Is a two old enough to be spanked

Tanya - posted on 05/21/2010 ( 218 moms have responded )

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I was reading thread where the mother said she couldn't get her two year old to do anything. She said she had used spankings and time out that didn't work. She would also take away her favorite toy and that didn't work.

Do you think a two year old really understands spanking?
Would you spank?

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LaCi - posted on 05/24/2010

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I find it amusing that people believe a two year old doesn't understand reward and punishment. Maybe yours doesn't, and that's fine. They all learn things at varying ages. But to say no two year old understand punishment? Really? understanding time out, understanding spanking, same thing. Punishment. Very easily understood, as long as there is consistency in punishment. As I said, Mine understood time out at 1. He has been able to comprehend punishment for quite some time now. Two year olds aren't incapable of understanding, they're only treated as though they are.

Jaime - posted on 05/24/2010

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No matter which way you slice this pie, it's always going to leave a bitter taste in someone's mouth. Spanking sucks period. The reason I feel this way about spanking is because, although it is not recognized as 'abusive' in the eyes of the law, it is most certainly an abuse of parental 'power'. We are given a massive responsibility when our children are born to 'raise em' up right' and all that that entails. It's not a matter of 'right' vs. 'wrong'...it's a matter of guidance vs. control. We all need to be in control of our own lives as adults. We need to dress ourselves, wash ourselves, motivate ourselves, and respect our selves so that we can learn and later teach what we know to our children. How can we possibly LEARN to be productive adults when we are denied communication skills, coping strategies and self-discipline as children? That is not to say that every child that is spanked is denied these basic necessities of mental and emotional survival in the social sector of humanity...but spanking is so much more of a deterrent than parents who use it realize. Sure, it will deter your child from ever touching the hot stove burner again...but as was also mentioned, it could deter them from wanting to try something in the future that might be associated with pain, for 'fear' of being hurt. A CHILD....one, two, five, ten....a CHILD is a child for a reason.



A young child does not have the ability to connect reasoning to their behaviour as quickly as an older child or an adult. As Dana mentioned it takes time for them to make the connections...whether they are spanked or not. If a child is spanked for touching the t.v. buttons, they might not ever touch the buttons again, but it's likely because they fear the spanking more so than they have learned it is inappropriate behaviour.



I think people have the wrong idea about time-out. Time-out is not about punishment...in fact, it is less about punishment and more about self-reflection and self-discipline. Again I'm going to use adults to start my point off...every single one of us NEEDS to have self-control and self-discipline in order to make it through our day without constant confrontation or conflict. When you walk down the sidewalk and someone is in your way and not moving, so you decide to move to avoid hitting them, you've made a conscious choice to avoid conflict. If you were never taught how to cope with even the slightest instance of conflict, you might have hauled off and punched the passer-by square in the jaw for his or her ignorance of your presence. I suppose that is a highly exaggerated incident...but lets now consider it from the perspective of a two-year-old. They are at a very pivotal stage in their development...the 'terrible twos' are likely in full swing and they are well aware of how to seek attention whether negative or positive. However, their awareness doesn't constitute and understanding of the consequences of their actions. Yes, a two-year-old can likely see that their behaviour gets a reaction and thus it compels them to repeat the offense...but smacking or tapping or spanking them is not productive or conducive to their learning that certain behaviours warrant good and bad consequences. Spanking is not a consequence, it's a punishment.



Punishment is harsh for a young child because it insinuates that their level of behaviour is beyond simple reprimand and disciplinary action. Time-outs are sneered at because some people feel they merely isolate the child and don't actually address the behaviour. I think it's time to reevaluate the time-out. If we consider this: A time-out is essentially to take time (separate from the ambient environment) away from the 'chaos' and restore balance to the situation so that both parent and child are calm in their approach to dealing with the consequence of the offense or misbehaviour. When a two-year-old is smacked for misbehaviour, even as a last resort, it suggests too that there is no hope for that child to ever understand the importance of discipline. Sadly I feel that this is likely a result of the parent not fully learning the importance of discipline and how truly prevalent it is in every single facet of our lives. Discipline is not just about the physical act of disciplining...it's also about the internal act of recognizing the limits and boundaries of our emotions which directly effect our actions and reactions to high-stress situations. A two-year-old is not mentally, emotionally or physically developed enough to understand and reason the way that an adult does and we can all agree on that I'm sure. So, with that said, if we know that they have to be taught to understand and we know they have to be taught discipline in order to embrace it, and we know that they have to communicate with us about how they feel and what they do, and we know they will eventually have to make choices for themselves one day soon.....why then is there such a strong advocacy for spanking that most definitely does not encourage any of what we know to be true about a child's development and their eventual adjustment into adolescence and adulthood? Some think that we don't give two-year-old's enough credit for their ability to understand their wrong-doing but I think it's more about a power struggle than a means of discipline. It's not our job to control our children, it's our job to guide and teach them to have and learn discipline...something that they will need their entire lives.



Also, there is no possible way that you can know that your spankings don't 'harm' your child. Mental and emotional trauma can remain latent and manifest itself much later in a person's life by a 'trigger'. I maintain that there are plenty of negative emotional issues that arise in adult life (even in the most happy of adults) and that negativity has to come from somewhere. We are the most important influence on our child's life so the negative force is directly correlated with how and what we do to teach our kids what is and is not appropriate in life. Positive behaviour strategies are the core focus of discipline...and that too has come from somewhere. The flaw in spanking has been recognized...so it would be swell if people could keep an open mind, that those of us who chose to use positive behaviour strategies aren't talking out of our arses!

Christa - posted on 05/21/2010

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What is this that you keep posting articles from? It seems to me who ever is writing these has never actually raised a child. I also think this author doesn't give people enough credit. Everyone knows this show is for ratings and knows to use their own common sense when using some of her techniques. Different things are going to work for different children at different times, that's why it's important to be flexible and constantly learn. There is no right way to raise a child. One child raised by method A will be a monster another an angel. The same can be said of any parenting technique out there.

Amanda - posted on 06/01/2010

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I just wanna throw it out there, I was spanked, and I've never been in any fight in my life (besides arguing type fights and with my brother when i was younger)... I actually had some girl try to fight me in high school because I had supposedly called her a slut(too bad I didn't even know who she was or what her name was at the time lol) and I had to tell her, and her 10 friends, that they needed to leaveme the F alone and let me get on my bus because I wasn't gonna get in a fight over some imagined slight(plus it was like ten girls against one, I wasn't trying to get my ass stomped either for something that never even happened lol) Saying that kids who got spanked, NOT ABUSED, are more likely to fight when older, is about as reliable as saying you're more likely to get shot while wearing white socks

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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In some countries it's illegal to spank...I have yet to find a country where it's illegal to discipline a child...just sayin'

Also, what exactly entails a "proper" spanking? So a person that spanks a child when they're frustrated and angry isn't using the method correctly, but a parent that has taken the time to calm down and eliminate the frustration and anger, only to come back when their emotions are under control and then spank their child is the proper method....hmm, not exactly winning any points on the discipline scale. Spanking is not discipline because it's not designed to teach a child how to do anything. A spanking is designed to instantly gratify the 'power and control' notion that is deeply rooted in our generation of parents. Most of us spank because we were spanked...there's no rhyme or reason to this method which again, makes a case in favour of positive behaviour strategies.

I might not spank my son, but trust me, I know all to well what physical punishment can do to a person. I'm sure that many people will continue to argue that a light tap on the hand or a light swat on a diapered bottom are far different from a slap in the face or a spank on a bare bum, but it's all negative. There is nothing positive about a spanking or any other kind of physical punishment. Same goes for yelling and name-calling...it's all negative. I'm not suggesting that children should never ever ever come into contact with a negative situation. Trust me, those of us that use positive behaviour strategies show our frustrations on our faces just the same, but it's the method of being in control of our own actions and teaching our children to also be in control of their actions that is the difference. We're not trying to exercise power and control exclusively because discipline is not about gaining all of the advantages over your child...it's about teaching them and helping them to learn from their mistakes. It's been said many times before, but when we operate in society and we make a mistake, we expect that there will be consequences, but generally speaking those consequences (unless the offense is extreme) don't strip us of our own self-control and our ability to recover and learn from what has been done. It's not our job to control our children, it's our job to guide them and teach them. It's really that simple. Spanking just isn't necessary.

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Katrina - posted on 10/24/2016

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If a child understands "no," then they will understand a spanking or a time out. What approach is best is another debate. I have a two year old right now and I separated him from his brother about a month ago in a sort of time out when he was laughing at "no." He was hitting his brother and thought it a game. The time out helped him realize that big brother doesn't like to be hit.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/26/2016

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Sorry, but two is pushing the age of almost too old to use a pop on the butt.

Suzette - posted on 06/01/2010

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Thanks Meghan and Good luck (and good for you!!) to you too!!

I was going before I got pregnant, but I left the college I was going to because they don't follow their policies. I meant to go to this other one long before I did, but we found out I was pregnant and, well, things got put on hold. I just started back up in March... so far we're doing good! LOL.

Meghan - posted on 05/31/2010

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WOW, good for you. I am starting college in Sept...almost 2 years later...my brain is full of Dora songs and the smell of poop! Congrats!

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Thanks! I have start classes back up 2 months after she's born, hopefully it doesn't stick around that much longer, I'll be forever deciphering my notes! LOL!

Meghan - posted on 05/31/2010

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lol, good luck with the baby brain...I am still fighting it almost 20 months later

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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LOL Meghan, I don't think you're ignorant at all. I get trying to understand it and I also understand that you don't want to use it. As Jessie said, and others have stated, not everyone uses the same methods because what works for one doesn't work for the other. Hey, it may very well not work for my daughter, and that'll be great if it doesn't. I haven't read a statistic that says anything negative about not spanking either, if I posted that somewhere (not to imply you said I did lol) then I apologize. (I can't recall everything I post, I'm braindead with pregnancy brain at the moment, LOL!) Not everyone understands what everyone else does as a parent, I'll be the first to admit that!!! There are still things I'm trying to wrap my brain around about other parents too! None on here, just others that I've run across. :)

Meghan - posted on 05/31/2010

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Like I said...we seem to just be beating a dead horse here. I have yet to read a NEGATIVE statistic about NOT spanking. Suzette, yes a child's behavior can be caused by MANY things!! I 100% agree...(wanna do the back and forth thing again :P) I just know what works for MY son...and you all know what works for your kids. I certainly don't think that spanking is THE most horrible thing you can do to a child. I personally am just trying to understand certain aspects of the issue. Call me ignorant..I just don't get it, and I don't understand it!

Jessie - posted on 05/31/2010

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I'm sure I already stated how I feel about spanking but I would like to point out that not parents that agree with spanking use it 100% of the time for everything. I'm sure most of you know that I just wanted to point that out again. If you don't agree with it then don't do it but I wouldn't go as far to say that it isn't necessary, it isn't right b/c I believe every child is different and every situation is different, also believe it should be used as a last resort. Neither side is trying to contradict themselves but when you believe something so strongly your going to defend it and to each their own. Personally if used appropriately then a child won't be spanked a lot in his childhood and will learn from each form of discipline. They can be one in the same, also and just b/c i've heard this so many times. If spanking, used appropriately and not for everything, should not teach your child violence or hitting. If it did then everyone that has been spanked in their life, me including, would hit people. I don't know about you but I don't go around hitting people or acting violently. Anyway, good luck with this convo. there are some great posts!

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Perhaps it was the way it was coming across, misinterpretations happen. :) I agree to disagree since I know neither of us will ever change our minds. lol. You're right, it's no longer constructive. It was a good debate while it lasted though. :)

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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I haven't said that you're wrong Suzette...not sure why you keep throwing that in there. It's clear that we're just circling in this debate and it's no longer constructive so I'm bowing out of the conversation. I agree to disagree.

Rosie - posted on 05/31/2010

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don't you think your child fears the timeout or whatever other form of disipline you give? i know i feared my disipline and i wasn't spanked.a healthy fear is normal and a healthy part of the parent child relationship.
basically every reason you all have given we have given examples of our side. basically you think spanking is hitting or abuse (i was abused when i was younger than 2, spanking doesn't even come close to what i got when i was that young), we don't, lets agree to disagree. :)

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Jamie,

"amazingly enough the exception to every single rule that doesn't favour your opinion."

You're one person as well, and there are studies that back up both of us, so it doesn't make either of us wrong. It just means that we disagree.

You realize that you were young, and you lost control that you never even should've had at that age. (At least in my opinion.) Just because you choose a different method doesn't necessarily mean that those who choose to spank aren't in control of their actions. (sorry if you're not meaning to imply that, it somewhat came across that way.) Again, it's not meant to be negative, if that's the way you perceive it and that's why you don't use it, more power to you. But those who do use it don't perceive it that way. Many people do not spank when they're frustrated, or in a bad mood, so stating that choosing to do so when they're in a "mood, frustration levels are high, etc." is incorrect. Again, stating that the discipline wavers is incorrect. We're going around and around, you're basing spanking on your own experience, which is understandable to an extent, but only some parents actually do things that way. I believe there are a lot more that do things the proper way, and it isn't with the methods that you're describing.

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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Suzette you're one person, and amazingly enough the exception to every single rule that doesn't favour your opinion. I have already stated that I understand what leads a parent to spank...in my opinion there is a better way to handle it. I don't-for one second-believe that I am incapable of spanking my son. I've been in the position of the spanker (albeit very young and very unaware), I recognize my ability to lose control and because of that I have endeavored to use discipline to raise my son. There is nothing to be learned from spanking except the fear of not wanting another and I do not want my son to fear mistakes, consequence or me. I am choosing to use discipline in the hopes that he can learn to be in control of his actions and reactions. So that he can learn to communicate his problems and find a lasting solution. In doing this I have also made a choice to be in control of my actions and use as much positive reinforcement as possible. Negativity in this world is inevitable but it doesn't have to be something we project onto our children because we've reached our limit and 'had enough'. Spanking just isn't necessary. I will leave it at that because I've made my points and given my examples. Spanking and discipline are not the same. There is no consistency in spanking because you can choose to spank or not to spank according to your mood, frustration level and decided-upon limit for all other methods. Discipline doesn't waver...it's consistent and constant, on-going from the moment you breathe life.

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Jamie,

"I'd be interested to know how many kids start smoking, swearing, lying or bullying at school because of what goes on at home."

That's interesting. I smoke, neither of my parents did, I can tell you now that I started to piss my parents off. (It worked like a charm too!) I started when I was 16 yrs old, I quit and then started again when I was 18 yrs old. Neither of them smoked though, so where did I pick up that behavior based on your logic?

My father doesn't swear, my mother does. She never swore at us though. You can bet that I swore my butt off, my brother never did and we were disciplined in the exact same manner.

Every child will lie at some point in their life. My brother couldn't lie to my mother when we were younger, literally couldn't. One time when he was 5 yrs old he was outside playing with a bunch of kids, one of the people near where we lived had just moved out of the home they rented (mobile home) and left a big box under the house. It turned out to be full of porn magazines. My brother, along with a bunch of other little boys ranging in ages from 5-10 were going and getting the magazines and hiding them in their rooms. He kept going in and out so my mom was curious what was going on. She asked him, his response was, "Nothing mom, just don't look in my closet ok?" He gave himself right away, she went and looked and found the. So she asked where they came from, he told her. She made my dad go tell all the other parents and then they threw them all away.

He was like that until I taught him (bad influnce, big sister lol) how to fib to her. It was all me, not my parents. In fact, he used to tell on me because he was just that bad at lying to her. He didn't learn to lie until he was about 10 or 12, if I remember right it was somewhere in there. Even then he sucked at it and I usually got caught with whatever I was trying to do. (By that time I was 14 or 16.)

As for hitting siblings, it's sibling rivalry, all siblings fight, it's whether it turns into extreme physical violence or just a smack here and there. If it's something where they're being so violent that they're actually causing pain and damage, that's cause for concern.

(The above is all referring to mine and my brother's teenage years.)

As for bullying at school... never happened with my brother and I, and we were spanked, watched our parents do things that they were apparently "hypocrites" since we weren't allowed to do. (I.e. spanking us but we couldn't hit, swearing, etc.)

And, I agree with Amanda, your experience was not spanking, that's abuse. There are those of us that use spanking and it is NOT abuse. I had this discussion with someone else, on a different thread a while back, just because someone uses spanking as a form of abuse (or turns it into abuse) does not mean that everyone else does.

@Meghan,
"Spanking statistaclly speaking has shown agression in OLDER children."
There are also statistics out there saying that children who are spanked have lower IQ's, which isn't true either. There are just as many statistics stating that spanking doesn't show aggression. Also, relying on statistics when you're unaware of what goes on (or has gone on) in those children's lives before the study, or outside of their lives other than the spankings, makes the study highly unreliable. Unless it's a controlled study from the time the child is born, the study is unreliable. We can't know whether the researcher is biased against spanking, we can't know what the child has been through in his/her life, and we can't know if the spanking hasn't been abusive in that child's life.

[deleted account]

I was apnked as a child and no it hasn't affected me at all and I was always a very obedient child as a result. I know this isn;t always the case for everyone and personally I don't agree with spanking a child of any age. I won't spank my son for being naughty, there's other ways of disciplining a child like positive reinforcement.

Meghan - posted on 05/31/2010

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I think by me and Dana both saying our kids do hit on occasion and we don't spank is proof enough that we are saying unspanked kids DO hit sometimes too...I don't want to speak for Dana but I am talking about older kids continuing to hit-not babies and toddlers or even preschool kids. Spanking statistaclly speaking has shown agression in OLDER children. All babies and toddlers hit, but I think hitting them back ENCOURAGES it rather than discourages. I don't know...this is like beating a dead horse.

Amanda - posted on 05/31/2010

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You are talking about ABUSE not getting spanked. Yes, I do realize that sometimes parents loose control and start abusing their children even though it started out as just spankings, BUT NOT EVERY PARENT DOES. And there is usually anger management issues that go along with that, not just, "Well the kid wasn't listening so I decided to punch her in the mouth instead, of course" I'm a fairly happy person, I don't let things get to me so badly that I would want to punch or kick my own child. Abuse isn't necessary, I choose to spank my child. I don't abuse him, and I am 99.99% sure I never will.

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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Where do you suppose I learned to beat up my siblings Amanda? I was left to care for my siblings at a very young age, and I was never taught proper discipline skills (within myself or to use with my siblings) I didn't just decide one day to start smacking them around to get them to listen to me just for shits and giggles...I did what my dad did to get our attention...I did what my mom did when she was fed up with the chaos. Negative actions can perpetuate a very destructive cycle of abuse in families...that's not MY opinion...that's fact. I've talked to many, many, many people that started out being spanked (as I was) and as they got older the spankings turned into beatings...it happens more than you realize. You might not think that your methods are wrong, and I'm not saying they are...I'm simply saying that there is a better way to handle discipline. Spanking isn't necessary.

Amanda - posted on 05/31/2010

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Ahhh as for the monkey see monkey do, are you gonna let your kids do everything you do??? I have sex with my husband, and if my 3 year old tried to have sex I would (first have a heart attack) and then go ballistic lol... I drive, don't expect my son to be doing that till he's legally allowed to do so. I think, no matter who you are, there is going to be something that you are allowed to do, that your kid isn't. EVERYONE is a hypocrit to some degree whether they wanna admit it, or even realize it, or not ...

Amanda - posted on 05/31/2010

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"When I speak about knowing all to well what spanking can do to a person, I'm speaking from the experience of the spanker. I was a child then, but nonetheless when I babysat my sisters all I ever did to get them to listen was to hit, punch, kick, slap, spank, you name it...and why is that? Because that's what I was taught."
I just want to clarify, THAT is not spanking, that is beating up your siblings, which is a whole different issue lol... Spanking( to me ofcourse) is when you smack someones hand/bottom(usually happening to a child under about 5 I would say) when they do something wrong, after you have tried other mthods. Most "spankers" DO NOT say that that's the only way they discipline, and they don't hit or punch their freakin kids!!!!!! I do spank my son when I feel its needed, but I would definately NEVER punch him. Also, I give strangers dirty looks when they touch my kids, much less if someone I don't know came up to my son and spanked him... they would lose a limb. Maybe I'm so aggressive from the spankings I recieved when I was younger though ;) haha...
As for kids hitting, I think I've seen enough non-spanked kids hitting other children that I know it's bull to state that a kit who gets spanked is the only one to hit lmao that's just ridiculous. My son has hit, and gotten in trouble for it(either time out, or we left the park or wherever it occurred) and my son has been hit, and has both not hit back and actually hit back. I've met very nice older kids that were spanked, and very nice kids that weren't, just like I've met complete brats that don't listen for crap and misbehave constantly that have been spanked, and ones that haven't. Some kids are just little jerks, sorry to say it. Some kids are just naturally well-behaved.

And Dana, about the whole 2 years old thing... I don't think you can define exactly when your kid is old enough to be disciplined(and in what ways) and when they're just too young to understand, I don't think it happens overnight at all lol... All kids develop at different paces, so one kid whos about 20 months old might understand just as much as the 28 month old standing next to him, or the 3 year old might be underdevoloped and not understand as much as a 2 year old would. I think you need to base any decision you make for ANYTHING to do with your child based on your specific kid, what they understand and don't, and what they are capable of(in everything, not just discipline). Of course, if it's illegal to spank your child under 2 years old, you might want to take that into consideration before you even think about spanking them at 23 months obviously lol

[deleted account]

I do understand what you're saying about swearing, Kati, and I agree, but, I make every effort not to swear in front of my daughter or any children for that matter. I just feel that as parents we have to set the best possible example for our children, encourage and focus their attention to positive things, praise appropriate behaviors and teach them by using appropriate consequences and I don't feel that spanking accomplishes any of these things.

and just for the record.....I muttered, " FUCK " once when I was changing Roxanne's butt and she stuck the heel of her foot in the poopy diaper! My lil' parot pipes up and says, " Fuck, mommy?! ".....thankfully she's never repeated it! LOL!

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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So, what they will ultimately learn then Kati, is that double standards are acceptable...but only for the parents. So, when they become parents they will perpetuate the double standard. I'd be interested to know how many kids start smoking, swearing, lying or bullying at school because of what goes on at home. They will most certainly confuse the double standard when in the company of their peers...especially peers that are not as strong-willed or determined to be defiant.

Rosie - posted on 05/31/2010

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dana you asked what is a last resort, and if it comes from a frustrated place. well, of course it does. i get frustrated when my child does the wrong thing in the first place. and then i put him in time out, and if he goes back to the bad behavior that eh displayed before , he'll get something taken away and explained that if it happens again that he gets a spanking. normally the first two times work sufficient enough that a spanking isn't warranted, but then there are those times that it doesn't.



meghan brought up the point of spanking for punishment when a child is hitting. if all other avenues have failed, he's been warned , and still chooses to hit someone then yes i will spank. you may call it hypocritical, but i don't. it's something that an adult, parent does to disipline their child. one child hitting another child is not disipline. they don't warn the other child 3 times and punish them other ways first, and then decide to hit them. i swear, but if my kids were to swear i explain to them that is is adults that use that language, and guess what, after the first time of swearing none of my kids have again. lucas is 3 and hasn't sworn yet.

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Meghan, I'm sorry I misunderstood! I thought we were going back and forth... LOL. I know there are parents who do use spanking as a first resort, I personally don't agree with it, but to each their own.



My daughter isn't born yet, but I have taken care of my niece on plenty of ocassions and I have spanked her in the past. Always on a last resort type thing. (She's almost 11 now, she hasn't been spanked in almost 2 yrs.) In fact I have only spanked her two or three in her entire life and I helped with her since she was a baby, on a continual basis. Everything else has always worked with her, sending her to her room or time outs, etc. I can't even remember what it was she did to warrant a spanking, it was that long ago.



Sorry that trailed off topic... anyway, I will only spank my daughter if absolutely necessary. (As I stated before.) I plan to use the other methods first, and hope they work. But when it comes to hitting another child, if she does, then I'll be using other methods to discipline before spanking even crosses my mind.

Meghan - posted on 05/31/2010

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Suzette, I wasn't really directing the first comment towards you..or anyone for that matter! I was just kinda jumping in on the kids hitting thing. I am not saying the you or any other mom on here DOES spank right away when their child hits-but I have seen people do this. Guess I was hoping to get some input on the issue from mom's who do spank . Sorry if you felt I was calling you out and maybe I should have been a little more clear

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Meghan,

I already stated, a few times actually, that spanking is a last resort. That includes taps on the hands. I wouldn't automatically go to spanking for a child that's hitting another child.

Meghan - posted on 05/31/2010

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ok, I should clarify than, seeing as the OP is about spanking under 2, I feel that I child under two is still a baby. And even when my son (being 19 months) get's frustrated he will sometimes go to hit or if another child hits him first, he lashes back- I want to say he knows he shouldn't but toddler's-even if they understand or not- lack impulse control. So even let's talk about a 3 or 4 year old (I have seen kids that age hit)...if their parents are teaching them not to do it and it is wrong and hurts people...would it not be hypocritical to hit them back as a form of punishment or "dicsipline?"

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Meghan,

I have to agree with you that a babies first instinct is to start touching, grabbing, etc. Most babies (at least the ones I've seen) started out smacking their parents on the face though they don't know what it is they're really doing. They then move on to grabbing at hair, again not knowing what they're really doing, then they'll move on to pushing at their parents, again not knowing what they're doing. But they're babies, they're getting a feel for things, smacking a baby on the hand is silly in my opinion. They have no idea what they're doing, a two year old who understands is completely different.

Meghan - posted on 05/31/2010

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Joshua hardly ever hit's...BUT he has. He has hit me, he has hit other kids-both cases in extreme frustraion and before he was able to talk. A babies first instinct I believe is to hit, or bite, or throw a toy especially if they are mad or frustrated! I chose to tell him it's unacceptable and hold his hand rather than hit him back...wouldn't doing so kinda make me a hyprocrite??

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@Sherri.....I promise I'm not getting upset or swearing directly at you! I can call bullshit! Sorry, but I think you're lying! I think you're lying about your children not EVER doing the above mentioned and I also think you're lying about someone being with your children 100% of the time! Children need space and even if you're in the same room and constantly hovering over them doesn't mean they wouldn't be able to grab a toy from another child, swat at their brothers hand, push someone away from their personal space.....you can't honestly claim that NONE of children have NEVER been physically aggressive!? And if you still continue to to claim that as the truth then know that I don't believe you!



I also have one other comment.....everyone, including you Sherri, is always saying, " every child is different and what works for one child might not work for another..." so why do you so easily spank ALL of your children? Are they all the same?

[deleted account]

Yes, I think she is lying......you can't honestly say that you're with your children 100% of them time and I'm sorry but I don't believe her when she says that NONE of her children have EVER hit/kicked/punched etc. I'm allowed to call bullshit!

P.S. I was joking about my daughter....nobody's kids are infallible!

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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@Dana,

We're now resorting to calling one another liars? That's a little extreme don't you think? I've seen (firsthand) other children who have NEVER been spanked, tapped, (whatever you would like to call it), literally beat the crap out of other children. At the same time, I've seen other children who HAVE been spanked do exactly what Sherri describes and not fight back. And, at the same time, i've seen them fight back. It's all about the child and their attitude. Here I thought we were having a civilized debate, not a mudslinging contest about who's a liar.

@Jamie,

I'm sure you feel that your methods are correct, as is your stand point and I'm not disagreeing with your views, they are yours. I don't feel that a parent should have to take something out of the equation entirely just to teach a child that they cannot have access to that object. The child knows that they're not supposed to play with that object, if they continually go after that object, after so many times and it's been put out of reach and they then put themselves in danger in order to obtain that object, then it will be up to that certain parent how to handle it. If you choose a different method other than spanking and it works for you, as I said it's all about how your child responds. I know not all parents agree with spanking, some are dead set, hell bent, against it and it works for them. I realize you don't agree with the "what works for some won't work for others" but in some cases it is true.

"but sometimes when kids act our or become demanding and adamant, there is a reason....and I very much doubt that spanking will solve it."

I agree that there is "sometimes" a reason. Sometimes though, there isn't. This is why I don't agree with spanking before a child is able to communicate, at 2 yrs old they are able to communicate, every child I've known at that age is able to tell you what is wrong. (As I said, children I have known.) If a parent talks to their child, they can figure out what is wrong, but if spankings are used on a continual basis without communication, well it's likely they won't be able to figure out what is wrong - if anything other than simple "hey let's push mom/dad's buttons and see what happens." (We all know they have their days!) Even on those days, spankings aren't a first resort.

[deleted account]

Question: what constitutes a " last resort " ? When do you decide YOU'VE exhausted every other avenue and tell me it honestly doesn't come from a frustrated place? Last resort my ass, it's bullshit!

Spanking/hitting/tapping/smacking/beating....whatever you wanna call it, it's WRONG!

@Sherri...you said, " Guess what none of my children have ever hit another child, kicked, punched or anything else."

BULLSHIT! I call bullshit!

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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I can completely understand what leads you both to a spanking...I just don't think it's necessary. It's not about right or wrong for me. I've never once said that spanking is wrong...I've always maintained that it's not necessary. I know there are many that disagree...but the mere fact that you only spank on rare occasions and never when you're frustrated or angry, lends even more validity to the positive behaviour strategies that are involved in discipline. I keep seeing the old stand by "what works for one kid doesn't always work for another" and I fully agree. But, having said that, there are plenty of positive behaviour strategies besides time-out...I've already given one example. When it comes to a child climbing furniture to get to an out-of-reach item like a cell phone that you've moved a few times already...why not put it away where they cannot get it and be done with it? What is so wrong with taking it completely out of the equation? If a child is hell-bent on gaining access to something (perhaps in direct defiance of your request) then why not remove the object altogether and remove a privilege in the process. If they are having a difficult time focusing on what you're asking them to do, then perhaps they need more time to sit quietly, without distraction so that they can figure out why they are upset. I'm sure that might sound tedious...but sometimes when kids act our or become demanding and adamant, there is a reason....and I very much doubt that spanking will solve it. Spanking might stifle the behaviour for the moment...but it won't solve the underlying issue. I'm only suggesting that if your children are not in need of spankings on a regular basis (according to you) then on the rare occasion that you do need to use them, it's likely an indicator that something is wrong and they are crying out for attention because they don't know how to ask or tell you what's wrong. Just something to consider.

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Sherri,

It'll be that way with my little girl, when she reaches the appropriate age (after she's born). =) I know that we all hope that the time out's and no's will work with our kids, unfortunately we know how persistent they can be at times! My niece is one that spanking only had to happen a couple of times before she stopped pushing those boundaries. She's almost 11 yrs old now and the last time she was spanked was 2 yrs ago from what I recall. Now she listens when people tell her no, except for the occassional talking back. (She's going on 16 I swear!) For that she gets sent to her room, grounded, and things get taken away. That works pretty well for her age! ;)

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Jamie,

The parent isn't spanking after the time out has taken place, I apologize for the misunderstanding. (I've just woken up and I'm a little groggy still... on my first cup of coffee, lol.)

It's if the same behavior occurs again in the same day. And while children will continue to do things to push boundaries, it's more of whether or not the behavior has been so consistent that repeated time outs are not working at all.

For example, your child (I know you don't spank, just an example) has been constantly playing with your cell phone. You've taken the object, placed it where you believe they cannot reach it. They find a way to get to it. You put them in time out. They still come out and do the same thing over again. Say this has gone on for an extended period of time, a LONG time. (Longer than it should have.) They are now attempting to climb dangerous objects in order to obtain the phone. They actually climb a bookshelf, almost having it fall on them, to obtain the object. Yes, frustration sets, but you do not spank out of frustration, instead you set them down, take a moment to calm down, talk to them, and then spank them lightly and explain what happened and why. It's not the first 'go to' method. This could have taken place over two month's time before you did this. Spankings can rarely occur, but the child knows that they will occur if X behavior happens. (X behavior = extremely dangerous.) It's not like it's going to be a daily thing, a weekly thing, or even a monthly thing, at least not for me. I can't speak for other parents.

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Dana,

"Spanking ur child teaches them that it's ok to hit someone else."

If that's the case then why is it that I wasn't a bully in school? Why is it that most of the people I know weren't in trouble for hitting other children? I know more people (adult and children) that weren't and aren't spanked that were and are mean to other children.

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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Suzette:



When I speak about knowing all to well what spanking can do to a person, I'm speaking from the experience of the spanker. I was a child then, but nonetheless when I babysat my sisters all I ever did to get them to listen was to hit, punch, kick, slap, spank, you name it...and why is that? Because that's what I was taught. There very well might be people in this world that feel they needed to be spanked growing up so that they had more control over their lives and learned to be proper citizens...but I believe it's about consistency and discipline. If these people were free to roam the streets and had NO boundaries or limits then their parents weren't disciplining them or teaching them discipline. I've known a few people like that as well. Discipline is internal as well as external. You learn it and you live it. And spanking really is about power and control. I'm not suggesting that every parent that spanks is a power-hungry control freak. What I'm saying is that spanking is a way for the parent to gain power and control over the situation rather than recognizing that there is no need to gain absolute control. How can a child learn to control their actions and their behaviour if the first or even the last resort is to physically punish them to gain that upper hand?



Time-outs are not about punishing the behaviour. Time-outs are simply that...time out...time away...time to reflect...time to calm down. Positive discipline strategies use time-outs as a means of allowing a child and a parent the chance to eliminate the chaos and frustration that inevitably leads to a loss of control. If a child has calmed down and a parent has calmed down...then why the need for a spanking? What is that teaching the child? And what is that saying about the parent's ability to control their actions, even when frustration levels have decreased?

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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"One of the very distinct identifiers of spanking as a punishment and not discipline is the desire for the person giving the spanking to put a complete stop the the behaviour. If a child is continually touching something that an adult deems inappropriate, but it proves to be too tempting for the child (such as my son with remotes and the phone) then I am more in favour of a compromise so that these items are not out of sight, but out of reach of temptation."

So if you go to someone else's home then expecting that person to move everything in their home is appropriate because you've chosen this method at your home? (I'm not saying this is what your child does, just that I've seen it happen.)

If this is the method you choose in your home and it works for you, then that's fine. I've seen many children go to another person's home where the child believes that they can touch everything, play with everything, merely because it's within distance of their little hands. Learning not to touch things is great. A light tap on the hand isn't going to teach them immediately, a light swat on the butt doesn't teach them immediately either, just as your method of redirection or refocus doesn't teach them immediately. Neither does giving them toys to channel their frustration or aggressions. It's a learning method. Again, it seems like you believe that this is the only method used, it's not. It's one of those that most parents use as a last resort when nothing else works. (Again, some use it as the only resort, but not all.)

[deleted account]

I think people are forgetting that it's NOT ok to hit another human being! How is it ok to hit a child? At any age, under any circumstances? I just don't get it!

[deleted account]

Sherri, after you've given multiple warnings and used a time-out why not try another time-out? Because that would require you spending more time to try and teach ur child proper consequences for their actions? Spanking is a quick fix and eventually it WILL NOT be affective! No discipline method will work the first time but I keep trying.....3 time-outs if necessary, 4 even, until they get it?!! Spanking ur child teaches them that it's ok to hit someone else.....there needs to be other consequences.....more APPROPRIATE consequences for their actions. Do you spank a child for hitting another child? That's obsurd! How can you possibly teach a child that it's not ok to it people when you're hitting them???

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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"I am going to say no only so many times when they know they shouldn't be touching things. (I was one of the moms that did not move anything because I had children they learned not to touch my pictures etc) If after them pushing the limits If they wouldn't leave it alone a simple tap on the hand."

One of the very distinct identifiers of spanking as a punishment and not discipline is the desire for the person giving the spanking to put a complete stop the the behaviour. If a child is continually touching something that an adult deems inappropriate, but it proves to be too tempting for the child (such as my son with remotes and the phone) then I am more in favour of a compromise so that these items are not out of sight, but out of reach of temptation. We can't always expect that our children WILL listen and WILL learn immediately that there are certain things they can and cannot do. Spanking doesn't allow for teaching or learning because it stifles the behaviour until the next offense and then it's back to square one. Children don't like to be spanked, slapped or tapped because it's sometimes physically painful and it's also startling, and humiliating. Discipline is about learning limits and boundaries. It's also about ignoring certain attention-seeking behaviours (such as the devious glances when a child knows they will get a reaction out of their parent for touching an object). Discipline is not about a power struggle. Parents that use positive discipline strategies aim to redirect and refocus the behaviour onto something more constructive. An example of this being: If a child is hitting another child or an adult, instead of spanking them to stifle the behaviour, redirect it. Sometimes kids get frustrated or overly aggressive and they need an outlet. Giving them a stuffed toy to hit or giving them a hammer to bang a few nails (toy hammer and nails) or something of that nature, will help them to learn what is an appropriate way for them to channel their frustration. This is just one example that shows clearly the difference between spanking and discipline.

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Jamie,

"Also, what exactly entails a "proper" spanking?"
The links provided explained it.

"So a person that spanks a child when they're frustrated and angry isn't using the method correctly, but a parent that has taken the time to calm down and eliminate the frustration and anger, only to come back when their emotions are under control and then spank their child is the proper method....hmm, not exactly winning any points on the discipline scale."

Interesting, doesn't a time out serve the same purpose? A child is sent to time out to think about what they've done, the parent calms themselves down while the child thinks, they both then talk about what happened. How is it so difficult to see that spankings occur the same way? Because physical contact is involved? There is more than just the light swat on the rear that is involved. You talk before the swat, you then deliver 2-3 light swats (never more), then talk afterward and give them a hug. It's not about some angry parent and crying, screaming child who is being abused.

"Spanking is not discipline because it's not designed to teach a child how to do anything."

Perhaps for some people this is true, but not for ALL. Just because that is the way you see it does not make it the truth. And, a spanking is not the "automatic" go-to method either. It's the last resort.

"A spanking is designed to instantly gratify the 'power and control' notion that is deeply rooted in our generation of parents. Most of us spank because we were spanked...there's no rhyme or reason to this method which again, makes a case in favour of positive behaviour strategies."

That's an interesting theory, my parents are anything but control freaks or hungry for control. I was spanked, but I also know plenty of people who weren't that believed they should have been who now spank their children as one of their methods of discipline.

Also, no one is saying that the other methods of discipline do not work, only that this one does work as well. Everyone has their own methods, what works for one doesn't always work for the other.

"I might not spank my son, but trust me, I know all to well what physical punishment can do to a person. I'm sure that many people will continue to argue that a light tap on the hand or a light swat on a diapered bottom are far different from a slap in the face or a spank on a bare bum, but it's all negative. There is nothing positive about a spanking or any other kind of physical punishment."

I had this discussion with someone else on an entirely different thread, a while back now. Just because you had a negative experience (I'm guessing), doesn't mean it's negative for everyone. I'm sorry for whatever happened to you, I really am, but there are those out there who use this method the right way, it's not meant to harm their children, it's meant to teach. Saying that parents are using this in a negative way is the same as if they were to say you were using yours negatively. They don't know what works for your child and what doesn't, you do, just as you don't know what will work for someone else's child.

"Trust me, those of us that use positive behaviour strategies show our frustrations on our faces just the same, but it's the method of being in control of our own actions and teaching our children to also be in control of their actions that is the difference."

This is implying that someone who spanks isn't in control of their actions or the ability to teach their children to be in control of theirs. My parents, who spanked, were well in control of theirs, so was my brother and so am I. Again, what works for one may not work for the other.

Suzette - posted on 05/31/2010

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Jamie,
"There are a few parents that spank even after the height of frustration has passed.... spanking is a reaction and it is a quick fix. Spanking is used to 'get a point across' to 'get a child's attention' to 'startle' to 'instill a bit of fear'...interesting how all of these reasons are negative AND all about a shift of complete power and control to the parent."

Perhaps spanking is like this with some people. In order to spank effectively, the height of frustration has to pass. A person should not spank when frustrated/angry, at that point it is all about causing pain and that isn't what a person is supposed to be doing with spanking. Also, spanking isn't supposed to be the "only" method used. It's the last resort for many parents who use it, at least most of the ones I know. (And it will be for me as well.)

Having a stranger touch my child as opposed to someone I know and trust is completely different. If it were someone you knew and trusted putting your child in time out as opposed to some stranger, wouldn't it be different, or would that be okay with you? (I'm not being a smartaleck, I seriously want to know.)

Spanking is discipline, if done properly. If you do not understand the method that others use or you just simply disagree with it based upon your own past experiences or based on some awful thing you've witnessed, I understand. But stating that it's not discipline when you don't know truly know what everyone else uses isn't exactly right either.

Spanking properly also doesn't stifle independence, if it did then I know quite a few people (myself included) who wouldn't be independent at all.

Here are a few links about spanking the proper way as opposed to what people seem to interpret as the negative views.

http://www.drheller.com/spanking.html
http://blog.chrisvomund.com/spanking-and...
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article...

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