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We disagree on discipline, I'm stuck.

My boyfriend and I won custody of my two stepsons. I have been the primary care giver and disciplinarian for a year now and the five year old is going through a "testing" phase. Spanking is what has been working but since I have been MAKING my bf do it more he says that it's not a good way. He says he thinks we will get in trouble for child abuse and we should make him eat or drink something he hates but wouldn't making a child ingest something repeatedly cause side effects or be considered abuse on a cruel and unusual level? I'm just giving one spank at a time and on his butt. I definitely don't use anything but my hand either. Not like the belt my dad used. I have tried all other forms of discipline I know of and done days worth of research for others and the only thing I see results with is spanking. I don't know what to do because we are at an impass. Help.

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Asked by Swarthy at 9:44 PM on May. 2, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I think that MAKING your boyfriend discipline YOUR kids is a bad idea. He is not comfortable with it, maybe because they are not his kids or maybe because he doesn't like spanking in the first place.
    Is your boyfriend the kids' adopted parent? If not, then you won custody, he didn't. That may be a factor in this as well.

    Maybe he has his own way of discipline that works for him and that your son will respond to.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 9:49 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • PLEASE check out the parenting style called Love and Logic. It will help so much. It is completely changing my children.

    Answer by ferrellmt at 10:10 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • He is their biological father, I'm just the step mom. WE won custody from bio mom. He hasn't done any disciplining so I'm making him take part. He thinks that if they tell him what they did wrong then it's over but there are no consequences for their actions and it either stays the same or (usually) escalates until I provide the consequences.

    Comment by Swarthy (original poster) at 10:12 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • If my ex husbands girl friend was hitting my children I would be not only calling protective services but would cut off all visitation while the girl friend was around. I dont know what your situation is but really your boyfriend should ask the judge how they feel about his girlfriend physically punishing his children. I dont believe in physical punishment this includes having children injest things as a punishment is forms of abuse and I dont think I'd be saying this stuff in a public forum. You both need parenting classes to learn how to constructively discipline. UGH :(

    Answer by mistynights234 at 10:14 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Oh, I see. Maybe he doesn't realize that by playing good parent, he is actually breeding disrespect later. Kids need limits and they need structure. Maybe spaking isn't ok with him? I can't spank but there are many other things that you can do with the same results. However, if he isn't being consistant with the discipline, then they will learn that they can play you against each other.

    Maybe sit down and talk (without them around) about ways that you can work as a team and stand together in a way that is not uncomfortable to him?

    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:16 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Hitting and spanking are not the same but thanks " mistynights"'for all the judgement you have passed onto me. In your own words, you don't know my situation.

    Comment by Swarthy (original poster) at 10:18 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Jademom im listening to you and I want to talk with him but I just now tried and he sat there, crossed arms and said I'm not goin to do it, when I said he needs to be part of the discipline. I also pointed out that we need to be united in this no matter what the solution we decide but now he's not talking to me. Just give him time?

    Comment by Swarthy (original poster) at 10:21 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Look, you and your bf cant argue with results. You have tried spanking (and its not working well) and bf is not on board with you. Since they are HIS children regardless of all the parenting you have done in the last year, if he wants to try something different than you guys pull it together and work as a team.
    Your kids are old enough to understand change so sit down with them and tell them that you have a new plan as how to deal with misbehavior. My suggestion would be a strict time out. One minute for each year ..5years old=5 min. some children respond well, others dont mind sitting around for a little bit.
    Sitting in time out was successful for my son but after a while it wasnt doing what we wanted so now time out is him standing with his arms to his side and his nose in the corner. After he is out i ask him why i sent him to the corner...we talk briefly, apologizes, I loves yous and carry on with your day.

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 1:32 AM on May. 3, 2011

  • Cont.. If he does not stay in the time out spot you designated then walk him back to the spot, say you are in time out because you......fill in blank.... place him in his spot, if he walks away again walk him back to spot...NO talking , if he walks out again repeat last step. You may have to walk him back to the spot many times but in the end this usually works.
    You can also think about a reward system...allowance, a sticker board where he gets a sticker for all the good behavior (dont take stickers away this is for recognizing the positive things he does during his day.)
    Then you have grounding or taking away his most prized activity or toy, tv, computer, playing outside, dessert, playing with friends ect.
    There are lots of different ways to manage your kidos behavior but you have to let go of past disipline ways that arent working out like spanking...because you and your partner dont agree and its not working.

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 1:46 AM on May. 3, 2011

  • You can't MAKE him spank his children if he doesn't agree with that style of discipline. You two need to come up with a method that you both agree on and both follow through on. Check out the book 1-2-3 Magic at your library, it's a discipline book and your bf might like their methods better.

    I definitely don't think that making them eat something they don't like is a good idea for discipline though, that is cruel and will cause a lot more problems. I can only imagine the trouble that could bring into your lives if they tell a teacher that their dad makes them eat gross things when they are in trouble.

    I'm not against spanking, in general, but if he doesn't want to do that and if he doesn't want you spanking them, then you two need to find something else that works. I have spanked my own children, but honestly it's a last resort and I can't even remember the last time I had to do that.

    Answer by slw123 at 8:38 AM on May. 3, 2011

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