Wednesday, April 22, 2009

disciplinary action

Last night I returned from class and got ready to do the reading that was required for my other class the following day. I had my book, hi-lighter, notebook, and was settled into the couch for some hardcore studying. My fiance started chatting about kids and somehow we got on the topic of disciplining. He thinks that giving the kid a smack on the butt if they do something wrong is fine, where I think that there are plenty of other options before resorting to any kind of violence.

This escalated into an argument, and I'm still confused as to how it happened. (Usually I'm the one that ends up getting emotional and upset about a topic and he fends for himself while I try not to get mad, but this time it was the other way around. It was weird being the calm one for once.) First of all, we don't have any children yet and I hope to wait until after we're married next year (and possibly after I graduate college) before we have our first child, so I didn't know why this was such a pressing issue... I never did find that answer out, but here's how it went:

At first he made it sound like if the child does something wrong, the first thing he would do is give them a smack, but that wasn't the case... he was more of the notion that once you had warned the child a few times, you follow thru with a "threat" of a spanking and that teaches the child (even as young as two) not to do that action.

I disagreed, saying that violence begets violence, and if you start putting a hand to the child whenever they do something wrong, that'll teach them that when someone does something wrong to them, they can in turn smack someone else. I understand that this isn't always the case, but it's a possibility, isn't it? I think that there are plenty of other disciplinary actions that can be taken before resorting to violence, whether that is a slap on the butt or a slap on the face.

My fiance and I are both very strong-willed, stubborn people, so it was difficult to come to any sort of compromise. We ended up just both apologizing and saying that when the time comes, we'll talk about it and see what our options are, but it's not worth arguing at this point.

Any insight from my fellow classmates that are parents would be helpful... what kind of disciplining do you do? Is a smack on the hinder appropriate sometimes, or should that never be an option? Does early exposure to this kind of physical violence resort to violent behavior later in life, or is it completely unrelated? These are questions I've heard discussed by psychologists and doctors for years and there's still controversy either way. Your opinions are welcome here.


  1. I have to side with you on this one. Even though a smack on the butt isn't usually going to hurt anyone, it's the meaning behind the smacking. They did something wrong, therefore they get smacked. I don't really think that serves any more purpose than scaring a child away from you and increasing a violent streak in them. Though spanking is an effective discipline, cause after a spanking, a kid usually just cries and settles down, out of more fear of another round. I've never been one to support scare tactics to get people to do what you want, so why do it to a child? To me, the punishment must always make sense to the crime. Not an "eye for an eye", but it should just make sense. If your kid starts screaming in the store, you take them out of the store and tell them they're never coming out with you again if you act like that. That seems fair. But is it effective? I have no clue. I'm not a parent yet, so I don't know what works or not, but I definitely wouldn't lay a violent hand on my own child.

  2. I have a three year old daughter who is naughty from time to time but I have never spanked her. When she is naughty she is given a time out and if she continues to not listen or be naughty, there are consequences. For example, she will then not be able to go to the park if we were going to go to the park. If she is naughty in the store she will not be allowed to get the toy that she wanted or already had in the cart.

    Kids are awesome. When my daughter is naughty I just think, man, I know I wasn't any better when I was her age (I have four brothers). She's learning, so she has to be taught that there are cosequences when she doesn't listen. I don't think spanking is one of them, even though I got my fare share of spankings when I was growing up. Parents who spank their kids, within reason, are not bad parents, I just don't want to do that. Am I a violent person because of my spankings, No. I feel it takes a lot more for a person to become violent than being spanked when they are growing up.

    So my answer to spankings is NO!! There are many alternative forms of discipline than spanking.

  3. Spanking is a form of physical abuse, no matter what the intentions are. Any physical, mental, or emotional abuse should not be tolerated.

  4. Wow I actually couldn't wait to comment on this blog. Here are my ideas. First of all I do not feel a little swat on the bottom is abuse. I was spanked when I did something I knew I shouldn't have done I learned what was expected of me and knew there were consquences if I did not obey. Years ago spankings were the way. I started by spanking my kids when they were little. I never really had to follow through all I had to do is threated the pattle and they shaped up. How ever I do have other ideas for disipline now seeing my kids are all grown up and I have 2 little step daughter and we are foster parents. When you are in this position there is no hands on disipline allowed. So of course I have to use an alternitive method. The time out thing works pretty good. But when that doesn't work the kids get sent to their room. Our little 9 year old will through a fit I remember having to carry her up the step 6-7 times one day. Every time I took her up and walked out of the room she would come back down. This was about 5 years ago. Now she know I mean business I feel now to keep consistant in your disipline is the best way. Have a plan ahead of time first. Taking away computer or tv time is also good when dealing with older kids. Sometimes if they are repeat offenders I make them write lines. My husband and I run it to issues because we have rules the kids need to follow and mom has the stupidest rule you could imagine. Anyway I have them write what are our rules in this house. That seems to help alot to. Stick with your guns keep constistant. This I feel make your kids trust you and know what you expect of them.

  5. I don't have any of my own children but my boyfriend has 3 little boys. They are 3,4, and 6. We resort to time out A LOT, and if that doesn't work they get sent to their room or to bed depending upon if it is close to nap time or bed time. If they are in the time out for hitting or throwing something at their brother or stealing a toy from someone then when they are done they have to give that person that they hurt a hug and tell them that they love them. I think that the time out thing works pretty well but you have to implement discipline with your child from day 1. You can't tell them no about something and then watch them do it and don't do anything about it. That is what we go through because the kids mom doesn't discipline and lets them do what they want, so when we get them they are crazy for the first day or so and then after a few time outs they remember their manners. Then they go home and we do it all over again!

  6. hey there....i have two daughters and was married to their dad for 16years and before you get married make sure you are on the same page when it comes to how you are going to raise your will save a lot of battles later on. anyway, not telling you not to get married...not my intention! just that raising your children will try even the most patient of parents. My girls were never spanked. just didn't believe that was the way to handle the behavior. if the girls would do something wrong(and depending on the age) we would put then on a time out until they would calm down or we would(time outs should be 2mins per year of age)so a two or three year old shouldnt be on a time out for an hour....right! I would always explain to them why they shouldnt do that behavior and if they choose to repeat it again there will be consciquences for their actions-when they were small that would be taking away their favorite toy. when they got older it was usually something they really wanted to do with their friends. but i have to say that i don't remember a lot of that and the older they get the far and few between times are much longer. if you achknowlege them when they are upset and give them respect they will give it in return. i'm lucky to have a great relationship with my girls. i hope it always stays that way. good luck to you when you have kids....there is no book or person that has all the answers. you learn the most by making mistakes, unfortunately.