Lets Talk Discipline
Not looking for a debate but wisdom from other Christian mothers.
Spanking, not spanking...looking for all views and scripture to back it up.
I have read many books but at a loss with my 20 month twins. They are blatantly disobedient. Aware of the rules and purposely breaking them.
Please share. Thank you and God bless.
We do not spank or physically punish our children. It has never been something that feels right for us. That being said, I don't think it's something that is wholly wrong. I think each set of parents is allowed to read what scriptures say on child rearing, pray about it, and seek the Lord's guidance for themselves. I know some people who I consider very Christian, loving parents, who do use spanking as a form of discipline, and for their children, it's their choice.
Deuteronomy chapter 6 is a good instance of the Lord telling us to take what we know to be true and teach it to our children. We need to teach our children God's laws and the sanctity of family, and how they fit into that family. Sometimes we don't want to do things, but Heavenly Father put us into families for a reason and we all - children included - have responsibilities in that family.
Col. 3:21 is to me a good example of not using physical or violent punishment on children. Spanking brings shame and physical pain.
And there's the old Provers 13:24 - He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. I don't know if this refers to a physical rod used to strike a child or is a metaphor (most likely for our day anyway - just as an ass in a ditch on the Sabbath today would be more like a stranded motorist), but I think the point is, we can't be friends with our kids all the time. I know some people who want to be best friends with their kids. I think it's great if you have a sort of friendship with them ONCE THEY ARE ADULTS. But when kids are kids, they need an adult, not a friend. We shouldn't be afraid to correct wrong behavior in our children. But it should always be done in love and patience.
We try very hard to have the ONLY times we yell, scream, or even handle them roughly be times when they are endangering themselves or someone else (running out the house into the street, for example, or biting a sibling on the face, for another). These are things that very rarely happen.
Non-biblically we have also found some success using the methods in 1-2-3 Magic - more so with kids over 5. Love & Logic also has some good pointers. Just check into various methods and see what might work for you guys. I know that when I try to say "YES" as often as I can, the kids have a better day. I don't let them walk all over me, but I think as moms sometimes we don't realize how often we are saying "no" or redirecting.
I think each child is so different and needs to be addressed and disciplined according to thier own unique personality... within the perameters of the family needs and goals of course. I don't believe there is a "one size fits all" perfect parenting style. I also think as they grow, their needs change so the parenting style should change accordingly.
Some children are more sensitive, and only need a reprimand to correct them. Others need more a more firm hand. I am not anti-spanking. We use it as one of many discipline tools with DD. We mostly use it when she does something dangerous and for blatant disobedience. But, we have strict rules for US as parents when we use it. I am comfortable with it because I don't use it in anger. And we always warn first (unless its a safety issue), explain why, and give hugs and love afterward. I find this verse interesting:
Prov. 23:13-16 "Don't fail to discipline your children. They won't die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death. My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice! Everything in me will celebrate when you speak what is right."
I know many are against spanking, and that is fine. I don't think its biblically manditory. But when done in love (you know the whole bible in context talks about doing EVERYTHING in love) it will not kill them, and in fact, it says if it is something that child needs, it may well save them. I love the last two lines that speak of how joyful we can be when our children do right, and how we can celebrate with them. :)
A few things that I believe strongly:
- Pick your battles carefully. Many things really don't need to be a power struggle. Make sure your expectations are age approprate. But when you DO draw the line, draw it firmly and make sure they know you mean what you said. Follow through and be consistant. Children are happier when they feel secure in their boundaries.
- Children are naturally playful and want to please. Use this to your advantage and theirs. Make up silly games to help them obey. Make it fun. Watch out for and catch them being obedient and praise them/thank them for it. It will help them WANT to do it again.
- Love, grace, mercy. God shows us these in spades every single day, and He is the only perfect parent. We should follow that example and have these in our parenting and discipline choices as the overall theme.
- Give yourself a break! You have TWINS! You are doing the best you can and things are going to be really tough some days. Apply the same love, grace and mercy to yourself. :hugs:
There have been several really great threads in this room about Christian parenting. A lot of articles shared. I don't have time to search them all out, but here is one that talks about what the bible actually says specifically about parenting. Its worth a read. :)
Parenting from the Bible
I use 1 2 3 Magic with my older son. Not successful with 20 month toddlers.
I'm against harsh punishment but my husband screams, yells and spanks. I'm praying to find an alternative that works in hopes he will see and change his ways.
If spanking can't be done without anger, it shouldn't be used at all, IMO.
Have you talked with your DH about it? Does he think his approach is ok? Or is it mostly out of frustration and not knowing what else to do?
We have talked about it for years. He feels its perfectly fine. Doesnt care that I dont approve. Says twins are spoiled and need yelling and hitting to get them to obey.
They are a handful, especially since I have been extremely sick with the twins I'm carrying and pretty much out of commission.
Yes, I have suggested counseling but he won't go.
I have read through the Bible, a devotional and books. Nothing seems to fit.
A good point someone made is each child is different. Half the battle is Hannah and Jacob have different discipline needs.
Biggest concerns...flat out not listening, hitting, biting, pushing, pulling, fighting over toys.
I implemented one toy at a time policy. For instance, balls or legos...this way they have same toy and I can control situation better.
Keep suggestions coming. Soooooooo greatly appreciated!
I agree with Pollys post, I do like the scripture about physical punishment actually saving in the end... However I also agree with the parent being angry too, that's another issue...
Another thing I learned in a parenting class at our church was when your kids are having an issue you need to HALT
Are they hungry (h)
are they angry (a)
are they lonely (l)
Are they tired (t)
I like the HALT model because it helps me decide how to Handel the problem or avoid it for next time... And for my oldest she is almost always hungry or tired, and my 2nd is way different she is often feeling (left out) angry or hungry...
We do use spanking for big things like lying and total defiance, they are warned, they know it's a consequence before it happens and we've had success with being consistent.
Hope you can find something that works for you guys...
Is your DH a believer?
These two verses specifically apply to fathers and parenting.
Eph. 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Col. 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
They use HALT in Weight Watchers too. :laugh:
Originally Posted by caligirl07
The problem I've seen with some discipline methods, and yes TBH most often it's in the parents who spank, is inconsistency. They will sometimes spank and sometimes not. They will sometimes give a 1-2-3 warning, sometimes not. They will sometimes do time out, sometimes not. Even though we don't hit our children, this is something we found ourselves doing too - so sticking to a consistent form, whatever it is, or consistent PATTERN of discipline, is really important.
Like when we first started 1-2-3 Magic, within 48 hours we weren't getting past '3' anymore. Still, most of the time I never get past 2, because they know what happens at 3 and they know DH and I both mean business. It just takes time and energy, and being pregnant with twins, you don't have much of the latter. :(
I didn't have twins but #2 and #3 are 13 months apart so in many ways it was similar. The first two years were incredibly hard. They fought like crazy. I just wanted to say, it's always hard. :( Hang in there.
Interesting! Maybe I need to start thinking of it for myself!
Originally Posted by LuTruPeMo
I agree that one of the biggest issues in parenting is lack of consistancy. You need to make up rules and follow them all the time. It isn't fair to kids to have different rules and consequences with different parents, or in different settings. We do spank our kids. It is never done in anger and they are almost never spanked immediately. It is usually done in their room, just after the offense. They are talked to about the incident, are spanked, and then talked to again. I really am not a fan of using a 1,2,3 count because we are proponents of immediate obedience. If I say to do something, they are to drop whatever it is they are doing, and follow through with what I just asked them to do. We do take into account their age, and other factors when asking them to obey us...such as, I will pause or turn off the tv before asking the boys to get ready for bed b/c I know they are incapable of following through with it on. It leads to disobedience every single time, so I turn it off before telling them to get upstairs. I will also give them a head's up about 5 min before hand so as to not catch them off guard.
We used a lot of time outs when my twins were your twins's age. Spanking was only for major stuff but it was used constantly for the same offenses. They spent A LOT of time on their time out rugs until they learned we were serious about immediate obedience. Now that they are older, we also expect a response from our kids every time we call them or speak to them. They have to respond in "yes, mom", or "no, mom". Or "coming mom"...And when they have offended someone or disobeyed, they have to say " I am sorry for ...., Please forgive me." and the offended person will then respond with "I forgive you", followed by hugs and kisses!
Everyone has given you great tips.
I think that some of the things you listed as just what 20 month olds do, and you have been blessed with 2 of them so you're pulling your hair out doubletime! Like someone said, choose your battles, some things are normal for a little kid to do. And I think that 20 month olds probably need reminders about rules frequently because they forget and get carried away with their playing and stuff. Little kids need lots of reminders about the rules.
We do not spank in our house. Time outs work great for us but we have been doing them for what seems like forever. We are very consistant and gave warnings to our DD (she is 2.5 years) and then a time out. Certain things are an automatic time out now that she is older though and can tell us the "rule about XYZ" when we ask.
We have the Dr Sears book "Complete Book of Christian Parenting and Childcare" and it is a great resource about discipline and how tos with Biblical viewpoints. He generally preaches spanking avoidance but gives tips on how to spank with the right heart. To me it sounds as though your DH is spanking out of anger and frustration which I believe is wrong. Everything, even punishments, need to happen out of love.
My Dh is a believer but on his terms. He is spanking and yelling from frustration not love.
I have kept HALT in my head all day.
I'm going to stick with timeouts and convince my DH spanking is for serious offenses (reaching for hot stove, biting) and done in a controlled manner. That said you cant explain why of spanking to 20 month toddlers. So what to do?
With your twins still being so young, you can't really do the whole explanation thing every time they get a swat. Kids that age need to know what the rules are, but when they break them, they need immediate consequences. It doesnt always have to be a spanking, but even if it is a time out, it needs to happen right away or they won't understand. When we spanked at that age, it was usually a quick swat on the hand or back of the upper thigh for certain offenses.
Originally Posted by AJHMommy
Thanks for the great advice, I needed all the reminders.
This sounds like an interesting book. I agree that spanking is often done out of anger/frustration rather than love, but I have known very loving, reasonable Christian parents who used spanking. One was the mother of one of my preschool students (who is 13 now - holy cow I am OLD). They rarely used it, but when they did, it was well thought out and controlled. I remember her telling me something atrocious he'd done at the supermarket - I forget now what it was - and he was told that his punishment would be spanking when he got home. They had a rule that they only spanked in their home, which even though I don't like spanking, I did like that idea of keeping it private because it can be such an intensely humiliating thing. On the other hand, I've seen so very many parents at the park, library, supermarket, co-op, etc who are just frustrated and angry and tired and swat their child's behind. To me, that's a parent who has run out of ideas. I think we've all reached that point as parents - out of ideas, out of patience, and out of compassion.
Originally Posted by mrsbabyhead