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A question for all you moms who don't spank, yet have disciplined kids

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How do you do it?

My 3 yo is driving me insane. I'm a wreck. Everytime I look at her I want to cry. I don't know the first thing about discipline, but I know I don't want to spank and no one supports my decision.
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by on Apr. 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Replies (251-260):
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 3:24 AM

Teaching your child by spanking isnt effective. And I dont really care about those who say I was fine when I got spanked ( are you really?) deep down im sure they have unresolved feelings towards it.

Its all about communication. Your 3 yr old cannot rationalize his/her behavior

What is the meltdown all about? How do you react to it?

Pick your battles

Maybe some quiet time?

Pick you child up and ask them to show  you what they want

I have a two year old, that when she throws a fit she's over stimulated, same with my seven year old

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 5:08 AM
I use my kid's favorite things (toys, cartoons, video games, treats, trips to special places) as my reward for good behavior. I say things like "if you don't stop ... You won't get video games on Friday." It works. I rarely ever spank. I get a lot of compliments for how well behaved my kids are. :)
by Bronze Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 5:26 AM
So does mine and he's only frickin 19 months !! I try to be consistant but he just laughs or fights me every time

Quoting _AshlynNicole:

I've tried and she starts hitting, kicking, and flopping around like a fish.

Quoting Lindalou907:

Time outs work if you are VERY consistant. Give her only 1 warning, or count to three, and if she doesn't straighten up put her in a corner or very boring time out spot for 3 minutes. You can still do it if you're out in public. If she cries, ignore it. If she gets up and walks away put her back and make her stay. She WILL learn if you do it EVERY time. And make sure all her caregivers and babysitters do too.

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by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 7:37 AM
our daughter will be 6 next thursday an since she was 3 we have done........Timeout,EBT(Early Bed Time) no Dessert after dinner,showers instead of baths,an having to clean up after alternatives to spanking......we only spank for very serious stuff like ......hitting the animals,hiding,an scaring her grandparents
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by Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Some kids are harder than others.  I have used spanking on all three, but I support your decision not to.  

Every child is different and you have to find what works for them. Counting and time outs works with my youngest, who I have stopped using spanking with generally, but it didn't work with my other two (well, untiil spanking was introduced and used as a threat). With my first expecially time out's didn't work...and she sounds a lot like my first.  Honestly, even spanking didn't always work with him.  Do read the books on discipline people suggest and see if you can find something that works for you.  But remember this:  you're not a bad parent because you have a strong willed child.  Some of the people who seem to have it all together just have really compliant kids (I've had I know the difference).  Keep working at it.  My strong willed one is now great at self-control, and I'm so proud of him..  It took a few years of BATTLING, and there's always some things we will battle one...but it won't be a constant battle forever.  Hang in there.  It's worth it.  

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:11 AM
That's too bad, it just seems so viloent! I have eight siblings and my mom also had so much patience for all of us, so I guess I got it from her. My dad was 6'1 and it only took the "look" from him for us to straighten up! My DH was spanked, he still has issues with his childhood and we are in our mid forties!! I remember going to breakfast after chuch, if we acted up we were sent to the car, whether we had eaten or not (you could get away with that back then) and believe me, the next time we were good!! I guess it all depends on how you were raised, I am thankful I had parents that didn't spank us since I, in return, have raised my kids the same.........

Quoting pualani23:

We do not raise our children the way we were raised. I spank my son on the butt, with my hand. But when I was a kid and we disobey or disrespected our mama, we would get hit with the closest thing in arms reach (about 14years old when she started that)lol or bare butt spankings with a belt or wooden spoon. It only took a time or two and we learned quick.

Quoting Matty1966:

I did time outs also, one minute for each year of age, when we were in public we immediately left if they acted up. I didn't care if we were eating, at the mall or the park, we left period! You have to remember, she is only three and patience is the key! Don't sit on the couch and yell at her, get up and put her in time out! (I'm not saying you yell, just an example). If spanking works so well, why do parents keep having to do it? Because IT DOESN'T WORK!! My kids are grown and gone, (except my 14 year old dd) they are polite, considerate, and two have gone to college. My 14 year old dd gets really mad when she sees anyone spanking or yelling at their kids as she wasn't raised that way! Just keep in mind, your dd will raise your grandkids the same way you raise her! Don't give up, you can do it!! I did and I did it alone!!!

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by Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:29 AM

PS:  One technique that seems to work well with my strong willed child (other than spanking) is logical consquences.  He was one that even at three questioned everything, so if I could make it somehoe logically connected to what he had done wrong the punishment seemed to work better.  I can't remember when I implemented these, but   For example:

For sneaking candy, no sweets or juice for a day.

If he tried to hit me I held his arms for a while (sorry, if you hit you don't get to use your hands).  

If he purposely spilled out his drink, sorry, no more!  (Not for accidents though).

If he was being mean and bossy in a game we were playing...I'm sorry, I won't play with you if you're like that.

If he acted up somewhere fun, sorry we're leaving (be prepared to carry them out kicking and screaming...I took a stroller everywhere because I could strap him in and remove him from situations).  

If you mess it up, clean it up...especially if you messed it up doing something naughty. (This one was really HARD, and I do believe in trying to not make punishments too hard on yourself, because you just wear yourself out and then don't have the energy to keep up).  So, when it wasn't a mess because of an accident, I would help him and try to make it fun, and if he wouldn't just push for picking up a small countable number of things (pick up 3 things...and I'll help you with the rest.)  When it was a mess he made doing something bad, then I tried to make him clean all of it.  When I couldn't get him to clean it, or when it was something he couldn't clean (like broken glass) I would strap him in his high chair in view of the mess and make him watch me clean it until it was done.  ("See, this is how long it takes to clean this up...are you going to pull off all the clothes off the shelf again?")

The other thing, is that I found that disaplining in the midst of a tantrum is just about impossible.  You have to wait til they calm down...I read somewhere that the best thing (if possible...if they aren't breaking things or in public space where they may hurt themselves) is try to ignore a tantrum until it passes, and not punish the tantrum itself but stick to your guns about whatever triggered the tantrum (yes, you have to wear you can't have a cookie, etc.).  

Now, I wasn't always as cool as I sound there.  I lost it many times.  I had to litteraly lock myself in my bedroom to keep myself from doing something really bad sometimes, when he just pushed me to my last nerve.  And I wish I could say I never lost it and yelled at him but I did, sometimes.  It's really hard raising a strong willed child.  

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:33 AM

You don't need to spank. I don't think spanking automatically makes a bad parent, but I do think it's unnecessary and ineffective in most cases.

Your 3-year-old needs to know that there are boundaries and consistent expectations, and that you will stick to them every time regardless of whether she whines, throws a tantrum, or whatever. Time-outs, when done correctly and consistently, are very effective. You don't need to yell (in fact, it undermines the effectiveness of discipline when your child sees you get out of control), you just need to be firm, clear and consistent with age-appropriate expectations.

3-year-olds also have very limited memory and attention span. That means that when you tell her not to do something, you can't necessarily expect her to remember hours later. Visual aids are very helpful. Choose three or four simple house rules and make a chart (with pictures, because she probably doesn't read yet) to remind her of the expectations. Display it prominently in the house. Each rule should have a consequence for breaking it and an incentive or reward for keeping it. Make sure the consequences and rewards are something you're actually prepared to follow through with every time. Marble jars are very effective--every day that she follows all the rules, she gets a marble in the jar for each one. When the jar is full, she gets a special reward--an outing with Mommy, something special that she doesn't usually get to do, etc. Again, make sure it's something you're prepared to follow through on. Don't promise her a trip to Disney World when the jar is full if you're not actually going to do it.

The single biggest thing to remember about discipline is this:

1) Kids will continue a behavior that they're getting something out of.

2) They will (almost always) stop a behavior that they're not getting anything out of.

3) Discipline is only effective when it's consistent, age-appropriate and logical.

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:53 AM
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I think it depends on the child.  Some kids HAVE to be spanked.  They have rebellious spirits and need a firmer hand.  Some kids are very sensitive and need only to be given a talking to to straighten up.  Most kids need a mix of both.  It also comes down to the parent.  If their authority is established and consistent, kids respond to that most times. 

Sometimes, you have to get mean.  But the biggest thing is that you have your rules and they are to be followed at ALL TIMES. 

There is no set way to raise kids.  You have to do what works.  You don't want to spank, but there are other methods.  Slap her hands, make a loud noise (like slapping a table) to get her attention and then issue your command.  If she ignores you, you can get in her face, holding onto her arm and issue it again.  It might end up being a stare down, but most kids, once they realize Momma is NOT letting up, then they tend to settle down.

I've had to harden my heart a little.  The first few spanks for EACH of my kids was hard...because at the time, they were the youngest.  However, once they learn your soft spots, they become manipulate little boogers.  But I pop them on the rear, or at least used to, haven't had to in a while, issue my command and stand there looking mean and ugly so they know I'm not relenting to their cries...and in the end, they do what they are told and we end the night cuddled together watching a movie. 

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:19 AM
We use time out or take away a favorite toy.
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