Do you punish? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Do you punish?
I typically use unrelated punishments, like timeouts and grounding. 7 6.09%
I typically use logical/related consequences. 23 20.00%
I am mostly non-punitive, but use unrelated punishments occasionally. 17 14.78%
I am mostly non-punitive, but use logical consequences occasionally. 40 34.78%
I do not punish (except perhaps for slipups, then I vow to do better next time) 21 18.26%
Other 7 6.09%
Voters: 115. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just curious how many people on MDC and the GD board use punishment and how many don't.

I know there will be overlap in the answers, but pick the one that fits best, unless none of them fit at all. Oh, and don't answer based on slipups (if you are sorry and vow to do better next time, etc). Answer based on how you usually discipline.
I think we all sometimes yell (and maybe even spout a threat or punish in some way) and feel bad about it afterwards and wish we hadn't. That just means we are humans and have some work to do before we're perfect

eta- I maybe should have added something about rewards.

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#2 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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What do you mean by punish?

Do I strike my child? No.
Do I humiliate my child? No.
Do I offer consequences for actions (both good and bad)? Absolutely.

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#3 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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I use natural and logical consequences. Sometimes I slip up and yell, but I blame that on being the only parent here 24/7 with no breaks or help thanks to the lady named Army I try to give her lots of extra love when I do slip up though.
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#4 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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I am non punitive though I might, if I were less than the perfect Mother I am, yell sometimes. And then I would be really sorry-IF I wasn't perfect.
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#5 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 04:42 PM
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I chose logical/related consequences, but to be honest I don't think of that as punishment. If I leave my library book in the yard and it gets wet, I am required to pay for it. Not as a "punishment" but simply to "make it right". That is how I think of my "consequences". They are there to "make it right" not to punish. If there isn't an appropriate or natural consequence. . . then we talk about what happened etc. A lot of times (with my older kids) I am able to identify the concern and they are able to take it upon themselves to "make it right".

At the same time, certain things come (as privledges) with responsibility. For example: my dd wants a cell phone. She does NOT need a cell phone. She is demonstrating responsibility first (through a prearranged agreement with me) to earn this. Once she does, she can LOSE the phone--it is outlined in the agreement. So, this example may illustrate punishment. However, I think of it as creating a situation for her to excel in. She knows beforehand what is expected of her to earn and maintain the priv. of having a cell phone. She is doing her part, and I will also do mine. I expect her to hold up to her end of the bargain throughout. If she doesn't, I will take the phone for a period of time--since we came up with this before hand (at her suggestion) I will consider it a related consequence if it happens. But, I could see how some would say it is punishment.

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#6 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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Mostly non-punitive, but occasionally we use natural/logical consequences. It's only for extreme circumstances where the actual natural consequence is too much....

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#7 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I'm not necessarily saying that logical consequences = punishment. That, to me, is just somewhere in the middle on the scale of punishment and non-punitive.

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#8 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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I have tried MANY different things. My three year old defiant like nothing else. She wrecks stuff, makes huge messes, is mean to her sister, SCREAMS all the time.

I am pregnant and have no patience for it.

She is a loud, messy three year old.

NOTHING WORKS WITH HER AND MOST DAYS I JUST GIVE UP. I am hoping that eventually I find something that is helpful. I wish I could enjoy my time with her more....but it seems that her mission is to make every event MISERABLE.
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#9 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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#10 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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We don't do much punishment, but then, our child is pretty well-behaved. If she makes a mess, she has to clean it up before she does anything else, but that's just part of her responsibilities as a family member and she may need to be reminded but she does it without complaint.

Otherwise, I use logical consequences when possible, but sometimes I don't have any that aren't extreme. For example, if she's being a pain in the rear during the time we're homeschooling, refuses to do her assigned work, etc., the only logical consequence I can think of would be to put her into public school which would be extreme, IMO. Luckily this is rare (less than once a month) but in cases like this, we use what is by far the most effective consequence: cut her off computer games and videos for the rest of the night!

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#11 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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I'm mostly non-punitive, but I have chosen to use non-related punishments at times. I have also slipped up and dealt out non-related punishments that were revoked a few times as well. I also am fine with natural consequences happening sometimes and I do impose logical consequences sometimes too.

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#12 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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I think "time-outs" can be related. I see these as taking breathers, stopping intense conflict, allowing time to reflect and start over. Taking a time-out is not a punishment & doesn't mean that a kid has to remove him/herself and sit in a special chair, it's a momentary suspension of time.

If there is conflict:
Usually I try to talk things through w/ my kid, and identify feelings. I use a lot of reflection: "I can see that you're feeling frustrated right now", or "it must be frustrating to feel like you want X, but I'm saying no", or "I can tell that you feel very angry". I also identify my own feelings. I think it's important to give kids the words for how they are feeling, especially through the 3's and 4's, for eventually they will learn to present these feelings (instead of tantrums) when they are indeed feeling frustrated or angry. It's a necessary skill in conflict resolution. And then, "how can we solve this problem?" Sometimes we come to a compromise of sorts, but other times he has to work around the rule I've created (since I'm the grown-up).

If he has violated a rule:
We usually just take that thing away, if a thing is involved, or prohibit the activity for a while. I do state that I feel disappointed that he made that choice (whatever the choice is), and that it's a matter of trust. But I don't lay on the shame, withhold love, or add on extra punishments.

If he tantrums, screams, hits:
I tell him (usually a few times), "this is not appropriate behavior". I may say something like, "I'm going to go into the kitchen for a while and work on dinner until we can discuss this. Just let me know when you're done with this tantrum (or done screaming, whatever)". This stops the behavior almost immediately, for it doesn't feed into it or give him any power.

Unless his behavior is harmful to himself or another person, I try to stay very gentle, understand that he's only a little kid & learning all the time, and give him the benefit of the doubt. I may just say, "You broke a rule and I'm curious why you did that", and it opens up communication & allows me to see into his thinking processes -- sometimes he innocently/unintentionally has done something. If he admits it was intentional or he doesn't know why he did it, I'll just simply state, "well, that behavior is not OK and I don't want you to do it anymore". And we move on.
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#13 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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There seems to be a real range in opinion as to what constitutes punishment.
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#14 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pregnant@40 View Post
I think "time-outs" can be related. I see these as taking breathers, stopping intense conflict, allowing time to reflect and start over. Taking a time-out is not a punishment & doesn't mean that a kid has to remove him/herself and sit in a special chair, it's a momentary suspension of time.
This

My boys are 2 and 4. Our only daily struggles have to deal with hitting, kicking, tackling and biting. Time outs are our natural consequence. When they hit they are not allowed to be around others, they have to leave the action. A couple minutes to calm down and collect themselves helps to keep the violence down.

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#15 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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For serious infractions (disappearing in the neighbourhood, stuff like that) my 7 year old step-son receives a grounding. If he is whiney/bratty during the grounding, he may get an extra day tacked on. His bio-mom observes the grounding when he's at her house, too, which is awesome.

That said, I feel that my DH is too lenient with the grounding, he lets his son play Wii games in the living room. I come from the old school "grounding means in your room, no games/puter/you have to do chores/other unfun things."
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#16 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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We use logical and natural consequences most of the time. We also do "chill out time," either with us or alone, but that's generally a natural consequence to something, when it becomes clear that a reset or a breather is needed.
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#17 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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We use logical and natural consequences most of the time. We also do "chill out time," either with us or alone, but that's generally a natural consequence to something, when it becomes clear that a reset or a breather is needed.
same here

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#18 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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Time-outs to calm down when he's misbehaving because he's worked up about stuff. Groundings when he's shown he can't be responsible with the privilege involved so we need to take it out of the equation.
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#19 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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There seems to be a real range in opinion as to what constitutes punishment.
yeah
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#20 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 08:15 PM
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Your only "I do not punish" had slipups included so I put other. We do not use punishments at all. The types of slipups we have are usually when an adult breaks our "treat people with respect" family rule by shouting or acting grumpy. When we have slipups we apologize. We have family rules, say no to stuff sometimes, and suggest that some choices are better ideas than others, but we do not impose a consequence as a penalty for an annoying behavior. We've always had a "you have to play safe/nice if you want to play" rule so when DD was younger, we left if she was pushing or throwing stuff or we picked her up if she wasn't staying close enough. I don't think enforcing family rules is punishment, using a consequence as a penalty of some kind is. We don't use natural consequences either. We often talk about possible consequences before they can happen though. Sort of "If you do x then y or z could happen. So doing x might be a bad idea.".

With teens I can see how grounding would be easier to use than our talk everything through methods. Though you could easily take away driving privileges for staying out too late and it still be part of a "you have to use things safely if you want to use them" rule. I hope that DD will be able to make good choices by the time she's a teen ........I guess that's one of our main parenting goals, that DD will learn how to make good choices.
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#21 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mama2cal&darby View Post
There seems to be a real range in opinion as to what constitutes punishment.
Yeah, I guess so! It seemed cut and dried when I wrote it out, but I now see there's a huge gray area.

For example, I consider dp and I to be non-punitive. However, I do tell ds that he has to tidy his room up a bit before watching tv. How does that fit in? He doesn't mind doing it, it doesn't have to be all the way clean, just cleaner, and if he chose not to clean (and not watch tv) that would be ok with me. It wouldn't bother me a bit. It's related in the sense that there's only so much time after school, and I don't want it to get to be bedtime, and his room's a mess and there's no time to do anything with it.

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#22 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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That was a hard poll to answer. We practice gentle discipline and use timeout/grounding and natural consequences regularly.

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#23 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post
Yeah, I guess so! It seemed cut and dried when I wrote it out, but I now see there's a huge gray area.

For example, I consider dp and I to be non-punitive. However, I do tell ds that he has to tidy his room up a bit before watching tv. How does that fit in? He doesn't mind doing it, it doesn't have to be all the way clean, just cleaner, and if he chose not to clean (and not watch tv) that would be ok with me. It wouldn't bother me a bit. It's related in the sense that there's only so much time after school, and I don't want it to get to be bedtime, and his room's a mess and there's no time to do anything with it.
Saying you need to clean up before doing something else isn't punitive, it's taking care of the families living space. Every family has their own comfort level when it comes to mess and clutter. And everyone doing their part is part of respecting each other. Usually with us it's cleaning up after painting or water play or tidying the living room, instead of DD cleaning her room.
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#24 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 10:41 PM
 
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Your only "I do not punish" had slipups included so I put other. We do not use punishments at all. We've always had a "you have to play safe/nice if you want to play" rule so when DD was younger, we left if she was pushing or throwing stuff or we picked her up if she wasn't staying close enough. I don't think enforcing family rules is punishment, using a consequence as a penalty of some kind is.
Leaving the playground if she was pushing someone was her "punishment"
It wasnt you saying "Its not safe to climb up the slide if you see someone coming down, you could get hurt", then she does it anyway, gets hurt, learns a life lesson.
Of course its a life lesson to remove her from the playground, but it is a life lesson being taught to her by you, with a consequence being provided by you. She's being penalized for pushing someone by having to leave a great place. It's related to the behavior, but still punitive I believe.
Now she knows what will happen if she tries pushing someone again. You have shown her that she can not act that way or ........
If you do this.......
I'll do this......... I despise being in that position. It's very hard and not the way we want things to go, but it sure does come down to it sometimes.

It's the the same exact way I would handle the situation. I guess we just differ in our terminology.
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#25 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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This

My boys are 2 and 4. Our only daily struggles have to deal with hitting, kicking, tackling and biting. Time outs are our natural consequence. When they hit they are not allowed to be around others, they have to leave the action. A couple minutes to calm down and collect themselves helps to keep the violence down.
this is the same with us. we call it taking a break. we have talked a lot about how when i am angry and yelling/want to fight/or have other inappropriate behavior, i knwo that i can walk away until i calm down by myself. then when i am in control of myself, i will rejoin whatever is was i left. and often, dd needs to take these breaks. i have on occasion, carried her out of the room because she was so mad she was screaming things like: i won't go outside and play! its too hot and i will die!! you are all going to die if you go outside!! you will all die!!!-all this to our friends who came over to play.

then i remind her that when she is calm she can come back downstairs, but that behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable. but, i never think of it as punishment, and we never talk about it like its punishment. she stays as long as she needs to until she is calm, then she rejoins us on her own.
it usually doesn't take long and she is good as new.
this behavior started when she was around 3.5, and has definately decreased in frequency as she has passed 4.5. she is almost 5.
otherwise we try to use logical/natural consequences. don't want to wear shoes into the store? then you have to sit in the cart, that is the store rules (shoes required). want to leave all your toys around the house? then the little peices will get lost and we will end up throwing out the game. don't want to wear a coat? then you will get wet in the rain. yes we often have to remind her of times in the past when she didn't want to clean up, or refused to wear a coat, but it works.
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#26 of 43 Old 10-20-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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We mostly just talk about things, but I do occasionally slip up and fly off the handle with a completely illogical consequence that I later apologize for. I almost always kick myself about it for a long time afterwards. When dd was little I did things like leaving a playgroup if dd was out of control, but I don't think that was a punishment or a consequence really. It was just what we do when we are tired of being somewhere and our friends irritate us enough that we want to hurt them. I think of it as more of a lesson in knowing when to say goodbye and tried to prevent it from happening too frequently by paying attention to dd's body language for signs that we needed to wrap up and go home.
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#27 of 43 Old 10-21-2010, 12:11 AM
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Leaving the playground if she was pushing someone was her "punishment"
I disagree. Stopping an activity if it becomes dangerous is just staying safe. Not letting my DD stand on the kitchen table isn't punishment either. Picking her up before she could run into the street also wasn't. Because none of these responses involve separate imposed penalties that are in retribution for a behavior. To give you a couple of definitions "Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant on a person or animal in response to behavior deemed wrong." , "a penalty inflicted for an offense or fault". Just stopping a dangerous activity isn't a separate penalty, it's just keeping everyone uninjured. Punishment would have been "you couldn't behave at the park so you can't have an already planned treat." or some other imposed penalty. To put it in adult terms, if you are stopped by a police person, asked to slow down and given a warning that's not punishment. The dangerous activity of speeding was stopped. If you are given a ticket and and then have your insurance rates go up that would be punishment.


Also young children often misbehave when they are stressed so if my DD couldn't play safely maybe she was too stressed to play right then anyway. Often she was hungry or feel asleep in the car when we'd have to leave. So I don't think leaving somewhere if a kid can't handle it is punitive. I know the times we've left stores or restaurants when my DD was younger, she really didn't mind leaving at all. I think it's being responsive to your child's needs.
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#28 of 43 Old 10-21-2010, 08:56 AM
 
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Leaving the park if you hit someone is a bit of a gray area. I can definitely see it as punishment, particularly if it involves a threat (If you hit someone like you did yesterday, we're going to leave), but on the other hand, if a child is not in a mood where playing at the park is going well, it might just not be a good day for playing in the park and therefore it might be best to leave. I guess maybe if there's a hard and fast rule (You hit, we leave, no matter what) it sounds more punitive than if you look at how the child is doing and whether the hit is a one-time thing or whether there's a pattern of behavior and moodiness that makes you feel it isn't a good day to stay at the park? It is a complicated question.
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#29 of 43 Old 10-21-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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There seems to be a real range in opinion as to what constitutes punishment.
That's for sure!
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#30 of 43 Old 10-21-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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I picked other. DS1 is a really easy kid, so he doesn't even need disciplining very often. My main goal at this juncture with him is to stop a situation that is becoming dangerous or injurious, so I will tell him to sit on a chair next to me and not move if he's pushed his brother over and I have to take care of the crying kiddo, or I will take a toy and put it away if he's throwing it in the kitchen. But is that punishment? To me, it's not being done to humiliate him or 'teach him a lesson,' but simply to stop the current activity. Mostly, we can ask him to stop something or have a little face-to-face chat and snuggle and that clears up whatever undesirable behavior he's exhibiting.

I guess my perception is that punishment is done with the mindset that the child needs to "be taught a lesson," through being made to feel bad/shamed/guilty, rather than being taught through natural or logical consequences or through modeling. So, a timeout done because the situation needs to be defused can be a natural consequence, whereas a timeout meted out because the parent thinks the child needs to "pay" for an infraction are qualitatively different. The former says, "We all need to take a minute to cool down,"; the latter says, "You are a bad kid and I want you to go away from us until I say to come back."

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