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To Spank or Not to Spank?

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Five Moms, five discipline techniques... a three-part series.


One day in the Mom•Logic offices, we got to talking about discipline. Each Mom had a different technique—some spanked, some gave time-outs, some yelled, some threatened. (One Mom even admitted she did all of the above!) The only common thread was that we all wondered if our way was the right way, and were constantly questioning our discipline choices. We decided to ask five of our favorite Mom-bloggers to weigh in on the subject of discipline. Their responses were enlightening, and as varied, as the women themselves. Here are the first three. Which Mom blogger do you most relate to? Which Mom-blogger do you most relate to?

Tara Crooks, Loving a Soldier, Living the Life
I, of course, have that "look." If my 6-year-old doesn't stop after that "look," the worst thing that she has ever gotten was a spankin' with the Pampered Chef Bamboo spatula. I am not in favor of beating the hell out of your kid, but I have been known to give a PC spatula spank when the going got really tough.

Ellen Feig, Love in All the Wrong Places
Now that my kids are 14 and 11, I find that little works as far as discipline. I tend to threaten a lot—"You can't go out with your friends," "There will be no sleepover," "You'll lose XBox time," and "You can't go to the mall." In the end, that's all they are—threats. Why? Because, quite honestly when I take away these things, the only one being punished is me, and they're smart enough to know that.

Francesca Castagnoli, Motherblogger
The best way to discipline your kids is to deal with the situation right then and there. For instance, my 2-and-a-half-year-old, who can be pretty terrible to his 5-year-old older brother (knocking over his elaborate block creations, biting him, pushing for no reason other than to get attention), gets put on the stair step, which is essentially a time-out for one minute for every year of his age, so he gets two and Conrad gets five minutes on the steps. As soon as stuff goes down in our house, there are swift consequences for both of our children. We have a strict policy: We don't negotiate with terrorists no matter how short and cute they are.

These women reminded us that there is no one right way to discipline a child. Each Mom has to use trial and error to find out what works (or doesn't) for her kid. As for us, we're still experimenting to find that magic formula that will transform our rowdy, sometimes bratty, kids into obedient little angels. C'mon, help a Mother out: What's your discipline style?

Tomorrow: Mama Noire' says when it comes to discipline, setting boundaries is key.

next: Book Some Me-Time Before Take-Off
12 comments so far | Post a comment now
nmay August 25, 2008, 12:09 AM

I agree…I think discipline is a completely individual choice for each family. I also believe different kids respond to various forms of discipline differently. We try not to use spanking because I do think it tends to make our kids a bit more aggressive. Instead, we use lots of positive reinforcement and discipline using timeouts or the removal of favorite toys. This seems to work better for us and tends to make more of an impact than a physical form of punishment, like spanking. There is a great debate about whether spanking should be used or not at Experts from both sides weigh in and debate the issue. An interesting read and some thought-provoking discussion about the issue!

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