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How do YOU discipline?

It seems like my MIL/FILs answer to misbehavior is to spank. That's what we're told we should do when our son does something bad. I get kind of tired at having someone tell us how to raise our son. We're not opposed to spanking, but it is not the end-all, be-all answer to everything. It's a last resort for us.

I'll tell you what happened to set off this latest debate. Sunday, our son got into the fridge and attempted to pour himself some juice and he ended up pouring the entire container out on the floor. Yesterday he got a carton of eggs and broke them all over his floor. I was not at home, but DH was. Now don't be getting self-righteous on me and saying "you need to keep an eye on your son at all times." He's 3 1/2, we have a house with an open floor plan, and we don't restrict him to one part of the house. It's his home, not his jail cell. DH is fairly lenient, doesn't say much to him (more continued in reply)...


Asked by thatgirl70 at 11:10 AM on Aug. 31, 2010 in Parenting Debate

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Answers (13)
  • punish: common sense. He talks rudely to me, I say later that day when we had planned to go to the park I tell him I don't drive little boys who are rude to me. And I don't give in. They remember. We do personal space, deep breathing, relaxation, and the big thing - try to stay ahead of the game. If I remeber what his triggers are it goes a long way in avoiding a total melt down. When melt down occur we do things the easy way or the hard way, his choice. Like with his medicine he is taking. Last night he said he wanted to do it the "easy way" because last time he didn't take it we went back to his doctor and they gave him a shot of anti-biotics. That was the hard way. And the trip to the children's museum we had on our calander - canceled. I had to pay for the doctor's visit some how. Now our code words are "easy or hard?" That gets him thinking.

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:26 AM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • I wouldn't punish him for trying to be independent, which is sort of what he was doing. I would however explain to him that making a mess if you're not careful enough will cause him to get into trouble. I don't believe that spanking is the end all and be all of punishments. We use many other methods as well. At our house the punishment has to fit the crime so to speak. I would tell you inlaw's that you and your husband decide how and when to punish your child and though you appreciate the input you and your husband have the final say.

    Answer by coala at 11:19 AM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • He's growing and he is trying to be just like the grown ups. In order to reduce, and let's face it - no way to eliminate every frustrating situation, we have made things easier for our child. Plates, utensils, and even some food that he can reach is easy to get and eat. Also drinks that are available to him. Water from the bathroom tap with a stool and a cup always at the ready. This has helped. We lay out complete outfits and he chooses which one - placed in his closet in the storage rack where he can reach. Anything he can do we encourage. If an uh-oh happens - we teach him what grown ups do. We supply him with what he needs to clean it up. Wet the bed? No problem. He helps to strip his bed and change into new pajamas. Miss the toilet? Okay, here is a spray bottle, paper towels, and remember to wash the hands. One thing I remember is not all things need to be a crime.  So your child won't eat.  Poor guy, I'll bet


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:16 AM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • eats at his next meal. I tell him that I'll make sure to cook a big breakfast if he eats nothing at dinner. Hungry right before bed - so sorry, breakfast will be served at seven. It is all about the learning. No need for spanking. No need for yelling. Just good old fashion common sense. And duh, on the common sense part. My MIL wonders why my son won't eat and gets angry with him. Well, when you leave cookies around what do you think will happen. So no, I am not going to punish my three year old when the adult should have been smarter. No to her leaving out knives or other dangerous things. Put them up. And if she can't - well my husband has told her she can visit us at any time but we bring our son to long visits at homes who are willing to do some common sense toddler proofing. We are not asking her to rearrange her furniture, only make sure medications and safety issues are taken care of. As far as how we


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:21 AM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • i suggest single serve drinks and snack put within reach for him so there's no catastophe spills!
    We discipline by taking away toys and games and sitting him in quiet time. he's 9 and has autism

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 11:16 AM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • We use a mixof methods, tailoring them to individualize for each kid. My three autistic kids need to have the positive behavior we desire of them attached to something they care about so they have to earn privileges rather thanlosing what they feel entitled to. Negative behaviors lead to time out until they calm down. In contrast, the four "normal" kids respond to normal reward/punishment systems. When they were little we did spank for disobedience and purposeful violent behavior (hitting, breaking things)- that didn'tnwork with the autistic kids, though. We also had visual schedules for everyone that let them know what they ahd to do that daybefore they could do recreational activities (go to friend's, play computer, have someone over)

    Answer by mamahobbit at 1:30 PM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • I am the raising my voice type and repeating type. My husband on the other hand is the yeller. I prefer my discipline over his yell. I bend down and look her in her face tell what she has done wrong and I put her on time out or take away a toy or no handy manny today. That is her current favorite show. I think taking things away works for her more then a spank

    Answer by sierra_617 at 4:43 AM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • I'd say your son needs to learn patience and if you don't want mess on the floor, he has to know he isn't allowed to go into the fridge, if you want him to have independance, it will be hard to punish him for his mess. I would give him a time out the first time but would definetely spank the second time, but that's just me.

    As for saying you can't punish him if you weren't there at the time... will this be the same when he is older and gets in trouble at school? When he's a teenager and starts experimenting?
    Won't this just encourage him to be naughty when you're not around?

    Answer by MegWorthington at 4:58 AM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • I think because he doesn't think he will understand. I make him clean up the mess (with my help of course). He gets time-outs too. Now of course, I didn't know about these incidents until after the fact and this is when my MIL said you need to spank him. My answer to her was "there are other ways to discipline and I'm not very well going to punish him for something I wasn't there to witness."

    Comment by thatgirl70 (original poster) at 11:13 AM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • He wanted a drink, which he asked DH for, but he wasn't patient enough to wait for DH to get up and get it for him. But he's not deprived of eating. However, if he's allowed to snack too much, he refuses to eat his meals.

    Comment by thatgirl70 (original poster) at 11:14 AM on Aug. 31, 2010