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When should you discipline a child if they acts up in public? Then and there or wait until you get home later?

If you're opposed to spanking DON'T ANSWER!!
Our son who's 2.5 had a tantrum while we were in the mall. After trying to get him to settle down, DH took him back out to the truck. On his way several people tried consoling our son, oh don't cry, it's okay, etc. Of course DH was embarrassed. DH waited until we got home 30+ min later to spank him. I interrupted the spanking because I felt that he should have did or said something while at the mall & not much later. Leaving the mall again he falls out again but this time I have him. I continue to walk w/him & tell him that I can't pick him up he has to walk. I kept going & talking to him about walking like a big boy. Once at the truck he didn't want to sit in the carseat so 2 pops to his butt & I put him in the seat. DH said that I should've waited to spank him because someone may see me & put me on You Tube. I hate spanking in public but what else can I do when all else fails?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:55 PM on Aug. 25, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (12)
  • I am not opposed to spanking if done correctly. As you describe it with the child being THAT young I think that waiting is wrong. If you choose to spank it is as an attention getter when it is a dangerous situation and you need an immediate response. Waiting doesnt help because the child is too young to figure out that the spanking he is getting is for something in the past.


    Answer by sahlady at 6:57 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • i don't wait. i want to make sure that they understand why they are being spanked, and i think 30 minutes may be a bit too long. (btw, i live in SC... people EXPECT me to spank. HA!) i do spank, but i'm not a fan of spanking. i reserve it for blatant disrespect. (such as tantrums in the mall... or telling me to shut up.)

    Answer by gracefulsky at 6:59 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I do it then and there.

    they have short memory spans, so waiting until I get all the way home just ends up being me disciplining them and they don't know why.


    Answer by DarkFaery131 at 6:59 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • Well, a toddler needs immediate consequences. They won't understand what they're being disciplined for even 15 minutes later. I never was a spanker, it just wasn't for me, but I would say that maybe you need to find another form of discipline at least for in public.

    Answer by ohwrite at 6:59 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • i think you did the right thing. kids don't remember 30mins has passed. they need to know the consequences of their actions at the moment. not really spanking but what you did was fine. 30mins he didn;t have a clue probably what was going on. and displinging your child is between yourself and your husband. noone at the mall or internet can make that decision and its not their business.

    Answer by lambdarose at 7:00 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I definitely think kids need discipline right then and there, otherwise they may not know what it's for. I also think it's good to take the child aside where other people aren't. Of course, you may have to walk passed those annoying one who say "Ohhhh...." or what not. Personally, I think they should mind their own business because they have NO IDEA what is going on. But anyway...

    Answer by firenicecream at 7:01 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • i never worried bout who looking when i use to whip mine..i warn my kids bfore i would walk out the door my rules an make sure they understood so there wouldnt b any surprises when i whooped they butts..

    Answer by FreeSpriT4eva at 8:04 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I am all for spanking and believe you did it right. Don't worry about someone else they aren't dealing with your child.

    Answer by crazymom21 at 10:25 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • As a mom of 3 grown children and now a grandbaby who is 20 months I wanted to make a comment, if I may. This is a very important question. First, I believe spanking should be reserved for direct disobedience. Of course, determining what and when that is might take some thought. You tell them to do or not do something, they look at you and do it anyway. That is disobedience. That is not a tantrum, necessarily. If a spanking is in order I do think we have to be much more careful today than when my kids were little. That is smart. I do not think kids should be spanked in public ever. I always took my kids out to the car and spanked. Spanking should be very specific and controlled. First, look your child in the eye, tell him what you wanted, how he directly disobeyed and you are spanking for that. Make contact with the skin. Swatting your child is inappropriate. Also, discipline when FIRST acting up, not when you get mad.

    Answer by MarleneCopeland at 10:57 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • we dont spank our daughter but we used to it just isnt effective anymore.. but we do wait till we get home or out in the car

    Answer by rocknrollgirl70 at 9:01 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

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