Child Discipline

No clue what made me think of this (or rather, what made me think of asking you all, except that ya'll are such a wonderful bunch of people!) but...
Child discipline runs the gambit between OMGZ they're disobeying beat them beat them! to...omgz they're disobeying, but saying anything would be imposing my will upon them, so they can do whatever they want.
So, what's your opinion? Maybe this is too open ended, since what you do changes for different age groups, but the overall theme should be consistent for all ages, no?
I dunno. Chime in!

Forums: 
Han-pan's picture

Postulant

I hate children who freak out and are horribly behaved in stores. I hate parents more who just don't care to control their children. Discipline exists for a reason, and established young enough creates SELF discipline, or so I believe. Kids need to know what is right, and what is not, what is acceptable, and what is inappropriate and not enough parents establish that right now.

I'm a retail girl, can you tell?

Stormy's picture

Supplicant

I used to work retail, too, so I'm very conscious of how my kid behaves in a store. Luckily he's still young enough to be stuck in a cart most of the time. When he's not, I do my best to keep him close by and keep an eye on him. I'm fairly restrictive...even when the employees seem to be ok with him messing around (like the one that offered him drumsticks at the music store the other day. eep!) I generally try to keep him away from expensive and breakable things. A 4-yr-old can find a way to break nearly anything.

As far as discipline, he's had a few spankings--mostly just to get his attention--but we try to use timeouts and consequences. Back to the store thing for an example--if he's acting up in a store, he gets a warning. He can choose to cool it or we leave. If he's still throwing a fit, out we go. Of course, then he's all "I'll stop! I promise!" but we tell him he made his choice. Before becoming a parent, I had no idea how absolutely pigheaded kids can really be, but we hope that eventually it will penetrate. Maybe by the time he goes to college....

packrat's picture

Right there with ya. Kids in stores are the worst especially since they KNOW their parents aren't paying attention because they're shopping so they can do whatever they want. As long as parents establish themselves as authorities early and set clear boundaries, punishment doesn't need to get too extreme. A spanking every once in a while isn't the end of the world but there's no need to get too physical.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

I'm all for time-outs and occasional spankings, and KEEPING YOUR WORD ABOUT PUNISHMENTS. that's a big one.

But seriously, it's something completely different when children are pulling down underwear and pulling up bras to feel mannequins non-existent vagoos and weird boobies. The parents will giggle and pull them away, turn around, and the kids will do it again. I've YELLED at children because their stupid parents wouldn't. Grrr!

Clare-Dragonfly's picture

Supplicant

Uh, that sounds like a serious problem! That's beyond tantrums! How easily could that behavior go from mannequins to real people? Parents should be teaching their children that that is NOT acceptable.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

Yup. Said something like "Oh, ahaha, mommies aren't like that, are they? eheheheh..." so I started angrily pointing out the sharp metal pieces they were walking around in. If she wasn't bothered by the touchy-feely, maybe danger would bug her. She told them to stay away

.....they came back about two minutes later and I just glared lasers at them. They didn't come back. I-m so happy

TheFerret's picture

Devotee

I've btdt in retail and waitressing - and I've seen plenty of kids I'd gladly haul out of a store, pull down their jeans, and proceed to teach the parents how it's done. And yeah, mine like to try & humiliate us in stores and restaurants on occasion, and they get disciplined. They KNOW they will not get away with it, and frankly, I don't care who's watching. They've gotten swats in the middle of walmart for throwing tantrums or trying to run & shriek.

That being said, I've got 2 w/ totally different temperaments and, of course, 2 ages. The hardest thing is making sure that I impose the promised consequence to the behavior. And of course, the consequences change with age. When they're little (months old to 2ish), it's gotta be immediate and trust me, reasoning doesn't work. Wink They got little hand slaps for touching things we told them not to or little thigh slaps if it was more serious. Ok, my oldest got flat out spanked huge at 2 - her first one - but she went RUNNING down a driveway and to the street people like to speed down!!!

Little ones do not realize that actions have consequences and they have no self control. It's my job to teach them the self control, politeness, to be productive citizens (not moochers), how to think, and to realize there are consequences and rewards and how to wait (something I don't do well!). The hardest thing is realizing what worked on #1 doesn't even phase #2, so time to come up w/ a new strategy - and it helps to have a plan in mind ahead of time, so you don't get caught by surprise and don't know how you're going to react to a particular behavior.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

My parents reserved spanking for when we were being punished for something and then we threw a temper-tantrum over the act of being punished, in other words, for those extra special whiny brat moments Wink Can't say that I disagree with it, since it worked for me! :grin: It depends not only on the parents but the kids, too - seems like people are born more or less respectful of authority even before they're taught it.

IMO, the difference between spanking and abuse is that spanking results in positive changes ("yep, I didn't just test the boundaries, I blew right through 'em, better not do that again") whereas abuse is simply harm without gain.

Slaxor's picture

except avoid spankings if at all possible.

The main thing would be that they get dinner after all their chores and homework are done. I work for my food, they work for theirs.

faile486's picture

Petitioner

Slaxor - how old are your kids o.O If my parents had made me wait to eat when I was in 5th+ grade I would have ran away Blum 3 Finishing home work could take a good four hours! That would have meant dinner by 8 (or later, if I was in sports at the time) for me. We didn't get TV/reading/computer time/etc until homework and chores were finished, though.

Honestly, as long as they aren't being abused, I don't care how kids are disciplined. But please, please take your temper-tantrum-throwing (or just really loud) kid somewhere where they won't ruin an entire night out for 40 other people. Please? It drives me nuts where there's a wailing 2 year old with oblivious parents in a restaurant. Or when a parent just leaves their kid sitting in an aisle of a store while they throw a tantrum.

Katie's picture

Embodiment

I was a huge tantrum-thrower. My mom would leave me in the aisle, knowing no one was going to walk away with THAT. I generally shut up as soon as she was out of sight and went running after her.

OTOH, my friend (whose kids are slightly younger than I am) would just LEAVE the store (with her kids) if they were throwing tantrums. It only takes one or two times for them to get the hint.

Personally, I haven't had to deal with it much. Anna throws silent sit-down, not moving tantrums. I tend to walk away. If she's screaming, I'll leave the store. My worst issue with her is, she'll run out in the middle of the parking lot while I'm trying to put her younger brother in the carseat. My solution; I got a leash. Biggrin A lot of people say leashed children are 'sad' or that it's inhumane, but I'd rather have a leashed child than a dead one. And, it's a cute little teddy bear backpack leash! hehe.

My kids get taps on the butt, time out, and flicks on the ear to get their attention. Anna more than Ben because Ben's just now getting into the 'I has a personality too!' stage. I always try to look at things from their point of view, too. So, when Anna was screaming and throwing a fit cuz Daddy was forcing her to hold still so she'd calm down, I took her side. I don't like being held down either. ....yeah, that was an argument.... -.-

Slaxor's picture

But had a fairly big problem with motivation as a kid, so I thought that if my kids ever had that problem a healthy dose of reality might get them moving.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

There's a time and a place to ignore your child as a punishment, but in a restaurant or store or public place is not appropriate or respectful to the people around you o.O

My problem with parents that I see is the way they handle their children. A child will freak out and have a tantrum, and the parents will threaten with a punishment. The tantrum will continue, and the parent will plead with them. Wait, what? Whose in control? Obv the child knows that they are. >.

Someone's picture

Postulant

Discipline is key. I mean, I was an easy kid to deal with: I hated it if my mother was angry at me. At all.

However, I don't believe spanking is ever acceptable. EVER. It's abuse. You're HITTING you child. Not an okay thing. You wouldn't slap you child (I should hope), and spanking is no different. Abuse = not okay.

Blue Coyote's picture

Devotee

It isn't abuse to give a tap on the thigh or buttock to a child too young to speak or a slap on the hand when reaching for something dangerous. Children who can't speak also can't truly comprehend. It is the only way to get a two-year-olds attention sometimes. And as was mentioned above- the toddler who runs towards traffic most definately needs a spanking, it will save her life and she won't remotely remember it.
That said, hitting children who are cognisant is abuse and failure as a parent. My father 'spanked' me until I was twelve and I hate him to this day. And it was completely ineffective- the harder he hit me the more in the right I knew I was.
Spanking isn't Always wrong, just most times.

Clare-Dragonfly's picture

Supplicant

Definitely worth thinking about. I had been thinking that spanking is not effective since the child is more likely to remember the spanking than the reason for it, but a two-year-old isn't likely to remember either.

Oddfish's picture

Postulant

This is how I feel about it too. Little kids aren't able to understand and reason like we do, and I find it less cruel to swat a hand than to let them stick the penny in the socket. When they're very little, getting them not to do Very Bad Things is the goal, and associating Very Bad Things with mild discomfort works. By all means, start teaching them about consequences as soon as they're old enough, but don't leave it to luck and reasoned discussion before then, because that can be dangerous. I draw that line pretty early, too, because you can start communicating cause/effect and right/wrong as soon as they've the vocabulary to understand what you're saying.

Vayshe's picture

Petitioner

grabbing the handle of the hot pan = pain

slapping a child's hand to stop them from doing that very same thing = more startlement than pain, but it teaches the child to associate things on the top of the stove with something painful or unpleasant.

im not beating my kids up, im keeping them safe. and im teaching them a life lesson. life lessons start early, and the sooner my child learns that something dangerous will result in something that hurts the more likely they are NOT to do that. its better than getting a burn or being electrocuted.

Lis's picture

Swatting a kid's hand away as quickly as possible to prevent them from inflicting bodily harm doesn't seem like a consequence to me. You just do it, because you have to. It’s not something that I’d worry about in regards to corporal punishment.

Now LETTING them grab the pan, THAT’S a problem.

Wumingde's picture

I think there's a difference between spanking and abuse. Hitting because your angry or irritated or in order to cause pain is abuse yes. But slapping a hand or bottom to get the kids attention isn't. My other has a policy not to discipline his daughter when hes angry. He tells her shes done wrong, what it was and why it was wrong and then tells her that she Will be punished but he waits til he isn't angry with her. Personally waiting to be punished is worse on her than the punishment when it comes. I was spanked as a child, but I could tell the difference between my dad (who did it when other punishments wouldn't work and only when calm) and my mom (who simply hit me because she was mad at me).
Ok not sure if that mad or broke my point but yeah. While spanking can be abusive I don't think spanking equals abuse.

A's picture

Postulant

As a foster mother of two children whom we are planning to adopt, spanking is not an option. You can NOT spank children who've been abused. They can't make a distinction between abuse and spanking. We were told specifically in training, "You can NOT spank these kids. If spanking is important to your parenting style, you cannot be a foster parent."

Which leaves what exactly? Conventional wisdom does not work for kids with special needs. That's true if your kid has been abused, is ADD or ADHD, has a disability of any kind, and on and on. "Collaborative Problem Solving" is the paradigm we were given to work with because the conventional wisdom of punish/reward does not work.

The problem is, the convention wisdom of punish/reward also does not work real well for kids who don't have special needs, who are what you would consider "normal" (not that anyone ever is "normal"). It's ultimately a "dead end" strategy because it does not teach the skills they need to develope SELF-discipline.

Punishment/Rewards--more than seventy studies have found that the more you reward people for doing something, the more they lose interest in that thing. It's counterproductive. In parenting it creates temporary compliance, but not the learning needed to help them control themselves and their behavior. It's at the core a controlling, manipulative paradigm. Parents have to move beyond that to a positive, collaborative discipline paradigm.

Basically, our jobs as parents is to get kids to be "inner directed" for their self-discipline. This takes YEARS. By the time they're about ready to graduate from college, they kinda have a grasp on this!

Seeing ineffective parenting in public is very disturbing to me, personally. And let me be clear, my kids have been the ones being obnoxious in the store screaming and sobbing LOUDLY. One of my kids' strategies when she doesn't get what she wants is to collapse on the ground in despair and start to cry. Usually in the store. So, I walk away. She never lets me get out of her line of sight, though she does follow, crying LOUDLY or one particularly endearing time, screaming. What it is for her and all the other kids you see having tantrums is maladaptive behavior. Kids act like that because it works. My kids are slowly learning that that behavior isn't working anymore.

All behavior is the physical manifestation of an unmet need. Unmet needs lead to people figuing out how to meet their own needs by any means possible.

When parents pay attention to their kids, when they meet their kids' needs, you have healthy families. That requires a signifiant level of selflessness on the part of the parent. A willingness to sacrifice some, if not many of their own desires for the time that the child needs their attention--about eighteen years. Most parents that I know of or have seen with kids that are obnoxious--not so much with the paying attention and meeting the kids needs.

Whether your kids are special needs or not:
A) You. have. to. be. consistent. And be true to your word.
b) It Takes Two To Create A Power Struggle.
C) A big message all kids need to hear from you: You cannot overwhelm me.

Lis's picture

As a kid who had to deal with abuse, I’m so glad you made this point. My parents eventually realized how much damage they were doing and changed. Our relationship is much better now, but it took me a long time to forgive them or trust them again. People treat others - including their children - the way they were treated, just as my parents did, and it takes a huge effort of will power and outside help to overcome much of the baggage.

I absolutely cannot deal with being hit, however one of my first solutions when I’m angry is to lash out. I know, because of my own experiences, that I will NEVER spank my children. For me, there will never be shades of gray concerning consequences and abuse. I can very easily see myself hitting my children out of anger, and I never want it to happen.

rainyday's picture

I finally joined because I told myself I would if I ever felt like commenting.

I felt this was an important discussion because we live in a society where the rules of parenting are quickly changing.

I work at a children's museum, and so I get some insight on which parenting techniques work and which ones don't. I find that the most well behaved children are the ones that do not get spanked on a regular basis. That doesn't mean that these kids never get spanked, it only means that I see parents going to other means of punishment first, and I *personally* never see them get spanked. Perhaps spanking is a last resort sort of punishment for them. I also can think of quite a few regular families that spank as a first choice, and these kids are the notorious ones at work. These are the families that we warn other workers about when they come in. It's obvious that spanking is not working for them. Not that we think the kids are being abused. We can tell when that is happening, and we have called CPS on "parents" before.

On the note of temper tantrums: I see a lot of people complaining about kids throwing tantrums in public, and how the parents never do anything about it. The fastest way to stop a tantrum is to ignore it until the kid gets too worn out or bored with it. If they see that they can get a reaction from you, they will continue to throw their fits. I have seen many, many temper tantrums, and I think that everyone should work with young children or have young children so that they understand that temper tantrums do not equal bad parenting. ALL children go through the tantrum age. As "A" said above, you have to teach the kid that tantrums don't work. You do this by ignoring them.

/soapbox

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

Yeah, I've seen it work a HUGE number of times with my baby cousin. But I've also seen it NOT work WAY more times in my store, where kids will pull stuff off panty tables, bra racks, stocking displays....we've actually received "safety notes to watch for" about children running into bra racks and pulling displays on panty tables on top of them. (as in, they yanked the table cloth that had hundreds of panties and a heavy wooden platform structure with more panties on it, sometimes another platform with a panty model and the whole thing would have fallen on them had someone not grabbed them.)

That's...not okay. For anybody, kid, parent OR store.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

No1 and No2 were not allowed to hurt themselves, other people, me OR the store's stuff. I would just stand there and let them work it out, but I wouldn't let them do those things.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

We handle things pretty much the same way. And while we do try to keep the auditory wellbeing of the people around us in mind, there are limits: No-one, but no-one, is allowed to interfere with the Ignore the Tantrum rule unless the thing goes on for more than a couple of minutes or the kid is hurting others or threatening to damage stuff. Otherwise you WILL get a heaping spoonful of my Blunt And Frank Appraisal of your inability to keep your stupid face out of other people's business. Also, stores that have those racks of sweets in the area with the checkout queues get No Sympathy Whatsoever when the tantrum is associated with said racks of sweets.

rainyday's picture

Ignoring doesn't mean neglecting the child. Ignoring the child to the point where it puts the child or other people in danger is neglect. There is definitely a difference.

A's picture

Postulant

Ignoring vandalism, no. Ignoring temper tantrum, yes.

If someone, in the throes of a tantrum starts pulling stuff off racks, then, yes, the parent has to step up and intervene, ignoring no longer an option.

There's ignoring, and there's innattention.

There's a point I'd like to clarity here about paying attention. You HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION to your kids. The surprising thing I've learned about abuse is that the worst kind--meaning the kind with the most devastating effect on children--is not physical, it's neglect. Not paying attention to their kids creates huge psychological and social problems for those kids.

When ignoring a temper tantrum, you're still paying attention to your kid. Although you are not putting any energy into their meltdown, you are still actively parenting. You know where they are, what they're doing, you can step in if necessary to ensure saftey, etc. You're monitoring, you're present, you're parenting. You're still in control.

Just wanted to clarify.

And, Han-Pan I'm truly appalled at the behavior you've described. Those children should be banned from the store if they cannot behave and their parents cannot or will not control them. That's just so wrong on so many levels. Makes me wanna put the parents in parental boot camp or something. Gah!

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

I understand how ignoring is probably the best for attention-getting misbehaviour (I only have animal children right now, no human ones yet, I'm more theory than practice at the moment). However, if the ignoring doesn't work quickly, as in the kid is working up to real memorable tantrum, I really wish more parents would consider simply leaving the store/restaurant and taking the kid home to put him/her in time out. It's one thing if you're sure your kid will quite down within a minute or two of you ignoring them, it's something else entirely to let your kid wail and wail and wail in public. It's terribly rude to everyone else, especially people like poor Han-Pan who are working at a location and therefore are trapped there.

Stormy's picture

Supplicant

of a situation at the office a couple years ago. I was in the office with the kid for some gathering of some kind (I usually work from home) and a coworker's kid hit mine. His mother walked up and said "We don't hit" very firmly. This was followed by a backhand swat to the kid's stomach. *eyeroll*

Katie's picture

Embodiment

as my older kid gets older, I use time-out much more often and hand swatting/spanking less, because I KNOW she's going to repeat the action if that's what she always sees me and daddy doing. So, tearing apart the Christmas tree warrants a time-out, but reaching for the stove will still get her hand smacked, though she's starting to understand 'no, that's HOT!'. Running out into the parking lot still gets a spanking, but she doesn't do that very often anymore. She's learning to stay by mommy when we're in the parking lot. (she about gave MY mom a heart attack when she ran around the back of the car to get to me!)

I find myself channeling my dad in public; "There are corners here too, yanno." hehe

Stormy's picture

Supplicant

my kid has gotten a few swats, but never right after being told "we don't hit!" It was the timing more than anything that made that situation completely ridiculous.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

...in my "normal" life, but I will say how I handled tantrums with No1 and No2. No1 would occasionally tantrum in a store. I would just wait patiently while she had her fit, making sure she didn't hurt herself or anyone else. After a very short while, she'd get bored and stop. The end. I think I can count the actual full-blown tantrums the girls have had in stores on one hands.

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

I have taken my son to public places since he was a couple days old. When he was an infant, I didn't expect him to not cry. That would be ridiculous. But I did respect others and would take him out of the room and attend to his needs. After all, that is what an infant cries for. While that isn't what this topic is about, it does begin my parenting style.
As my son got older, he did go through tantrum stages and misbehavior. he still does. He's only nine. If we were in a restaurant or out shopping when he decided to have a tantrum, I would remove him from the store calmly and then proceed to ignore the tantrum. If I couldn't handle it (serious depression made things very difficult), I would have him in his room and I'd take a walk. If I was the only adult around, the walk would be no further than our balcony or my own room. If my husband was around, I would leave our apartment until I could calm down. If we were in public, there was always another adult around simply because I don't drive. So, I could be sure he was safe and I could calm down before trying to handle the situation. I'll be honest here: if I didn't make myself calm down, I ended up being abusive. I was not in my right mind. I never want to be there again.
Anyway, because of that experience, I wonder what an abusive parent is going through. No, I don't have sympathy for them when they are hurting their kids, their families, but I can't help but wonder if there is something deeper.
That said, I do see some stupid parenting that I don't think is cause by anything more than, well, stupidity. When signing my son up for bowling one year, there was a boy wearing a yellow shirt. The lady taking the registration commented on how his shirt was yellow like a banana. His response? "I'll smash your face in like a banana." He couldn't have been older than 7. I was appalled. How could his mother, standing right there, not be angry? Well, she was. But the way she expressed it was even worse. She got down to his level and said "I'll smash /your/ face in." I was not surprised to notice that he has regular tantrums at bowling. Then, I got to see his grandmother. It certainly runs in the family. The worst part is, everyone at the bowling alley knows this kid's temper. The grandmother got the wrong size shoes one morning. Took them back to the counter to get the right size, and was asked if she got yelled at for it. I just don't get it.
A couple weeks ago, I was at the doctor. I was in the waiting room and a little girl was in the bathroom. She hadn't been in there long. Her mother decided she was taking too long and started yelling at her. Not just yelling, but swearing. In the doctor's office. At a very young girl. I don't like people telling me how to parent my child, so I didn't feel I could say anything. However, I feel like the staff at the doctor's office really could have. Especially when the girl got out of the bathroom and was dragged roughly out of the office.
Back to my parenting, I guess. I know I had a very bad start. But I was aware of it and able to get myself out of the situation so I wouldn't be harmful. So I know that it is possible and there is no excuse for a parent to be abusive. I have since been told quite often that I have raised my child well. Even when he was barely able to talk, he would say please and thank you. He learned it because even when he was an infant, I would say those things to him. We still get shocked looks in restaurants when he orders his food and says please after. I don't think manners should surprise people. It is sad that they don't. I got on an airplane with him when he was not quite 2. The guy in the seat in front of us sighed and groaned. I wanted to kick his seat. Adam was so well behaved. Sure, he fussed when his ears started to hurt (he had tubes from a nasty ear infection 9 months earlier), but I was able to calm him down. Getting off the plane, 2 people came up to me and pointedly complimented his behavior in front of the guy who sighed. Why is he so well behaved? Because we are polite to him, and we are firm about what he can and can't do and what the consequences are. Yes, I will swat him if it is an urgent danger where a swat will be safer than what he would do. I will not do more than that. If I feel a need to do more, then I am doing it in anger and I know I need to be somewhere else. I use experiences to teach him why I'm telling him no. I let him touch a hot teacup so he would see why he wasn't supposed to touch the stove. He could feel the heat enough to hurt a little without any damage. Just today, he came home and told me a classmate's parent told him we raised him well. I know I'm not perfect. I know every child is different. I know there are a lot of factors in what works for whom and when.
Well, now that I have said a lot (what is it lately? when I post, I post a lot apparently), I have just one little thing that I think is the most important. Parent need to remember that their children are people and they will grow up to be adults and parents themselves. If you don't treat them like people who deserve respect, they will not learn respect. You can't force them into respect, you have to demonstrate it. Be respectful of your children and their needs, as well as all those around you, and your child will be respectful too.
I'm done now.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I probably would too.
At least 75 times out of 100, the 2-year old *will* make the flight somewhere between less pleasant and intolerable.

Don't worry about bringing strong opinions to a discussion--it's what they're for.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

More than once people have told me how polite No1 and No2 are. One waitress was so astounded at how good they were, she tried to tip THEM. I said, "Thank you so very much, but they're expected to behave and giving them a dollar would send the wrong message." She agreed and settled for flattery and extra whipped cream on their desserts. Smile

greendryad's picture

I don't have kids yet, but from my childhood, I can tell you that all of you are on the right track. I was very bright, very ADHD, and the youngest of a bunch of three, all ten months apart. Though I had a sweet temperament, I was a terror. I was curious about everything so i wandered off, talked to strangers, took things apart... My mom had me in a leash before it was cute and it is probably the only reason I'm still alive, or at least still with my real parents. I deserved every spanking I got, and being ADHD, I wouldn't have learned any other way. Time outs wouldn't work because I wouldn't remember why I was there. I don't have many memories before third grade because my attention span just didn't allow for long term memory, but I remembered what would get me in trouble. As I grew older and was able to focus, talks were the main form of punishment. They explained why what I was doing was wrong and we talked about what I should do next time. I was treated with respect and learned my manners through their actions. I'm still being told that I'm a rarity among my generation, and that my parents did a good job with me. I hope that I can repay the favor with my own children, far far in the future. ^_^

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

however, i'm 24 and my sister is 8. When it comes to punishing her I did everything. When she was very young, we did time outs. When she got older a smack on the hand with a ruler. The older she got the more creative her punishments got. She came home one day and all her toys were gone. T.V. and dvd player also. She was very upset. The only thing I left her were books. I only give her spankings if she's being EXTREMELY horrible. Other than that I put her in her room and let her scream and whine. I worked in a daycare center, so I can tune just about anything out.

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

My mom managed to do a pretty good job, I think. I learned to talk very early (full sentences around my first birthday) and was incredibly rational. While I did need some spot training (No no, don't touch! *handsmack*) there was always a discussion of "why" shortly after. I went through a temper-tantrum stage, but Mom just kinda scooted me over to once side of the aisle so I wouldn't block anyone and continued shopping. Only happened once or twice before I got the message that it didn't work. Timeouts didn't really work so well on me because I always managed to amuse myself rather than be bored staring at a corner. The were usually a 'cool-down' time for Mom and often preceded a surprising, but not really painful, spanking of just a couple swats.

Dad tells me that there was only once that we had to leave the restaurant to have a little talk about manners. And as for planes, I've been traveling since the first day I was old enough to fly and apparently never really made much of a fuss except the one nightmare trip involving my mom and I on a flight from Orlando to San Fransisco and an upset tummy.

One of the only major punishments that I remember was for wandering off at Universal Studios when I was 4-5. I had taken a detour to avoid getting wet, but my parents lost track of me in the process. When they finally tracked me down, I got a couple smacks on the butt followed by a hug and a "We were worried about you. Don't ever wander off like that again." And then we left the park even though it was early afternoon. Simple, effective and drove the message home completely.

As I got older, the punishment has always fit the crime - or rather disobedience. Slamming doors = losing the privilege of having one. They just took it off the hinges. Failure to do chores meant removal of entertainment time until they were done.

My sister on the other hand was very emotional. What worked on me didn't phase her in the least. She had no problem with screaming in the aisle, but my parents managed to adapt pretty well. I remember her having a lot more spankings and time outs than I think I ever did, but it worked on her where logic wouldn't.

One of mom's friends was amazed that my sister and I would stop on a dime at (3-4 years old) if she said "that's far enough" and asked her how she taught us that. "Well," she replied "I started when I could catch them." I really appreciate how much Mom "got" parenting and how to use discipline and punishments as a tool. We had our shaky years in the teens, but she's been a really great mom.

Add new comment

Get an exclusive free ebook from the world of the Intimate History! Exclusive content, contests, new releases and more.