To spank, or not to spank?

(27 posts)(20 voices)
  1. I guess I am old-school. I was brought up that if you misbehaved, you got a whoopin'. Now I'm not saying abuse, but enough to (sorta) keep me in line~ until I hit my teens anyway.

    Now times have changed. Spanking is taboo.

    Does anyone else out there in parent-land think that a well placed smack on the behind can go a long way?

    I have a very, shall we say, \"defiant\" 2yo who is not phased by time-outs. She just doesn't seem to care. She'll sit there, then when time out is over she goes right back to whatever got her in trouble in the first place.

    I'm talking behavior I DO NOT want: biting, hitting, kicking, throwing to name a few.

    What to do if I cannot spank?

    ~Brandi

  2. Time outs work wonders for us. I have noticed the more severe the punishment, the more a child seems to build up a tolerance to any form of punishment - I just stick with time outs. I am not saying I am totally against a small swat on the rear over clothes, but it doesn't work for us and in particular I don't think it teaches the child anything about not biting, kicking, etc.

    She gets 3 minute time outs now at 3 years old and she hates them.

    ETA: If my DD ever starts the same behavior again, she goes back on the step or the corner for time out. I will repeat this till I'm blue in the face. She needs to know I won't waiver.

  3. There is research out there that shows that spanking may eliminate a behavior in the short term but it doesn't improve behavior overall, or might even make a child misbehave more over the long term. It doesn't really teach them to WANT to be good, it just teaches them to try to avoid being caught. It also teaches them fear of parents rather than loving respect. It can also increase aggression and teach children that it's ok to lash out at others. I mean, if you say \"No hitting!\" and then hit your child, even if it's on her bottom, it gives a contradictory message. Why should you be able to hit and she can't? Kids copy their parents. Plus, a lot of parents are angry when they spank and the message that kids get is that it's ok for people to lash out when angry.

    If timeouts don't seem effective make sure that when you put her in timeout you show no emotion whatsoever. Use it not so much as punishment but as \"Ok, you're out of control, you need to cool off.\" A lot of the time I tell my kids \"Go up to your room and when you're ready to behave (or stop crying) come back out.\" Then if they come out and do the same thing, send them right back and say the same thing. You could also try holding her tightly on your lap, restraining her arms, for a couple minutes rather than putting her in her room or on a chair. Do that consistently, every time she hits, and I bet she will stop after a day or two. If she's throwing toys or food there can be a logical consequence, like \"throw the toy and the toy gets a timeout\" (then remove the toy). Or \"If you throw your food that means you're done eating.\" Give lots of choices, like \"Do you want cereal or oatmeal\" or \"Do you want to walk up the stairs to bed or should I carry you?\" so she feels like she's in control even though she's really not. HTH--2 years is a tough age and you have to get creative.

  4. The DVD (or book) 1-2-3 Magic plan has worked great for us. I got the DVD so my DH would watch. He did. We were consistent and it worked. I have 5yo b/g twins and started 1-2-3 Magic when they were about 2.

    I believe my parents spanking me caused a separation that continues today.

    Sherry

  5. My 2y 7m old son can also be very defiant -- 2 to 2.5 were very hard. Regular time outs at first worked, then not (he would just get up and walk out). So I started threatening to close the door to his room during time out -- that worked wonders. He absolutely hates being alone and shut up in his room, and I've only had to do it once, so it's reinforced the punishment of the time out. That said, we rarely use TO anymore -- he is momentarily in a relatively compliant phase.

    I agree with a pp about spanking teaching the wrong lesson and having a lasting impact. My parents also were old school and sometimes there were beatings, not harmless little spankings, which would escalate to using household objects (belt, wooden spoon). The problem is that spanking and parental anger/frustration/reaching their limits are highly correlated and as a result there is easily a total loss of control. Honestly, I hated my father growing up and don't talk to him even today. My brother has anger control issues and a violent streak that scares me and that cost him his marriage.

  6. I appreciate that 2 can be a difficlut age - but how can you expect a 2 year old to understand why you are hitting him at the same time you are telling him not to hit! I think if you pick a consequence and stick with it consistently, it will eventually work. 1-2-3 magic is great as well as parenting with love and logic. I used 1-2-3 with my DD, who is extremely defiant, around and it got to the point where I only had to threaten to count and she would change her behavior.

    Stephanie

  7. It doesn't really teach them to WANT to be good, it just teaches them to try to avoid being caught. It also teaches them fear of parents rather than loving respect. It can also increase aggression and teach children that it's ok to lash out at others. I mean, if you say \"No hitting!\" and then hit your child, even if it's on her bottom, it gives a contradictory message. Why should you be able to hit and she can't? Kids copy their parents. Plus, a lot of parents are angry when they spank and the message that kids get is that it's ok for people to lash out when angry. You could also try holding her tightly on your lap, restraining her arms, for a couple minutes rather than putting her in her room or on a chair. Do that consistently, every time she hits, and I bet she will stop after a day or two.

    Both very good points I have been mulling over in my head.

    How can spanking her teach her to stop hitting? After all, I would be doing the very behavior I am punishing her for.

    I have tried the holding her in my lap time out. She gets a little frustrated, squirms, sometimes even cries, but still continues the behavior when she gets down.

    Ugh. I'm off to Amazon to get 1-2-3 Magic...

    Thanks for all the feedback, ladies!
    ~Brandi

  8. A note: Don't think you need to get \"More 1-2-3 Magic\" as I found it to be mainly for the older kids. Just get the 1-2-3 Magic.

  9. I think we are going to be in the majority here. We very rarely use a swat, but we have and I have no regrets.
    The weird thing is that I was listening to the radio and they actually had a commercial on with regards to spanking (not abusing) and studies showed that it created well rounded children ect. It seems that almost any study can be done to get the results that those running it want.

    I got swatted as a kid when I deserved it, never more. I can say I turned out pretty good.

    However, at the age of 2 we would have only swatted if they were in danger. We spoke very sternly when they hit or bit and that seemed to work well.

    Good Luck to you.

    Jen
    Tommy
    Rose

  10. I would use a spank only if they were about to do something that would put them in danger. Otherwise, I speak firmly/raise my voice, take away toys, and/or put them into baby jail (enclosed area, since naughter corner doesn't work--they run right out). My girls are 28 months old.

  11. The weird thing is that I was listening to the radio and they actually had a commercial on with regards to spanking (not abusing) and studies showed that it created well rounded children ect. It seems that almost any study can be done to get the results that those running it want.

    Hmmm... since that goes against most advice given nowadays, I'd wonder who paid to put that commercial on the radio. It sounds suspiciously like it was a religious group.

    I agree that nothing lies like statistics.

  12. 35m DS has had behavior problems. Professionals got involved. We focused on positive reinforcement. Lots of stickers, praise, etc. We stopped making \"threats\" and followed through with time outs. After about 3 weeks, he honestly seems like a different kid (although, he still has a few incidents here and there).

  13. Its also interesting to point out that \"spanking\" can mean a lot of different things to different people. In my parents' day- it was being bent over daddy's knee with a leather belt or a ruler across the knuckles. In my day, it was a light pop on the outside of pants and a diayoungihm. I guess I see a big difference in those things. I'm not advocating any kind of violence toward a child or saying it works or doesn't work. i honestly don't know and hope alternatives will work for my family. But either way, I definitely see a difference between hitting a child hard and patting his bottom once with my hand when he tries to touch the stove or something.

    funny: when I was in kindergarten, I remember vividly being given three licks with a wooden paddle by Miss Hayes. It was common practice then at school. There were about six of us that day, and we were all lined up outside the bathroom door and walked in one by one for our paddling. Imagine that happening today! I can tell you this- right or wrong, I didn't talk during naptime nearly as much after that.

  14. When I say, \"spank,\" (only used for imminent danger) it means a smack in the butt, and they wear diayoungihms--enough to startle them out of what they were about to do, and so that they remember this is VERY serious stuff, kwim? I was physically & mentally abused as a child and I would NOT want to do that to my kids. (I was called nasty names, beaten with the metal part of a belt, metal hangers, thrown down, kicked etc.)

  15. I would not spank, for all the reasons given by pp. So far my 28-month-olds are get worried and hate it if I raise my voice on them. I don't really use time-outs -- although I pull their chair away from the table if they put their hands under the table cloth, and on a few occasions (maybe 3 total so far), I have sat one or the other in a chair and sternly told them to stay there (while I cleaned up whatever had just spilled, or something like that). That's not to say they are always well-behaved -- probably I am more liberal than most (or than I should be, sometimes), and some behaviors I have not gotten them to drop yet, like dumping/splashing water out of the bathtub. I try to stick with logical consequences: You pour your juice on the table, you help clean it up and I take the juice away, etc. If you don't climb into your carseat yourself now, then I will put you in it, etc. And choices, like Rachel said, they do work well.

  16. I'm not sure why you would spank (or discipline at all for that matter) a 2 year old that hits, spanks, etc. This is pretty much the only they can communicate as they don't have the verbal skills yet to get the message across. I think the point of discipline is to teach the child how to behave and you can use the times that your child is acting inappropriately to tell him/her other ways to behave, but I think at 2, unless they are talking, it's kind of pointless. Right now, I\"m kind of the belief that most behavior is a \"phase\" and even if I do nothing, it will go away. A few months ago, my 2 year old daughter was scratching her twin sister all the time. I tried time-outs (didn't work.) I tried rationalizing with her (didn't work.) I was getting ready to take her for professional help! A friend here recommended rewarding behavior (with m and m's when she didn't scratch,) and the day I was going to go out and buy them to try it, the scratching stopped. Now, she doesn't do it anymore (most days!)So, my point is, that I think it's hard to tell what method of discipline works and what behavior just goes away with time as the child matures. Like-If I had used the m and m's, would I have attributed them to the stopped behavior--not sure if I'm explaining this well, but if you kwim, Ihope ithelps
    Apple

  17. I have a two year old too, who can be strong-willed and challenging at times. We instituted time out right before he turned two and only leave him for 45-60 seconds. We put him in a little corner by the front door. We always give a warning or two and then tell him what he did and put him in the corner. Sometimes he will just cry and the 45 seconds goes by fast. Other times, he thinks it is very funny and will run out. We just say nothing and keep putting him back - it was 20+ times one time until he finally cried and then stayed for the minute. We then tell him why he is there, do a little hug and tell him to go play or whatever. Many times now, I only need to tell him that he is doing something that will put him in the corner and he stops, but of course he still ends up there sometimes. Some days it doesn't seem like it is working at all! 2 year olds are quite a challenge!

    I think the point is, time-out is a technique that doesn't work or not work, it just is a consequence for misbehavior. Kids need to see that there is a consequence and that it is consistently applied. Once it is in process, there is no negotiation, no us giving up, etc. I think over time, this will teach him respect and that we will follow through on what we say in general good and bad. This creates stability and really gives the message that we care and that he is important. Spanking is usually applied inconsistently and out of emotion and an out of control state. This teaches that the world is unpredictable and that you just need to watch out for yourself. It alienates kids from parents and makes kids increasingly power hungry and angry. I guess my message is don't give up on time-out, just work on youngihmfecting the process, being consistent, and knowing that it is a long-term technique that will be beneficial over time. Good luck! Bethany

  18. No spanking here either. I remember a lot of frustrating days when my boys were 2. (now 4) And now my baby is almost two! HOoooo boy!

    Two is just all about being willful -- there simply is no way of getting around it. They simply have to go through that to get to the next stage in their development. Our job is to try to get them on the right track and keep them from hurting themselves in the process, right?

    We concentrate on lots and lots of love generally. Then lots of praise for good behavior. I can certainly raise my voice for bad behavior, and do time outs -- expecting no true understanding yet from the Little One. I think expectation is key. What do I expect a two-year-old to do? If I expect her to do her own thing and test me constantly, I get a bit less frustrated.

    Modeling is key too. I show her what the right behavior is, and hope she eventually follows suit. I give immediate, but not severe consequences for behavior that is not what I had requested.

    Example: \"Ruby, please hold my hand when we walk.\"
    Ruby: \"NOOOOOOOO\"
    Me: Ruby, if you don't hold my hand, I will carry you like a baby.\"
    Ruby: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    I carry her to the car while she kicks and cries.

    Next day, repeat pattern.
    A few days later, she reaches out for my hand.
    Sigh.

  19. I am reading a book called \"parenting with love & Logic\" which I am really liking. It is a parenting theory based on choices a lot like what anna m did with the hand holding.
    It would say you offer the choice to the child like this \"DS, would you like to hold my hand and go for a walk or go home?\" If child isn't holding hand you'd say \"DS, would you like to hold my hand and walk or go to the car?\" If still nothing \"DS would you like to walk to the car together or should I carry you like a baby\". etc. You give the child choices, therefore empowering them. But you set the choices up within your parameters.
    There's a lot more to it and so far I'm still very bad at it, but I think there is a lot of truth to the theory.

  20. Yes we spank. It is not done out of anger or emotion. We have always been consistent about when and for what we spank. We also praise, support and make sure to build our daughters self esteem. Our result at three years of age are children that are self assured, happy and loving. We always have people coming up to us in restaurants etc telling us how well behaved and sweet our little girls are.
    I think it is about parenting. No matter what way you choose to do it children at that age want consistency, love and lots of direction.

  21. Sorry that I do not have time to read other parents' replies - I have one grown DS - teen - and twin babies. I never spanked DS, I always used reasoning with him. We would discuss why it's better to do or not to do certain things and compromise a bit if it was possible. I just treated him like a friend and he appreciated it.
    I know that every child is different, I will see how it will work with twins wanting different things at the same time and fighting for attention. But I just do not think that spanking works. It never worked for me when I was a kid. I just remember feeling resentful and not guilty at all for whatever I did. On the contrary if I was explained what I did wrong and how it hurt someone or made extra work for someone, I did feel bad.
    Good luck!

  22. I think it also depends on how you define \"spanking\"...I grew up where my parents would \"spank\" us out of anger, literally bending us over their knee and continual whapping..it happened frequently. Yes we were well behaved kids, but I was scared of my father!

    The most \"spanking\" I will do is really last resort (very very rarely) and only consists of one swat on the bottom, then getting down to their level, explaining and hugs.

    But, we really try and use mostly praise, rewards, times outs and lots and lots of consistency! In fact I noticed that my son has been struggling more lately with \"respect\" and listening (almost 4) and so we re-implemented the rewards chart and it truly amazes me how far praise goes.

    I think the thing with parenting is that it constantly changes and what works developmentally for a 2 y/o is different than what works for a 4 y/o.

    So as far as spanking a 2 y/o, I would definitly not be spanking a 2 y/o. I think that age is all about re-direction, time outs, natural consquences and being consistent!

    Brittany

  23. Read a couple of the posts. Just a few thoughts. I am not sure you can always \"reason \" with a three year old. Second, although my daughters love to play with me like a friend, I am their parent first not their best friend. Children want direction, love, protection from their parent. My girls have each other as a best friend and a host of friends at preschool.
    My background. I am an older parent raised by older parents who where their first and only loves for 47 years until my dad passed at the age of 97. My ultimate hero as well as both of my brothers; my dad. The one in charge of the spanking for the most part, my dad. Without the lessons my parents taught me as my parents, not as my friends, I have become a well adjusted and confident career woman, mom and wife. DH raised the same way and is closer to his parents than any guy I know.
    I am not saying that spanking is for every family. Every parent needs to find their way of parenting that works and is consistent. But, don't think that those of us who do spank are somehow not in charge of our emotions and do it to vent our anger on our children. It is done with thought and with very specific reasons and it is NEVER to hurt. Thanks!

  24. hamid, you get no judgement from me. I said in my post that I have no problem with a pop when its something my son needs to understand right away that there is zero discussion on... touching stoves, etc. I absolutely agree that spanking can use its powers for good and not for evil sometimes

  25. I am reading a book called \"parenting with love & Logic\" which I am really liking. It is a parenting theory based on choices a lot like what anna m did with the hand holding. It would say you offer the choice to the child like this \"DS, would you like to hold my hand and go for a walk or go home?\" If child isn't holding hand you'd say \"DS, would you like to hold my hand and walk or go to the car?\" If still nothing \"DS would you like to walk to the car together or should I carry you like a baby\". etc. You give the child choices, therefore empowering them. But you set the choices up within your parameters. There's a lot more to it and so far I'm still very bad at it, but I think there is a lot of truth to the theory.

    I use this approach and took a few classes and it works. My dad spanked me and I didn't like him at all growing up b/c of it. I hardly talked to him until I left the house for college.

    I was also a nanny for three small boys, a daycare worker with toddlers and eventually an elementary school teacher and couldn't spank any of my students/children then either. You learn there are ways to deal with behavior issues and yes, you can reason with a two year old. The only thing close to it, would be slapping a hand away from a hot stove.

    Children (IMO) learn their behavior from your behavior. In my book, you can't hit someone for any reason as an adult and the sooner children learn it's not OK to hit the better.

    Just an opinion based on my own exyoungihmiences though.

    Brandi- To your original question, you take away something DD enjoys/wants/loves (time with you doing something she loves, favorite toy, a reward). You offer choices, \"Do you want to go to the park with me or stay in your room until you remember it's not ok to hit?\" offer choices A LOT and build up her \"bank\" so that at some point you can say, \"you know you've had a lot of choices about what you want to do today, now you are holding my hand in the parking lot.\" (Dangerous situations like parking lots aren't choices but socks color is.)

    You also have to stick to your guns, if you say, \"Are you going to hit me and stay home or are you going to come with me to the park?\" if she chooses to hit you, she stays home. She will learn from this that YOU MEAN what you say and you say what you mean. Never go back on a consequence. Look for the Love and Logic book, it's really very helpful.

    pam

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