To spank or not to spank my toddler?

Real Mom Problem

“If we try to put him in time out he pretends like he is listening and then does it again 5 minutes later. I am trying my best and I don't want him to be afraid of me or my husband. Whenever he does something bad he starts crying and says "don't hit me." I really don't want him to fear being hit or spanked. What can I do?”

by mama.martinezz mama.martinezz

Quick Tips

  • 1. Remember, all kids throw tantrums and act out sometimes
  • 2. Try various forms of discipline to see what works best for you and your kids
  • 3. Get on the same discipline page with your husband or significant other

Real Mom Solutions

All kids act out and throw tantrums at some point or another, and it's our job to teach them how to act and behave. There are many ways to discipline your child and you have to do what's right for you and your family. See how these moms of CafeMom handle discipline, and specifically the decision to spank or not to spank.

We Spank

  • antoinettegts

    Spanking isn't the same as hitting. My boys who are almost five and three-and-a-half, get spankings for almost all punishments. Nothing else works.

  • tiffanijohnson

    I use spanking and stern voices. No time outs in this home.

  • amandaellis1

    I grew up in a spanking house. I will spank my son if he does something wrong. I don't think I have traumatized him in the least. He says please and thank you and he listens well because he doesn't want to get spanked. I know some people don't agree with spanking but I don't think there is anything wrong with a LIGHT swat on the butt when he does something wrong. If my son hit me I would definitely hit him back. That's just how I parent, though.

We Spank if It's Absolutely Necessary

  • harry209

    Spanking is the very, very, very last resort and not on her body, palm of hands only and not when I'm angry. Time out is always first, second, and third option.

  • 2teens2LOs

    Never spank/slap out of anger -- you are showing him that is how to react in a stressful situation. Spankings do work for some kids but they have to be very rare, meaning don't give them unless it is of utmost importance, like a dangerous situation: running into the road, light sockets, etc.

  • rnmom4lif

    I have swatted my sons hand when he's done something I really needed to discourage, like playing with an outlet or reaching for the stove. But only when I feel like I REALLY need to make a point.

We Never Spank

  • TruthSeeker.

    Violence begets more violence. Use time outs and revoke privileges, and most importantly at this age praise him when he is behaving!

  • 1st_time_mom789

    I don't believe in hitting children, but I guess that's because I was hit when I was younger. I will put my daughter in time out for 1 minute, talk to her at her level, and explain to her why I put her there. She usually gives me a hug and kiss and I tell her I love her.

  • mom2cindylouwho

    We decided no spanking before we had kids.

  • bhwrn1

    I don't believe in hitting children. So it's times outs and consequences for us.

  • Luvmy2babies22

    I just think that disciplining your child for violence WITH violence is complete nonsense.

  • Disneynv

    I was spanked as a child and swore I would never spank mine... and never have. It is a parental choice, but I also have a degree in Early Childhood Ed and have learned from experience that most kids do not benefit in any way from spanking as a form of discipline and it is usually done when a parent feels they lost control of the situation. I think that most parents do NOT want to spank they just react first and regret later.

We Use Other Discipline Options

  • Abee2202

    We use time outs. Actually, I count to three. She usually let's me get to three then she gets the option to go to time out or let me brush her teeth (usually that's the battle everyday twice a day) she always picks brush her teeth.

  • 2teens2LOs

    Diversion works best, divert them to different things when they are into something they shouldn't be.

  • .Angelica.

    I take away toys. To my son that is the worst possible punishment he could have.