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Wow, you know you're going to get a MILLION comments on this one don't you?

I like to think I wouldn't, but I don't have any kids, so I wouldn't presume to give you advice.

:)

You explained yourself well, nothing I could possibly add!

I don't have kids, but I have had experience with LOTS of younger couisins. Trust me, the ones who were spanked occasionally, grew up to be better behaved and more respectful than the ones who weren't. It works well when they're young, but when they get older you don't have to, because you can take favorite toys away or punish them from playing. I could handle a spanking, but I HATED when my mom said I couldn't play with my toys.

Anyway, I'm not a parent, just made some observations growing up. Don't let anyone else tell you what's right or wrong, mommy knows best!

You know, I'd like to think I wouldn't, but I have yet to be properly bitten. I think a time-out in the crib might work better for my little guy, just because it seems to work when he's out-of-control anyhow.

But who the heck knows? I know you'll get a lot of comments, and my instincts say that spanking is wrong, but my instincts during this whole parenting process have often been for crap. I'll report back after the third time I get properly chomped by the bug-muncher.

Back in March I wrote about A Grand Spanking Discussion:

http://speckblog.blogspot.com/2005/03/grand-spankin-discussion.html

K

I spanked sometimes, too, and I weather a storm of comments whenever I unapologetically say that.
But I rarely did it, because I know that spankings, if done too often or too hard, or to older children, can have really bad effects. My father hit me for talking back to him all though my teenage years, until I was 21 and left his house for good, so I know firsthand how ineffective corporal punishment can be as a discipline tool.
I view spanking kind of like drinking alcohol while pregnant, or eating junk food. Done in moderation, it doesn`t hurt, and can actually be a positive experience --but done too much, it can definitely cause harm. It really depends on the parents, the kids and the situation.

Yes, I am a mother that's into spanking (Ha, that sounded kinda dirty), but seriously, I spank my kids when there is seriousness to the situation. I was spanked as a child and know how it can get out of hand, but I also limit myself in spanking and use time outs (now that they are older) for discipline. It's mostly shock value at such a young age.

As far as the biting is concerned...there are a couple things that worked for me and boy, did I ever have biters. One option is putting a lemon wedge in their mouth directly after they bite and when they grimace, say "no biting" or...you're going to hate me...bite them back just as hard as they bit you. It only takes once, believe me (well, I didn't do that with my kids but it's worked for a number of my neighbors).

Oooooo...you're gonna get flaaaaaamed...good for you for being honest, though. I use the odd tap on the bottom for dire offenses such as violence, disobedience of a safety-related rule (like no running into the street), and the like with Big Child. Middly received his first one not long ago as well (for biting me, funnily enough). I have read all of the literature, but I really do think there is a place for this, DONE PROPERLY, in the years between the onset of truly vile behavior (about a year, usually, sometimes more but usually no less) and the age of reason/being able to respond to threats like "one more time and NO DESSERT FOR A WEEK" (anywhere from three to five, depending on the child). With some kids. Usually boys. Most of the people who preach against this either a) have no children, b) have an only child who has not yet reached the age of truly vile behavior c) are raising a brat, or d) have only girls, in my experience. Case in point, when I was pregnant the first time Husband said he believed in judicious use of corporal punishment and I almost left him over it...HOW could we spank our BABY, etc. Now I'm the one who deals out the taps and he's the one who chickens out "because he's so cute!"

T, my brother and I are 15 months apart and he used to bite when he was a baby too. He'd climb into my crib to bite me.

How'd my mom get him to stop?

She bit him back.

The biting stopped immediately :)

Boy,you sure are going to get a lot of comments on this one! I spanked my kids, but it was a very rare occasion. My daughter got spanked at age three for clobbering her younger brother over the head with a large, metal toy truck. My son got spanked at age two for running out into the street (he knew better) and into traffic. My husband did the spanking that time. It won't work if you do it all the time. I would save it for the times that you want to convey the message that whatever he/she did was totally unacceptable behavior ever. Biting is one of them. Hurting or teasing animals would be another in my book.

Oh dear, can't believe I'm going to jump into this one. But here goes...

(This is not a judgment of Tertia or anyone else who spanks, BTW. Just my opinion on the issue.)

I just don't understand how hitting a child (however "properly") teaches anything besides violence as an appropriate solution to a problem. IMO, it's an especially inappropriate response to physical offenses (like, um, biting).

There are so many other effective ways to teach appropriate behavior--and the reasons behind it--and empathy, and to set limits for kids.

I'm no expert, but I've looked at this issue from many perspectives. I was spanked (not abusively) as a child. I'm mom to a spirited almost-3-year-old boy. I'm married to a psychologist/teacher of kids w/ behavior problems. I work in the publishing industry, on parenting books, so it's been (literally) my job to study the research closely over the past several years.

Sorry, but spanking just doesn't stand up to my scrutiny.

I got spanked, my significant other got spanked, and we've already decided that we will probably spank our kids. The reason is, how can you reason with a child who doesn't talk yet? You can't tell a baby that the stove is hot and they'll burn themselves if they touch it, but a light swat on the back of the hand will deter them.

However, the secret is to make the kids so damn afraid of the possibility of a spanking that you never actually have to spank them.

Tertia -

You know what is best for your kids. Everyone needs to make those judgements for themselves. I don't believe that anyone has the right to tell you what is best for your own babes!!

I think I'll use the 3 NOs and she'll get a light tap on the bum. I got a smack when I was a kid and so did my brother who was an unstoppable little shit. I hope the bruise clears up soon and Mr Adam Shark quits it with the biting!

"How can you reason with a child who can't talk yet?" For heaven's sake - the child can hear, right? Words work just fine. If my 1 year old bites me, I say "no biting" and remove her a few feet from me for about 30 seconds, and she gets the point. If she wants to be with me, she can't bite. If she's not going to bite, she can be with me. Spanking is inappropriate in all circumstances (as is biting the child back). The best way is to teach by example, and hitting a child teaches hitting (and fear, not respect), and biting teaches biting.

Hell, I got spanked as a child, and I deserved it too! And I think I turned out OK.

Don't know what we'll do with the baby boy just yet, will just see what happens and make the best decision we can at the time - just like you're doing!

Let's see how many flamed comments you are going to get on this topic.
People, seriously stop judging. Displiine works differently with each child, just like each child developes differently.
Talking might work on your child, but it might not work on other kids. Same goes for "spanking", time-out. Each parent will find his/her own way to displine. Unless they are seriously abusing the kid(s), lay off the judgment.

The probably with most teens today is parent's stopped spanking their kids.

You're kids will be just fine from being spanked. Probably better off than those who aren't.

My kids get spanked and they are just fine, too.

Besides, being a Christian, I also know that the Bible specifically directs us to "Spare the rod and spoil the child." That wasn't aimed at you, Tertia, but I know no one can argue with me when I use the Bible as a basis.

Tertia,
This is why there is no "right" way to raise and discipline a child. You do what works for EACH child. My older son is the quintessential time-outer. Works like a charm - he feels remorse, we talk, he's done. Moment is over.

My second one, though, is quite the opposite. He, too, is a biter. He bites (HARD - has broken the skin on my arm NUMEROUS times), I take him off, tell him no biting and he SMILES and DOES IT AGAIN. Right now, removal seems to be working, but that doesn't mean I won't spank him. If that is the solution for this child, so be it.

Each child has different needs, and each parent approaches them differently. You are doing a GREAT job.

Thanks for putting yourself out there on the line with this today!

That should have been "problem with most teens"

To the person who used the "spare the rod" quote. I believe the rod was for "guiding", not hitting.. The rod was used to guide sheep along, and the term means that to spare the "guidance" and not direct them in the right way is to spoil the child.

In my humble opinion, if people chose to spank, on the bottom, with a hand, and not out of anger, then each to his/her own. Its when its done in anger or outrage that harm can occur and frankly, from being an avid reader here, its easy to see she would never spank in anger and is doing what she feels is best for her children.

Because I live in that utopian world, where I have perfectly behaved children, where a mere raised eyebrow will solve all inappropriate behaviour... I can say that I don't believe in spanking.

Um... did I mention I don't have kids yet??

Yah... my point being... I CURRENTLY think spanking is not something I will feel comfortable with... partly because I have horrible memories of being spanked as a kid... and partly because I think it's hard to tell a kid that it's bad to hit someone... unless you're an adult. I dunno... that kinda messes with my head.

BUT... BUT... I am WELL aware that it's easy to think that... because I don't have kids!!!

Tertia... in your case... I look at your overall nature as a mother... and to ANYONE with half a brain it should be abundantly clear what a fantastic parent you are... and that YOU are the one best equipped to gauge how to best discipline your children. BUT... if you were some whacked out nutter in general? And if I DIDN'T know what a fabulous mother you are... I might feel differently. Does that make sense?? I think it depends entirely on the context of the family and the overall emotional health of all involved... 'cuz let's face it... there's SPANKING and then... there's spanking.
You know?

Sorry... I have to add on here... cuz I don't think I made my point very clear.

I get nervous when people say "Nobody should judge because only a parent knows what's best." Well... that would be true if all parents were GOOD parents. Let's face it... if that were the case child abuse wouldn't exist. I think we HAVE to be vigilant about such issues... but that YOU Tertia... ARE equipped to make these kinds of decisions and WILL do what's best for your kids. It's not something that we can treat as a blanket issue... at least *I* can't.

I hope that explains what I'm trying to say.

oooh, evil boy.
and he knows too - he has heard you say 'no' enough I am quite sure to realize what is acceptable.

good luck with the comments though...

I still remember the last spanking I got. And that's probably why it was the last spanking I ever got. I have a seven month old son who still has no teeth, so I have no idea how I'm going to handle the biting issue.

Disclaimer: While my stated position is that I absolutely don't believe in spanking, I also don't have any kids -- so if anyone cares to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about, I'll probably just smile and nod ruefully. But honestly? What Tertia's describing doesn't sound to me like "violence," it sounds like a barely-physical way to get the kid's attention. About as traumatic as tapping him on the shoulder. If a punishment involved any actual discomfort or pain to a child, I might feel quite differently.

I don't think a rather light tap on the bum is awfully wrong to a child that doesn't speak. It's about equal to a firm arm-grip an firm voice. One should'nt give too much attention to bad behaviour though.

I is more important to give positive feedback and attention when the child shows good behaviour. If not, there's a risk the child will be mean to achieve attention.

- I actually had such a tendency as young. ALmost still.....

Anyway, I completely disagree with the commenters who believe any mother knows how to best raise her child.

That's so untrue im my view. Don't we know that from own experience?

My parents have five children. They started out doing the typical thing: spanking, punishing, etc., etc. The first two kids in my family were spanked by both my parents. When I was three, my mother was ready to give up. The spanking wasn't working - nothing was working. She had two little kids and no discipline program that worked.

She started going to parenting classes and working in the day care industry. She learned alternative methods for discipline and gave up spanking altogether.

My dad was another story. He really belived that spanking was the correct way to discipline kids. For a while he was the stay-at-home parent, and then he began to realize that the spanking wasn't working. Nothing was working. So he stopped spanking, and started using my mother's discipline program. The younger three kids in my family were never spanked.

I have never spanked my 2.5-year-old. He is well behaved BUT he is a small child and I truly believe that the first rule of discipline is PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR CHILD'S DEVELOPMENTAL LEVEL. If you expect a certain behavior from a small child that is too much for their age level, you are setting yourself up for a lot of heartache.

Another key to discipline is learning to be flexible and creative, and realize when something is not working. Whether that thing is spanking, or timeouts, or whatever - if it's not working and you're doing it all the time, that's not effective discipline. The basis of discipline is to teach something. What are you teaching Adam when he bites you? How is that slap on the bum stopping his behavior?

The third and final thing I focus on is not to get stuck in a rut. Read books, take parenting classes, talk to other parents you respect and learn to evolve in your discipline as your children are growing.

Here's a great technique that we used with inappropriate biting.

Adam bites. You say, "Ow! That hurts me. Do not put your teeth on mommy! Here is a toy that you may bite." Have that toy at the ready. This worked well for our son. Adam will grow out of this, I promise!

I was spanked. I harbor absolutely no ill will, nor any terrifying childhood memories. My parents somehow managed to discover the perfect balance between discipline done in love vs. discipline done in anger. I think "spanking" can apply to both.
It very much depends on the child because I KNOW that my parents did NOT discipline all of us children the same way all the time.

It's very hard for me to imagine someone having a problem with what you're doing with Adam, considering that he can't even feel it. Snapping your fingers near his rear end would have essentially the same effect.

My parents spanked, and it worked very well for them. I am still childless and am not committed either way; we'll see what works for us. Some people feel very strongly about this, though. You're brave, starting this discussion. :)

Never really got spanked.

Had to sign a paper saying that I wouldn't spank any child who lived in my home as a foster child. It didn't seem right to say, "You are adopted now! Now I can spank you!"

Think there is a difference between a slight tap on a diaper though when a child is doing something dangerous and hitting a child with a switch or a belt.

And I think if a parent chooses to spank, they need to do it when they are not angry or upset, which is often difficult. If you are mad at a child, and spanking them in angry, I don't think that is good at all.

Good for you Tertia.

I think the comments "spanking teaches violence" are crap and simple minded. I'm quite sure there are dozens of us reading this like me who were spanked as kids and have never been involved in any physical violence.I remember very clearly what I learned from my spankings - not to do again what I had just done.

I really think it's so situation dependent and so child dependent that it's impossible for anyone to judge any other person. I mean, if my daughter decides, when she's older that electrical sockets are something she's persistently and violently into, then I'm going to do what I have to so she gets the idea that sockets hurt, one way or the other. If it's a choice between a spanking and serious bodily damage, I'll take spanking for three hundred, Alex.

But beyond that thing I know, I really can't say. I'm not there yet with her. Hopefully, she'll be the type of child that only needs a strongly worded comment. But she may not be. Jury's out.

In short, don't expose yourself to criticism here to 'punish' yourself for what you had to do. Biting is a definite issue, especially with a second baby's fingers, toes and other appendages to protect.

If it works for you, it works for you. Your decision entirely.

For myself, I would never tolerate my husband hitting me, I would never hit him or anyone, so I wouldn't make an exception for my kids. I feel that a blanket rule of "no hitting" for everyone makes it hard to blur the lines. All the kids I know who have been smacked have ended up hitting their parents back, and their siblings.

But I don't judge anyone who chooses this method, you've thought about it and it is fine for you. I've got no problems with that!

To each his own. I don't remember being spanked by my parents. I do, however, remember being spanked by my grandparents' live-in housekeeper when I was about to set the house on fire with a box of matches. I had been told many, many times not to play with matches (my g'parents kept a big glass jar by the fireplace filled with matchbooks. They were so colourful and purty...).

I remember that woman with great fondness and miss her very much. I harbor no ill will towards her for spanking me - hell, I deserved it!

I got spanked, and I deserved it every time. You don't even have to hurt the kid, but from time to time a child has to be reminded where his or her place is, and there's nothing like being thrown over somebody's lap to put you there. I've seen lots of parents try to be their kids' "friend" instead of their parent and it usually ends up pretty bad... Good luck with the biting!

Congratulations! I know parents who spank and parents who don't. Used sparingly, spanking can be a very effective message that they have gone way over the line. Worked with my godsons- their feelings got hurt more than anything else. But it was effective. My godson was about your kids age the first time I had to smack (in this case, the hands were going towards the electrical outlet. He'd been told no once, told his hand would get slapped if he did it again-then got lightly smacked on the third attempt). He was more shocked that I'd followed thru than anything else...

I'd like to offer what worked for us with the biting (mom of 4 kids, 3 kids bit, one did not)
When the child bites, flick his/her cheek firmly and give a verbal command of "NO!" Just a few times of that (if more than once at all) will deter the behavior you are trying to stop.
This worked well for me and my sister used it with all 3 of hers (who were biters for a short time)

Good Luck....and for the record, my primary focus for my children is discipline. Sometimes that includes punishment and sometimes punishment includes spanking. My oldest daughter (who is now a freshman in college) never had a spanking in her life. She didn't need one. My 2nd daughter was a real challenge and still is at 14. Restrictions work/ed well for her and occasionally for big stuff, she got a spanking. My son responds well to having the computer/TV taken away and I think in his 3 years of life has gotten 2 spankings. My 14 month old has gotten 1 pop on the hand but she responds very well to verbal commands so far.
Bottom line - if it works, don't fix it. If it doesn't, keep exploring and seeking for something that does work. You are the parent and the adult and you are charged with teaching your children what is acceptable and what is not. There are consequences to everything, including letting your child bite without being punished.

I was spanked, as was my husband, and yet surprisingly, we both find other ways of dealing with the world without resorting to violence! Clearly, the occasional spanking does not mean that's the only way you'll learn to deal with the world. Rational adults know the difference between an occasional spanking for discipline purposes and abuse. They're nowhere near the same.

Our son, who is 2, is mostly disciplined with time outs. We give a sharp tap on the hand whenever we need to make an immediate impression (touching cords, trying to play with the stove). Actually, we haven't even had to do that in months, as he got the point pretty quickly--I wouldn't want to do it often, as it really does hurt me more than it hurts him, but better that than him getting electrocuted. We used time outs for biting, as I really didn't want to teach him that the way to deal with getting hurt was to hurt back. But that was just me.

You'll find your discipline style. Don't worry what others say--pretty much everyone I know was spanked as a child, and we're all normal (kind of!)

I don't have time to read all the comments right now, I'm sure you're going to have millions of them! I am a sometimes spanker. Mostly just to give him the idea, now most of the time I just have to threaten him with one. Time outs used to work, I must have slacked off, because they don't work nearly as good anymore. As for the biting, and I know this sounds mean, but I had to bite my son back, hard enough to hurt, before he would stop biting. It took quite a long time before I was able to work up the courage to do it, but when I had finally had enough, he never bit me (or anyone else) again.

Man, some of you guys are really running with this! You must be the ones in the grocery store with your kid on the floor having a total breakdown and you saying "now listen to mommy, we don't act like that... please get up... please..."

T, it doesnt sound to me like you are really spanking. It sounds mostly like you are getting his attention.
Sometimes you have to be physical with kids. Sometfimes you have to grab their arms, or jerk them away.
But, since you asked, heres then thing about spanking: aside from it being MEAN to hit your kids, it teaches them all the wrong things. Spanking a child for biting teaching them that if they hurt a big person, the big person hurts them. What the hell kind of message is that to send?
Spanking is also lazy. An extremely smart person-and mother of 4 and teacher of 30some years--once told me that people use violence, everything from spanking to wars, because violence works. Spank, or bite, a child and they will stop the bad behavior. Punch a bully and they'll stop teasing. Bomb a country and maybe they wont bomb you as badly next time.
The trouble is that violence works only in the short term. Children who are spanking have been SHOWN to be more aggresive. They also tend to misbehave around people who do NOT hit them. Rather then be based on, oh I dont know, VALUES or personal safety or respect, their discipline is based on fear.
That's no way to raise a child. There is AlWAYS a nonviolent alternitive to hitting. Always. Its BS to suggest that some kids just "need" to be hit. No parent HAS to hit to get their kid to behave. Its just easier and quicker--but not better.
And using the bible to justify it is obsene.
Anyway, as you can tell I have strong opinions, but well...I have done a lot of reading and, erm, hands on experience. And I firmly believe that children deserve better than to be hit by the people who care for them.

With Aiden, when he went through his very short lived biting phase(he's only 14 months) I would tap his mouth, and say biting hurts. A couple times I bit him back, obviously not hard enough to cause physical damage but hard enough that he associated biting with pain. My opinion is this, they won't understand why you get so upset unless you give them an example, hence, you bite me I bite you, it hurts, we don't like that at all. It actually worked very well, and now he doesn't bite, and if he tries too, all I have to do is say "don't bite me!"
I don't believe that spanking, hand smacking, or examples by doing what they did to you are going to mentally ruin a child. I am not tormented by the fact that I got spanked, nor am I afraid of my parents because of it. Being insulted and told I was fat and everything I did was never good enough is what damaged me. The spanking? Taught me to respect my parents, and to listen.

I haven't read all the comments, and I'll say that as a person who was physically abused as a child I feel very strongly about this. I absolutely respect your (and everyone's) right to raise your child however you wish.

That being said I am compelled to ask:

If Marko hit you would it be o.k.?
Would it be o.k. if I hit your child?

If the answer to both of those questions is no then think before you spank.

When I was a kid, around the age of 4-7, my father used to spank me with his belt, hand or rattan cane, depending on the seriousness of the wrongdoings I committed. Each time he'd ask me questions like 'that is wrong and you know it, why do you still do it?' and if I had no answer or didn't answer 'the right way' he'd give me a spank. It did not fully work with me. In front of him, I behaved well in fear of being spanked, but in my head I was always plotting these evil plots to do the wrong things when he's not around (like lying, watching porn, etc. Yes, I was really bad as a kid!).

In my opinion, spanking could be done to shape a good behaviour in children, but ONLY if other methods don't work. That said, it's obvious I believe there are so many other good methods out there, but with some kids they just don't work. Parents should be allowed to experiment, and if spanking (done in a proper way, doh) doesn't work, then they should ask themselves what's wrong with what they've been doing the whole time as a parent.

With me, spanking worked sometimes - I stopped leaving my 5-times-a-day prayers (I'm a Muslim), I did my schoolwork, stopped bullying my sister (heh), etc. But other times, it just didn't do it for me. If my parents had taken away my toys (for example) instead of spanked me, it would probably be better.

If parents decided to spank their kids though, I totally agree that it should be done very seldomly (as in for very serious situation), it should not hurt the kid (certainly not badly), it should not be done with anger (do it with love instead), and hug them more than you spank them - to show that you love them, but sometimes you need to do this to teach them.

The best way to teach is by example. Practice good values within the house, communicate wisely with your kids, be their friend.

Well that's my 0.2 cents. To Tertia, I totally think you're a good mother, and ooh mama aren't you a gorgeous one.


I was going to say we have a no hitting policy in our house, but to each his own. Ok, I'm still saying that. But some of the comments are kind of horrifying. To wit:

"You're kids will be just fine from being spanked. Probably better off than those who aren't.

My kids get spanked and they are just fine, too.

Besides, being a Christian, I also know that the Bible specifically directs us to "Spare the rod and spoil the child." That wasn't aimed at you, Tertia, but I know no one can argue with me when I use the Bible as a basis.

Posted by: Stefanie"

Children of non-spankers are worse off? Based on ....? And I will argue with anyone all day long who uses the bible as a basis for parenting, relationships, politics and especially sexuality. The bible says a lot of absurd things. The bible defends slavery. The bible says menstruating women should be shunned. The bible says rich people are damned to hell. Etc.

Otherwise, I will just say I agree with vanessa's entire post and not reiterate her fine words.

Nice ploy Tertia to get your comments back up again!

Personally I hate the word "spank" it implies actually laying your child over your knee and deliberatly hitting which as far as I am concered is child abuse. I have no probs with the occassional tap on the bum or hand - a totally different thing.

Actually I think it is probably useful for children (and adults) to know that it is at least possible that "if they hurt a big person, the big person hurts them." Good heavens, I wouldn't, as an adult, imagine that if I bit/hit/kicked another person they might not retaliate in kind. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have thought any differently as a kid, either, and I was never spanked.

Tertia, I have total faith in you as a mother. Even though I don't "believe" in spanking -- yet. Haven't gotten to play with my own little ones yet (flunked IVF now working toward adopting), and my beloved stepkids were too big and tough by the time I got them for me to be able to spank them even if I'd wanted to (see above re: big people hurting us!).

Apparently my younger brother used to bite me until my mother allowed me to bite him back. Apparently it only took one bite from me and he never did it again. Just a historical anecdote...

-- Alex

I don't think what you're doing is going to cause Adam irreversible harm. It's what you've decided works for you and if you're happy with it then that's probably the most important thing.

I am philosophically opposed to hitting in any form myself so have worked really hard to find other solutions. But it can be frustrating and aggravating and sometimes I really do feel like a smack would be so much quicker and effective. But because I don't want to go there I don't.

I don't think you should be flamed for this but it is a polarising issue. People can be pretty black and white about it. Posts like Stefanie's for example sicken me but as I said before - I don't respect you any less for doing it with YOUR kids.

I don't think what you're doing is going to cause Adam irreversible harm. It's what you've decided works for you and if you're happy with it then that's probably the most important thing.

I am philosophically opposed to hitting in any form myself so have worked really hard to find other solutions. But it can be frustrating and aggravating and sometimes I really do feel like a smack would be so much quicker and effective. But because I don't want to go there I don't.

I don't think you should be flamed for this but it is a polarising issue. People can be pretty black and white about it. Posts like Stefanie's for example sicken me but as I said before - I don't respect you any less for doing it with YOUR kids.

My aren't you brave bringing this up? I think maybe you're just jealous of all the attention your friend Julie got over CIO awhile back! ;+)

A tap on the bum or a smack to the hand is different than "spanking" to me.

I spanked my son when he was about six months old when he bit me while I was feeding him. It was more a reaction than anything else, my hand worked before my brain. But the brain kicked in midway to the spank so it wasn't too hard.

I would not bite back because that shows that mummy bites, so why not me...

I don't spank as a general rule, unless it is a dangerous situation and if he followed through with his intended actions the natural course of events would end in pain - eg touching the oven, power points etc.

Otherwise he gets time out.

I don't think spanking to induce fear to induce good behaviour is appropriate either. I don't want my son to be good because he's afraid of me.

But I do believe that each parent/s need to make their own decision and STICK with it. More than anything I think consistency is the key.

wow, sorry about rambling on so much.

First of all, I don't have kids, so am in no place to give advice. But, my brother used to bite, until he was about 7 YEARS OLD!!!! when we was at school, he even bit an older male student ON THE BUM!! He bit me loads of times and the worst one was around my bellybutton and it turned into a huge purple and yellow bruise. After that, my mum showed him my bruise and then took his hand and BIT HIM BACK! He never bit again!

First of all, I don't have kids, so am in no place to give advice. But, my brother used to bite, until he was about 7 YEARS OLD!!!! when we was at school, he even bit an older male student ON THE BUM!! He bit me loads of times and the worst one was around my bellybutton and it turned into a huge purple and yellow bruise. After that, my mum showed him my bruise and then took his hand and BIT HIM BACK! He never bit again!

My child will be spanked. End. of. discussion.

Bridget, it would be ok if you gave my child a firm whop on the toosh as a consequence for bad behavior. I'm not sure why you would be disciplining my child though, since that's my job.

And Marko hitting Tertia? Ummm...a bit different. Marko and Tertia are equals; both adults. Marko doesn't have to discipline Tertia. (Unless she WANTS him to... hehehe :o)

Staci, this cracked me up - I see SO many of these parents:

Man, some of you guys are really running with this! You must be the ones in the grocery store with your kid on the floor having a total breakdown and you saying "now listen to mommy, we don't act like that... please get up... please..."

I'll quit stalking your blog now T.

why oh WHY has no one mentioned a muzzle on the child?

problem solved. remove at 18.

ohhh- mine did that. Except for real. Major biting. The painful kind. I popped him on the mouth (hard enough to startle and hurt a wee bit not hard enough to really smart of knock his head off or anything - a CONTROLLED pop). I figured the mouth was the offending body part- the butt was just hanging around being cute lol!

It took awhile, but he outgrew it. Now I'm just waiting for maggie to start. She'll nibble for teething sakes, but has yet to to really chomp anyone.

I haven't read all the commments...
but one that I really agree with is Susan (2catmommy)...who said "Words work just fine"
As a behaviour therapist for children with autism, and a mom of a 2 year old son who is fully verbal, and has been biting occasionally, I have to say that positive reinforcement is the best way to teach a child appropriate behaviour. Praise him for the good things he's doing and don't bring attention to the negatives. By saying 'No biting" and removing the child, or yourself, from the situation and not giving any attention, including eye contact, the child learns that it's more fun when mommy is paying attention and not when removed a few feet away. Once you tell Adam once, no biting, and remove him, you can even 'whoop it up' with Kate, have a good old time, and Adam will see that it's more fun to play than bite. The same goes for nursing moms of biters.
It works, I promise.

Now if he has a good grib on you, remember to push INTO the bite and not tear your arm away. That saves your skin :)

I think more than spanking, what you're really doing is getting his attention and redirecting him.

I don't spank; I think it's counterproductive and too often done because parents just don't know what else to do and it releases some of their tension/anger. But, with my second child especially, I can understand the impulse; he's also a biter and is very, very persistent and determined. He bites when he's angry but also to get my attention and to show affection, giggling and smiling as he runs towards me, teeth bared and ready. And he bites hard-- he's only broken the skin once but I have had tons of deep dark bruises. He is fifteen months old now, and has been doing this since about 10 months. It is getting less frequent, though.

Our technique in dealing with the biting is a firm, loud, "no biting!" and then we remove him from the situation-- I just plunk him down away from me or whatever he was doing before he chomped down. This is hard to do when I know he was just trying to kiss me and got carried away, or that he was provoked by his older sister, for instance. Sometimes we put him in a specific place, the "thinking chair" as they call it at daycare. His face crumples, he wails, and then he gets back up and rejoins the action. Sometimes we have to repeat the process a few times, but I do think he's getting the message as we are being consistent about doing it.

With my oldest, though,it would never have gone this far; we could more easily distract her and she was more attentive to our verbal commands/admonitions/wheedling. I am beginning to see that some kids require more emphatic discipline than others, simply to keep them from hurting themselves and others.

Duh, Tertia. Time out with Baby Einstein -- that'll teach him.

Tertia,
I don’t think less of you for posting on this issue, because it seems you are a reasonable, intelligent person and a good mother.

But my thoughts on spanking are as follows:
As far as I can tell, spanking doesn't work. I'm yet to hear of one person who has only had to spank once to stop all inappropriate behaviour.

Children who get spanked also misbehave in stores and I find it depressing watching parents who spank and/or threaten to spank in public places. My theory is: I don’t hit anybody, old or young. I couldn’t think of anything more frightening for a small child than a larger person bearing down on them to inflict pain.

I was spanked and often threatened with spanking as a child and whilst I haven’t as yet turned into an axe-murdering serial killer, I had real resentment of my father growing up (now resolved). It wasn’t until he went on a training course for supervising staff did he see that how he treated his children was how he treated his staff and that wasn’t pleasant for him to acknowledge.

I find it funny when people say “it happened to me and I turned out ok, so I’m gonna do it” I like to respond with the following “Well, it turned you into someone who hits children” They usually get all defensive about it.

I have previously worked in children’s services and wouldn’t dare consider hitting someone else’s child in the name of discipline for fear of being sacked/lawsuit etc, why would I consider that it’s ok to hit a child who I should love and adore above all other things in my life.

I think spanking is an “easy” way out for many parents, (not that I think parents find it easy to spank) in terms of that it’s quick, immediate and often happens when their frustration level is at it’s peak.

Basically, I just think there are many better, healthy, effective ways to discipline a child, it unfortunately just takes time and patience to figure out what works best.

My three brothers and me were never spanked, and while at the University I had friends who were spanked. All of us have turned great (G&D), spanking or not. So IMO... it's not necessary to spank a child to raise him or her properly but... spanking a child in a loving environment is not necessarily damaging him or her.

My husband and me occasionally tap our 2.5 years old daughter in the hand or in the bum, for specific actions she KNOWS she can't do, but I would never allow other people (teacher, grandparents, uncles, ... whoever) to do it. Even if she deserved it.

I agree that there are better ways to handle disciplining a child than spanking. We are not going to spank.

I don't consider what you are doing as spanking though. That's a tap. I think it's fine to get their attention and tell them what is wrong with their behavior. I like the idea of taking away privileges, toys, etc too much better than spanking.

Did you ever get spanked with a hairbrush? Boy does that hurt. I will never forget those spankings, but I think my mom has forgotten them. And I remember my dad "giving me something to cry about!" That is the most ridiculous thing in the world...to spank a kid because they are crying. The things that were acceptable when I was a kid look pretty horrendous to me now.

My husband was never spanked or hit in any way. He doesn't believe in it either.

Let me just say again, Tertia....I don't consider what you are doing spanking.

Tertia

i adore how you are - honest, direct and unapologetically doing the best mothering you can with what you have. what works for you, is what is best.

and thats hardly a spank.

That's a hard one to know exactly what to do. Our guy (9mths) is sensitive to the tone of our voice at the moment - like breastfeeding for example, I have said ouch really loudly a couple of times when I have felt a nip and so he doesn't do it anymore. But when it comes to telling him to stop going to a certain plant or drawer - it seems to make it twice as interesting. I haven't hit him but I try to make sure I am consequent and remove him every time. I don't allow him sometimes and then not others 'no' means 'no'. I think it is important that when you are unhappy with something a child does then you make sure you let the child know it is the behaviour you don't like and not them. That means telling them what you don't like and why. Some people just spank without really explaining - too much of that could lead the child to think it is something about them you don't like. Anyway, can't think of any more assvice asshole.

Pre-parent, I was soooo anti spanking. Post-parent, I can understand why my parents beat me when I was little!

We're spankers. I hate having to do it, but sometimes with my kids, that's all that gets their attention. I once read in a parenting book, that if you're going to spank, just do it. No warnings, just a spank, a "no", and leave it at that. I have found that with my kids, it works. Gets their attention, stops the behavior, I move on and don't start to boil. My kids are 4, though, so a little farther along than yours, and no nappy to absorb the impact!

I have left the red handprint on a bare bottom before, and I can tell you, I've never felt any lower in my entire life. After years of swearing that I would never spank...

I'm only jumping in because where I thought there would be a firestorm, people seem to be behaving pretty well.

First, to the people who tell T to walk away when they bite, I need to know what she is supposed to do if he follows her. My son was a biter. I would redirect him, tell him no. He would come back at me (especially if he was angry about something). I would redirect again and try to walk away. The boy would CHASE me with his teeth! It was ridiculous.

I do spank occassionally but not as a first choice. Same son likes to grab fistfuls of his sister's hair. I can stand in front of him (while she screams) telling him to let go, trying to pry his hands off of her, practically playing tug-o-war with her head when the only thing that will give the shock to release her is a pop on the diaper. Thing is, he'll look at me SURPRISED! Like he had no warning, has no idea why I would do that!

In that case, what would a strictly non spanking parent do? Let him continue to hurt the other child? How long would someone try to reason with him while the other one is screaming and is it fair to her to sit out negotiations with her hair in a vice grip? Those are not sarcastic questions. To me, I'm ending the standoff in the quickest and least painful for all involved. Of course its followed up by lots of talking but in order to get him to that point, I need to get him to let go.

I'm more or less agnostic on this issue - I'd like to think I wouldn’t spank, but could see myself doing so occassionally in frustration. So, I do what I try to always do - go to the scientific literature on the issue and see what the data say. (This to me, is a better approach than relying on my own individual experience, or the Bible: yes, Stefanie, I most certainly can argue with that as the basis for child-rearing advice. But that's another topic.)

I've read abstracts from about 20 articles, and two key reviews: one 'meta-analysis' (which combines the results of 88 studies at once) and one review by Alan Kazdin, head of Yale's Child Study center and an expert of child discipline. The data suggest:

*spanking certainly works 'in the moment', but no better than some non-physical disciplinary methods
*spanking seems to be associated with poorer "internalization of morals, diminished quality of parent-child relations, poorer child and adult mental health, increased delinquency and antisocial behavior for children [and adults]."
*The research in the area isn't great, so the above conclusions are somewhat tentative
*The harsher the physical punishment, the more extensive the negative outcomes

In closing, let me quote from Kazdin's article: "The basic question is why use corporal punishment at all? Mild noncoproal punishments such as brief time-out from reinforcement or short-term losses of privileges in the context of praise and rewards can accomplish the goals for which spanking is usually employed." These are certainly more difficult to implement, but have far fewer risks of negative consequences.

As a follow-up to Em, which is a great question: how does one actually implement the non-spanking methods in the moment? At least two ways:

*Time out - pick the kid up (butt toward you, so he can't bite), take him into his room and leave him in his crib. (Older children can have a 'time out' corner where they are directed. Length of the timeout depends on the child's age
*When he **DOESN'T** bite in situations where he sometimes does, reward him with positive comments and even small rewards (stickers) for his good behavior. Take away these rewards when he does bite.

First, I have to mention that I was hit as a child by my mother (not spanked, but hit). I still harbour a lot of resentment, but I did not turn out aggressive, cruel, etc. Actually, I've never been in a fight in my entire life.

I wouldn't call what T did a 'spanking'. More like a tap to get attention. I will do this with my child, I've no problems. I know where the line is between a tap and a hit.

Also, I work with the Children's Aid. I am totally up to date with the literature. I am also a psych graduate, majored in abnormal childhood behaviour. There is absolutely NO proof that a light tap on the butt can cause damage to a child. However, there is proof that not taking a firm stance with a child CAN cause problems in the future.

There's lots of parenting material out there that discusses the pros/cons of spanking. I obviously won't cite it back to you or tell you what to do since you are perfectly capable of reading it and coming to a conclusion that works for you and your family!

I only wanted to comment to address the biting thing -- in my experience, boys are much more into the biting than girls. My son started biting at about the same age that Adam is now and didn't really get over that phase until he was close to 3. So just to warn you that this is an issue you may deal with for a while! What finally worked for us to get him to stop was to give him an alternative to biting people -- it was obvious he wanted to chomp down on stuff when he was tired or frustrated, so it really was silly to try and make him stop biting, but we did teach him that you can't bite people but if you feel the need to bite, go get your blanket or stuffed animal and bite on that. It was a very effective technique that got us through the worst of the biting age. Now, we didn't start using it until he was about 18 months old, so I don't know if a child younger than that could understand the logic, but they can comprehend things pretty young.

Anyway, best of luck with this as its a tough issue. But in our experience it was nearly impossible to completely stop the biting, so while you need to teach Adam not to bite you or his sister, you also need to teach him an appropriate outlet for that urge.

Goodness!! Reading the comments one would think Tertia left huge welts on Adam's behind! I doubt he felt anything. At all. Let's not forget that he is also biting his sister, who, as far as I know, can't read the helpful hints about words working better than "violence" (Bothers me greatly to hear a tap on the bottom described as "violence"), and is therefore doomed to be bitten until he learns it is not to be done. Every child is different, Tertia. Brave of you to bring this subject into the spotlight. BTW, am the proud mother of 3 well adjusted, kind, non-violent adults who were tapped on the diaper from time to time.

when my dd bit me when she was about 7-8 mos. old, i flicked her cheek, she cried, and she never bit me again. and, if she ever deserves a spanking (NOT hitting...big difference people!!!), she most certainly will get one.

I personally think spanking is fine - not hitting the child, but tapping/spanking I think is imortant so they understand that their behaviour/ whatever is not appropriate. Don't hate you at all dear! You do what you think is best - you've sounded like a great mum!

Tertia, please do some research on this before you make a decision. There are so many other options that don't include hurting your child. And you may not be hurting him now, but that is what spanking is - hurting your child.

As an often frustrated mother to 2 small boys, I certainly do not look down upon those who spank in moderation. I have not spanked my 3-year-old, but was very close to it one day and said "Eli, stop it! Do you want a spanking?" For the next 15 minutes I had to listen to him say "Mommy, mommy, I want a spankin." Kinda hard to use it as a threat when the kid thinks it is candy or some other treat!

there certainly don't need to be any more people inputting in this discussion, but as the majority of folks seem to be 1) people who were spanked as children and insist they came out ok & without resorting to violence; and 2) parents who disagree with spanking.

well, just for kicks, i was NEVER spanked as a child, and have made it into my mid-20s with zero problems. i was also never grounded as a kid/teenager, not because my parents were super lax, but because i was just sooooooooooo fabulous.

i'm not going to get into whether it's right or wrong to tap your boy on the bottom, but for the others - some of us do manage to survive into adulthood without being spanked.

I don't have a problem with spanking- but I tried this with my 3 year old who bit me on and off for almost a year.... Biting Medicine. If he bit me (or anyone) I would dip my finger in vinegar and touch it to his lips. He ahated it and it stopped the biting almost instantly.

Both my brother and I were spanked growing up, my fiance was actually caned in school a few times (he grew up in South Africa) and all three of us turned out to be outstanding citizens (if I do say so myself). My fiance and I plan on spanking our children once we have some (open palm on the rear) but not for too long, only until we can use other methods such as restriction and such.
My cousins (who were not spanked growing up) grew to be rather unruly sorts, constantly getting mixed in the wrong crowds.
I think it took a lot of guts to admit to spanking in this day and age and I applaud you!

I figured I'd get replies back since I am the one who post about sparing the rod. I, too, believe, the rod is discipline. Not necessary spanking, but in some cases it may be. I've never spanked my children with anything but my hand. And then just a swat or 2 on the behind. Usually after other punishments have been tried, and weren't successful. The only times it was an automatic spanking has been b/c they did something that was dangerous either to them or someone else, such as running across the street.

Oh, and to Blue Stocking. Try reading the New Testament. The "absurd" things were pretty much negated once Jesus came because he knew we couldn't abide by all of those laws.

Speaking about my kids, they are much better behaved than a lot of kids I know who aren't diciplined.

Check out www.nospank.net or do a google search for project no spank for more info.
also T i am taking issue with your poll. You say a nonviolent spanking but there is SO NOT SUCH THING. spankings are, by definition, violent acts. it is hitting your child. saying otherwise is an outright lie.

Spanking and a pop on the bum or back of the hand are 2 different things. I have never seriously spanked either of my children. My daughter is very emotional and even a light hand slap during a tantrum escalates things beyond reason. Getting in her face and talking firmly and quietly works as well as time outs. Now that she is 3, taking away priveliges works. My son is very different. Talking does nothing. A smack on the hand or the bum gets his attention, and usually stops the issue. I would never hit hard enough to hurt. But, as a parent of a biter, a little pop on the mouth works wonders. It is no one's business how I discipline my children. However, if I allow my child to bite it is their business when my kid is the biter at playgroup. Every child is different, and we have to choose the discipline that works for us.

Definitely a spanker here. Like everything under the sun, however, spanking as a disciplinary tool can be abused. That doesn't make it wrong in principle. The argument that spanking teaches violence is so simplistic and so flawed on so many levels. Humans are born with an innate impulse to violence: we want what we want when we want it, and if that means pushing, shoving, pummeling and punching others in order to get it, that's what an undisciplined human will do. Children don't need to be spanked in order to become violent!

Spanking can involve either or both psychic or physical pain -- in the form of injured pride, or a stinging sensation. Both can be very effective in shaping behavior when other methods DO NOT work. I also know from experience with my own child that a couple of spankings is all it takes before a child understands that you mean business and maybe it would behoove them to think first before they make bad decisions in the future. The threat of a spanking is all it takes.

I cannot tell you how many "enlightened" friends I have whose children are a holy horror. These are the parents who can be heard pleading, "Please don't kick mommy. No, please don't kick mommy. Did you hear me? Are you listening? Mommy said please don't kick her. Okay, please go to time out. Please go to time out. Please don't kick mommy. Okay, mommy will hold you in time out . . .Thank you for letting mommy hold you in time out . . ." and on and on AD NAUSEUM.

Parents are responsible for teaching their children proper social behavior. If you are capable of doing that without spanking, my hat is off to you. I have to say, though, that I have not seen it done. I see a lot of parents who are self-deluded, though, and who think that their methods are effective when they really are not. People may smile at your little Janie as she's pouring water all over the restaurant table, but secretly, they can't stand the brat. Just remember that.

I also have seen parents who smack and smack and smack and their children are still ill behaved. Like I said, spanking is a tool that can either be used wisely or abused. Tertia, good for you for using your head and making your own decision.

Hitting and spanking are two totally different things. When I was growing up, we children knew exactly what was going to earn us a spank. If we did that, our parents sat us down and told us why we were going to get a spanking. My mom used a wooden spoon. She (and many others) believed that that was better than the hand; the hand should be used to love, as she says it. Also, we were never spanked just as a first reaction. There was usually about 5 minutes between what we did and the spanking - obviously this was when we were older. Man, I can remember those minutes clearly, dreading the spanking! :) Sometimes words aren't enough. Sometimes a kid needs that extra little whop as a reminder.

Nospank.net made me want to laugh. They are going to the extremes; pointing out cases where someone is actually abusing their child; not spanking out of love and guidance; wanting their child to learn right from wrong.

T, may I take an excerpt, CREDIT TO YOU, OF COURSE and post on my blog? What an interesting discussion.

My son was a holy terror between the ages of 2 and 3.5. I smacked him when needed, cried alot, and even rang proffessionals for parenting classes! He got alot of time out, and would spend his time there screaming the house down. For those few months, my life was absolute chaos. The most loveable, adorable little baby could suddenly, and DID, turn into a demon child from the pits of Hades!

I smacked him on the hand, and on the bottom. then he would get time out. Usually 5 or 6 times a day. When he started smacking Cecilia, his Daddy and I back regularly, I decided that enough was enough. I had started to smack in anger, qand he was retaliating the only way he knew... monkey see, monkey do.

So when he was 3.5 I sat them down and apolologised to him/them for smacking. (Cecilia had only ever had 2 or 3.) I told them that from that day on we would NEVER smack in our house again. And we never did. They have 'Helping Charts' and get stickers every night for good behaviour. and discipline is now about withdrawal of priveledges, like computer and Xbox. They also get Time out still, which they hate!

I know none of this would have worked from the ages of 12 months to 2, and even at 3 it would have been a hard task, but it works well for us now. They never hit each other, and we never smack them.

I suppose I just never wanted to end up like my Dad, either ...smacking in anger at the smallest thing, and any comparisons did hurt my image of myself as a parent!

I only ever spanked my son when he was a toddler and being completely vile in the way that toddlers can be. However, I didn't like doing it and didn't think it was very effective either. The times I did do it tended to be either when I lost my temper (the very worst reason, I know and I always felt like complete shit afterwards) or when he was about to do something potentially dangerous and I needed to get his attention quick and hard (I believe slipping my grasp and suddenly running into the road was one of mine too). For the later I would give a tap on the hand.

As your kid gets older, I'd advise practicing what my son calls The Voice and The Look. For the Voice you drop the tone of your speaking voice and go really firm but slightly scary. Use of the kids full name helps too, my son always knows he's overstepped the mark when I say his full name in The Voice. The Look I can't describe really but even now it makes my 13 year old go "oh no, not The Look!" Those two things and very occasional Time Outs have been my main discipline methods.

In the meantime if it's the sound that's distracting him you might want to try clapping your hands together really loudly with a loud "no biting".

Good topic, T. and love your refreshing truthfulness, as always!
Would you like to join my spanking club? Or, you can join my little slap on the hand club, or, my tap on the bum club. Whichever you prefer... because I am the President of each and there is a vacancy for Vice-President!
I was spanked as a child when i was really really bad (I could be)and guess what??????

IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!

It actually stopped me from being an even worse child. I did some bad things, but, believe me, they would have been way worse without the fear of my father's spankings.

Also, to the people who say you should lead by example and your children will act as you act and not need spankings... Well, that's a load of crap!
My father is the most honest, upstanding, caring wonderful guy in the world and i was still a little shit sometimes!!!

I tell my 10 month old twins, "NO" very firmly, and they know exactly what it means, yet, they continue whatever it is they want to do. So, i have given taps on the bum and light slaps on the hand and guess what??????

IT WORKS!!!!

I did not learn the lesson that violence begets violence from the spankings i received. I learned that my parents were in charge and i better behave.

This is going to be hard to put into words without someone finding something wrong with what I'm saying but here goes.

I don't think there is anything wrong with my daughter fearing me a little. I don't mean I want her cowering or shaking when I say no...or simply come in the room, EXPECTING to be beaten. But I want to be able to look at her sternly, and know she is processing in her head that I mean business and that consequences (be they time out, spanking, having the toy taken away...WHATEVER) is not far behind.

I want her to know that I'm the boss. Period.

I'm her mommy and I love her and want her to be happy and cheerful and have as much fun as possible. But I know enough about kids that kids NEED discipline and order and structure to truely be happy.

I know that lessons are being learned when I come into the living room finding my daughter doing something she's not supposed to and simply say "Lissa Erin" in "The Voice" and she stands up and says "I sorry!"

I don't think there are enough spankings OR timeouts in the world to get a kid to leave something they REALLY REALLY want alone for good. Neither form of discipline is probably likely to make them forget how fun playing in the Christmas tree is.

And I don't think that discipline is ALL about getting them to stop a SPECIFIC behavior. But rather to recognize, to get a sense of, what is right and wrong.

Hell, I have a sense of what is right and wrong as an adult. Do I still do things I think are "wrong" (hello chips and salsa for breakfast) Yes. Because for whatever reason it benefits me, regardless of the consequences. And they're just little people so they're going to keep doing things no matter HOW you discipline them sometimes that does not mean that "reasoning and talking" or "spanking" do not work.

Wow! There have been so many good suggestions on discipline, and so much insight on this subject.

That being said, Dharma (11 months, 25 days!) has bitten me quite a few times-- and her teeth are REALLY sharp! Youch! I was saying "No Biteing!" but it didn't seem to have much of an effect. HOWEVER, it seems to have stopped anyway, because I've done something that I also thought I would NEVER do-- I've bitten her!!!! Yep. I'm embarrased to admit it, but she had an annoying and painful habit of probbing my mouth with her fingers, and scrapping the flesh in there with her fingernails. It hurt like nobody's business, (worse than a Gyn exam!) I know she started doing that because she got her own first teeth so very late, and she just wanted to know what these things were that were growing in her mouth-- so she was experimenting with mine. However, after a few weeks of experimentation, I was tired of the soft tissue getting scraped and pulled, so I started lightly biting down on her fingers to discourage her from putting them into my mouth. Well, she quickly got the message that when teeth clamp down on something, they hurt. She stopped poking around in my mouth. And amazingly, she stopped biting me, also.

All the same, I wouldn't reccomend biting a child. I think it only worked because Dharma was so old, she could relate her new teeth and their biting action to mine, just like she runs around pointing out eyes on everything and saying "eye."


When my nephew was younger (he is 21 now)I would spank his diapered butt. Someone said something about how hard I hit him because he cried. When he was done crying I showed them something that really surprised them, I tapped his diaper HARDER then when I spanked him but made it a game, Gonna get your butt and you know?? he didn't cry but giggled instead. They cry from the insult. Diaper spankings don't hurt.

This is such a contraversial subject! Smacking is illegal here in the U.K.I think a lot of kids are definately worse off for not having a smack.I have no need to smack my boys now. . thats because I chased them with my flip flop when they were little!

Deb,

I routinely pinchy-tickle, Pink belly, and smack (I mean like a SMACK) my two year old on the rear end (especially when she comes out of her room stark naked giggling) in complete fun.

And she just laughs and says... "No pinchy me!" or "Hey that's my tushy!"

However I tap her hand because she tries to do something she's not supposed to (like take the jingly santa ornament off the tree for the umpteenth time)she dissolves into tears.

Clearly she knows the difference.

I have to laugh out loud out those who quote the Bible addage, "Spare the rod, spoil the child" as a reason to spank. The rod as referred to in the Bible is NOT a stick or a reference to spanking.

The rod is actually the word of God. Spare a child from learning about Him and you will spoil him. The spoiling is in the spiritual sense. Again it has nothing to do with physical punishment.

That said, I rarely spank. Eight kids and I can count on two hands how many times I have and have fingers left over. It's just not my thing. Growing up being beaten, not spanked made me leary of spanking. Too afraid that I would cross the line given my history.

Good luck with the biting. My twins are slowly easing out of that phase. Thank God!

You're the perfect parent until you have kids. Then all the things you said you would never do or would always do flies out the window. Nothing is as you thought it would be and I always said I would never spank my children....but when they were around 18 months old that changed.
I'll always remember the very first swat I gave and you probably will too. Your child won't though. They get to forget the swat and continue on with their life. I wish it was the same for us. But life is tough and it makes us tougher. There will be many bumps and bruises along the way but plenty of hugs and kisses to make up for them.
Can I share with you what worked to get mine to stop biting? This may sound cruel but it was the ONLY thing that worked. I was told to put their own little hand in their own little mouth and make them bite down on it by pushing up on their jaw with your other hand. Not too hard of course. Not hard enough to leave teeth marks in their hand, just hard enough to get their attention and make them realize it hurts to be bitten. I only had to do that a couple of times and it was around the same age as Adam is right now when I used that method.
I hope the biting will stop soon, I know how much that hurts;I've sported the same bruises!

I forgot to mention how I know if it's a spanking occasion or not. My Mom told me her rule and I've stuck with it.
She told me only to spank for "willful disobedience".
You can pick whatever rules you want to go by because you're the boss but I thought I would share what works in our home. The kids get warned first and if they continue to willfully disobey me then they know what comes next.

Yikes! After re-reading my first post I wanted to clarify that when I said "there will be many bumps and bruises along the way" I did not mean that in a literal sense!!! I was referring to how difficult the journey of life will be. I don't want anyone to ever think I would leave a mark on my child, EVER.

Tertia,

I have a friend who spanks her toddler too, and for the same reason. Her daughter bit her while breastfeeding (OUCH!). I think she only did it a couple of times (with my friend spanking her immediately afterward both times) before she cut it out completely. It didn't interfere with her breastfeeding either, like some books will have you believe.

Makes me wonder if spanking is really all that bad.

Every kid is different, and I really do believe some kids only understand when they are spanked. Usually they tend to be boys, but girls sometimes as well.

I was spanked occasionally, and I turned out okay. Well, maybe you should ignore that last part...:)

I spanked our kids right from the time they were babies, till they were well into the single digits. As babies it was always through their cotton cloth diapers and rubber pants, making more of a noise than anything.

Spanking really doesn't and can't help children, no matter what parent you are or what your belief or style is. It's not simply that it's not particularly effective, but that the very principle it works on, and the idea's it reinforces, are one's that we teach children to avoid, not to embrace. Violence is almost never the answer to dealing with people around you. Is hitting your kids on occassion the right answer? Well, I suppose it COULD be appropriate on occassion, like punching a co-worker COULD on occassion be the right thing to do, but this is rare, if ever the right thing or appropriate. Also, this reinforces the idea that people who are bigger and stronger then you have a right to control you and will hurt you if you disobey them ( whether or not following them is the right thing ) which can help make people victim's to bullies. Also, when you teach your children that might makes right, they are more inclined to be bullies themselves, as they learn the lesson that they can control others the same way. Also, do you want to teach your children values? Or do you want them to blindly obey you. If they blindly obey you, that sets a pattern for life that they'll always follow. Do you want to reason with your children, which CAN be done at ALL ages in one form or another, and teach them to think for themsevles and to empathize? Cause these are lessons they will not learn from spanking.

Im of the view that punishments should corrispond as closely as possible to behavior. You have to show children how their behavior adversly effects them or others, but there must be a link ( against my better judgement, Im almost inclined to support biting children back lightly when they bite you because of this ) Anything thats dangerous for them or harmful to others can be shown or demonstrated in some way. And if they break a rule that doesn't adversly affect them or anyone else, then the problem is the rule, not the child :P

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