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Old 07-25-2010, 06:42 PM   #1
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Disciplining Your Child

What is the correct way to discipline your child? Is spanking OK? What about if the kid is really acting up and cannot be controlled?

Growing up, spanking was the norm in my house. Yep! Then again, my parents were pre-Baby Boomers, so they saw nothing wrong with it. I think spanking taught me to stay out of trouble, but it also taught me to fear my parents.

But when I see some kids today act up - such swearing at their parents at the age of 5 - I wonder if spanking is the answer.

I'm curious about what FYMers think, particularly the parents. Do you or could you ever spank your children? How do you discipline your child without resorting to physical discipline? Does it work?
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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I'm not a parent (nor do I play one on TV), but ...

I think there's a difference between spanking in anger, and spanking as an anticipated punishment.

My parents never hit me in anger, but if I did something very bad, they told me I would get a spanking, and I did. It was always after the fact, never as an immediate reaction.

It was humiliating, but it never seemed like violence to me, not even in hindsight. I did think some of their rules were weird and ridiculous, in hindsight, but that's my own battle to bring up at the next holiday dinner.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:00 PM   #3
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I suppose it depends on what sorts of lessons you want your children to learn from you as a parent.

If one wants to teach their children that physical pain and humiliation is an appropriate way to solve problems and that fear and mistrust molds acceptable behaviour over the long-term then spanking is probably the way to go. It's certainly the easiest, least creative way to discipline and has carried over for generation after generation.

I know, we're all well-adjusted adults despite the "normal" amount of spanking, right?

I prefer rewarding good behaviour whenever possible and often in anticipation of a potentially bad scene, that helps quite a bit, especially the anticipating part if you're paying attention to your kids' patterns.

But really, I find punishment more effective to teaching lessons when they lose something that matters to them. And they learn this at a remarkably young age. Anyone that says you can't negotiate with a 3 year old is someone who has waited until said 3 year old is hysterical to try and teach cause and effect or to bargain. Lost cause.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:40 PM   #4
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I don't have kids, but I plan to, and I used to nanny. Really I treat kids the same way I would train my dogs - reward the good, set the kid up for success (ie, don't take a kid to the grocery store three hours after the normal bedtime and spank him if he gets tired and has a fit), follow through with consequences (does not have to mean physical punishment).

Obviously I've never spanked a child since I don't have my own. I honestly don't remember if I was spanked as a kid.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:53 PM   #5
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My kids are 11 and 14 and they are really good kids, never have a problem of being disrespectful to us when we go out in public or to other people, they do not curse at us or anything like that, do they answer back at times sure they do, but, we have never ever spanked them. We have tried to teach them that there are consequences to everything you say and do to other people and in general life.

I think I decided that our way of discipline would to spank them cause I was spanked as a child and remember it being pretty horrible.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:13 PM   #6
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I don't agree with it but wouldn't agree with governments criminalising it either, as seemingly some countries are planning to do. Was not spanked a kid apart from the occasional slap on the hand with a wooden spoon.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:16 PM   #7
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There are many similarities between kids and dogs lol. I found raising a puppy to be great "training wheels" for parenthood.

I was spanked as a kid. Not excessively but my mother would spank in the moment out of anger or safety issues and my dad was the one who used the big scary, dramatic over-the-knee deal on a rare occasion after the misdeed.

Haven't spanked mine, they are now 5 and 6, nor felt it has ever been necessary. There are consistent consequences for bad behaviour but not physical punishment.

Actually, I tripped into something that now works like magic and is more like variable reinforcement (similar to the lottery). On an outing my older daughter was giving me attitude about something so I mentioned that I had bought Timbits (munchkins for Dunkin Donuts people) as a surprise treat for after the event and she had now lost out. No Timbits for speaking to me like that. She got watch her sister and everyone else enjoy them. She kept saying "but I didn't know there were Timbits"...very frustrated lol.

In certain cirmcumstances, all I have to say is "well, Sophie, what if there's Timbits..."...instant cooperation.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:07 PM   #8
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I was spanked as a kid, and I remember the difference between the times of being spanked out of anger and those out of discipline. The line is not that gray and kids can tell the difference.

I think every child is different, and a really good parent knows what will work for that child.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:14 AM   #9
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I don't have any children, but if I ever do, I hope to teach them to resolve conflicts without (even minor) violence. And I would have a hard time taking myself seriously if I would teach them not to hit people on one day, and spank them a day later. Besides, I see many parents giving their children a prefectly good upbringing without spanking them so obviously it's not necessary.

So yeah, I wouldn't spank my child.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:39 AM   #10
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i don't have children but will at some point. i don't see anything wrong with one solitary smack to the backside when they act up, but i don't think i could do more than that. my mom was usually the one doing the discipline since my dad would sometimes be away on business trips, and she tended to focus more on getting me to understand what i did wrong and why it was wrong, and giving me time out or not letting me watch tv. though sometimes i did still get the smack up the backside.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:08 AM   #11
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I don't know if I'll ever have kids, but if I did I'd make every effort to resolve issues without resorting to physical punishment. Even if I ended up with some horrible little shit

My siblings and I were very rarely spanked when we were little, and if anything my Mum's harsh tone of voice used to make a far bigger impression.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:11 AM   #12
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I was spanked occasionally as a child and turned out fine in most respects. I don't see spanking as any sort of a good method of discipline, meaning having it as a regular part of your dealing with a child. But, I would allow for spanking in situations where the child (particularly a young child, 3-6?) was in immediate danger by their actions--such as running out into the street or other life-threatening, impulsive actions. In these situations, a quick swat on the butt may ensure total attention by the child and building a memory as to why such an action is unacceptable/dangerous.

I see kids getting spanked for being mouthy or for not doing some task, and that is ridiculous. That is a failure of control on the part of the parent--both in teaching the kid ahead of time and in spanking as a reaction of frustration by the parent.

So, do I think it should be illegal. No. I think true physical abuse has more obvious marks. And, if courts want to get involved so deeply in the parent/child relationship, verbal and emotional abuse are far more common, yet harder to prove.

Really, I don't know why society looks at the back-end of problems and decides whether to prosecute or not instead of being active on the front-end and offering parenting classes. Yes, the content of the classes could be controversial and contentious, but it still would be helpful.

(No, I don't have children of my own, but I have been around many different children all of my life and regularly babysit, and yes, I take children shopping on my own. I am the only one in our family that can take my 3 nephews and niece somewhere by myself other than their parents.)
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:37 AM   #13
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I don't believe in spanking at all-it creates fear and resentment and I don't believe in parenting by fear

I believe in explaining to kids why they shouldn't do certain things- that creates an atmosphere of trust and respect and I believe in parenting by respect and by role modeling, respect that's a two way street.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #14
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I raised 4 children and they did get an occasional slap on the butt. They are all wonderful young adults, happy and secure.

I do not believe in beating your child, or setting up a spanking session but when they are in a dangerous situation or totally out of control a slap on the butt certainly gets their attention quick!

Positive and negative reinforcement works best for children. As a teacher I am constantly negotiating with unruly students. Results occur when the child understands what the rewards and consequences are clearly spelled out. I teach 5 year olds. Parents often ask if spanking is OK and I tell them that it is your very last resort and never spank when you are angry, just a tap on the butt is all I would do.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kassandra View Post
I raised 4 children and they did get an occasional slap on the butt. They are all wonderful young adults, happy and secure.

I do not believe in beating your child, or setting up a spanking session but when they are in a dangerous situation or totally out of control a slap on the butt certainly gets their attention quick!

Positive and negative reinforcement works best for children. As a teacher I am constantly negotiating with unruly students. Results occur when the child understands what the rewards and consequences are clearly spelled out. I teach 5 year olds. Parents often ask if spanking is OK and I tell them that it is your very last resort and never spank when you are angry, just a tap on the butt is all I would do.
^This.

And consistency!
That's the biggest failing I see with parents--not being consistent in their attention and their discipline. I understand when there are differences between the parents, but when one parent sometimes punishes for a child's act and then sometimes doesn't, the child doesn't get it.
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