T Nation

Parenting and discipline


just for usmccds423 since the NFL thread was heading this way.

I was spanked, switched, and occasionally popped with a barber strap growing up. It didn't make me abusive as I can count all my son's physical punishments on 1 hand and have fingers left.

The worst he ever got was a switching with his jeans on and only a few pops. He is an excellent and loving dad and I'm proud of how I raised him. He was taught to be polite and respectful which is something you seldom see anymore. As a child he was taught not to pull stuff off shelves and tables so he was always welcome at others homes as they didn't have to put stuff out of reach.

If he asked me a question I always answered it truthfully. I told him about drugs, things I did in the military, growing up as an "other" race, why I don't go to church, and anything else he wanted to know.

I was lucky in that he had great friends I trusted. I knew the parents and talked to his friends as if they were my own children. Whenever he wanted to use the car I said no problem and threw him an extra $20 so he always had cash.
I was not perfect, worked long hrs, and traveled a lot so I had to work at it.

I guess to some it's easier to beat a child than to work at it.

Any male can be a father but it takes a man to be a Dad!


I think physical discipline is fine. I was spanked and I turned out fine. There is of course a line and in regards to AP it appears he crossed it.

Discipline, whether physical or otherwise, isn't an exact science. Either way simply beating a kid's ass or putting them in timeout (or whatever) has to be accompanied by a life lesson or it's pointless. That imo is where the real parenting is.

"Teach a lesson they need to learn and whip their ass so they don't forget it" is my motto.

Off course it also depends on the how the kid responds. Taking away the Xbox might work 1,000x better than a spanking. Again, this is where real parenting comes into play.

Also, in regards to discipline not abuse (It's ridiculous I have to ensure I make the distinction here), kid's today are treated like glass (fragile) and parents want to be their child's friend first and parent second (my observation). That's a part of the issue/problem.


There should be an outright ban on the sentence, "I was spanked and I turned out fine" in this thread.

There are tons of people who had to endure terrible abuse as kids and they turned out "fine", not because of that abuse but despite it.*

*Not singling out usmc, or suggesting he was abused.


I swatted my kids bottoms, usually over their diapers. I'm generally pro-spanking, but can not come up with a scenario where hitting a kid is an ideal option. Like, if your kid did something and you were forced to take 24 hours to come up with a list of punishments, I don't see how hitting the kid would make the top 5.


My biggest issue with physical punishment is the fear I have that the kid might, even subconsciously learn the behavior of: when you're mad, whoop someone's ass.

Taking things away, explaining disappointment, and other mental punishments that force someone to have to think (and they'll often dwell on) can be just as harmful to someone's makeup and also have lines that need to not be crossed.

It's the hardest job on the planet and there is no easy answer to anything. Every kid is different. Taking things away from my son worked very well, my daughter appears to not give two shits, and responds well to "you've disappointed me".

No one has all the answers (except people who don't have any kids, lol.) Which leads me to the point this thread is going to get very hard to read very quickly as a bunch of people who've never raised a child will have a lot of opinions that will be, let's just say, hard to read, lol.


How about:
I was physically disciplined and I turned out fine.

FWIW I agree with you. There are certainly people that were abused and turned out perfectly fine. That doesn't mean what they went through was okay.


Agree 100%.

:frowning: don't have kids yet, takes ball and leaves...


I'm NOT saying they shouldn't comment or toss in their two cents. It's an open forum, and I'll listen to just about any opinion on anything. (I might still conclude afterward they are off in left field, but I'll entertain most things. Obviously exceptions aside, like justifying racism, genocide, rape, etc etc etc.)

I'm only saying, don't be so sure of anything until you've been through it. The best laid plans often go right to shit.


Ya, I get it. It's like people that comment on the military that didn't serve. I'm like, "lol you have no clue what the fuck you're talking about..."


Lol, that's true. On the other hand everyone has been raised as a child. There's always that experience, which I believe is relevant.

I was spanked a couple times when I was little I guess, but I don't remember it being a big deal in the slightest. The discipline I remember being a huge deal as a child was when I disappointed my dad. Holy fuck I would be in tears. If you're the kind of father who earns the entirety of your child's respect and is, for all intents and purposes, their hero, I don't think physical punishment is even necessary. The weight of disappointing someone you so desperately want to please is punishment enough. At least it was for me. I dunno, I wasn't nearly as much of a little shit as some kids.


Ya, the disappointment was the worst for me too. I fucking hated parent teacher conference day...


It is relevant lol, just keep the perspective of only seeing one side of it so far is all.

Having gave that speech, and watched my boy fight through serious tears, and having to keep going to really grind the lesson home... It sucks. It is really, really hard as a father to give those talks, and you feel like shit afterwards. At least I do. But you have to do it, and it does work pretty damn well, lol.

Punishing your kids has stages. The first is "jesus I've had enough" and a small twinge of satisfaction roles in that a) you're doing the right thing, and b) holy shit do they deserve this.

Then at some point after (unless it is really egregious) you feel like shit because your kid, the one person you spend your life taking care of, is hurt, crying, suffering and generally unpleasant, and it is you who are making it this way.

If they've been a particular asshole the second stage is a breeze. If you are using a smaller issue to drive home a bigger point (ie: make good choices in life) the guilt can eat away at you.


If you were a teacher or something, I would think the observation is valid because you interact with lots of families (even then, in a narrow geographic and socioeconomic context); however, how many kids/families do you actually observe? I don't hang around a lot of kids or families... a few in my extended family, but that's about it. I see folks out in public, but I couldn't make a statement like that based off 15 min. at the park or whatever.


I've read stuff on how little children (3-5 years old I think) would attempt to put their peers in time-out at pre-school and such when said peers did things that upset them.

It sounds cute and funny, but I think it puts into perspective all those claims that physical punishment makes children more violent.

Children LEARN from their parent's behavior. AFAIK, they pretty much attempt to mimic everything their parents do while they're little children. That's how they learn social manners.

So if you use corporeal punishment on children for discipline, then they'll attempt to use corporeal punishment on their peers. If you use time-outs, then they'll attempt to use time-outs on their peers.

Point thing- I don't think they're becoming violent but rather just copying what their parents do.

Preach it.

But here's input from someone who doesn't have kids yet =D

I don't think punishment works in most cases. Punishments only work if the person being punished actually accepts it in their soul. Otherwise two things occur-
they just become resentful and keep thinking in their mind "But! But! But!"


They mouth apologies but don't really learn anything from it. And eventually they'll repeat the same behavior.

My brother did the former. I did the latter.

What I find really worrying about this whole situation is that everything seems to be becoming more and more absolute these days. Don't want to make a cake for a gay couple? You homophobic bastard! Leave your young child to play outside without supervision? You're endangering your child and you don't deserve to keep them! You hit your child with a switch and leave markings that really don't seem all that bad to someone from S. Korea? You're a monstrous sadist who abuse children!.

It scares me.


If you spend some time watching parents out in public you will see that the observation is, unfortunately, valid.

Kid has a fit over a toy and you hear "now stop that. you don't need it." loud screaming "I want it!" Then "you don't need it". Then the old "I hate you!" and the parents relent and buy it.

Children running around screaming in a restaurant and the parents don't make them sit down and be quiet. I'm not talking about children kept out late and being hungry and tired but children that have never been made to mind. You can tell the whine of a tired child over one knowing they will get their way.

When my son was younger I had some people I knew come over with their children and they started pulling books off the shelves. I told the parents they needed to stop them but they said "what's the big deal?" I told them the books cost over $100 each and they were going to pay for what got damaged. They said I should put them up so kids couldn't get to them. I told them my son and his friends had no problems with the books. If they couldn't make their children behave I said you're welcome to leave. I locked the door behind them!


My father in law recently gave me this advice when I had my little girl. He said that no matter what people tell you, you cant discipline your children the same. Give them the same rules but the discipline should be dependent on them individually.

He used his three for instance, my wife when she was little he said he could tell her to do something and she may try to get around it once, but generally a harsh talk or in one instance a spanking, and she was basically the model child. She sought approval so those techniques worked. Her youngest brother was basically the same way.

Her middle brother, "Bob" for the purposes of this story, on the other hand, required a few regular draw a line in the sand moments. My sister was the same way. He could tell him not to do something, give the harsh talk initially, and "Bob" would still try it. He would get his spanking, go to his timeout chair, come back and do it again. One instance he mentioned, this whole scenario occurred 3 times with each whipping getting progressively worse. After the last timeout was over, he called him over there and dried his tears and asked, "Bob, why did you keep doing that knowing I was going to whip you?" Bob's answer, "I just had to try it one more time to see if you meant it." There is no other way to deal with a child like that than whipping.

Some kids are just going to test to see if they can call your bluff and if they figure out they can you are screwed. To those that have small children that don't believe in whipping, if you tried to put your child in timeout and the child got up looked at you and said "No", what is your next recourse?


I never got a whipping that I didn't have the reasons for the whipping explained to me afterwards. I think this is a crucial aspect missing from a lot of people's use of spanking as punishment and could very well lead to the belief that CB or magick alluded to. If they don't understand that this is a whipping because they did something unacceptable and have alternative that would have prevented the whipping presented in a calm manner, then it just becomes "I made my Mom/Dad angry, I got hit, so when I am angry I should hit".

Two keys are don't whip a child when you are angry and always explain why the whipping occurred.


I was raised by my grandparents and they never whipped me when they were mad.
That wait until they calmed down was a bitch though.

One day I threw my cousin out of a tree we were climbing, only @15' up, because he called me a gook. I had to wait all night and the next day till he came home from work for my whipping. The anticipation was pure torture imaging what I was going to get. When he came home he said that because my cousin was bigger and called me names he wouldn't whip me, but, if I did it again I would get one.

He was hard but fair.


People make judgement calls off less all the time. That's why it's "my observation." I'm around 4 infants/toddlers all the time (family) and know multiple teachers that love to complain about their students. Throw in the kids you when you're out and boom, observation.