Toddler Discipline

To spank or not to spank? I have never been against spanking. I got spanked when I was a child and I turned out just fine (ok, I may be a little crazy, but that isn’t the effect of spanking). But a few things in the past year have made me second-guess my stance on this.

  • We started with the hand-slap. Reese would just laugh and start slapping his own hand. Of course we tried to hide our smiles.
  •  We moved up to spanking. Again, just laughs and runs away. I began to wonder how the heck we were going to discipline this child.
  • We started slapping on the thigh. Now, this gets to him, because it hurts. He cries, and the saddest part is that he comes to us for comfort. But spanking him this hard makes me sad too. I found myself discipling him for hitting or being rough with others by spanking his thigh and saying “Reese, we do NOT hit others.” I’m sure even he can see the hypcrisy.
  • We have heard/learned that having a special spoon (etc.) for spanking will let them know that you don’t hit people with your hands, because hands are for loving. And supposedly the toddler is supposed to stop what they’re doing as soon as they seen the spoon pulled out of the drawer. Well Reese found this spoon in the kitchen yesterday and starting gently tapping my bottom. Oh great.
  • Luckily, he is old enough to know what time-out is, and obeys very well. THIS really does work. We’ve found that it’s a reality check when he won’t eat his dinner for example, it snaps him out of the tantrum. When he’s rough with me, we put him in time-out and when asked, he will get out of the chair and apologize to me**. BUT I have seen articles that say it’s not really going to change his behaviour; so is it even worth it?

PLEASE comment about your method of discipline.


** This week he started sneaking up behind me and pulling my hair, spitting on me (though he literally says that he’s just blowing bubbles), and doing the elbow-drop on me. To make matters WORSE, he has ALREADY perfected saying, without being asked, “I’m sorry Mama.”

What do you think of these articles?,9171,1983895,00.html


3 responses to “Toddler Discipline

  1. Seeing as how I have no child to discipline, this is just my current but ignorant opinion. Spanking worked for me, but it was VERY structured. we went to my parents bedroom, had a serious conversation, got hit with the wooden spoon, hugged, and it was over. But Veronica told me once that each child’s personality will respond differently. So for one kid, a time out works very well because she is extremely social, but wouldn’t work for the other who enjoys being to herself. I think she read a book, I could see which one it is.

    • Good response Maggie! I can see how putting an introvert in time-out wouldn’t really be the best discipline. That makes me feel good that there’s not a right or wrong way… that you just have to decide what’s best for your child. Let me know what that book is that Veronica read.

  2. Have mercy, I haven’t thought or prayed about this nearly enough. I introduced Cole to “No” recently (because she’s becoming more mobile and she bites) by using a new tone, signing, and a pop on the cheek or arm. She absolutely knows what it means now though I do reinforce it. I’m going to have to get back to you about further discipline methods down the road…

    As for Reese, I imagine taking it day-by-day is the only real option. You’ll have to see whats best for him. I babysat for a family that used a specific spoon and they would leave the spoon out for me. I found that to be odd- but certainly effective in terms of constant application.

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