Friday, May 29, 2009

Survey: Do you go with a Timout? or a Personal Foul?

I was around eight years old and I remember standing in front of a wall next to my sister. We both were scared as our dad started to unbuckle his belt. I don’t remember what we did, but we were in trouble and our dad was going to make sure we knew of his disapproval. I was casually looking at my sister seeing what she was doing when my dad swung and made contact with my buttocks. I wasn’t ready for it so I jumped as a reflex. This caused me and my sister to just start cracking up which pissed my dad even more. That night I had multiple whippings. My dad did not appreciate any form of laughter during his “belt” sessions.

I bring this memory up to discuss the topic of punishment and to see which form of punishment is the most productive for our children. Right now, my wife and I are resorting to “Timeouts” which are pretty effective with our two year old son Bishop. It’s to the point where right when I start counting down from 3-2-1, he knows he needs to listen or else he will suffer a couple of minutes in the corner of his room’s closet. For the most part, we get him to do what we want when we threaten him with “Timeout.” But how long will this last? I can’t imagine “Timeouts” being this effective when he’s eight years old and he realizes that he may be able to sneak away and leave the corner before I go to end his sentence. At some point do I have to resort to my father’s ways and unbuckle my belt?

I can’t say I will never do it, but my preference would be to not resort to physical forms of punishment. My dad using the belt on me helped me to know the difference between right and wrong, but also left a gap emotionally within our relationship. Many traditionalists believe that society is as bad as it is because children have not been hit enough by their parents. New age child rearing professionals have told me that even using the phrase “Timeout” is too forceful and that we should call it “Relaxation Time.” Where can I find the balance of being forceful but not have my children fear me so much that they won’t open up to me in the future?

What’s your got to move when punishing your kids, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren (I doubt I’ll get any good ones from grandparents, because you guys just spoil our kids anyways)? Please be specific in sharing your experiences within the comments section and explaining your strategies when it comes to punishment.

Thanks for the great ideas in advanced; I will let you know which I will steal for the future.

Until next time…

Oh last thing, Go Lakers!


  1. Our son has not reached the age for punishment yet so I can't say for certian my technique. I can say that I am not afraid to spank a child. It can't be fun, but I think it is necessary at times.

  2. Do you think "hitting" is different from "spanking"? It seems to give off a different connotation.

  3. #1 ~ Never go the belt route. My parents did and it only made me angry and resentful. All I learned was not to get caught.(I have no problem with a swat on butt for little ones who get into danger. ie running into the street, playing with knives, etc).
    #2 ~ Timeout will only last you until age 4 or so. It will be taking away privileges that gets attention later.
    #3 ~ Be creative. Every child is different and will respond different to punishments. My 6th grader chronically leaves his homework at home and then calls for me to bring it(regardless of punishment). He did so today and I brought it to his classroom in a robe and pigtails. here's the pic ( He will not do that again anytime soon.

  4. Whippings are different from spankings. I agree with WeaselMomma, sometimes a swat on the backside is necessary, but belts are not. I used age-appropriate punishments, mostly the taking away of privleges when the girls got older. Being creative is sometimes the most effective way of punishing your child. Of course, you have to have a talent for this, too, as WeaselMomma does.

  5. You can't go wrong when you listen to WeaselMomma. She's pretty much nailed on the head what I have had to do as well. Taking things away from the older child seems to be the best way to go for me so far. My 2 year old won't sit through a timeout though so I have to sit with him and keep him pinned down, which I find neither productive or positive, so he gets a butt swatting from time to time, though not with anything other than my hand.

  6. Relaxation Time? I haven't heard that one. But we definitely will NOT be using that in our house. My son is only approaching 14 months, but my wife and I believe that a spank on the butt is appropriate to correct behavior. And I like what WeaselMomma said. Whenever I screwed up as a kid, I lost the ability to do stuff I wanted to do. That got me in line fast.

  7. I still can't stop laughing at your picture W.Momma. Thank you for all the great feedback. Will keep it in mind as the kids get smarter.


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