Originally posted by Buttercup:
I'm sure you know three-year-olds bite and hit when they are frustrated or angry because they do not yet have the capability to fully express how they feel with words. How many three-year-olds do you know of that can articulate to a playmate, "Please don't take the toy I'm playing with out of my hands. That's unfair." They can't, so they hit or bite.
I'm not sure why you felt I needed that lesson in child behavior. I have raised 3 children and I am now a grandmother so I do have a little experience with 3 year olds. You had suggested that children who are spanked are more violent children....my point children can and will be violent regardless of having ever been spanked.
Pediatricians and child development experts will tell you to remove the child from the situation when this happens and explain to him/her, "We don't bite/hit our friends because biting/hitting hurts the friend." Yes, you'll have to do it a few times before it sinks in, but it will work. This also teaches empathy for others' pain - something that's crucial to learn during the early years (so that he's less likely to become a bully later on).
Maybe you missed the part of my post where I explained that my niece tried that method for quite a while to no avail. What are your thoughts on the children who were bitten by the 3 year old? What kind of psychological scars will this have on them?
What I don't understand is why would you spank (and inflict pain on) a child who bit/hit (and inflicted pain on) another child? That sends mixed messages: It's okay for me to spank you but you can't hit or bite your friend.
Would you allow your child to drink alcohol? As a grown up you understand how it can be taken in moderation and under the right circumstances. You are physically and emotionally capable of handling alcohol. There were many things that I did as a parent and adult that I would not have allowed my children to do. As to why you would use a spanking to discipline a child for a violent act is very simple...when you have tried to reason, talk and use time out with no result then you have to use the swiftest method possible to assure that your child does not seriously injure another child. After several weeks of biting other children, with her mother using the methods you suggested with no positive results she finally used something that her 3 year old could understand. If you do it again I will spank you. As I said it worked....no more biting.
Many times to discipline is to teach a better way. This is a great example of it because, again, removing the child and explaining it hurts a person when you bite or hit him, teaches empathy for others' feelings and it helps the child learn self-control - i.e., the more this method is reinforced, the more the child will learn how to manage his own anger without mom's intervention in the future.
For some children your method would work. I had one of those children. He had 2 spankings his whole life. He was my easy one. My second child was a completely different story. He had to learn everything the hard way. He learned to manage his anger by having consequences that at times included spankings
None of my children received a spanking past the age of 7. By that age they all could be reasoned with on a different level
And isn't that part of our jobs as parents - to prepare our children for the world?
Wouldn't you rather your child learn to control his actions using this method than to spank him and teach him nothing? He's going to have to learn how to control frustration and anger (on his own) sometime.
I agree that is a parents job to prepare your children for the real world. The real world will not be nearly as understanding and willing to give them multiple chances to learn the hard lesson in life. As far as learning to control frustration and anger on their own, that is something I believe spankings work really well on. If my child had a temper tantrum they were first told to stop, if that didn't work they were told a spanking was coming if they didn't get control of themselves....if that didn't work then they got a spanking. Only on one occasion that I can remember did I actually have to take one of my children to a public restroom for a spanking for having an angry outburst. It never happened again. I do believe you could say he learned to control his anger.
There are somethings that are just not acceptable and require very swift and immediate action. For example when my oldest son was 3 and my second child was only a few months old we were leaving Wal-Mart and the 3 year old yanked away from me in the parking lot and started running through the cars. When I finally caught him (with the baby in tow) I spanked him right there on the spot. A 3 year old doesn't really understand the consequences of being ran over by a car , dead doesn't really register with them. However getting a spanking is something that doesn't hurt nearly as bad and isn't as traumatic as a face full of bumper but highly effective. He never ran away from me in a parking lot again. I was not willing to take the chance that reasoning and time out would have the quick results needed to nip that kind of thing in the butt.
I don't know any parent that thinks spanking is the only way to discipline. However to completely leave it out as a tool is just a bad as using it exclusively.
If you have never had the need to spank your child then count your self lucky, not superior.