How far would you go to discipline your child?

August 24, 2011

What do you do when your child is out of control? What do you do when all your normal tactics are not working? A mother of six in Anchorage, Alaska uses extreme measures like giving her son hot sauce, cold showers and jumping jacks until shear exhaustion as punishment techniques. Please see the article that inspired this blog.

Being a parent that is most unhappy when I am out of control and being terrorized by my three year old, I understand the need for extreme parenting at times. Time outs, reduction of privileges, etc don’t always work. Then what? What do you do when your child has all the control and you have none? How do you teach boundaries and limits when you have lost complete control?

Our pediatrician referred us to a technique called “One, Two, Three, Magic.”
And although the concept isn’t new, it’s a nice organized system of forewarning your child that their behavior (whatever it may be) is unacceptable and will result in a consequence if it continues. The value of a system like this is that it is legitimately training your child for what the real world is like. If you continue to possess inappropriate behavior, eventually there will be consequences for your behavior at whatever age you may be.

Jessica Beagley’s technique is cruel and unusual punishment. She is not teaching her son to be a productive member of society by disciplining him accordingly. Rather, she is treating bad behavior with more bad behavior and creating a poor example for her other five children. Experts seem to agree that her disciplining is wrong, a court of law may end up penalizing her for this behavior, and Russia (where she adopted this child) is reconsidering their adoption laws due to her story. And all of this was exposed from her efforts for fame on the Dr. Phil show.

Someone once told me that we must take a test to operate a car but anyone can be a parent. So frequently during my experience in parenting I have felt like I am such an amateur parent that I could not be actually called one. In my three plus years of raising a child, being frustrated with my children and needing to discipline bad behavior, I have never felt compelled to inflict harm on my children to educate them that they are making poor choices. It hurts my heart to think some parents lose sight of that. Maybe in some ways that makes me more a parent or maybe I have never reached the point of true desperation. What do you think?

5 thoughts on “How far would you go to discipline your child?

  1. Ugh. That is horrible. In general, as a teacher (and a special educator that works with students with behavioral challenges) I advise to always start with positivity. Let the kids know what you expect of them. (To be safe, to be nice, to be respectful). Use language that they “get.” Reward for a job well done (kisses, smiles, high fives and hugs. Candy in emergencies!)
    Do kids need a time out every now and then? Probably yes.
    Do parents need a time out from their kids every now and then? Well, thats why grandparents and babysitters were invented!

    • Candy only in emergencies…that might explain my maniac on a sugar high. I think I made a wrong turn with my disciplining. At least I was on the right path when I thought hot saucing was totally wrong. Thanks for the feedback as usual, you are the best!

  2. The problem with one two three…is picking the consequence. Sometimes when they are off the wall, and you’re getting really steamed, its hard to spit out a reasonable consequence. I have found myself giving ridiculous consequences that I could not follow through on. Luckily Laney usually stops at “2”, and I figured it out a little better with Jeremy.

    On the other side when you have a very strong, 50 lbs 3 yr old, who is kicking, screaming, hitting, punching and head butting you…one two three goes out the window. In no way do I believe in the actions of this woman, but sometimes its really hard to react in a reasonable way. Add overtired, homonal, or have an untreated chemical imbalance and your reactions also can change (I choose to walk away until I can react better). That said her actions are definitely abusive! For those of us who did have to take a test to get our children, this makes me even more angry. It will make it even worse for those families waiting to build their families through adoption.

    • Sheryl, this is such a valuable comment. On FB, everyone was all pro-1,2,3,Magic and nobody mentioned this vital point. If you don’t have a valid consequence than what’s the point?!?!

      I have made that same mistake, giving a consequence that I cannot deal with. Who am I punishing then?

      Thank you for your contribution, I think you have such a good perspective and I sincerely appreciate it.

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