Huuby is for spanking. I'm against. Any advice on other discipline stratagies?

Sara - posted on 05/05/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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My son will be 2 in July. I don't believe in spanking because of all the research on it. My husband thinks it's the best way to get a kid's attention. Does anyone have any helpful or creative ways to discipline a toddler so that he'll behave. I'm trying to make it where he won't act up enough to where my husband will want to spank him.

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Keri - posted on 05/05/2010

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Firstly let me begin by saying "well done" for going to others for guidance when your instincts are pulling you in a different direction than your husband. That is never an easy situation to be in no matter the dynamic of your relationship.



You are right to follow the research about how detrimental spanking can be to children. If you feel it is wrong than I would strongly encourage you to follow those instincts and stand up for what you believe in, and what research shows. Perhaps try having an heart-to-heart conversation with your husband and present to him some of the facts on spanking.



At two years old a child cannot conceptualize why a parent would hurt them, nor can they logically think about their behavior or that their behavior has caused the circumstances or being hurt. It creates fear in children; it does not encourage sound judgement or logic thinking about consequences. Children at this age are pushing boundaries not because they are being deviant but because they are learning how the world works and the only way they know how to do that is pushing limits. It is not right to cause them fear for exploring their world and their sense of security, trust and cognitive functioning are all are risk for being damaged by spanking, especially at two years of age.



It is easy for a parent to do onto their children what has been done to them. If you husband felt like spanking worked as a discipline technique for him as a child he will want to in turn spank his child. This cycle is difficult to break. Know that if your child is spanked, that it is more likely for your grandchildren to be spanked, as well. It may be difficult, but you have the potential to break that cycle.



You ultimately must do what you feel is right, and no one can make that decision for you. I hope that you may utilize some of the websites I'm attaching to make some points to your husband so that you together can create an environment for your children that is best for their development.



http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/T062100...

http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/ten...

http://main.zerotothree.org/site/PageSer...



The last website www.zerotothree.org is a site I utilize a lot. You can type in a key word to find research and peer-reviewed articles by subject matter. The article I pulled up for you lists some other "redirection" strategies that are developmentally appropriate for children and work to help manage behavior.



Let me pose a question to you that I will often consider when making decisions for my daughter. If I, as a mother, am not willing to advocate for the health, safety and optimal development of my daughter who is going to?

Kathy - posted on 05/05/2010

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tough one. your best bet is to talk to your husband about spanking. it also depends on how you were raised (i was spanked by my parents if i was really bad) but parenting styles are always changing so it's best to make sure you're aligned on disciplining strategies before you need to discipline your child.



the first step in preventing any face-offs is planning and prevention. baby proof your home if you haven't already and put anything you don't want him to touch out of reach. that will reduce your show-downs to about half.



then i would think about what you/your DH is ok with (ie. letting him throw his toy balls in the house) or not ok with (ie. not letting him throw food). knowing what battles you want to fight with your child and knowing which one's you're willing to let go will also help you both when it comes to disciplining. for example, i'm ok with kayla sitting on the kitchen floor even if there's a chair close by her. i am not ok with her running around with a cup and trying to drink from it which is why i instilled the 'only drink when you're sitting' rule. so if that means she sits down on the floor rather than a chair, i am ok with that. it's little things like that and understanding what you're ok with that helps you put things into perspective.



finally disciplining: always speak to your child and let him know that what he's doing is unacceptable. don't yell or scream as constant yelling will only make him tune you out because the more he hears you screaming, the more accustomed he will be to it and it will therefore lose its effectiveness. you want to get down to his eye level and show him using the inflection in your voice, say a firm "no! we don't [insert bad behavior here] because it [insert reason here]". i usually hold my daughter's gaze for a few more seconds and then let her go. if she does it again, i will repeat myself but also throw in "if you do it one more time, i'm going to take away [insert toy here]". then if she does it again, i will follow through and take the toy away and ignore her crying and/or tantrum. they learn pretty quick as long as consistent and respond in the same way every time.

Leigh - posted on 05/11/2010

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Hi Sara, our son is turning 4 next Monday. He is a very strong willed child and we have always had to be one step ahead of him. I can honestly say that spanking did not help in our case. I also found I was smacking him in anger which is also NOT the right thing to do. If you smack your child it needs to be when you've calmed down and it is a controlled smack on the bum with love and an explanation afterwards. It got to a stage where he just laughed at us when we smacked him and he just said "that wasn't even hard mommy". The more angry you get, the more they think it's a joke and they don't respect an out of control parent.

The naughty corner works wonders for us. Your son may be a little too young although it worked with ours from the age of 2. All kids are different and you need to try different techniques until you find what works. Our son hates being excluded from us and having to sit alone in the passage and so he learns very quickly. I always explain why he's being put there and afterwards I make him apologise and he has to explain what he is sorry about so he is concious of it. The naught corner comes with its challenges though but as long as you remain in control and keep putting him back in the corner until he stays there, you'll feel completely in control and after much perseverance over time he'll eventually learn. I actually turn the TV up when he starts screaming and it eventually wears him out as he knows it isn't working.

I do believe a good spanking is in order when your child continues to persist with very bad behaviour but it has to be controlled and when you're not angry. You need to be on the same page very quickly with your husband because if you both conflict with your beliefs your son is going to pick up on that and play one off against the other. My husband and I argued frequently about our difference in opinion when it came to disciplining but we've found that the minute we worked together and did the same thing consistently, our son figured out very quickly he couldn't play us off against each other.

Another great trick is the art of distraction. Try to identify when your child is acting up and distract him quickly to avoid the tempers and bad behaviour. This REALLY works. Also, think of the situations you're putting him in. If he's acting up after 2 hours grocery shopping or if he's tired and you're taking him out then obviously he's going to act up as he may be bored, overtired and overstimulated. Tap into what's going on with him and try and avoid the situation before it happens.

Also, try these links:

http://www.babycenter.com/404_whats-the-...

http://www.toddlerstoday.com/articles/be...

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/be...

There is much more on Google. Just enter into the search engine "age appropriate discipline for toddlers".

Just remember, your child doesn't think like you. He isn't an adult and doesn't understand reason and logic yet. Try to teach him first before punishing him and remember that the way he sees you doing things is the way he is going to learn what life is about. Monkey see, monkey do. When I saw my son getting angry like I was I felt terrible as that is not what I want to teach him and so I've had to work very hard on changing my behaviour as a parent and it's paying off!

Finally, another thing I've learnt is that if I start my day thinking "Right, today I'm going to control my temper, I'm going to have a great day with my child and nothing is going to change that" .... you are soon deflated when your child wakes up in a bad mood, starts throwing a temper tantrum, doesn't want to get dressed for school and won't get in the car. Take the good with the bad, go with the flow and don't try and make a perfect day out of a bad one. Just do the best you can and know that for every bad day, there are 20 good ones to enjoy with your kids!

Persevere, stay strong, consistent and in control. Good luck!

Leanne - posted on 05/08/2010

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getting to the cause of the misbehavior is a great way to understand what is motivating your 2 year old....is he tired? is he angry? does he have something he needs to communicate to you and is having a hard time finding the words? my son, who is 3, will suddenly act up when he needs a diaper change, for example. try to encourage him to use his language skills and recognize how he feels.
i also try positive language. instead of "no climbing," i'd try to say, "keep your feet on the floor, please." i also utilize the method of sitting down. i'll ask him to sit down and think about what choice he's made, or think about how he feels, and then when he's ready to talk with me to let me know.
is he in a child care facility or a school? teachers are often wonderful resources for positive techniques for discipline too.
i apologize if any of this has been suggested before...and i totally understand what you're experiencing. my own husband using spanking as a discipline measure, and i frankly believe that, while it works in the short term, the fear my son experiences doesn't necessarily deter him from misbehaving, but it DOES affect his relationship with his father.
i wish you all the best!

Alisha - posted on 05/06/2010

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This is something that needs to be discussed between you and your husband... you two are the parents and the ones in charge of raising your child. My personal opinion is I agree with your husband but that is neither here nor there... this is something that the two of you need to resolve on your own. In the past, I have found that no matter what the disagreement with my spouse is, if I go and get opinions from everyone else it only causes more problems between us. That is why i say you and your husband are the ones that need to come to an agreement. As far as discipline... like I said I agree with your husband... spanking, when done correctly isn't going to cause bad behavior/bullying...etc... when done correctly, your child will love you and thank you for it(in the end). Also, you will have a well behaved child, and you will be able to rest.

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Magdalena - posted on 07/09/2014

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I agree with him myself, but I know a guaranteed way to get him never to spank. Just tell him you'll cut off his manhood if he spanks them even once. Post photos of Lorena Bobbitt on the refrigerator and make references to her as "your personal idol" just to show you're serious.

Marisa - posted on 05/11/2010

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I am the mother of 3 children 2, 6, and 9. The best advise I can give is "trial and error" you have to figure out what works for your child and you and your husband have to consistant. I was againt spanking my oldest until nothing else worked.

Annaliza - posted on 05/11/2010

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well i am also against with that..they will have a trauma they will carry on as they grow old.. communicate with them ..talking with them is the best...that is what i am doing with my 6 yr old boy and a 5 yr old girl. At least I will have a bonding with my kids and also as they grow old they will not think twice for me to talk if they want to...they will not hesitate talking with me.

Melissa - posted on 05/11/2010

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Firstly, hello.

I think it will put a lot of pressure and stress on you to try and stop your child "acting up" in front of your husband and really this is probably unrealistic.



I think you and your husband need to have a sit down discussion about this important issue.



You might find that your son becomes confused if you both decide to employ different parenting tactics.



I agree with you and I DO NOT use physical punishments on my own child. My husband isnt against it but we had a discussion and he understands that I am so we have decided not to use it as a form of discipline.



Our daughter is 2 1/2 now and is starting to behave in a way which is often difficult to manage.



We manage it by sticking to some basic principles:



1. Staying calm: it is the hardest yet the most important thing for us. We have to keep control of the situation to show her that its ok to be upset, angry (or whatever) but that there are other ways of dealing with it.



2. We never give in to tantrums: If at home and she is in a safe environment we wait for her to ride the tantrum out then have a cuddle. If out of the house we either hold her or put her in the pushchair, on occasion she has been thrashing so much we have had to lie her down on the ground.



3. We follow through with things. If she is being naughty she will get a a verbal warning, if she doesn't stop she will get a final warning before we follow through with whatever it was we said: e.g. if she is being naughty with a toy we will tell her to stop, if she continues then we tell her if she doesnt stop she will loose the toy and then if she continues she looses the toy. We also try to explain why if its appropriate to her age.



We use a reward chart with her for any behaviour which is causing a problem at the time, which sometines helps and though I definitely agree with praising good behaviour, I dont go over the top and if she has portrayed undesirable behaviour I will communicate that I am not happy with her. I try to ignore her if she is purposefully being naughty to get a reaction (such as when I am on the phone). Luckily she doesnt do that very often which I think is beacuse we do spend a lot of one to one time playing and doing activities together.



I find it really helpful that my husband and I work together on discipline and it seems to make a difference to her behaviour that she gets the same responce every time from whichever one of us she tests.



Books I have found really helpful are:

1. Supernanny

2. Elizabeth Pantley, The No-Cry Discipline Solution

3. Tracy Hogg, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers



I am sure this is not a comprehensive answer and you have to look at your home and work out what will work for you. With the books I have read, I take the tips and strategies which I think will work in our family and discuss them with my husband and we try them. If some dont work I try something else suggested in the book.



Hope this helps.

Paula - posted on 05/11/2010

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Mine is the other way round I smacked my daughters before my partner and I met and he had a strict no smacking rule with his children. When we got together I had to stop smacking and his punishment is being sent to their room for 15 minutes for each bad thing, if they answer back as they are being sent they get an additional 15 mins etc. I found that my daughters would be in their rooms for hours occasionally which seemed really unfair. We now use both forms dependant on the behaviour but I will only smack bum and back of legs, never with an implement (slipper, spoon etc. as I know some people do) and I have smacked our 2 year old about twice when he persistantly hit me or kicked me and would not stop after being warned. The way I see it my children are far more respectful and better behaved than my partners children as his know they have no real repercussion for their behaviour whereas mine do. The 2 year old I will only tap on the back of his hand as I did with my daughters when they were that age. I think that for spillling, drawing on serfaces etc. it is not quite appropriate but for hitting, biting, kicking etc and of course repeatedly playing with electric sockets it is.

Tricia - posted on 05/09/2010

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i personally don't have a problem with spanking.....discipline is different that abuse. time outs don't work for young children because they don't understand that they have to sit there and by the time you let them up they forgot what it was that they did to be punished.....a little swat on the butt or hands will show them that you mean no.

Trisha - posted on 05/08/2010

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I think it very hard on a parent if they want or dont want to spank .. when iwas a kid i got a spankor two ,, but i never turned in to a bully, far from it , its up to both parents to talk about it , its hard on the one who is left with the child or children all day and very hard to give one to one talks if you have small kids and they all want atention , i just ether walk away or ill get so stressed ,, and kids sometimes trive on this , its six of one and half a dozen ,, but i do use time out and my kids hate it but only from around 2 and a half on not before but my husband did it only a few times so where do u go from there, i still use it but not as much now they are 4 and 5 ill just take off there toys or they are not allowed tv and it works , if they slap any one its straight to time out no ? asked , kids will be kids they can drive you amd but they can melt your heart atthe same time . so i just try to tink of the funny times when i get so stressed with them but i have to go to the next room lol

Jess - posted on 05/07/2010

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I think you should first think about WHY he is misbehaving. If you are not giving him enough one on one attention or if he is overstimulated he can throw fits. That way you can address his needs and he will feel less irritated. Also, you can work with him on a way that he can communicate what he wants. If he isn't talking yet or doesn't have a large vocabulary then you can teach him signs to communicate his basic needs like eat, more, please, milk, etc. After he masters that then you can work on getting him to use words to tell you what is wrong.

If he is getting into things and doesn't seem to listen it is because he needs boundaries. Let him know what is his and okay to touch and what is not...and stick to it. This should minimize the need for punishment. If you feel that he absolutely needs something then a 2 minute time out in a high chair or his playpen should work in time.

I want to clarify, I am not implying that you are a bad mom. I am simply giving you a different perspective. I had to learn these things and as time goes on I have to figure out what my children are asking for all over again. Remind your husband that your son is only 2 and is still trying to figure everything out. Ask him to be patient as it takes time for children to learn how to express themselves without throwing a fit.

[deleted account]

First, I don't feel my way is the only way. She asked peoples opinions and I gave my opinion. I stated what works for me.



I have four children and I KNOW that all children are different. My first child is very stubborn and we used spanking. My second child is sensitive and we have rarely used spanking with her. The other too are too young to know there personalities yet. You do what works for each child.



I just HATE it when people say spanking is detrimental to children. If done in a gentle and loving manner and followed up with a discussion. I don't FEEL a child will be traumatized by being spanked. That is the decision my husband and I have made for our children. I feel every couple needs to make the decision for themselves.



However, just because YOU may feel that spanking is wrong does not mean that is FACT either. If you don't want to hear any pro spanking opinions then don't ask. The reason this debate exists is because people don't agree. What I wish is that people will allow parents to make the decisions for their family.

Chesslee - posted on 05/07/2010

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my son is 19 months old and my husband wont spank BUT I DO. he is so good for my husband,but i am with him all day i ahve tried everything from time out to taking the tv away to taking his toys away EVERYTHING. the only way for him to know i am not playing a a pop on the hand or the butt. then he minds and he isn't scared of he. he is REALLY tall for his age and he comes to my waist so it is hader for me. I understand your problem though because he has to be really bad before i spank him and i don't like other people to spank him.

Cindy I agree with you, I haven't been out of high school long ( 3 years) so I can say that kids are getting worse. Talking back and being ugly to their teachers. My grandparents raised me and i didn't get spanked alot but i was taught respect and what it means to know your place as a child and if we stepped out of line to far we got in trouble but I am not scared and i didn't turn out bad. I feel like you have to respect your parents enough that you fear them to a degree because that is what keeps kids in line.

it's that moment when you are about to do something bad that you think ( OMG my parents will kill me if they find out) That kept me in line!

[deleted account]

Cindy, you state things as if they're FACT when in reality you don't know HOW it will affect a child....each child is different! You're entitled to ur opinion for sure, but don't think that YOUR way is the only way! This is about to turn into another ' spanking ' debate ......play nice everyone! ;)

[deleted account]

There is a BIG difference between spanking and Beating your child. A smack on the butt (that is well patted by a diaper) will NOT scar your child for life.



Think of these two example, If your child reaches for a hot burner, are you going to smack the hand and tell them it is hot? If your child runs into the road or parking lot in front of a car, are you going to just stand there calmly request that they don't do it again? Sometimes there is not time for a long discussion about why it is wrong, sometimes the behavior needs to STOP IMMEDIATELY. That is when spanking should come into play. The discussion can and should follow.



For other cases. My strategy is simple. I ask the child to correct behavior. I repeat the request. I give a warning. I count to three slowly. This also gives me time to calm myself. If the behavior is not changed by the time I get to three they get spanked once on the backside.



To Dani above, the behavior a the past few generations HAS gone down hill I agree. As more and more parents take a overly passive route to discipline things are getting worse. That should be an argument for spanking not AGAINST

Verity - posted on 05/07/2010

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hi, I have a 3 year old and spanking never worked, I found blackmail works best! When my boy is being a menace I tell him I'm going to put his favourite things (changes all the time) in the bin and the garbage truck will take them away...so far its working, been doing that for about a month now...

Diane - posted on 05/06/2010

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geez...a couple pats on the butt isn't doing any harm...im meen dont hit hard but enough to make the two yr old to realize what he's doing wrong..i pat my 2 yr old on the butt wen its needed and he minds really well

Jacqueline - posted on 05/06/2010

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This is an awful dilemma and i can sympathise with this totally what i will say you and your husband have to compromise and come up with same form of discipline as a child will only be mixed up if discipline is different -i cannot stress how important you talk x

You need to sit and well agree on a stratergy if you would like to not smack little on then ask husband to try a method of not smacking and well a chair that you put child on .when telling child off tell them why they cant do something ie dont jump on chair you could fall and tell child they have count of three or they will go on stairs

time perservearance and clear instructions and boundaries work .something that might help the father and child as i do not know what its like at home for you but i know what its like for dads they can often come home when the miss so much so maybe he can bath child or have 5 min at bedtime where child can have good time with dad one on one with a story its quality moment a child will love x

Jessica - posted on 05/06/2010

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Well kids are kids, If you don't like spanking you and your husband to have a sit down. I agree with you i don't think spanking does anything at all it is negative attention to negative behavior. age 2 to age 5 is when the kids get to know who they are and they want test there parents... You have to send your child i messages tell him when he does something that you don't want him to do that it hurts your feelings. it takes as much patience as you can muster up. At the young age your child is a spanking will do nothing except teach that when you don't like something you smack someone for it. The best tip i can give you at your child's age is when he is doing something you don't want him to do is remove him form the situation and find something for him to do that you approve of.. Just remember to have patience and love....

Ashley - posted on 05/06/2010

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My boyfreind is like that too... his first reaction is to spank and threaten. It makes me mad b/c I am finding that time outs actually work and threatening my son that his behaviour is leading to a time out works! I have told my boyfriend that I don't want our son to be spanked and when my boyfriend does spank our son I am not afraid to go to my son and get his father to apologize. After I started making my boyfriend apologize he started to get mad at me and I told him that if he hits he has to apologize too because it is childish behaviour. After a few times he actaully quit spanking. I can tell he gets frustrated when our son is acting out but he is slowly coming around to time outs actually working.

Jennifer - posted on 05/06/2010

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Recently I did hear that children that are spanked are more likely to bully and use hitting as a way to solve problems as they get older. I'm not totally against spanking, but....It depends on the offence. For if your child runs into the street or plays with a knife or a lighter.....Still, time outs are more affective. I've noticed that distracting them is an excellent way to get a child to behave. Usually the only problem is the amount of effort the parent wants to put in. Also...pay attention to the fact that your child may not actually be misbehaving. I've witnessed a lot of parents disciplining because of their own mood or not actually paying attention to what their child is actually trying to do. Is he climbing on the counters to get to food??? He's not misbehaving exactly...he is trying to be a big boy and get his own food because he is hungry. Not really the safest, but he can't make himself grow. :) So many times my son has thrown a fit because I've tried to get him to stop doing something. And when I just stopped for a second and asked him to show me what he wanted I've felt like a dummy because it was some thing like he just wanted to brush his teeth or he was in the fridge pulling out the milk because he needed a drink. I say...pay closer attention to what your son is actually trying to do. To us the loud annoying toy they are playing with may be driving you up the wall but it isn't means for yelling at them to cut it out. Patients also. Don't be so quick to discipline. Be sure he really is misbehaving. Help him better with whatever he may be doing you may find out your kid is smarter than you thought. Diapers all over the floor and he's naked? Trouble maker or trying to "do it himself"?

Also, for time outs, my pediatrician recommends 1 min per age.

[deleted account]

A couple swats on the behind is not going to scar your child for life.




Kristen, you very well could be right BUT what if you're not? You never know how it will affect that child so you can't state that as a fact?!! Just saying...

Kristen - posted on 05/06/2010

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They're just going to try your patience, thats just how they are. But its unlikely you're going to butter up your toddler into being an angel around daddy. What you should be looking at here is you and hubby coming to some sort of agreement. You both need to acknowledge eachother's sides and not try to completely quash the other's opinion. If your hubby is being abusive or excessive about spanking, of course there is a problem with that. Since it doesn't sound like thats the issue, somehow you two need to sit down and find some sort of middle ground. A couple swats on the behind is not going to scar your child for life. I know its easy to try to and have this "holier than thou" attitude when it comes to the spouse and you feel like they should have more patience for them, but all you're going to do is cause a lot of resentment and anger if you're going to try to completely commandeer discipline.

Dani - posted on 05/05/2010

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The last two generations have done "research" on the cons of spanking. The "experts" have decided it's all together wrong. Keeping in mind two is too young to spank...WHY are the last two generations soooo disrespectful? Thus spanking should not be absolutely dismissed

Dani - posted on 05/05/2010

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I believe in a spanking when it's appropriate. It is NEVER appro0riate to spank a two yr old. Your 2 yr old is a reflection of you !nd your partner. Woyld you spank yourself?
Try distraction that is (usually) ALL you need with a toddler. If theres hitting or biting involvrd a 30 sec. Time out is in order

Geralyn - posted on 05/05/2010

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If your hubby is for spanking, I suggest you spank him. Whatever works for him... And love your son by shaping positive behavior.

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