throw food.
He very successfully learned these things at around 1 1/2. He is quite reliable now at just barely two years old.
Ps, I don't spank.
I have a friend who believes in the redirection thing. Her son is my sons age and her son is always physically hurting my son. She feels like her son can't understand no or something. She avoids saying no or using a firm voice. So her son hits Eric because he wants a toy Eric is holding, so she just says oh no Thomas we don't hit, that's not nice, here why don't you play with this toy over here!
Now flip this to my son hitting another boy for the same toy situation, Eric hits, I turn Eric firmly by the shoulders look him in the eye and say No Hitting. Eric stares at me and then when I let him go he walks away and funds his own toy to play with. Works much better.

Idk I feel like there is a definite need for kids to understand that mom has to be obeyed without reasoning. He has to be able to obey me wihtout me explaining because in some situations I will need instant reactions from him without time to go into details of why I said so.

I fully think kids need to be explained things, I don't think do as I say because I said so is the only way to teach. But when mom uses her serious voice, kids Have to listen for safety reasons.
And hitting another kid I feel is a serious thing and needs to be stopped 'because I said so'
I hate it when my friend sits there and try's to explain to her son, wedont hit because that hurts Eric and we don't want to hurt Eric do we? I mean he's 2! He can't understand that very well and even if he does understand it he x
Still might feel like his need for the toy overshadows the fact Eric doesn't like being hit.....
Sorry, had a bad play date yesterday...... :/

Jenni - posted on 04/30/2011

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Teresa, I'm not passing judgement on parents who spank. I actually referred to 'punishment' in my post a few times. Not just spanking. I'm just curious about your views on whether or not punishment (of any kind, really) is effective on a child under 2 and why? and how does one know that no other form of discipline works when their child is only a year old. Why resort to spanking under 2? What are the possible reasons this law exists?



I'm not saying children under 2 don't understand our words a lot more than they can speak. But do they have enough impulse control to stop themselves from doing a forbidden behaviour in fear of punishment?

[deleted account]

I'm not touching the spanking issue, but under 2's are definitely capable of acting out of defiance and while they certainly lack impulse control... they are able to understand right and wrong... at least on some level.

I've always heard that kids can understand way more than they are capable of saying, so my comments from above are based on conversations that I've had w/ at least a couple of under 2's.....

Rosie - posted on 04/29/2011

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i admit i did spank my children when they were about 18 months and on. i felt they knew what they were doing enough to be punished that way if time out wasn't working.
well, now i have changed my views on that. timeouts don't work that young because THEY'RE YOUNG. redirection is all that i feel is needed at that age, along with time out if it calls for that. :)

[deleted account]

I'm not against spanking for others in general I don't judge (doesn't work for my son so we don't do it simple as that) but for a baby which I feel under two is just a baby that is rediculous. I think if you are going to spank within the legal and reasonable limit it should be for serious dangerous situations say running out into the road or attempting to hit another child with a stick or something...now if your baby is near the road or playing with metal objects near an electrical socket then there are bigger issues here! A child under two shouldn't be able to access a dangerous situation that's totally on the parent to prevent first off, second I agree a baby is only acting based on curiosity not defiance so what is spanking really going to teach them, and finally you're right there is no way you have exhausted all other methods with a child under two...consistancy is key for any method and the only way to say yes you have tried everything else (and there are a number of other methods to choose from and try) and been consistant enough to allow them a chance to learn from it well you can't pull that off in so little time and thats even assuming you started right from birth which is a messed up thought.

So aside from all the generalized anti-spank points, really under two? I agree it should be illegal (if it isn't already) simple logic what on earth are you punishing a baby for that is a) serious enough to warrant a spank and b) not in your control to prevent?

Jenni - posted on 04/29/2011

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I just think it's a lack of understanding in childhood development to have certain expectations of a baby because:

1. They can't understand right from wrong

2. Even if they could understand that concept; they have little to no impulse control.

3. They aren't doing the behaviour to be 'naughty' they're acting out of curiosity. Experimenting cause and effect. I'm not sure what kind of psychological damage that would have on a baby when they are punished or spanked for wanting to learn about their environment.

There are so many solutions just as effective: baby proofing your house, distraction, removal from the situation, supervision, teaching appropriate alternatives etc.



I just keep thinking in my head what I heard another mother claim: That her 5 month old understand 'no' because she put her hand over his mouth everytime he screamed and said "no!" She said he understood because he would stop screaming. More likely the case was he wanted her attention and by putting her hand on him and speaking to him she was providing him with attention. So he'd stop screaming for it. Wonder if he's going to associate getting attention with being disciplined? She went on to berrate the rest of us for not properly disciplining our toddlers and how we could "allow" them to have tantrums.



So my conclusion is that it comes down to a lack of understanding developmental stages.

Tara - posted on 04/29/2011

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As an opponent to spanking and other forms of physical punishment, I agree with this ruling fully. (it's quite old news in canada lol)
And anyone who thinks they need to smack etc. a child under 2 needs to reevaluate their parenting techniques.
When you get a puppy, experts always advise against using any kind of physical force to train them, they don't even advise rubbing a dogs nose in it's urine anymore, they never advise smacking, hitting, popping, kicking, slapping etc. a puppy to make them learn proper behaviour.
So if it's not recommended to use these techniques on a DOG how can anyone argue that it IS okay to use them on small humans??

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