I really need some help on discipline ideas on a 3 yr old and a 2 yr old?

April - posted on 10/04/2009 ( 39 moms have responded )

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i have a 2 and 3 yr old. . i cant leave the room for a sec without my stuff being touched or broken. and i cant get them to listen or respect me at all. and im getting frusterated and lost.

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Darci - posted on 10/05/2009

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I was formerly a MS & HS teacher. While I was teaching in 2001, my principal was a strong "Love & Logic" (www.loveandlogic.com) advocate, so we practiced that in my school and classroom. But, it has actually been a great beneift to me as a parent of a 3-year old, 2-year old and a 5-month old. I was a pretty easy-going (let the kids get by with more than they should) parent before the third one arrived. After the 3rd baby arrived, I figured out that if was going to have any kind of life I really needed to get my 3-year old and 2-year old to mind. So, we had toddler boot camp at our house for about 2 weeks. It was exhausting, but it was so worth it. I love spending time with my kids now, and they are better listeners. My 3-year old is just great, but my 2-year old has good moments and not-so-good moments, but we're working on it.

So, what did I do? Well, I often give them choices, but only choices that I can live with. At supper time to my 3-year old, I will often say, "You can either sit nice or go to your room." At first, I had to walk her to her room, and stand outside the door to get her to stay there. Once we would get to her room, I would say, "When you can sit nice, you can come out." It was HER decision about when she came out, but she needed to sit nice... if she didn't sit nice, I escorted her back to her room. It took a couple weeks of being consistent, but now, I say, "Would you like to sit nice or go to your room?" And, if she doesn't want to sit nice, she will walk herself to her room. I will often follow her and remind her that when she's ready to sit nice she can come join us at the table.

Lately, at bathtime I drain the water and my 2-year old son doesn't want to get out of the bathtub (even when the water is gone), so I say, "You can either get out of the tub, or I will turn the lights off." He doesn't like to be in the dark, so I turn the lights off, and he is ready to get out of the tub as a little light filters in from their bedroom.

He also didn't want to take naps, so I would say, "Can you stay in your bed by yourself or do I need to help you?" We spent a couple months of mommy laying down with him (holding him down) before he learned to stay in his bed for naps. Consistency and persistance. I would get my 5-month old down for her nap first. My 3-year old would be on the couch reading books or playing her Leapster while I got my 2-year old down for his nap... then, my 3-year old would go into the shared room (of the 2 oldest) and take her nap after the boy was sleeping. Some days, I have "helped him stay in his bed" for 2 hours... then, he finally fell asleep.

Let me know if you have any more questions, but this is how things work at our house. We have our rough days, but we have more good days than bad days. The rough days are definitely when I am tired or have my own agenda for the day, and I don't pay enough attention to the kiddos.

Brittany - posted on 10/06/2009

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The key is consistency! For every action there should be a reaction. And depending on what the child has done determines what kind of discipline should be used. We were having problems with my son who is about to turn 3 and really didn't know what else to do. The time outs seemed to not work, he really didn't care if he got a spanking. It got really frusturating. So we talked to a doctor and they told us that sometimes just telling the child that you don't want to be around them right now, in a non threatening voice, can work. Your children don't want to not be around you so they will feel bad that they have misbehaved once this action is taken. Don't get me wrong, it took awhile to see the effects of it, and we do still use timeout, but we very rarely spank unless absolutely necessary. If you do timeout make sure it is in the same place all the time. We have our son put his nose to the wall and his hands behind his back. They will fuss at first and the talking back or screaming will drive you nuts, but you have to be consistant. When timeout is finished we make sure to get down on his level and talk to him. Ask him why he got in trouble. It took awhile for our son to understand the consept of why, but after explaining it got better. Once we let him know that what he did was wrong we have him apologize, give each other hugs and be sure to let them know that you still love them. And above all try to remain calm. Your kids can sense when you are frusturated which will enhance their mood as well. Another thing that will help throughout the day is making sure that you are noticing things that they are doing that are good. They say to every negative comment you should be making 5 positive ones. If children are only getting attention from when they get in trouble they will think that they have to disobey to get attention. Be sure to give positive feedback (I like how you are picking up your toys, you are doing a great job eating your snack) Thats why this one is so important. It has helped trumendously with our son and our neices and nephews as well. And be sure to use please and thank you. Children will learn by the example that they are taught and if you want your children to be kind and respect you, you yourself must treat them with respect and kindness. I hope this helped. I got most of my help from my mother in law who used to work with special needs children. I thank her every day for her advice because it really does work.

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Phyllis - posted on 11/03/2015

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,"Hi, First of all let me say that successful parenting is extremely difficult. I know that there are days when parents are at their wits end. To me, that is perfectly normal.
That being said, I have serious concerns about many of the responses to your question. I will address that near the end of my response.

There are many websites available to parents who are experiencing situations similar to yours. Websites, whose contributors are developmental specialists and provide sound advice based on research. Please understand that these individuals have nothing more in mind than helping parents provide a loving, caring environment for their children. The ones I have read Do Not advocate letting children " just have their way". Rather they help parents to develop life-long, meaningful relationships with their children. This type of parenting ultimately leads to strong, confident individuals who are able to make positive, productive decisions in their life.

As a parent, you have to ask yourself about your goals. Do you want a child who only does "the right/good" thing when his parent is present, and has a hand raised to "slap some sense" into him? Or do you want a child who knows boundaries, has a clear sense of right and wrong and treats others the way they want to be treated?

Should "threat" be the motivation for "good/acceptable" behavior? Or should one exhibit "good/acceptable" behavior because of the ultimate goal of doing what they know, in their very being, is the right thing to do?

As a teacher, I would always turn first to myself if the students' behavior was less than I expected for a positive learning environment. Not always, but often, I would realize during my reflections that I had to accept some of the responsibility. Perhaps it was my mood or my experiences at home before I came to work. I began to realize that I couldn't just blame the students. I, as an adult, had the responsibility of making changes so that a more positive experience would occur the next day.

Parents also need to be open to accepting some responsibility for their child's behavior. Parents are responsible for initiating positive changes within the family. How could a young child even begin to accept that charge.

And so I close with this thought: (this is the first time I have responded on a blog and I hope it goes through) :) AND----as a parent seek professional advice if things at home are just not working. There are many available resources within communities. If you do not have that luxury, search the web--look for what professionals have to offer---in many cases you are able to interact on line with a professional. some suggestions---Webmd, Aha!Parenting

Parenting is not easy. Know that you are not alone. Know that there are answers out there. Know that SPANKING IS NOT THE ANSWER!

Leslie - posted on 10/10/2009

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Time out works on some. With my daughter taking her things helped. I also made them stay in there rooms. If they couldnt listen and respect me than they could stay in there. I had a gate made so the doors could stay open. they could see what was going on but didnt get attention from me. You have to find what works. Some people try the award system. when they are little you have to give them small time frames but they do catch on. My kids use to scream during time outs, so i bought head phones and let them scream. Stand your ground on what ever you do.

Vikki - posted on 10/10/2009

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i have a two year old and a three year old and a six year old my two youngest are driving me mad as well any advice is great i'm thinking of you sweety

Kmclaug1 - posted on 10/09/2009

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there is a really good book out there called positive discipline from a to z. I find it very helpful and you can discipline without punishment. sometimes telling your child you are dissapointed leaves them constantly seeking your approval and fear of failure. I was a child of that method so i am speaking first hand. i will take away my daughter's toys and do what is called a time in. which is more a time away from the activity that she is not listening to me. I also have found that boredom is one of the main causes of misbehavior. when mine starts to get wild and not listening then we need a low stimulus activity. this works well for 2 year olds. also for your time out don't leave the room. you do not have to give them positive attention but do not leave the room. once you leave them in a chair or such and get up and walk away you lost your authority. they know you can not control the situation from another location. eventually if you keep putting them back in the chair they will give up. this process might take an hour or two but they'll know you mean business. just show them that you will not give in.

Lisa - posted on 10/08/2009

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We do the slap of the hand. Keep it really simple so no a couple of times. No arguments no discussion. Then a quick sharp hard slap on the top of the hand. When they start crying give them a cuddle and just give them love.They will come to associate the word no with a sore hand and because they get a cuddle they wont blame it on you. If they throw a tantrum just leave them on the floor untill they get up for the cuddle. You can start this as soon as they are mobile.... one more thing its no longer your stuff. if its that important put it out of reach otherwise if its at their level its a toy and fair game.

Lynn - posted on 10/08/2009

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I am sure your children have enough of their own things to play with. Is it a time of day when they may be tired, just before lunch, been inside for a length of time, just got home from playgroup . I am a why why why person, and try to think of why certain behaviour occurs. Band Aids on kids should be kept for cuts and scratches, meaning stay ahead of them rather than needing a list of solutions (band aids). Are they aware and comfortable with the family routine. Maybe they need reminding of play time, rest time, mums time etc etc A daily routine chart is brilliant. Children need to know what's next. Maybe change the time of day they have free play in your lounge area where the damage is happening. Pick your children up with your beautiful mummy smile, breath with them a few deep breaths, take them outside and chase them around the yard with the garden hose. I have set days where I only do the basics, then dedicate the entire day to my children. It is exhausting work but my children smile more on these days. They have huge respect for me. (Most of the time)All children want is mum to want to want them. Not unlike some one giving us a pressie that really means something rather than just because they feel they have to. Maybe it should be your exercise time if they have a lot of energy . Take your mind back to how you couldn't take your eyes or hands off your first baby. Do it again, and again and again. Do it everyday. Forget the past, don't get bogged down on this one issue. Forgive them and move on,

[deleted account]

I am a step mom and found disciline difficult when the twins were that age! I bought a small chair and an egg timer and did the time out thing- they set the timer themselves and had to sit with no toys or entertain ment for 1 minute for each year of age (2 yr old 2 minutes...) hope it helps

Brandy - posted on 10/08/2009

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with my nephew he is 5 now but from when he was smaller we always made him sit the amount of minutes of his age so with your one would sit 3 minutes when doing something wrong and the other would sit for 2 minutes for whjat is done wrong as they get older increase the minute and now that my nephew is 5 he sit the minutes and then has to tell what he done wrong and say sorry before he can get up

Ivy - posted on 10/08/2009

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Try Magic 1-2-3, if you google it you should find it. I know you can buy the videos on Amazon.....I used it and it worked like magic

Elmarie - posted on 10/08/2009

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No means NO!!!!!! If you say no to your child for some reason, keep to your word! Kids at this age know exactly how to manipulate a parent. They will push their luck as far as possible. Best is to give your child 2 verbal warnings, 3rd time, take them to the room and give them a good spanking. You might feel a bit bad afterwards, but trust me this works!! Nothing better than a hiding to make a child open their ears!! After you gave them the hiding, you sit them down, and tell them why they got the spanking and that they must listen when mommy talks and says "leave or NO!!" otherwise they'll jsut get another spanking.. Easy as that. My little one listens very well. When i tell her NO she listens, when she doesn't i just ask her if i should take my shoe off? then she listens very very quickly;-)

Susan - posted on 10/08/2009

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Don't let them run all over you, you are the adult and you need to make the best decisions for your and stand your ground!

Susan - posted on 10/08/2009

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you have to make sure that they know you are the boss, and don't let them trample over you to get what they want...stick to you grounds and don't let them will, unless it is something simple and it really makes not fdifferance

Meghan - posted on 10/07/2009

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Spanking, consistent spanking. It works, trust me. But don't do it with an angry attitude, do it for their good, in love. I agree with Treva.

Angelic - posted on 10/07/2009

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With my two boys I always had breakables everywhere in my house, it was almost like a store with display shelves. I've only had two glass pieces broken when they were little. and it was the same older child both times and both times it truly was an accident he didn't even touch them, he walked by and accidently nugged while passing, he knew how important my things were to me because they were from relatives some of who had passed away, he was so devistated that I didn't even punish him. they are now 5 and 8 and my 5yr old has never broken anything of mine. I used to pick the item's up and let them touch whatever it was that they were eye ballen and explain what it was and why it was important to me, you can start at any young age. With most children after they know about something they loose interest. Also everyone say's time out don't work for them. Time out's really do work, but it's up to the parent to follow through. If you always threaten but never accually give the time out or let them up early because you get frustrated, and everytime you give a time out and the child gets up, there time start all over again.( also very important,my husband and I disovered. If you do time out's in your home, everyone in the home needs to follow the time out rules, if all adults are not on the same page and one lets the child slide the time outs will never work.)

Chrisandra - posted on 10/07/2009

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When my twins were just beginning to get mobile (they r 3 1/2 now) I would pluck their hands. Everytime they touched something dangerous or that wasn't theirs I'd say no then pluck them. Even now if I do the motion or even say I'm gonna pluck them they stop what they are doing. This eliminates 'overkill' when spamking and it truly does sting for a minute so they will remember.

Rachel - posted on 10/07/2009

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i totally hear you, everything in my house is now locked away in cupboards, my 2yo just ignores everything i say, i have tried positive reinforcement, smacking, time-out, providing distraction, you name it! nothing works, youve just got to be persistant and dont, give up!

[deleted account]

You might have to start slowly first to build the respect and then the listerning will follow. Try saying calmly that they are not to touch something and if they do they will loss something small that is there favorite toy and to get this back they have to not touch it for a whole day. Make sure you follow through and take it and put it up where they can see it but not reach it. Other ways are to count to five if you have asked them to do something and if not done they loss a toy again and have to do something to earn it back. Maybe start a star chart for good behaviour that way they will consentrate on the star chart and being good and no on the bad behaviour. Good follow through is improtant and also back up by anyone that is looking after them. Good luck I know it can be very frustrating and lowers your self esteem. Be strong and as calm as you can be. I keep telling yourself you are strong you can do this and you deserve respect

Anna - posted on 10/07/2009

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When my boys were 1yr 2yr &3yrs we tried everything including timeouts verbal warnings and were consistent, but still nothing worked!! I was a mess & so was my house!

But I'm sure now that I have found the best trick there is for getting them to "behave".

I had to make sure I woke up b4 them so that I could begin the day with some time for myself first. As soon as they woke up the 1st thing they did eg. sit on couch, I would say "well done what a good boy you are being sitting nicely" and give them a big smile and a hug. Anything no matter how small it was (lifting toilet seat when they went wee) they would get praised for. They loved it and still do

Then when they do something wrong your dissapointment in them hurts them more because they don't get that "special attention" from you. I usually say in a dissapointed voice "oh, I thought you were going to be a good boy for mummy today, because I really wanted to take you to the park, but only good boys get to go to the park" This usually stops them in their tracks. Even if they have totally trashed their room this can work because they can get the praise they want by helping to tidy it up again.

They would much rather hear "oh I am so proud of you, what a wonderful little boy you are" and a big cuddle than anything eles. So use it to your advantage.

By doing this I also found that it is true, they really do turn into wonderful children and I could finally enjoy being a mum to them. They really do want to make us proud, we just have to keep reminding them how to do it.

My boys are now, 2yrs 3yrs & 4 yrs and use this method all day everyday because it works & it works straight away.

No more shouting , no more trying to carry a very heavy child kicking and screaming to his room.

Hope this helps you out. Best wishes

Anna

Sharon - posted on 10/07/2009

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We have a blue time out chair. It's for that only. 10mins then we add as we go. Definitely take away toys, one, two, three, etc. Works for younger children. Older children take away things for longer period of times like weeks. It has to be something they really love to play with. Good Luck!!!!!

Pamela - posted on 10/07/2009

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If you use time out, then you only use up to 3 minutes. With the age that they are they do not grasp the complete concept and you have to stay with them. Have you used redirection? Empathy? Being consistent. Let them know that they have hurt your feelings when they do something. Reward them for doing something right instead of doing something wrong negative. Small steps then on to big steps. They will then strive for positive instead of negative. Most of all whatever strategy you use be consistent and give it time to implement. Children are quick learners, but their focus flips quickly.

Korine - posted on 10/07/2009

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We have a 3 year old, a 2 year old, 18 month old and I'm due any day. I think we have tried everything under the sun for discipline. But, what has worked for us is... If they start to do something they know that they should not, they get 2 verbal warnings. If they still do not listen, they have to sit on the time out bench or put their nose in the corner. I have a timer, 3 year old- 3 minutes, 2 year old- 2 minutes... Every time they come off the bench or out of the corner- the time starts over. This was time consuming at first and there were points that I wanted to give up and tell them to just go and play. But if they know you mean business and that you are not messing around any more- it will get easier. They will want to test you to see how far they can push you before you break, but hold your ground. It will be hard- but so worth it once they know you are in charge, not them.

Shenell - posted on 10/07/2009

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time outs are good,taking things away can work also i feel it depends on the bent of your child.some kids you can just say no to and they will listen to just the verbal cue.for kids these things do not work on for the beyond headstrong kids use what the bible says.spare the rod spoil the child.you have to drive the foolishness out of somechildren.the parents who dont believe in it and there chldren arent affected by any of the other disciplinary tools ask in 5yrs how there kids are?

[deleted account]

try making a routine everyday when my kids were that age a routine was the only things that worked also have a bell or some noise maker to mark the end or begining of something(for example if you want them to pick up their toys , or if its time to sit for story time or you want them to get something on like a jacket)ring the bell or whatever noise maker you have when they hear the bell they need to freeze that you say we have 5 or we have 3 (thats the number of minutes they have to do that task)than you say you may melt once they have the task done hug them and compliment them on the job well done also have a chair don't call it the time out chair just call it the take a brake chair you say(looks like so and so is not ready to play he/she needs to go in the take a brake chair. this trick worked wonders for me.(stick to it don't give up)

just like I said above don't ferget routine (breakfast at the same time , lunch, nap, play time , time to play alone(with supervision), also you might want to try to give them a box of something appropriate for their age my daughte use to play with dominos when she was 5 for your kids you might want to use bigger things like leggos(big ones, or just big rubber toys or balls, also if you can get diferent boxes of things for them to explore its a good time alone toy it will give you at least 3 minutes of free time rembember the younger the kid the shorter the attention span so good luck I hope this helps.

Nicole - posted on 10/05/2009

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uderstandable! I'm sorry if I came off the same way...:) But being trapped isn't whatyou are doing. You are confining them. Just like you confin your dog to a cage to teach them not to us the potty in the house when you are gone or asleep. Or how you confine the fruit to a specific place in the fridge, movies to a specific spot. Besides, she wouldnt be totaly stuck. The top is open. she can get out if she figures outhow to try to cimb out...( thats when you take the pen away! lol)

Rachael - posted on 10/05/2009

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Thanks. I hope I didn't come off rude, that was not my intention. My little one is already a handful at 13 months and who knows I may end up taking your advice. The whole being trapped thing is a phobia of mine. =)

Nicole - posted on 10/05/2009

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Good luck with that, honestly. And you are not trapping the child or harming them in anyway. You are just putting them in a place where they must stay still.

Rachael - posted on 10/05/2009

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I know they edit the show, but I hesitate to pen my child in someplace they can't get out of as a punishment. I figure if I start early enough I wont have to think of ways to trap them in place. If you can eventualy take the pen away you can start without it.

Nicole - posted on 10/05/2009

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I've seen the show, but honestly, that doesnt always work. MY sisters ( now 7 and 9) are prime examples of that metod of "time out chair" not working. When they were little, we had to confine them to keep them still. Also, not everything you see on TV is how it actually happens. They edit those reels of film like crazy before the things are actually shown in the show. No one has time to chase a child fifty times every minute for over an hour. If you do, go for it. But for us busy moms, I've found the way shared to work best.

Rachael - posted on 10/05/2009

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"Super Nanny" always goes for the times outs. Sometimes you have to put them back in the "time out chair" a bunch of times before they will sit for the whole thing but after the first time it gets bettter and better. My little one is too young for that now, 13 months, but I intend to use it when she is a little older. It always works for Super Nanny. You just have to stand your ground and don't make empty threats, little or not kids always know.

Nicole - posted on 10/05/2009

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Got a play pen? Use it. Set it up and make sure is empty. Put it in a corner of a room that isnt used much. When they dont listen or get into trouble, place them there a walk away. dont say anything to them other than they were bad and are in time out....then five minutes later go back to them, tell them you love them but you do not like that type of behavior ( not listening, hitting, yelling..w/e) and if they do it again they will be put right back in the time out spot. Eventually you can take the play pen away and just use the corner, but until they know to stay there, i would use it. And remember, ignor them from the second you tell them they are going for time out until you go to get them from the spot.

Heather - posted on 10/05/2009

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we do nose to the wall time out...our daughter hates it because she cant see anything anyone else is doing in the room. stand your ground or it will only get worse!

Samantha - posted on 10/04/2009

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The important thing to remember is to stand your ground and don't go back on your word. If you say that they won't get desert after dinner, don't give in whatsoever. The second you do that, they know that your threats to punish them are empty and they can really do what they want. Time outs aren't for everyone, but there are plenty of other methods. For instance, toys. You can threaten to take away a toy. I use the "3 strikes, you're out" rule. If they continue to misbehave, I take one of their favorite toys. If you take away a toy they don't play w/as much, then they care for a couple seconds and just move on. Then, they have to behave for a certain amount of time, depending on how bad they were, and then as long as they were improving, I gave the toy back. You can also try telling them you are disappointed and then when they want attention, ignore them. You still feed them and stuff, you just do it w/out speaking. Sometimes, for a kid it hurts more than anything to think their parents are disappointed in them. Then they start to realize that if they just behave, you will be proud of them and reward them and they don't have to feel so bad. It may sound mean, but it does work and it's not like you are physically harming them and if you feel that it is wrong, you don't have to do it, or can stop, or whatever you feel is best. I hope this helps. Good luck. Oh and for now at least I would definitely put any valuables you don't want broken, in storage somewhere safe.

[deleted account]

Try spanking, my kids listen after that. Spanking is not abuse. Proverbs 13:24 says He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

April - posted on 10/04/2009

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see i try that and they think its funny and everytime i walk away they jump out and laugh about it. or theyll sit there and just scream

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