How do you punish your child?

Kerridwen - posted on 02/28/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son is being very testing at the moment, takes very little notice of me saying no and by then i either put him on our naughty step, at worst i take him to his room, occasionally i do nothing. I have threatened to take toy off him when he can't be bothered to tidy them and then he passes them to me which defeats the object. This morning he has been such a pest that me and hubby started bitching cause hubby was saying i'll give you till three and then he did NOTHING and i commented that if i'd done that he would have moaned and i was told to SHUT UP!

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Claudia - posted on 03/12/2009

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I think it's important for children to see a united front with both parents, for sure!  However, just as important is that they understand WHAT they did wrong and WHY they are being disciplined.  In life, they are going to experience consequences (if you speed, you will get a ticket;  if you pass a red light, you may have an accident;  if you steal; you may go to jail)  If they don't start learning consequences and discipline for WRONG behavior then they are not going to "get it" when they get out in the real world.   To me, it goes even further, because we are Christian and it is important for my child to learn that ultimately he is not only disobeying me, but he is disobeying God and that is a whole other set of laws!   You have to get to the heart of a child, why are they disobeying, hitting, smart-mouthing, etc. 



Best wishes!

Kate CP - posted on 02/28/2009

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First, pick your battles. Second: FOLLOW THROUGH. A threat is just a threat and has no effect. If you tell him "Throw that again and you go in a time out" and then don't follow through you just showed him that he can brake the rules and not have to deal with the consequences of his actions. Punishments should fit the "crime". When my daughter uses a tool or toy inappropriately she gets one warning: "If you cannot use the work correctly it will be taken away from you. Do you want me to show you how to use it?" and if she refuses the lesson and goes on to using the item incorrectly it gets taken away. If she picks on the dogs and won't leave them alone, the dogs get put outside or in their crate while goes to time out for 3 minutes.
You have to present a united front with your husband. DON'T FIGHT IN FRONT OF THE KIDS! It makes them anxious and insecure and it also shows that you two are divided and can't come to a strong conclusion about consequences to their actions. Talk to your husband when you guys can calmly discuss discipline and come to an agreement. Then be united! If Mom says no and the kiddo asks Dad looking for a different answer that should be corrected. If my daughter does that she automatically gets an unequivocal "No" no matter what. Remember y'all are partners! United front!

Brandie - posted on 02/28/2009

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We put things in time out until earned back...



we also try to encourage good behavior & avoid "punishing" as much as possible... if you focus on negative... it all becaomes neg. Focus on positive & it is all pos.



We take away priveledges when bad behavior occurs. Every child needs different things in discipline from an adult. I do count to 3 as well & yes, it works, only when you mean it! Don't threaten... just do what you mean!



Firm, fair & consitant is the key to good parenting.

Janette - posted on 02/28/2009

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u need to remember to always follow through on any threats of punishment like taking toys away. if ur child thinks theres a good chance u wont do it theres no need to listen to u. plus u need to have definite guide lines for what they can and cant get away with. then stick to them its no good if u let it pass 1 day but not the next. else they'll just wonder why ur telling them off if they were allowed to get away with it before.

and remember to really praise the good behaviour it'll encourage him to be good more often.

Sheri - posted on 02/28/2009

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Whatever you do, you must follow through and be consistent with your rules. Definitely try never to yell (because that shows them YOU are out of control thuogh you're trying to teach them self control). Not saying that's easy... but it's something that I think gets overlooked a lot. We call our 4-yr-old's punishment "consequences", to try and help him get the idea that HE chooses the punishment when he chooses the behavior. Most of our consequences are time-outs and having priviledges or toys taken away for a period of time.



And when you just feel like going bolistic, don't forget that they will go through defiant phases all through their lives and that it's pretty much a child's JOB to test the boundaries. That's why you always have to follow through - they need to be clear on where those boundaries are - not only for good behavior, but even for their own security

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I'm sorta having the same issue with my son.  I'm finding that follow-through and consistency are extremely important.  I went through a phase with my 16 month old where I had said "no" so many times he was immune to it.  Finally, I stopped saying no and started using a noise...almost like saying "uh uh" but louder.  I notice that the noise gets his attention and I can redirect him easier.  For example, earlier he was getting ready to turn off the tv (a constant battle of on and off and on and off) and so I said "UH UH!" When he looked at me I said "Jacob where's your red ball?"  He then went to look for it in his room and stayed in there for a good 15 minutes playing. 



I've had to take toys away from him several times.  He's into throwing things now and when he does it, I do my noise and if that doesn't work, I say "if you do that again I'm taking it away and the toy will be all gone".  When he does it again (he usually does) I take it away.  By the end of the day, my dining room table is full of toys I've taken away through out the day.  Maybe I'm mean but I don't even give him the 3 count.  I want him to listen to me and obey immediately so that in a dangerous situation in the future, he won't get hurt.  That's my goal anyways.



I also find that getting down on his level, eye to eye with him, and talking to him works....SOMEtimes.  "Jacob I don't like it when you pinch me.  It hurts Mommy." I make a sad face.  Sometimes it works and sometimes he laughs at me....but either way, he's listening and it's getting to be that more and more often he actually HEARS me and he'll pat my cheek or give me a kiss. 



Whatever method you use, consistency and follow through are KEY.  Also, you and your hubby have to be on the same page.  The rules can't be one way with you and another with your hubby.  That will only confuse your son and frustrate you and your hubby.  You and hubby should sit down and come to an agreement on how you will BOTH handle certain things.  Your parenting styles don't have to be identical but you will argue less if you are both in agreement on how to handle your son.  Good luck :) 

Kelly - posted on 02/28/2009

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It is critical that you find the thing that works. It is different for each kid. Think about his personality, what is important to him. If he is a child that stays near you, likes to talk to you and have your attention, etc., than "time out" (or naughty step?) out of sight of family might work best (my girls' time out spot is to sit on the floor at the end of the hallway, where there are no toys, they can still hear the family in the living room or kitchen, but can't see us, they hate that!). If a particular toy is important to him, that is what you can take away. For instance, my #2 son has always been more of a loner, can stay in his room for hours alone anyway, the thing I used to take from him was all controllers to video games. My kids have never been allowed to play vidoe games on school nights, so if it was the weekend, and I took his controllers away, he was miserable, and he knew better than to let that happen more than a couple of times! So if you put some serious thought to this, you should be able to figure out "the one thing". But most importantly, as the earlier post said, be consistent, and don't make empty threats. I always try to stop and think for a second before I threaten something, because for instance if I say, "stop doing that, or you won't get to go to your friend's party tomorrow!", I have to be willing to call that other mom and explain why my kid is not coming to the party. Because they have to learn that you mean what you say! It is just so important, right from the start. Also, just another thought, maybe you and hubby could discuss, and agree (sometime when little one is not around), that you will back each other up and stick together. Kids really do learn early on to play one parent against the other. Well there, that is all my wisdom of my advanced age on that subject LOL...just my opinions, hope they help.

Allie - posted on 02/28/2009

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i would take his toys off him and not give them back. until he has nothing to play with, if you want him to pick them up he needs to learn that you mean business.  oh and don't make empty threats if you say you are going to do someting you have to do it, or just not say anything at all. choose your battles and treat bad behaviour the same, so don't let him get away with something that yesterday he was sent to is room for. good luck hun

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