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The Act Of Not Punishing Your Kids

Updated on July 18, 2013

Punishment? Too Fun.

No, he wasn't put in a box for punishment. But the picture was funny, right?
No, he wasn't put in a box for punishment. But the picture was funny, right?

To Punish or Not to Punish

I see children running around the stores when I'm at the mall, without any concern with the people around them or parents watching them. Sure, I judge their parents for letting their children run around a store knocking people over and stuff off shelves. That doesn't make me any different from any other parent that says "if that were my kid, I would have his butt spanked and send him in a corner until they learned their lesson". Instead of holding the children accountable for actions, too many parents try to make excuses for their children or think that being their friend will benefit them. Me? I'm my children's friend until they misbehave, then I decide they need to be put in their place instead.

I'm a firm believer in spanking and time-outs. I'm an even firmer believer that you don't need to actually spank your child, because all they need to know is that you're willing to. I have 3 rules about spanking: 1) the most important one is to never do it in anger; 2) all other options have been exhausted; 3) the sound should be scarier than how it's felt. Children shouldn't be physically harmed by it, but scared enough where they won't even do it again. If you do it in anger, that's a dangerous line between teaching a lesson and abuse. And it shouldn't be overused. And it definitely should never EVER cause pain or bruising. Having your children respect you is completely different then having them fear you. I also would like to add that you shouldn't fight with your children over every little thing. You need to pick your battles, you'll get further that way.

My oldest child was spanked once. He slapped me across the face and called me a word that no child should use, let alone a 2-year-old. He received a light pat over the diaper, and sent into time out. By light pat, I actually mean it was like I tapped him. It was enough to scare him. The most important thing is he thinks he remembered it, and thinks that it was worse than it was. This resulted in him never wanting to get punished again. Sometimes when you make out something to be worse in your head, you avoid it. My son is an angel, all his teachers and coaches adore him. He respects the people in charge of him, and does what he's told.

Now, I keep hearing "my child can't help it, he has ADHD." I admit, there are some children who do have this, but I'm fairly certain that most children are just being children, and parents can't control their children so they want medicine to. I'm not a doctor, but I'm sure over-medicating a child can bring nothing good physically nor do I think it does any good making excuses for them developmentally and psychologically. My son asked me if he had ADHD because he had trouble sitting still and focusing. I said "No honey, you're a 10-year-old boy. That's what 10-year-old boys do." This problem is more apparent every time we get a physical for my son, as I fill out this questionnaire that asks me if "he can't stay in one spot for a long period of time" or "does your child seem to have trouble focusing?". I always look at the nurse like "how am I suppose to answer that? If I say "yes", you'll send my child to a shrink to get meds. If I say "no", I'd be lying. Shouldn't there be a "he's a kid" option?" The nurse always laughs and agrees, but she has to fill it out anyways. She types "no" in for me.

I'm not sure if parents are just getting lazy in their old age, or they just don't care. Maybe they thought their parents were "too strict" and want their child to have more freedoms. My parents were strict, but I never had any really bad discipline issues that needed to be addressed either. With that lesson, I learned to be strict with my children. And guess what? A miracle happens, my oldest son thrives in school and is adored by all his teachers and he rarely gets in trouble at home. Do I hate tripping over his shoes walking in the house? Yes. Will I spank and berate him for it? Absolutely not. Did he used the "f" bomb while playing a videogame ones? Yes. Did I ground him for a week? Absolutely. Will he do that again? It's been 4 years, and he hasn't yet. The point I'm trying to make isn't a debate on spanking or not, it's a debate on being a responsible parent and holding your child accountable for their actions while their young. Then when they get older, they will realize that actions do have consequences, and they need to answer for their misdeeds.

Punishment and Your Kids.

What is your stance on parenting?

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    • Leighanneore profile image

      Brianne LaRochelle 4 years ago

      These are the types of discussions that need to be had. My point was never a "spank or not to spank" argument, especially consider I don't think it really needs to get to that level. I think the bigger issue is that the every day child is growing up without respect, morals, or a realization that consequences exist. Instead of "consequencing" them (which I love that word better than "punishment"), they are bribed or medicated to behave in a desirable manner with little results. That's if the parents even bother to try. I love your points and insight on the matter.

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 4 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Punishment is personal vindictiveness and does not work; consequencing works and is a natural and logical progression. Spanking is punishment; it teaches that might makes right and when you do not like something, it's OK to hit. Spanking will get results, but at a great cost to the quality of the parent-child relationship. I have two grown sons and have never, ever struck them in any way. They were well disciplined kids and well disciplined men. I have been teaching a highly effective, no spank discipline method as a professional clinical counselor for over twenty five years, and taught thousands of parents with good effect. Those parents who swear that they were not harmed by spanking and so spank their own kids often baffle me, because they say that they would rather not spank their child, but they 'have to, sometimes'...if there is a proven alternative to spanking, then why not use it? And for those who say that some kids cannot learn any other way, I say hogwash...I have disciplined hundreds of kids with severe behavioral mental health issues over the past 36 years, and never once had to hit one to get them to listen to me.