What in everyone's opinion is good discipline for their child? Tap on hand, bum? Time out, talking to, etc?

Ashley - posted on 01/08/2012 ( 25 moms have responded )

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discipline is a wide stretch and a very touchy question when it comes to moms and others. In today's society they try to make us believe that a light spanking is not good for the child. That you must not do that, and must instead, talk or as they say "communicate" with your child or give time outs. That spanking is wrong and is not to be used in any way.

Here though I pose more than just a question, a statement if you will. How can you talk "communicate" with a 1 year old 2 or even 3 or even when they are in their months and have now yet reached a year. I firmly believe in a light tap "not angry hit or smack, to rear the child in the right direction.

Discipline, when i was young was you either got a spanking and sent to your room, or you got the belt. Now the belt is out of the question I Solomely do not believe in that. But a spanking yes I do. It teaches respect it teaches a child that "i dont like this I better be good and it wont happen again."

I think that in today's society there is not enough discipline and that is the reason children are disrespecting their mother and father and just authority in itself. With "proper" discipline a child has no learning to what is right and what is wrong. "Time outs may work of those that are older and have more of a grasp on things that are right and wrong, but for a younger child conversing with them is not an option and time outs just become a joke and play time to them.

The generation today has no moral values and no idea as to what is right and wrong because the so called Morals that the media has planted into the heads does not work, and that results in children disrespecting and having behavioural issues.

My family and friends were brought up with spanking and we respect our parents and authorities. We do not go out and hit our mothers and shot people, and call our family members bad names.

So I think as long as it is not abusing or humiliating the child it is ok to spank. What are all the opinion of others?

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Krista - posted on 01/08/2012

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Oh lordy, here we go. Another one who thinks that a lack of spanking equals a lack of discipline.

All right, so I'm going to address some of your points:
" How can you talk "communicate" with a 1 year old 2 or even 3 or even when they are in their months and have now yet reached a year."

Quite easily.

It's called re-direction, and modeling behaviour. So for example, if a 1 year old is biting, you say "No biting!" and you put her away from you and turn your back for a minute, ignoring her. Do this enough, and she will learn that if she bites people, they won't play with her. It's called natural consequences. If my 2.5 year old rips up one of his books, then the book goes in the garbage.

You keep the language VERY simple. A lot of people who mock the idea of communicating with babies seem to think that we're having complicated discourses with them. We're not. It's as simple as "No touch!" and moving the child to something that he can touch. It's as easy as "GENTLE touch!" and showing your toddler how to gently pet the family cat, instead of pulling its tail.

It's called SHOWING your child what behaviour IS acceptable, instead of just spanking them for what is NOT acceptable, and leaving them to figure it out from there.

So it's very, very easy to teach right from wrong with babies and toddlers. You just have to be a little bit patient, and speak on their level.

And I'm not even going to comment on your bit about today's generation having no moral values or idea about what is right and wrong. Today's generation is the most inclusive, tolerant, socially conscious, non-prejudiced generation that has existed in our lifetimes. Far from being immoral, I think that today's kids could teach US a thing or two about being good people.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/09/2012

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Oh yay I've never talked about this before!

I WASN'T spanked and I respect my parents and authority and have good morals and all that jazz. So the fact that you were spanked and have all that shit is pretty meaningless.

I've been trying this neat thing at my house lately. We get up in the morning and I say to my daughter "Hey, we're going to have a happy day today. We're going to be nice to each other and help each other and have lots of fun!" And then I remind her throughout the day that it's a good day. I swear, this shit works on her. I just found I was getting really snappy because of lack of sleep with the baby and whatnot. You know what went on for nap time today? I says "Hey, you want to go into your room and read some books and then when you get tired you can go to sleep?" She says "Okay!" and after 10 minutes of reading she's asleep. No problem. If I'm happy, she's happy. If I'm helping her, she's helping me. Modeling behaviour - babies and toddlers totally understand that shit.

Kate CP - posted on 01/11/2012

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I find the fear of God is better than a spanking in instances like running into the road. My daughter was 2 and one day we were walking into a store. She broke away from me and took off in the parking lot. I used my SERIOUS BUSINESS voice and got her attention. When she looked at me she saw how terrified I was and that I was on the verge of tears. She came back to me and I was shaking, visibly upset. She said "Mommy, what's wrong?" and I explained to her, while I was crying, that if she runs off from me in the parking lot she could get hit by a car and die. I would never see her again, she would never see me again. She got hysterical and started crying saying "I don't want to leave! I want you to stay with me, Mommy!" and I told her she HAD to hold my hand. Not once has she run off again in 3 years. I never had to hit her for it. It never even crossed my mind to spank her (and this was when I was using spanking). I've done the same with hot objects, hiding from me in stores...having a healthy fear of the actual consequences to her actions has worked MUCH better than swatting her butt ever did.

Krista - posted on 01/10/2012

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It works in reverse too btw... If I am grouchy, so is J.

And it makes SO much sense, when you think about it.

Kids, by their very nature, see everything through the filter of themselves. The idea that something has nothing to do with them is utterly foreign. If parents divorce, they think it's their fault.

So, if you're in a grouchy mood and stomping around, it just makes sense that it'll affect your kid's mood. Hell, if my husband is in a grouchy mood and stomping around, it brings me down and makes me hypersensitive, thinking that I must have done something to piss him off. And i'm an ADULT! So imagine what a small child must feel if one of their parents is grumpy -- I don't doubt for a second that they blame themselves for it. So of COURSE they're then going to be in a bad mood...they're upset that you're pissed off.

Meghan - posted on 01/10/2012

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From day one I communicated with my son....and I am talking full blown conversations before he could even understand what I was saying. I don't believe in discipline, I believe in consequences and positive reinforcement. Spanking, tapping, swatting-whatever one wants to call it- imo, is pure frustration and an easy way out. I have absolutely been tempted to spank but seeing as I spend soooo much time teaching my 3 year old to be patient, not to hit, to use his words etc, it seems highly hypocritical to lay a hand on him when he acts out and I-as an adult-have lost my patience. If a parent can actually stop and think of how much a child has to learn in the first 5 years of their lives, it seems ridiculous to physically punish them for normal human behavior. There is no where in a diplomatic and just society that a learning curve is controlled by laying your hands on someone. Saying that kids now a days are disrespectful because they don't get spanked is ridiculous. Young children will test limits, they will say no, they will need multiple reminders for simple things, it has been that way since the dawn of time. Parents need to spend more time providing their young children with productive and healthy ways of expressing themselves- and this doesn't mean they will rule the house. Allowing a little human being to tell you they are upset and taking a few seconds to listen to their feeling then explain why things aren't going their way and offering them tools to cope, isn't creating a degenerate society! I would get locked up hitting and adult, it shouldn't be any different for my child-who is entitled to as much if not more respect than any other person I encounter!

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Rosie - posted on 01/12/2012

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spanking is not something i will use in my house anymore. it was done in anger, and serves no purpose in my house other than to intimidate and control a child. i'd rather my child respect me, and want to do as i wish instead of threatened into it.

as for the downfall of society. statistics prove otherwise. in states where spanking is widely accepted, even legal in school (shudders), those states are the ones with higher crime rates.

spanking is utterly useless, only serves to control, and only serves to take away the voices of the most vulnerable among us. if people actually took the time to learn what it is to be a child, instead of wanting them to be obedient little robots, hit into submission, i think society would be much better. we can get our children to do what we want without spanking, why on earth hit your kids then? you don't hit anybody else to get them to do what you want do you? it makes me sad that's how we're raised to think. i'm glad i found this site to see otherwise. :)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 01/11/2012

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We started using youtube videos for why my 7 year old shouldn't run in the parking lot. People getting hit by cars works wonders. It was a PSA, but still useful.



I believe in explaining the whys of not to do something works as well. But whenever I have swatted my daughter's hand I've also used other solutions prior to that.

September - posted on 01/11/2012

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I even disagree with spanking when a child is putting themselves in danger. I use that time to actually teach my child why something is dangerous. I don’t think that spanking does that. I think spanking makes them fearful of the next spanking, not fearful of the hot stove. Plus in my experience with our 3 year old once I’ve taught him why something is dangerous, he avoids it.

[deleted account]

i tend to reserve spanking for only when my son is doing something dangerous, like trying to run out into traffic or something, because i want him to really get that what he's doing isn't allowed. Apart from that, Ioften use the "1, 2, 3" strategy. If I get to 3 and he hasn't listened then he gets either a light slap on the hand or a time out, depending on where we are and what he is doing. I generally try not to ever spank or slap his hand when I am very upset because I wouldn't want to lose control of my anger and overdo it

Janice - posted on 01/10/2012

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I do not think that there are more disrespectful children because of lack of spanking. I do see a lot of disrespectful young people but I think that's due to lack of parenting all together not lack of spanking.
Spanking by itself doesnt teach a young child anything. You must talk with your child to teach them the right way. At under 1 year of course redirection should be the main way to help a baby learn what is acceptable. As a child grows into a toddler natural consequences should be used. 2 and 3 year old definitely understand what you are saying even if they do not respond appropriately. I think spanking should only be used in cases where danger is imminent and you need to get the child's attention. Consistency is key.
That being said, my 26 month old is a button pusher! I could be saying no and trying to redirect and she is climbing away trying to continue with her misbehavior. I have been dealing with severe depression which due to pregnancy has made treatment impossible. She has been spanked. It doesnt do any good. I realize my mistake as my hand hits her bottom and then we are both crying. Thankfully, my daughter has started to respond to time outs so I now I have a go to discipline (besides re-direction and explanations) and my stress doesn't escalate to spanking.

Vicki - posted on 01/10/2012

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I thought I'd posted here but I must have lost it before clicking post. Now I'm going to take the easy way out and type.... 'What Meghan said'. All perfect :)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 01/09/2012

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I've swatted on the behind about 3 times and the hand. With my hand. I was spanked as a child with my parents' hand too . I didn't turn out abusive or anything else. I was also grounded and sent to my room.

I don't believe spanking is the only way to go though. My husband and I usually revoke priveleges with the older one (7) and redirecting with our 10 month old. We think she may be trying to learn to be an electrician since she likes unpluging our phone.

I don't believe that any child who isn't spanked will grow up willful, disrespectful or anything else. I believe the issue with society is entitlement issues and parents not telling their kids no once in a while.

[deleted account]

Heather, I discovered that with J a few years back too!!! It was the BEST DISCOVERY EVER!!! I only wish I had realized it sooner--if I act happy, so does he, and not only is he happy, but he is SO eager to please me!



Even now, when I see he's getting upset over something we cannot change, I say "This is how it is, we can be happy about everything else, or we can be mad about this, your pick." He will immediately focus on the positive :)

He is 7 now, and I can really see the effect this parenting style has had on him. I've tried to describe it before here and failed, you described it perfectly! Treat him as you want him to treat you, and he will--model the behavior :)

It works in reverse too btw... If I am grouchy, so is J. I don't blame him--often he's been upset about something that is, imo, pointless and I let myself get grouchy in response, but I've learned that if I counter his grouchy with happiness, he will cheer up. He is still too young to have complete control over his emotions, but he is learning fast. Sometimes, if I am having a particularly bad day, and I snap at him, he will come hug me and say something sweet--NOT your typical reaction to a snarky comment. Always melts my heart and sets us back on track for a happy day. I'm very proud that my little guy can do this!! I won't take all the credit though, his nanny (when I worked) helped us both a lot with this :)

September - posted on 01/09/2012

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I don't agree with physical discipline at all and have never and will never put my hands on my child/children. I don't think that you have to physically discipline your child in order to have a well behaved, respectful child. We use Love and Logic techniques which work really well with our 3 year old son. We also do quite time when need be. We sit with our son, give him time to relax a bit, then we talk about the issue at hand, hug and move on. Our 3 year old is very well behaved, super respectful and very loving. I must be doing something right! :)

[deleted account]

And I'm not even going to comment on your bit about today's generation having no moral values or idea about what is right and wrong. Today's generation is the most inclusive, tolerant, socially conscious, non-prejudiced generation that has existed in our lifetimes. Far from being immoral, I think that today's kids could teach US a thing or two about being good people.

DITTO.

[deleted account]

J is 7 years old now. Before he was 2 years, I never dreamed I would ever spank/hit/tap whatever you want to call it--it's all the same to me.



Before he was 2, our discipline consisted mainly of redirection and removal of desired effect. If he hit or bit, I put him down and didn't hold him for a few minutes. If he went toward something that was off-limits, it was removed. I did not, however, just give him something that was okay because I didn't want him going towards the off limit thing in order to get me to give him a toy. He could find the toy on his own. Generally though, my house was safe. When he was old enough to reason, I started to reintroduce some off-limits items back into the house.



When he was 2, he started having these horrid tantrums, so I gave into peer pressure and spanked him with a firm "This is not how we express ourselves." WORST MISTAKE EVER!!!!

First off, the spanking just made him scream louder and the tantrum last longer.

Second, He became vindictive--I had hurt him, he was going to hurt me more; it created a vicious cycle of competition.

Third, not only did it not help him identify his feelings, it made him not want to express negative emotions at all--he became quiet, solemn. I could tell he was upset and would ask him about it; he would consistently respond that he was okay. Then when he couldn't hold it in any longer, he would explode.



Obviously, I stopped spanking him. Instead, we talk about WHY he is doing whatever he is doing, and address that situation. I can honestly say, in the past 5 years, my son has always had a good reason for being upset. Having a good reason to be upset does not mean he has the right to disrespect anyone, or to throw a tantrum, but by identifying the problem, I can show him more effective ways of expressing himself, AND show him how to fix the problem at hand, which is very empowering for him.



Now at 7, we have no discipline problems. He is not happy at school this year due to boredom, but he is NOT acting out or resorting to mischief to get the attention he craves. Instead, he is respectfully articulating those concerns to his teacher and me. Most 7 year olds who get bored at school would resort to talking or playing to express that, but my son has been taught how to identify his feelings, and how to express them--something spanking cannot teach.

Elfrieda - posted on 01/08/2012

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Are you asking what works best for our individual children?
I did the hand smack from about 9 months (when I could see that my son knew he wasn't supposed to touch something but did it anyway just to see what would happen) to a year old. (not for everything, there were about 3 things that were hand-smacking offenses) Redirection and child-proofing were my main tools.

At 12 months old, I felt that he had the capability to understand when I spoke to him, so I didn't smack his hand anymore. I would tell him once, tell him again to make sure he understood and show him what he could do instead, and then walk away (but keep an eye out). Usually he obeyed because I didn't turn it into a power struggle. If he didn't, I removed him from the temptation.

These days (he's 24 months) he has his moments, but mostly he wants to be good, so he'll try really hard. I find just saying, "AH-AH! Leave the drawer closed, please. Hey, where's your ball?" will do the trick most times. He has his little tasks, like throwing things in the garbage, helping to set the table for breakfast, etc, and he does very well with them.

He has temper tantrums sometimes, but I don't really see them as a problem. He just has a lot of emotions and doesn't know how to express them properly yet. I just tell him, "You're disappointed because you wanted to play with the knife, but I said no. You listen to Mama." and then I step over him and carry on. When he's a bit calmer, I call him over for a hug or to read a story together on the armchair. I don't know if this is the best way, but it's working so far.
Tantrums in public or when people are over are a little different. I take him to a different room and do some tidying or something while he works it out. Then I tell him what I expect, and we go and try again. I think it helps that it doesn't really bother me deep down inside, not like other aspects of parenting.

If he hits, I hold his arms down and tell him, "NO. Hitting is bad. We want the kitty/Mikayla/Daddy to be happy. You need to be gentle. You say sorry." and he'll pat the cat/cousin/parent in apology. I find that it's better to see it coming in time to step in BEFORE he hits, but that's not always possible.

I'm trying not to over-praise, but I make sure he knows I'm pleased with him. I can't imagine spanking him at this age, or ever. It's not completely out of my toolbox, but it's buried under a whole lot of other tools!

I think I'm lucky to have a cheerful, compliant child, but I think some of that comes from keeping to a routine and respecting him as a person.

I agree with you that it seems like more people don't discipline their kids these days, but I don't think that encouraging spanking is the way to correct that.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 01/08/2012

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all three (tap on the hand/butt, talking to, time outs, sticking too what I say will happen if he is out of line) have worked for me, with my son.

Also it's important, for me anyway, that I explain to my oldest son why he's in trouble or why he can't do something/go somewhere. Some parents don't think they need to explain anything (my dad was one of them)

Kate CP - posted on 01/08/2012

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Children understand more than you think. Trying to reason with a toddler is pointless, obviously. My son is 11 months old and he likes to get into EVERYTHING. If he goes for a wall socket he gets an "UH UH!" to get his attention. I then shake my head and say "NOT for Paul!" and redirect him to something else. If he goes back to the wall socket then I pick him up and move him to a different area. He's also in the phase of hitting and pinching. When he does that I simply go "OUCH!!" and put him down in his play pen for a minute or two. When I pick him back up I take his hand and gently pet my face and say "Nice Mommy!" Now whenever my son starts the hitting or pinching thing I just say "Hey! Nice Mommy!" and he smiles and pets my face.

I've never had to spank my son. My daughter is 5 and I, regrettably, used to spank her. It never helped and always made her reactions worse. Talking to her and treating her like a human being who has bodily rights like me has worked wonders.

I don't think genuine SPANKING is abusive. However, I don't think it's something that HAS to be used.

[deleted account]

My babies got a tap on the hand or the thigh -- enough to get their attention -- but they also got an explanation depending on their ability to understand.

As they got older, we stopped striking them. It is no longer needed.
Their ability to understand why they mustn't do something and an alternative action were still explained.
Then the it is only a waiting game until they have the self control to do as they know to do - while still explaining right from wrong.

My kids have ADD, each with a different co-morbidity.
My son was in control of himself by 12yo. I hope the girl can achieve self control by that age.

[deleted account]

I think it depends on what you are spanking for. Spanking a child who just hit or hurt another child makes zero sense to me. What kind of message does that send? However, we do spank every once in a while in situations where there have been repeated warnings, repeated time outs and still no listening. "Spanking" consists of a single, light swat to the butt and that's it. I will also spank when a kid is doing something so inherently dangerous that you have to get the message across that what they did is never to be repeated. For example, when my first set of twins where about 18 months, we were having a major problem with Gavin getting out the house. We tried multiple door locks -- he defeated them all. One day, I went into the bathroom. When I came out, I couldn't find Gavin. The front door was closed (normally he would leave it open when he "escaped"), so I searched the house. It took me a few minutes to realize he was outside. Sure enough, he was in the backyard playing with his water table. We have a pond less than 200 feet from our backyard and hundreds of acres of woods. He could have wandered into the road and been hit by a car. Anything could have happened to him. He did it again a few days later. And then again. The last time, I told him that day if he does that again he's getting a spanking. Sure enough, a few days later, he "escaped" again. And he got a spanking. And he's never done it again since. I haven't spanked him again since. I'm not a huge fan of spanking, but I really think it was necessary in that case because he just wasn't getting the point that what he was doing was dangerous.

Amy - posted on 01/08/2012

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I've never "tapped" or "spanked" or "hit" my children and my son is one of the most well behaved in his class. At 2, 3, 4 months I found baby proofing my house was effective at keeping my child safe. I have also found a firm don't do that, a change in my facial features showing my unahppiness, and redirection worked best. That seems to have worked very well for my now 5 year old and 21 month old.

Tam - posted on 01/08/2012

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Many people hear the word 'spank' and automatically equate it to 'hit', 'blow', or 'thrash'. I think the ambiguity of the phrase, depending on our individual perceptions of it, is where the problem lies.

When my kids were very young, around a year, if they would do something that was absolutely not allowed but not dangerous, I did everything in my power to redirect. I would usually go on a three strikes and you're out sort of rule. If they pressed the button on the TV, I would remove them to their play area, or somewhere different. If they did it again, they would be removed again. And the third time, they would get some quality time in their pack and play.

It eventually worked. As long as discipline is prompt and focused on the transgression, and consummate with the severity of the deed, then it tends to work eventually. My kids realized that they had their freedom of movement taken away when they messed with the TV, eventually, but it took a while. In that scenario, I had the luxury of the discipline taking longer to gain the desired results as there was no threat of injury there.

However, when it comes to something dangerous, my response was a bit more tough. Electrical outlets, for whatever reason, seem to be endlessly fascinating to children. Even though I had outlet covers, I still treated them as dangerous when the kids got interested in them, because who knows when they might be in a place that has no safety covers? The very first time they went after an outlet, they got a firm smack on the hand and a very loud "No!" in their ear. It shocked them, made them cry, and made me feel all around terrible, but it was for the best. It took only a few days to learn that the behavior was bad, vice a month or two. And the same goes for when they were tall enough to start trying to reach for the stove, or try to pick up sharp objects, etc. At this point, I have not spanked or swatted either child in close to a year because all I have to do is iterate that whatever they are doing is dangerous, undesirable, or breaking the rules, and they stop almost immediately.

That being said, I refuse to discipline if I am upset, angry, or otherwise emotional. That goes for nearly ALL discipline. If you're emotional when you spank, the likelihood is great that you will misjudge your force, and that is a path down the wrong road. If you verbally discipline, then you might say something you would never say normally, perhaps in a frightening way, and that can be just as damaging to a child. When we have adrenaline in our systems, our ability to handle fine, gentle tasks is reduced. When I am upset, I either ask my husband to deal with the issue til I am calm, or I relegate the child to a safe area for a time so I can calm down and address the issue. Usually doesn't take more than a minute or two, as my fuse burns out very fast.

My general philosophy is this: Spanking is another tool in the toolbox, but it should not be the first one that you go to. It tends to have the most immediate and harshest reaction, and if that is the first method you use, where do you go when it ceases to work? I have my kids to the point where they hate to disappoint my husband and I far more than being spanked. They understand that when they are spanked, it's impersonal, not really painful, and a direct reaction to an ill behavior. But if the phrase, "I'm disappointed in you" passes my lips, it can almost bring on tears right then and there.

Broke my heart earlier this week, as I had to say that to my son when he was too rough on the playground when he shouldn't have been and another kid got hurt.

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