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does a 2 year old need to be in tears to prove a punishment has been effective?

(19 Posts)
deaconblue Fri 11-Jul-08 15:32:48

Another irritating conversation with my mum. She doesn't believe our method of disciplining ds (time out "naughty step" type thing without using the word "naughty") is effective because he rarely cries when he is made to sit out. She told me yesterday that a friend's grandson always cries and is sorry when his mum smacks his hand as a punishment. grrr. I explained that I believe smacking a child for smacking is counter-productive, she sighed and raised her eyebrows...

witchandchips Fri 11-Jul-08 15:36:33

well i'm probably the wrong person to ask as i think 2 is too young for "punishment" anyway.

deaconblue Fri 11-Jul-08 15:38:11

tbh, it's consequence rather than punishment. If he smacks or pushes someone else he has to sit on his bottom away from his toys for about a minute. Trying to teach him not to smack without shouting at him etc.

Tortington Fri 11-Jul-08 15:40:35

i dont think theres anything wrong with shouting

i think only you can know if your child is feeling the consequence of his actions

your mum is clearly a loon

Madlentileater Fri 11-Jul-08 15:41:34

Im with witchandchips. Ignore your Mum. Did she smack you? do you remember it? Maybe she feels judged by you doing things differently, some parents do.

deaconblue Fri 11-Jul-08 15:45:58

oh I'm not particularly anti smacking it's just that I was shouting all the time to no effect. I think it's working because he smakcs much less than he did a month ago. She thinks crying shows he is sorry but I think a 2 year old doesn't feel sorry for their actions really, they just respond to cause and effect, hence a consequence is needed for his actions iyswim

witchandchips Fri 11-Jul-08 15:48:14

lots of mothers see terrible two behaviour and then blams our lax parenting techniques when in fact most children are a bit tricky round that age and if dealt with properly do get better sometime around 3 without being punished/smacked. My mum actually admitted as much I think it is because memories are actually quite short and the bits that are hard (terrible twos, nappies) get really compressed in our mothers (and mils) heads

deaconblue Fri 11-Jul-08 15:48:28

she did smack when we were kids. I don't feel sad about it or anything, it's just not what I want to do

Madlentileater Fri 11-Jul-08 15:52:16

I think you're right 'sorry' isnt relevant here.

MrsThierryHenry Fri 11-Jul-08 15:54:51

Surely the proof of whether a punishment is effective is the effect on the child's behaviour? In our experience (19 mo), separating our DS from things he enjoys (i.e. time out/ toys taken away for 2 mins, etc) is very effective. It usually takes a few days or weeks to sink it, depending on the behaviour, but it basically always works.

Why would anyone 'want' to make their child cry, ffs?

I strongly disagree with the anti-punishment postings, though. IMO punishment/ discipline shouldn't be driven by your child's age, it should driven by (i.e. sensitive to) their behaviour.

Shoppingbags, I'm not sure from your last post whether you shout as well; if you do I'd say that would make your other strategies less effective - it's frightening for the child, makes you seem like you're out of control, and then ultimately they'll stop taking you seriously.

If you don't shout, then well done for not shouting! grin

lou031205 Fri 11-Jul-08 15:57:52

No, but it's pretty annoying when after her two minutes on the step, DD laughs when I ask her to say sorry, and flings her arms around me! grin

OurHamsterisevil Fri 11-Jul-08 18:11:38

If he smacks you can't possibly smack him back as punishment. How will he learn. Its a typical, its how I did it in my day thing. And of course the friends DC cries, when he is hit. It hurts

mrsmcdreamy Fri 11-Jul-08 18:35:25

Agree with MTH - i'm positive shouting stopped our ds (just turned 3 - and really willful & headstrong) taking us seriously. Have been making a real effort over the past week to be as calm as i can be when implementing a time out on the bottom step (before i'd let impatience and rage get the better of me and shout & be physically firm). So far it seems to be having a much better effect wink.

i think mothers and mils always look back on their child-rearing experience with rose-tinted spectacles.

HonoriaGlossop Fri 11-Jul-08 18:53:37

shoppingbags don't be undermined by your mum.

Your approach sounds exactly right to me. Spot on.

Actually I think it is truly shocking that an adult would WANT to make their child cry. Sometimes kids do find a consequence upsetting but to actually want to make that the POINT of the whole exercise....Yes you want them to learn from the consequences of their actions - which they will, given your sort of approach. They don't need to be crying to 'feel' it and learn sad

deaconblue Fri 11-Jul-08 19:51:28

I hardly shout at all now that I've found another way of dealing with the times he smacks etc. That being said I do still lose it every now and again over irritating stuff like constant refusal to do as I ask.

googgly Fri 11-Jul-08 20:08:42

Another good thing about not shouting is that if you DO shout, in an emergency, it really hits home. Once I absolutely SCREAMED at ds (4yo) for stepping out to cross the main road ahead of me, and it worked, first because he stopped and turned round in amazement, so did not die under large approaching Volvo, and also because I terrified him so much that he really remembered and has never tried to cross a road ever since without holding hands. He still remembers clear as day and it was 3 years ago.

ilovemydog Fri 11-Jul-08 20:18:34

agree with googgly - the shock value is important.

DP raises his voice with DD and tells her meaningless things like, 'do as you're told!' hmm. She generally ignores him when he tells her to do something that she doesn't want to do if he's getting annoyed at her.

But since I hardly ever raise my voice nor get angry at her, when I do shout, it really impinges on her. Like when she threw water from her Tommee Tippee into DS (4 months) face.

LittleBella Fri 11-Jul-08 20:26:02

Oh ignore your mum. She's just insecure about you following a different path from her. Probably feels that you not hitting your child is a reproach.

tribpot Fri 11-Jul-08 20:40:03

Definitely don't think crying is an indicator of whether a two year old understands they've done something wrong. In the face of some of ds' worst crimes as a two year old I have been aghast and so very quiet (to wit: pulling wallpaper off the dining room wall, 'washing' the car with a stone). Much more impact. He talked for days about how he had scratched the car and how to make it well again.

I don't think smacking a hand is an effective punishment for a two year old anyway, they can't understand cause and effect, particularly at the younger end of two.

Ds has suddenly started responding really well to the "I will count to three and then I will [insert as necessary, usually pick him up and put him in the car]". Not sure why, not asking too many questions!

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