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When to start spanking?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by 4wheelerforChrist, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. 4wheelerforChrist

    4wheelerforChrist Junior Member

    We have a 21 Month old daughter that likes to hit and throw stuff when she gets made. We have been doing the time out thing for awhile now and it doesn't seem to be working. My wife and I are beginning to think to start spanking. But I have heard that you shouldn't start spanking till 3 years old. I use to think that was a good rule of thumb until I had my own children. :( We are doing 1 1/2 mins. for a time out. How do we stop her from hitting and throw stuff all the time? I know she has been going through a pretty rough time having a new baby around. He is 7 weeks old now. But she is doing much much better now. All of her hitting is on us not the baby.

  2. FroggyJK

    FroggyJK New Member

    Was she doing this before the baby was born? It could be a sign that she needs more attention.

    A couple of things that I would try...
    1. Try giving her more one on one time with Mommy and with Daddy.

    2. Sharing some play time with the baby. Even with the baby only being 7 weeks old, it is never too early to start the bonding of siblings. (i.e. look at the baby's nose. Do you see how small it is? Can you kiss it?)

    3. Give her longer time outs. I would be giving about 3 mins for her age.

    4. Time outs alone won't help. Make sure you talk to her about it and try to help her understand why she shouldn't be doing those things. Tell her the affects of her actions (i.e. that hurt mommy). Try to help her find other ways of expressing her feelings.

    5. For extreme behavior, there is nothing wrong with a little pop in the backside to get their attention. I never heard of this rule of thumb of not spanking till 3. Some times you need to do it in the terrible twos!

    Hope this helps!
    Best wishes,
  3. tnpebbles

    tnpebbles Member

    I had the same problem when I brought my baby home too. My daughter was 2 at the time. When she would throw things at me or anyone, we would "turn off" to the negative behavior and "turn on" when the positive behavior returned. It is really hard to do, but your child will come around, Also I prefer time out a minute for each year of their live, children that young have no knowledge of time, and in 3-4 mins they will forget what they are being punished for anyway. Good Luck.;)
  4. Andry

    Andry Jedi Master Supporter

    Hello Steve, welcome to CF.

    You might want to search his forum for previous threads on this subject, as there have been helpful if not entertaining (read: heated) discussions on it.

    That being said, since you asked, here's my .02.

    I think you're asking the wrong question. Instead of learning how to punish as a form of discipline, how about learning how to correct as a form of discipline.

    Many of us, because of our own upbringing, have gotten a wrong view of discipline. We equate 'discipline' with punishment. God equates 'discipline' with correction. Which is altogether a very different thing.

    So instead of trying to be proficient in the different ways of punishing, how about trying to be proficient in the different ways of correction? Many parents know how to punish extremely well - their arsenal on that is to the brim. How well do you know how to correct? If you're arsenal on correction isn't much, maybe the question ought to be.....

    "How to I correct my children?" "Here's the behaviour I'm trying to correct. How do I do that?" "What tools can I use, other than that wooden spoon that my dad used on me, to correct that behaviour?"

    See, if we as parents don't know, then it's our obligation, and responsibility (and privilege) to know and educate ourselves, for the sake of our kids. So the question is, how do I equip myself, as a parent, to discipline my children by correction?

    If you are willing to take the time, patience, and energy, to learn the different methods of correcting, I believe it will be all the better for it for your kids.

    Just my thought. God bless.
  5. jenptcfan

    jenptcfan My cup runneth over

    What is your view on how the OP should work to correct this behavior in his child? What correction methods are effective on a child this age (I'm truly interested in what works for different people).
  6. Andry

    Andry Jedi Master Supporter


    Fair but difficult question to answer in a forum type of environment such as this. The truth is, I don't know exactly. Because there are variables that only the parent would know, such as:

    - Girls are typically more mature than boys at this age. How mature is she?
    - How well can she articulate and express herself at 21 months?
    - What type of a home environment has she been raised in? (Steve, for clarity, this isn't a critique - just that you and your wife would know best than us folks on the 'net')
    - What forms of discipline has she been previously exposed to?
    - At this stage, who does she more easily relate to, the mommy or the daddy?
    - Who does she identify as the 'softy' at this stage, and the disciplinarian?
    - Under what circumstances or conditions does she hit or throw things. When her sibling is present? In public? At home only? When mommy's around? Or when daddy's around? Or all the time? When she's tired? When's she's hungry?
    - Has her baby sibling unknowingly and innocently 'inherited' any of her 'stuff', such as blankets, jammies, toys, etc. without her 'permission'?
    - What does she throw? Just her toys, or everything she can get a hold of?
    - Does / has she endangered herself or others by this behaviour of throwing stuff or hitting people (in which case a quick smack on the bum might be in order as a temporary fix)

    I can keep listing, but I think you get the gist of it. etc etc. Now I'm not advocating "no spanking", but I am advocating spanking only as an absolute last resort. Inbetween the verbal correction and spanking are corrective methods.

    My disagreement is, many parents uses spanking as a second line of discipline after the verbal correction. But it's actually just a parental substitute for being lazy, undisciplined, and uncaring on our part.

    But so you don't think I'm 'copping' out, I'll try to answer as best as how it relates to the OP. But I won't even attempt to address everything as others with far more wisdom, experience, and insight than me have written volumes on this.

    Steve said her 21 month daughter hits and throws things when she gets mad. IMHO, it's a phase which will pass, but musn't be ignored.

    - why does she get mad? If the source can be identified, let's fix or alleviate the source, if possible (eg. she can't stand her baby sibling)
    - if not possible to fix the source, give her a recourse to vent (it's ok to get mad / upset / angry. To a point.)
    - if her anger is legitimate (again, only the parent can answer), there are ways to vent this other than by hitting or throwing. Give her a time limit - "Ok sweetie, you can get mad for the next 5 minutes. You can show your 'angry' face for the next 5 minutes, but no throwing or hitting ok?"
    - give her an 'angry' toy or an 'angry' box that she can sit in and pout. Paricipate in her emotion of being angry. Tell her you're going to be just like her for the next 5 minutes - on the same 'team' so to speak. Don't let her just sit there angry unless she asks for it.
    - if she's determined to throw things, 'keep' the things she throws (after an explanation of course), particularly if it's her toys.
    - if she's determined to hit (and again after an explanation - even if she may not understand), give her her favourite pillow/blanket/ or toy to hit. More often than not, in my experience, they will not want to do that. This will give another opportunity to explain why hitting is undesirable.
    - if her anger is not legitimate, after fair and conciliatory verbal warning, tell her to do something that she doesn't particularly like to do, such as nap time, timeout in her high chair, bath time, brush teeth time, etc., unless she stops. This will allow her to weigh her options, and allow her to make her own choice not to get angry (this will be an important basis for the future in that she will know that she is in control of her emotions).

    That's my 'in a nutshell'. Again, to note, variables such as maturity at 21 months, ability or inability to articulate or express, legitimacy of her emotion all need to be considered on a child by child basis.

    I hope this helps somewhat.
  7. lucypevensie

    lucypevensie Not drinking the kool-aid Supporter

    I think 3 is way too late. I think that as soon as the child knows that they are disregarding what you are saying they are old enough for spanking. In most cases that's way earlier than age 3.
  8. Zoomer

    Zoomer Well-Known Member

    It's a natural reaction for children from about 18 months to 30 months, to hit and throw things. Most children go through it but it definately is unpleasant especially with a new baby. At that age, children are developing rapidly yet they still cannot communicate how they feel and it can be very frustrating for them (and us). Then there is also the new baby and there is most likely jealousy associated with him.

    First I would try to figure out what causes her anger. It is not getting her way, an inability to communicate her feelings, jealousy etc.

    If it is not getting her way, I find ignoring tantrums the best and for hitting time-outs. It's hard doing time-outs (since they do not seem effective) at 2 but staying consistent is the big key.

    If jealousy is the problem, try to envolve her as much as you can with the baby. Also, make sure she gets plenty of one on one time with Mommy & Daddy. Try to make her feel like a big girl.

    I wouldn't spank just yet, try to remain consistent with the time-out and make sure you put her in a place without toys or your interaction. Both my children when through a throwing/hitting/biting stage and they do eventually outgrow it.
  9. Blessed75

    Blessed75 Well-Known Member

    Oooooo, the terrible twos! That's about when my son started all this mess too! lol. It's un-nerving. Different things work for different children. My son hardly ever gets a spanking unless he's doing something to intentionally hurt his 9 month old sister or one of our animals or himself. When my son was around your child's age, a swat got the point across. NOW that he's 2 1/2 - a time out in my bed for 15 minutes gets the point across. I've learned that as they age, they change and so does the discipline method. I feel for you though b/c I know how frustrating this time is. My son is BIG into the tantrum thing now - it drives me INSANE - so we are doing a lot of time outs. We recently got two kittens and I caught him pulling their hair so I pulled his - he hasn't pulled their hair again. He had done this with his sister once too and I pulled his hair then and asked him how that felt. He never did it again. I guess it's just parenting style and whatever works for your child. Go with your gut instinct. No parent is perfect and we all make mistakes. It's trial and error - Good luck to you!