Lets use this write up to note the pros and cons of various forms of discipline used by parents. We wont judge, demean or otherwise promote or discredit each form just look at the good and bad of each and let each reader decide for him/herself on the issue
Lets first define “The talk”. In this form of punishment the parental authority merely discusses the issue with the child and try’s to show the child where he/she went wrong and possible consequences and lessons in the act that they (the parental authority) disapproves.
On the “good” side there are no negatives here as its merely a discussion which involves a lesson on the wrong doing or negative behavior. The child learns about the negative action but suffers no consequences for it. Now this can be very successful providing your child is the type that will listen without consequence. If your child is one who hates to disappoint you this works well. You (the parental authority) does not feel guilty later for a harsh punishment and child learns not to do the negative action again.
On the “bad” side a child can learn that his/her actions carry no consequence meaning this talk will carry no weight with it and the child could become a problem later if not already. Not all children respond to this method and if you have more than one child you may have to use different methods depending on the child. We have five children and we learned that this method only worked with two of them and we had to not use this method for other three
I put these two together as they are really the same. Timeout is for younger children (around 2 – 12 approx) and involves sending the child to a corner or room for a period of time (less than one hour normally but can vary). Grounding is more for preteen and teens and involves things like not letting them go out for a several days to a couple weeks.
The “good side” is that the child learns to understand that poor choices can and often do carry consequences. In younger children a ten minute time out seems like days. During this time they may contemplate their actions and hopefully not repeat action. Its important that you have a brief talk about the action and how it resulted in the consequence. In an older child the grounding works very well as these older children often have friends they want to visit and are missing out on social activities which are usually very important to this age group. they really feel the sting of this one and that often time provoke them not to repeat action.
The “bad side” a brief time out can bring forth anger rather than them thinking through their choices. When this happens they learn nothing other than how to better mask their wrongdoings. An angry child will not listen to reason and the opportunity for a lesson is lost. In teens this can get worse as teens often see the world through a different set of eyes than the rest of us. If they see real fault in their action or are victims of peer pressure than they will rationalize the action and learn how to avoid being caught. They also can learn to cheat the punishment in various ways so again lesson is lost and chances of repeating the behavior increase.
Taking things away:
This punishment involves taking away a favorite toy, cell phone, computer etc. The time frame will depend on age of child and how serious the offense was.
The”good side” Both young children and preteen/teens respond to this so choose what you take wisely. A favorite toy for younger children (one they play with almost daily) or in case of preteen/teen a cell phone, IPod, computer. Both age groups will really feel the sting of this and it’s a sting felt for duration of time they lose item. If they ask or even beg for item back explain they should have thought about that before they (insert action). Shift it back to poor choice child made. If done right this will stay in their memory and the chances of a repeat action and really low.
The “bad side” If you choose the wrong item or the child somehow lessens the impact they wont learn anything. The bad side on this one falls on you for choosing wrong item or giving back item too soon. You also need to be wary of them finding means around lost of item or even finding its hiding place and using it anyways. If the child finds a way around this then no lesson is learned and the likihood of repeating action or more negatives goes way up.
We are talking about open hand spankings on clothed buttocks. Where many are against this form of discipline we include it as there are some who support this. However the use of objects of bare buttocks or striking anywhere other than buttocks really crosses the line. So for our purpose here we are talking about open hand spanking son clothed buttocks and nothing else!
The “good side”. This can be very effective as the children literally feels the sting of his/her wrong doing. Its also quick so you need not monitor child while on time out or the like. Its impossible to really cheat this punishment as well. Our research has shown that since the Anti spanking movement started (60’s I believe) juvenile crime and especially violent crime has gone up. Now we cannot say it because parents stopped spanking but it noteworthy of the timing. If a child is spanked he learns the result of his actions quickly but just as quickly can return to his normal day and activities. The threat of more spankings usually deter children from repeating actions. Parents can warn child “Do you want a spanking?” That threat alone can change behavior in a heartbeat.
The “bad side” is could (if not done right) teach a child that violence is a tool. In addition parents spank when angry and that usually results in multiple spankings (in stead of one or two swats) and the use of excessive force. The object is to teach the child not harm him or her. Like any punishment this may not work with all your children and parents should make the mistake of spanking too often. When they do the threat wont work cause they get too many spankings. They also learn that its quick and over and they can go back to negative action. Parents can give in to anger too easily and hit too hard, too often or, violate guidelines given above.
The above is the opinion on one parent and not that of ParentNook site or its staff. Its meant to make parents think, to teach and encourage discussion on our forum site at http://www.parentnook.com/forum/ . If you have any opinions or questions go to our forum and start a discussion.