Posted by: Just Trying | 2009/01/22


My son isn 3 1/2. He was shouting and screaming at me last night. I put him in the corner telling him it is not acceptable to speak to people like that. I went on to give my 7 month old baby his bottle. My son kept on crying and went over to SCREAMING. His step father went and gave him 1 very hard smack on his bum. Told him: We said to stop carying on like this. And left. I finished shortly after that and went to fetch him from the corner. Tried to explain why what was done. My son was very upset he eventully calmed down. I would have liked my husband to go to him after the fact, speak to him gently and remind him why he was smacked. He did not do it. Is is not important for a parent to do this? I am so scared by son feels we do not love him. We realy do. But behaviour like that is unacceptable and I want to teach him to respect people.

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Our expert says:
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Hidings and smacks do NOT improve any such situation. Time-out in a naughty corner, etc, DOES work, with some patients and care by the parents. There must be a very clear explanation BEFORE such situations arise, of what the basic simple rules are, and how they will be applied. The lenth of time out should be around age in years plus one or two minutes, so he'd get 5 minutes to cool off. The explanation would include that this is what will happen when he breaks the rules, and if he then calms down, behaves well, and apologises, he will get a hug and be forgiven. When the problem arises, you calmly and quietly explain what he is doing wrong, and give him a chance to stop it. If he doesnt stop, you explain that he has now broken the rule, explaining how, and calmly take him for his Time Out. After the time, you go back to him pleasantly, ask for an apology about what he did wrong, give a cuddle, and welcome him back. Deirdre is wrong --- the approach shown on TV is based on good research and has been PROVED to work well, whereas the beat 'em and smack 'em approach has been shown not only not to work, but to promote later violence in the child. YOu're teaching them its OK to use violence to gety what you want, so its easier for him to feel its fine to use violence to get what he wants, too.
But a smack or hiding can never teach a child to respect other people, because it shows no respect for him. And I disagree with Paul here --- the kid if just over three --- unlikely to fully understand adult concerns and rules ( especially if they haven't been explain, or if they are, as is often the case, applied irregularly or in a contradictory fashion.
And as Bee says, other punishments for major infringements, work better if they involve removing a favourite toy for a day, or delaying some treat similarly.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mom 2 | 2009/01/23

If i did not get a ' hiding'  from my parents when i was a child i would not be the person i am today. it is not neccesary to hit the child half to death, then there' s a problem, but by giving him/or her a hiding and explaining why, i think worked for me.

Reply to Mom 2
Posted by: Older Dad | 2009/01/23

Oh yes indeed. Paul, Deidre and Mmmm I can only agree fully with your sentiments. Too much Dr Phil and Super Nanny and look where it has got us. Todays kids who can take their parents and teachers to Court are GENERALLY little sh...ts. Cheeky with no respect. Check thenm out in the Malls I just wish that the Courts would bring back the cane. There was a time when the Police caught naughty boys breaking windows and doing other silly boy things. They brought you back to the Station and the Charge Office Sergeant would dish out half a dozen of the best and that is where it ended. No court appearances, no criminal convictions, just a sore and it was over. Once having had that treatment, you were not in too much of a hurry to repeat it.Likewise at School. talking in class, swearing at the teachers and threatening them, all go unpunished. Do you think TALKING to them will make a difference ? Come on get real. Our country is in a mess because of this bleeding heart. Human rights nonsense. Adults should also be whipped instead of a prison term. Check Singapore !! Make the rules, explain the rules and explain the consequences. Oh one last thing, Step Parents should NOT get involved with child discipline when the natural parent is there. Support the natural parent, but dont dish out smacks or punishment. The kid is not YOURS, let the natural parent take care of discipline.

Reply to Older Dad
Posted by: Mmm they do | 2009/01/22

I do not like to give my kid a hiding, but boy o boy do they sometimes tender for it! Your LO is at a difficult age, testing you and forming his own little identity. Rules are rules and children must learn that they are there for a reason and not to be broken. I think your husband handled the situation in a propper manner and the child will not think that you do not love him. I also think that you should have left him in the corner until he stopped crying and then your husband should have explained why he got the smack. No harm done, but speak to your husband and come to a understanding that the child should be told why he got a smack. They are such darlings but can sometimes turn into little devils.

Reply to Mmm they do
Posted by: Disenchanted | 2009/01/22

I can relate to what you are going through, it is important that you BOTH get it under control now and not when the child is 13! You need to sit down and discuss how things should be done when a child misbehaves, and yes explain it afterwards, but to me the most important aspect is that both parents need to stand together and not contradict each other, if they disagree discuss it later, but always show a united effort and support each other!

Reply to Disenchanted
Posted by: Deidre | 2009/01/22

I agree with Paul, the problem nowadays is that we watch too much TV, "  Supernanny" . I do not agree or support this naughty chair business, kids gets spoiled too much.

My daughter is 3yrs 9 months, and she knows that if she is doing something wrong, i will tell her to stop twice, then the 3rd time, she will get a smack either on the hand or bum, even though it' s not a hard smack, but she knows that Mommy means business.

There is nothing irritating like an unruly child at a supermarket or mall throwing tantrums because they can' t get their way!

Smacking has never killed a child!

Reply to Deidre
Posted by: Paul | 2009/01/22

Sorry your son is playing the guilt card. Children need smacks and he knows damn well why he got that hiding, so no explanation is necessary. He will love you more for the hidings one day hell tell you so. The world is in the state it is in because there is no more fear of consequence for actions from kids who are going to be tomorrows leaders.

Reply to Paul
Posted by: Bee | 2009/01/22

Yes, you absolutely have to go and explain why he was punished, otherwise he doesn' t learn a lesson. The parent must make sure the child understands the reason behind the punishment.

The experts says time out is normally a minute per age. So for 3 1/2 yrs it would be 3 1/2 minutes and so on. Remember, time seem much longer to a small child and if you leave them too long, they become anxious and distressed and feel abandoned.

Hitting is never a good idea. Rather take a favourite toy away as punishment - much more effective.

Hope this helps.

Reply to Bee

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