Do you take away internet, all ’screen time’ for punishments?

Parents are always searching for good ways to punish their children and for years have relied on taking away TV. But in the last decade, taking away the internet has become a powerful tool in a parent’s punishment arsenal!

From The Associated Press:

“No TV for a week, the time-honored punishment for misbehaving children, has been enhanced. Now, parents are also withholding Internet access to punish their kids, further sign that the Web has become as important to families as television.”

“As the two mediums converge, parents are quickly coming to see TV and the Internet in similar ways and are seeking to limit their kids’ access to both, according to a report out this week from researchers at the University of Southern California.”

“The survey from the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future found that two-thirds of parents say they restrict their kids’ access to TV as punishment, a number that has barely budged over the past 10 years. But the percentage of parents who limit Internet access as a form of punishment has nearly doubled in the last decade.”

“Among parents surveyed this spring, 57 percent said they withheld Web access to punish their kids. That is up from 32 percent in 2000.”

“Michael Gilbert, a senior fellow at the center, said parents are starting to not see a big distinction between TV watching and Internet use. Even so, parents are still more comfortable with the amount of time kids spend on the Internet — 71 percent said it was “just about right” compared with just 51 percent for TV.”

Our family is completely in line with this trend. Depending on the severity of the crime I can so “no TV,” or “no TV and Wii” or the big granddaddy of them all “No TV, no Wii and no computer!” We call that simply “No Screen time!” and boy do they freak out when that judgment is handed down.

The story also talks about parents’ concerns and comfort-level with their kids watching TV and being on the Internet. I’m not so worried about the time on screens (I don’t think they spend that much during the school year) but I do think taking that limited time away is very effective.

Do you use the all-encompassing “screen time” as a punishment? Do they respond to that more so than just TV or video games or computer individually? Do you worry about their total amount of time on the screens?

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Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

December 17th, 2010
12:23 pm

In our household, there is nothing other than essential necessities for survival (i.e. food, water, shelter, and clothing) excluded as tools of punishment. We don’t utilize corporal punishment and find that there’s always something that can be used to get the point across and correct action. TV and Wii have been used in the past but only as a starting point. I think any kid will get used to not getting to watch TV or play Wii pretty quick and do other fun things in short fashion. So quick that it’s hard to even call it punishment….so right after the media stuff is gone we actually proceed with the real punishment. That birthday party or playdate he’s been so looking forward to….that’s no longer going to happen. Oh, and it’s his responsbility to tell the kid why he didn’t get to go and that he’s sorry for letting him/her down. Those nights where he’s asked and gotten to stay up jusssst a couple minutes past bedtime…don’t even ask….seriously…..don’t……even……ask. For that matter, don’t ask for ANYTHING that could be construed as a luxury or special treatment until you have demonstrated the following things: genuine remorse, a genuine change in behavior, and the ability to tell us what you’ve learned from this experience and why. I’m not saying this is the best and/or only way to approach punishment….but in our household…it’s proven to be pretty effective.

Paige

December 17th, 2010
12:30 pm

With our 15 year old tech savey son, ZERO internet is the worst punishment there is. He has to tunn in his iphone for the one that just makes calls and text (we have no land line so some sort of phone is a must) ipod, xbox and computer only for school work. We have only had to do this twice. The first time he tried to call our bluff thinking we wouldn’t do it and if we did, we would give it right back. That was a long week at our house but mom and dad held firm. The second time (so far) was for grades and as they came up, privlidges were returned.

Can’t wait till next year when I can say…”no driving for you!” I think that will work even better!

Photius

December 17th, 2010
12:31 pm

Right on. We have always taken away those three – television, games and computer and our word is solid; we do not give in and our boy knows this. Have good behavior/performace – get a reward. Bad behavior/performance – suffer under our rule. I don’t worry about their total amount of time on the screen due to sports and his job. I do believe in discipline. Parents should never “give in” to the punishment rendered as it’s all about making the parent feel good due to seeing their child suffer because of what they did in the first place. Strong rewards for good – harsh punishment for bad. He is raised with discipline and has always been placed in a competitive environment since an early age. My son knows we don’t play around. We rule the house, we rule him – we are his parents, not his friends.

Lori

December 17th, 2010
12:39 pm

We absolutely do take all screen time away. My son is 7. He can’t stand not being able to watch tv or play video games. He really doesn’t get on the internet given his age. He has to earn the ability to play with other things during the restriction period. He can earn board games and legos, for example, by helping me with the dishes or folding the towels. But the screen time is gone for the entire period.

Kathy Wei

December 17th, 2010
12:45 pm

This story makes perfect sense. The line between being online and watching TV is very blurry. After all, when kids are watching TV through Netflix, Googletv, or TVDevo.com, they are actually online since all the shows are streamed over the internet. Furthermore, there are links to other sites, TV shows, etc….The links and prgramming bring TV and the web together.

penguinmom

December 17th, 2010
12:51 pm

absolutely, we take away video games or computer time. My boys would rather be able to play games than watch TV any day so taking away the games is a bigger punishment. I end up with handhelds in my bedroom and we block all Internet on their computers if needed.

The main problem with taking away computer time is the fact that some of their homework needs online access in order to be completed.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 17th, 2010
1:02 pm

I’m liking that — Walsh had a doozy this week and we’re still thinking on the best punishment. He’s in a holding pattern since last night.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

December 17th, 2010
1:16 pm

@TWG….I have a theory that when you really, really dole out some punishment that makes the kid feel like his world has collapse around him, you don’t have doozies anymore. If my kid had a “doozy” today, it would be pretty easy. First, guess who just went from the naughty list to the nice list at the 11th hour of X-mas. Second, that gift that is probably wrapped in your closet right now that is what he wanted most for X-mas is now going to stay on the shelf at least until his birthday. then on X-mas when he’s opened the rest of his presents and realized that one he wanted most isn’t there, I’d tell him that I told Santa not to bring it because of his doozy and then talk about all the ramifications that bad behavior brings and the other punishments he gets to live through. You do that and I’m thinking you’ll have a pretty doozy free 2011. But I’m also thinking there is no way you’ll do that. it’s just as hard on the parents as the kids….got to have the stones to do it, ya know?

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

December 17th, 2010
1:23 pm

I meant “from the nice list to the naughty list”….

RJ

December 17th, 2010
1:29 pm

Taking away the TV doesn’t faze my kids. Taking away computer time does wonders. Tmobile allows me to black phone calls from anyone but us, so that works wonders too. They don’t have internet on their cell phones so that’s not a problem. I take mp3 players, psp, video controllers and TV cards from the box. My kids are older so I have to take away a lot. I will say that it does work. After not being able to get on Facebook and Twitter for a couple of days they’ll do whatever to get those privileges back.

I agree about homework. I make them keep the door open so I can pass by and easily see what they’re doing.

DB

December 17th, 2010
1:59 pm

The strongest thing I ever did was cancel a planned birthday party. We had an equestrian birthday party planned — a trail ride, etc. — for 10 kids. After the “doozy”, I cancelled the party, my child had to call their friends and tell them the party was cancelled AND they had to pay me back the cancellation fee.

I never really had to lower the boom too much, so there wasn’t a lot of “No TV! No screens!” As they got older, I did jerk the son’s license for a month when I caught him going too fast on an infamous road near our home. I think it’s more a matter of consistency when they are young — my kids had no question in their mind that their actions had consequences and Mom and Dad wouldn’t hesitate to impose those consequences. Either that, or they got very clever at hiding the evidence . . . :-)

abc

December 17th, 2010
2:02 pm

If deprivation of TV and Internet access are so effective, my first thought is that you should take them away anyway, and make them go play outside. ‘Course, they’d probably just go play video games at a friend’s house, right? What a shame.

I always tried to make the punishment suit the infraction. Punishment for the sake of punishment doesn’t really teach as much, in my opinion. If it’s lack of homework completion, then the homework had to be done in the kitchen where supervision was available, and daily monitoring of assignments was in order — just the surveillance alone was enough of a drag for them, and for me too, which made me cranky, and they didn’t want me to be cranky. That way, they learned that what they had to do to avoid the long-term policy and procedure shift was do what they were supposed to do.

Granted, it’s not the same as a spanking, taking away a favorite toy (or TV or Internet — sheesh) to get a pouty lip, and so there Buster! Take that! It takes a bit more investment from all parties, but the lesson is more effectively imparted, and desired behavior better achieved.

Jeanne

December 17th, 2010
2:16 pm

My rule is, when one is gone there all gone. “NO ELECTRONICS” is our punishment.

carmen

December 17th, 2010
2:17 pm

They get told once…then they get their behind whooped! I don’t have to tell them more than once most of the time.

Jeanne

December 17th, 2010
2:18 pm

That would be they’re not there.

KLR

December 17th, 2010
2:20 pm

Communications was the thing with my daughter so if I cut out internet acces and took the cell phone, and no friends or outings for a specific amount of time, that did the trick because she hated isolation from the “social scene”. Watching TV is dull so to take it away didn’t mean anything. Punishment was also coupled with extra chores. Repeats of the same offenses extended the scentence longer than last time (2 weeks 1st offense, 4 weeks 2nd offense, etc…)

ColDawg

December 17th, 2010
2:22 pm

It is amazing how much quality time you will experience with your kids once all of those “distractions” are taken away. They might even end up playing outdoors, imagine that!

luckyparent

December 17th, 2010
2:30 pm

what do your kids do that warrants this kind of punishment?? Comeon people!

atlanta

December 17th, 2010
2:33 pm

Jeanne I think you should lay off the grammar corrections, no one asked for you to educate them. It’s rather rude.

Normal Dad

December 17th, 2010
2:38 pm

Carmen, 1945 called. They want their lack of intelligence back. (My family and I will pray for your victims). As far as our kids go, we call it “computer suspension.” If it computes – it’s off until we say otherwise. Not for a day or a week (or an hour). When they realize the error of their ways, the on switch is flipped. Has never failed, not even once. (Jeez, Carmen, you are going to HATE prison!)

Maya

December 17th, 2010
2:40 pm

Our situation is tricky, as my boyfriend is not on friendly terms with his ex-wife and while he can use corporal punishment when necessary on the kids (12 y.o. girl, 6 y.o. boy), if I touch either one, she hollers abuse; I used to thump them on the shoulder after having to repeatedly correct them, but that’s abuse, too, apparently. The little boy knows that I don’t have the same power to enforce what his dad does, so he will often push the envelope with me. He’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s not used to being held accountable or his actions (receiving an actual punishment as opposed to him being on the receiving end of lots of yelling).

For him an old-fashioned time out is the first after a few warnings, followed by being barred from the current activity, the Wii (which he adores and his mother lets him play ALL THE TIME), the computer (he has a small notebook she also bought him), etc. If I have to up the ante then I tell him that whenever we do another family activity (we take them to paint pottery, go play in the park, the bookstore, etc.) I will leave him at home with his dad or he will stay at home with me while his dad goes and his sister is allowed to enjoy the event. If all else fails, I have to resort to relying on my boyfriend using corporal punishment, which is rare, but it has happened. I have to be absolutely firm with him to prevent him from manipulating the situation. More often than not, he goes home and complains to his mom that we’re “mean” and that I hit or thump him when I haven’t, so I’m on pins and needles with him but unwilling to let him rule the roost. That’s just nuts.

The girl is really not a problem, but when one occurs she is spoken to first. Typically this curbs it, but we try to be fair in punishment between the two to an extent so we will bar her from an activity/toy/privilege (hello, cell phone!) when necessary. Usually with her she just needs to be reminded that she’s the child, we’re the adults, and her objections/opinions aren’t necessary. When the punishment comes, it’s not a discussion.

Overall, we’ve found that barring them from sitting in front of the boob tube and anything else that’s electronic has a productive effect – we get more family time. When the kids can’t stay glued to a screen they wander around and talk and prod and interact more, which is a more desirable outcome than railing against the punishment and lamenting the loss.

abacus2

December 17th, 2010
2:45 pm

When all else has failed – If a child has their own room take the door down. They hate losing privacy. The door goes back on when they demonstrate that they don’t need monitoring. One time is usually all it takes!

ethix

December 17th, 2010
2:46 pm

atlanta — she corrected herself, not somebody else.

Seriously!

December 17th, 2010
2:46 pm

@atlanta, Jeanne was simply correcting herself. Chill out!!!

Sandra

December 17th, 2010
2:48 pm

Well, It wouldn’t bother our kids that much if we got rid of the tv, computer and their games. I think that my husband and I would miss them the most. For punishments we just talk to our teen and timeout the youngest three. Even then the thing that upsets them the most is that they have upset/disapointed us. We do expect our children to say sorry when they are in the wrong and we are also not afraid to tell our children we are sorry if we make a mistake. Our children know that we make mistakes and that their parents are not all knowing. Whenever we have had to travel by plane, we have always been thanked by the staff on board for having such well mannered children. On one flight, I think our kids were the only ones not constantly running around the plane.

Decatur Taliban

December 17th, 2010
2:50 pm

Beating and flogging with a leather strap is still a good standby.

heather

December 17th, 2010
2:53 pm

Phone and internet go away. No texting for a teenager is like cutting off their arms. There is a tracfone for emergencies with hardly any minutes (since we have no landline). The internet can just be an extension of texting with all the different versions of chat (AIM, skype, facebook chat etc).
It’s painful for her and the behavior is corrected quickly.

Mom3Boys

December 17th, 2010
2:54 pm

I love this topic. At my house, we call the worst punishment “technology blackout.” All you get is a lightbulb in your room. You cannot use any other technology (OK, maybe the microwave). As soon as they are old enough to drive, threat of no license or taking the car keys works well, too.

The best punishment I ever saw (I’m a teacher) was for a kid who didn’t appreciate her good life. Her parents took away all her clothes, jewelry, makeup, etc…and gave her grey sweat pants and grey sweat shirt. She had to wear this to school every day until she appreciated her things, her parents, her sister, etc…I asked her how long she expected the punishment to last and she said her mom anticipated it would take her 6 weeks to learn the lesson. Fortunately, she was a fast learner and it only took two weeks.

Conversely, I had a parent one time who couldn’t get her son to do school work. He had a room full of gadgets, etc. I suggested taking it all away. She said, “I can do that?”

I don’t make this stuff up.

Monij1102

December 17th, 2010
2:58 pm

Leave the electronics – take the cords and batteries… to work w/ you… a reminder of what you HAD and would like to get BACK…

Queen Nerfballteedi

December 17th, 2010
2:58 pm

I will beat the fool out a child. That’s all.

Have a bless day…

joe

December 17th, 2010
3:02 pm

This is the type of reason why today’s kids are out of control…today, parents take things away from them which gives them next to no reason to obey and creates a weak minded child. We need to get back to the old school punishments of picking a switch, paddling and putting the fear of God into their minds via their behinds. My father actually cracked a paddle over my butt once…didn’t give him any trouble after that one. Thanks Dad. I love you.

Normal Dad

December 17th, 2010
3:07 pm

Joe, kids today are NOT out of control. Just wanted to drop another pesky fact into your otherwise perfct post. Sounds like the only one out of control is you. (Again, we will pray for your victims).

Greatmindsthinkalike

December 17th, 2010
3:08 pm

@abacus2 – I did that once when my 17 yr old daughter stomped up the stairs and slammed her door. I politely took the door off of the hinges and put it in the garage for one week. She was mortified. On a seperate occasion, I made her sleep in the living room on an air mattress until she proved to me that she appreciated her room and kept it CLEAN without me having to tell her. That worked wonders!!!

Cammi317

December 17th, 2010
3:11 pm

My tween (9 days away from being a teen, as she reminded me this morning…LOL!) daughter cares for about 20 minutes an then finds other ways to entertain herself. Taking away tv, phone or even computer is worthless. Her tv time is already limited during the week and she rarely uses an actual computer except for school work. She does have a facebook account (I monitor the post and I know the password) but she can log on from her phone and she only does that once or twice a day. Telling her she can’t go to some activity where she was invited is punishment to me. I am very picky about where and with whom she can participate in activities, and I usually make plans to do other things once I give the okay. It’s much more effective to give her an extra chore to do than trying to manage some crazy punishment.

joe

December 17th, 2010
3:19 pm

@ Normal, I’m very much in control…don’t have any victims to speak of as of today, but I appreciate that you pray. Please keep it up! Merry Christmas.

Mr. & Mrs. Dunwoody

December 17th, 2010
3:19 pm

We let the nanny handle it because we’re never there.

Cammi317

December 17th, 2010
3:22 pm

I digress, my daughter could care less about watching commercial television. However, she does love her Netflix and Hulu through the Roku box hooked to the living room tv. She will get right quickly with the threat of not being able to stream those channels.

Photius

December 17th, 2010
3:31 pm

Now where is the comment from Mother Jane Goose? Hmmmm…… I would love to read her response.

Fred

December 17th, 2010
3:31 pm

That’s all well and good tiger but what if your child does what I did? When I was asked to go to a party, I said no. I knew it wasn’t going to happen anyways so why get myself all worked up for something that was going to be taken away anyways. A sleep over? not on your life same thing. What do you want for your birthday? Doesn’t matter, you’ll just tease me with it anyways and I won’t get it.

For me it taught me I can’t trust anyone for anything. Nice lesson to learn as a kid. But I do have to admit that as an adult now, I don’t have to worry to much about being cheated. you have to trust someone in order to get cheated…………….

Old Fashioned

December 17th, 2010
3:34 pm

We take away TV and computer for misbehaving. We go further and during the week take away TV and videos on the computer (like youtube) for a grading period if they don’t get straight A’s. That’s not really a punishment, but an incentive to put their time to good use. My son, after 2 years, got straight A’s, we gave him (but not his sister) TV time during the school week, but he lapsed again the next period, so it was taken away. Both kids seem to try harder at school now.

Blue

December 17th, 2010
3:37 pm

Normal; yeah, you sound like you were serious about your “I’ll pray for you” thing. You’re “prison” comment lets us know how really, truly caring for that person that you are and that you are certainly not judgmental, right? Really? Spanking makes a kid a victim, and people who spank should be in prison? Got news for you, champ…there are plenty of kids that grew up getting spanked that turned out absolutely fine. And as a matter of fact, as each generation goes by, kids DO get worse and worse with behavior. Maybe there is a correlation there? And FYI…for you to think that YOUR methods will work on ALL kids is absurd. But hey…we all appreciate your prayers…again, you sound totally sincere about it!

Just Amazed

December 17th, 2010
3:38 pm

I find a lot of this very entertaining. Kids have everything today at their fingertips so why should they read a book, think for themselves, take a walk, hang out with friends, interact? Do they even do this anymore except at the mall when they have their parents credit cards and fee $$ in front of their eyes. And then one tends to wonder why they are spoiled brats. Dont think for one minute your kids are wonderful as I see them out in those malls and at the waffle house and playing games in walmart. You would be amazed. Maybe they should be at home reading a book and learning how to actually count money instead of wondering how many high priced communication devises you need to take away.

mom of 3

December 17th, 2010
3:41 pm

My college freshman was caught by me thank goodness having quite a few beer bottle tops, i don’t mean a 6 pk, in her car. Of course, they weren’t hers they were the people that were in her car. Yeah, right. I was a college freshman at one point.
I drove her to her classes and waited on her in the student lounge in the afternoon. She was grounded for 2 weeks which inc’l yard work, house work, and helping with other chores around the house.
She probably drank and drove again after all college kids will be college kids but at least I tried to teach her a lesson and if she did drink and drive I could never prove it again.

Fred

December 17th, 2010
3:44 pm

Just amazed.

Do you actually let your kids take walks? I live in the city, no way I’m letting my 8 year old daughter out of my sight. But you brought up an interesting point on books. I started to ask Tiger Ocho what he would do if his child, (as mine does), likes to read books. Not just fiction, but books on science and biographies and such. Take those away too lol? He probably would, it sounds like it fits his totalitarian control method………

lawanda

December 17th, 2010
3:51 pm

i need help, i have a very disrespectful 14 year old daughther who have been disagnos with odd and hdad. she hates authority she has to be right about everything . she don’t listen to anyone she has chores she don’t do them, she do things when she wants to. she blames everyone but herself when she is wrong are do something wrong. i took everything from her she just gets the basic , food , shelter clothes, i say go up she goes down everythig is the oposite with her. i just been diagnoise with rhemotoid arthrits, fibromagia, axitity and depression. and i am dealing with this child. don’t get me wrong i love her to death she use to be my baby but since she hit purbery. i can’t stand this person. if any one is confuse about what is odd it is definance difitinace disorder please excuse my spelling. i need help. if there is anyone out there who can give me advice i will take it. a by the way she has a therapist and some one comes to this house every week are two. and yes i have a shrink two…. HELP ME WITH THIS CHILD. EMAIL ME AT LAWANDAM-1987@AYHOO.COM

Trey

December 17th, 2010
4:01 pm

Jeez, what happened to the ol’ letting the belt do the talking? When I have kids I will use the belt if needed, and I don’t plan on letting them watch much television, or play many video games. They need to focus on school work. The public education system is horrible, so they need to work twice as hard to get ahead.

Wayne

December 17th, 2010
4:03 pm

I’ve been away from my desk for most of the day, so sorry if this is redundant: you can block internet access on your router. Most newer routers are able to block either websites or by time. If you’ve set up security on it (which you all have, right?) you can specify what devices have access, and at what time. It’s pretty easy too, so if you really need to get down and dirty, you can block it at the source. You can use the computer up until 7:00 for homework, but after that? It’s off! Better hurry!

Have a good weekend everyone.

winkasdad29

December 17th, 2010
4:08 pm

I’m OK with kickin’ some butt now and then, but I haven’t had to do that in at least 5 years. Since I hold a few IT certifications, I’m able to turn off the internet without taking away the computer. Last week, my daughter was given a task and did not do it when I told her to do it. I simply pulled out my laptop, entered the router’s interface and blocked her IP address. When she told me the internet was down, I told her, “my internet works. I blocked you. Now go do what I told you to do and remember this very important thing: I have the power”.

Thanks parents for giving me some good ideas for discipline. My other 3 kids are now adults. My 13 year old daughter lives in a different world than her older siblings. Some of y’all are mad scientists out there. This is good stuff! Thanks again.

Mom of 4

December 17th, 2010
4:12 pm

One of the best punishments we ever executed was witholding Christmas. Our children are very ’spoiled’, not in the sense that they misbehave, but they don’t want for much between grandparents, step-grandparents, aunts and uncles. For some reason, at one time, all four decided that school wasn’t that important and everyone’s grades fell. Coupled with not performing chores when asked or expected and I had had enough. My husband and I decided that we would take what was normally spent on Christmas and pay down some debt. On Christmas morning, the realization hit that Mom and Dad were deadly serious and we have had A/B Honor Roll students since.

KBG

December 17th, 2010
4:14 pm

Wow…last I checked moral standards were intact back in 1946….I received whoopings as needed and am SURPRISINGLY a well-adjusted adult (go figure!). Note the sarcasm. I have a college degree, two well mannered children (they were well mannered as toddlers too!) all due to what? A swift tail cutting! Downfall of society is all to blame on lack-luster parents that let their children rule their homes! Stop being afraid of these kids and take your homes back. smh!

Trey

December 17th, 2010
4:25 pm

KBG, I agree, but everyone think that belts and whoopings are child abuse. Is it really surprising our people have no morals or standards?

motherjanegoose

December 17th, 2010
4:30 pm

@ Photius….glad to know I am loved LOL

I have been out and about and read the topic quickly BEFORE I left. This is kinda related:

TWG…get a ziploc and fill it with marshmallows…tuck in the following script:
YOU’VE BEEN BAD AND HERE’S THE SCOOP…ALL YOU GET IN SNOWMAN POOP

“Is this what you want for Christmas?”

I remember eating brunch at the Wyndham in Phoenix one weekend after a meeting. A family came in with 3 kids that were running around like he** on wheels. Another family came in with a very well mannered 5 or 6 year old. I observed them eating and admired his behavior. After finishing, I walked over to the family with the well behaved child. I stopped and said,
“your son has wonderful manners…I am impressed with how nice he has been.”
The Dad replied, “oh we started that off young…after all, he will be 16 one day and want our car keys…he will need to know how to act.”

WOW

Yes mine had their TOOTY moments. Yes, they were sometimes spanked. Sorry if that offends anyone here. I did what I needed to with my own children. To me, spanking your child is not always the most intuitive or profound way to discipline and should certainly not be the first resort nor the **always** method. Sometimes, a swift pop is necessary. I mostly used other options but the main thing is that they know you mean business. If they can weasel you out of things when they are 4…you are in trouble IMHO.

I am with DB ( again) on this one:

I think it’s more a matter of consistency when they are young — my kids had no question in their mind that their actions had consequences and Mom and Dad wouldn’t hesitate to impose those consequences. Either that, or they got very clever at hiding the evidence . . . :-)

College Freshman

December 17th, 2010
4:32 pm

While I believe taking away ’screen time’ can be an effective punishment in many situations, I think spanking is still the most effective punishment for kids during their younger years. Looking back at my childhood, I never felt that my parents ‘abused’ me in any way. They spanked me when I disobeyed them or my school teachers. When I did something wrong, I never had to wonder “will they take my tv time AND computer time away?” or “Will they punish me for 3 days or a week?” They only question I asked myself was “How many spankings will I get for this?” Sometimes it just took a little shame, embarrassment, or pain to get me to understand what I did wrong. It taught me to respect my parents and those in authority to me whether I liked them or not. Now as I got older, my parents would punish me occasionally using ’screen time’ methods, and they really were effective. However, my parents never handed out those punishments without first having a talk with me about what I did wrong and how to correct it for the future. I understand that different methods work for different children this day and age, but I still thank my parents all the time for spanking me as a child.

KBG

December 17th, 2010
4:52 pm

Even a young adult agrees! Thanks College Freshman!

Terry

December 17th, 2010
5:06 pm

Yes you should pray for your children, but the Word of God also say’s this.

(King James Version)
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him
chasteneth him betimes.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 29:15-18
15The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
16When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.
17Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
18Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Sandra

December 17th, 2010
5:29 pm

My husband and I don’t believe in hitting our children. My mother was badly beaten by her parents and she struck us with thin whip like sticks but after a few years of being a parent I realised that that was something that I didn’t want to do and a road that I didn’t want to go down. I feel that if I have to go down the route of hitting one of my kids, then not only have I lost control of my kid, I have also lost control of myself. I feel the same way about yelling but I have found it is easier to stop hitting than to stop yelling and it is something that I am still working on.

My husband is sitting next to me and says that if he hit one of our children and then looked into their eyes and saw he hurt them. It would be the breaking of a trust of protection a parent has towards it’s child.

catlady

December 17th, 2010
5:31 pm

As an “old” (ie in years and experience) teacher and parent, I would advocate for parents to cut drastically down on their children’s use of TV,cell phone,internet, movies, and Nintendo, etc. I would posit that cutting down BEFORE would help with there not needing to be punitive action later.

motherjanegoose

December 17th, 2010
6:00 pm

@ Sandra…both my husband and I were whipped and had the bruises to show for it. We are 50 plus. Today, those scars would be cause for social services. You are also correct about yelling…some parents yell all the time and it may not be working.

I never whipped nor beat my children. A quick pop on the hand or behind, was sometimes the course of action, in an emergency situation…. i.e. they did something that could have been very dangerous like free themselves from Mommy and run through the parking lot at the store. This did not happen often but it did happen. Of course,there are other effective methods that *** when used consistently*** are effective too. Children need to experience cause and effect.

Too often,children do not respect their parents and realize that they mean business. Parents waffle and want to be friends with their children….IMHO that does not often work well when they are CHILDREN.

deidre_NC

December 17th, 2010
8:08 pm

most of the spankings or hand popping (or even a couple of time whacking them upside the head) was done in a danger situation…running in the parking lot-about to touch something hot etc…my kids were riased in a very un-tech world so it was hard finding ways to punish..there wasnt many ‘things’ to take away. i would cancel all freinds coming over or them going somewhere. make them do extra chores-that was hard too because we lived in a very farm like world and there were many chores…not many extra ones…sometimes when an offense was something malicious or disrespectful i would find an appropriate bible verse and make them write it a bunch of times…(i still have these papers lol) or i would talk to them to make sure they understood what they did wrong and why i felt it was wrong even if they didnt and make them write an essay pertaining to the subject. im a big one for reading and writing and that always seemed to help…my kids were not perfect by any means, but they rarely did the same offense twice–they could always think of a new one lol…

Fred

December 17th, 2010
8:23 pm

KGB:

Don’t feel like the lone ranger. I use corporal punishment as well. I haven’t spanked my daughter hard enough to hurt a fly in years though. I like how motherjanegoose expressed it, “a quick pop.” But I’ll expand further, a quick pop on the butt. It’s an attention getter. It tells her she is about to cross a line she doesn’t want to cross. She knows I will, but only if I have to, that’s enough. Of course that won’t be effective in a couple of years lol. Who knows, it still might. It may even be more effective, it will “offend” her dignity………….

I mean come on, all we want is for our children to THINK. We aren’t so much punishing them for bad behavior as getting them to realize what behavior is bad. If they continue to be “bad” then we need to take drastic measures. Taking away a child’s Christmas or punishing another person’s child by a last minute cancellation of a play date because they were tired or grumpy is just a crappy thing to do.

JATL

December 18th, 2010
12:15 am

@Mother of 4 -taking away Christmas? Sorry -that’s one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I try not to do things that will punish myself as well as my child!

Anyway -there’s a HUGE difference in popping your kid’s butt on occasion and beating the crap out of them with belts and sticks. I’m not a big spanking advocate, but I do pull it out as a “big” gun when I have to with my 4 year old. Consistency is KEY -whatever you’re doing. Make sure you do what you threaten them with and do not waver! Every kid is different, and what gets ones attention will not necessarily phase another. I’ve known a number of kids who didn’t care if they got spanked because it was over relatively fast and they could go on about their business, but taking away their favorite _________ sent them over the edge! Also -the punishment should fit the crime in some respects. I know parents who give 5 minute time outs to kids who spit in their faces, ruin items they are far too old to get a pass on, etc. Really -a 5 minute time out? Parents like that are ineffectual wimps. I’m shocked at how many people I know who “just don’t want to hear their kids cry.” GEEEEZ -when mine cries excessively over getting things taken away, he’s moved to his bedroom (where all fun items have been removed if he’s been bad), and I shut the door and go downstairs. The idea is not to just be mean to your kid in retaliation for something you didn’t like, but to make them think about consequences, so the next time something similar arises, they’ll think twice before doing it!

Sandra

December 18th, 2010
4:51 am

MotherJaneGoose,

I love my parents but punishment is the one area that I think my mom could have done better. Dad was usually working away from home and we didn’t see him very much while growning up. As I have four kids just like my mom, I understand the stress she was under. Not only was she raising us pretty much alone, she was also raising the animals and growing the fruit and veg we depended on to live. From an early age we were taught to pick out our own sticks to get whipped with. They couldn’t be too thick or they would break bones. They couldn’t be too weak or she would break them over you and send you out to find a different one. I remember having welts criss crossing the backs of my legs. Sometimes the skin would break and there would be thin lines of blood. I was mouthy so I got it the most. The thing is we weren’t bad kids. I even use to get in trouble for reading and many times my mom would throw my books in the woodburner. Even library books that I would have to pay for out of my part time job. My mom wanted to raise us better than she was raised and she did. I don’t know how on earth she survived her childhood. It was like something out of a horror story. On the other hand she has never raised a hand to any of her grandchildren and spoils them rotten. If they are not eating enough, she will jump up and cook them anything their little hearts desire. She listens, is patient and teaches them chess. I have the eldest grandchild on my side of the family and was shocked at how different she was with him. When he was born, I did tell her that she was not to raise a hand to him or she would never see us again but she never has to any of them. This is why I don’t believe in spanking a child and why I personally don’t with my children. I don’t even give them a little pop. It helps that my kids are usually very good. When people ask me how we do it, I tell them the kids were born good and they were. I tell the kids all of the time ….. protect those who can not protect themselves, help those who can not help themselves and defend those who can not defend themselves.

motherjanegoose

December 18th, 2010
8:06 am

@ Sandra…you have valid reasons for doing what you do and I cannot judge.

My sisters and I also have horror stories from our childhood…just not always the whippin’ kind. My sister, this week, told me that her church is doing a sermon series on what it means to be a family. She has left many times with tears in her eyes, as our growing up family memories are so painful.

We simply try to do what is best. If your kids are good, then you are blessed. I am not sure about kids being born good. To me, you have simply done a good job with them.

I love mine to pieces but they are not always good…neither am I :o Sometimes we all get self centered and cranky.

catlady once mentioned, when you work with lots of kids ( as we both have) you see a lot. To me there are too many kids who do not enter school “good” because somewhere along the line…the parents missed something on imparting behavior expectations, rules and attitude. Accomplished adults have goals and children need them too.

I marvel at teachers who can manage a class effectively, when the same parents cannot handle one or two of their own. I have seen it first hand and applaud the effort!

newblogger

December 18th, 2010
9:01 am

I am not above spanking my kids. Thank goodness I haven’t had to do it too often, but it’s good to use it as the “big gun” sometimes. I got spankings as a child and I turned out to be a responsible, kind adult. (or so I’m told) However, most of the time some sort of restriction is all it takes. TV, computer, phone, keys…whatever works at the time. We still use it on my college age son who is still learning to find his way. I figure because I’m still paying the bills that HOPE doesn’t pay, I get to have a say so. Bad grades? No fraternity for the next semester. Spending too much money? I take the credit cards and give him an “allowance”. No part time job? Come home and commute. So far-so good. The thing is, we started young and he respects the fact that mom and dad have the last say until he is on his own, gainfully employed and supporting himself. Then he will have the self discipline that is required to not do anything stupid. Our younger son is 10 and rarely has to have things taken away as well. Are they perfect? Heavens no! But I think fair, firm and consistent as well as the threat of “mom and dad rule” has made them pretty darn close!

Normal Dad

December 18th, 2010
9:03 am

Really, REALLY funny to how defensive the “child beaters” get when confronted with their criminal behavior (and it is, regardless of what you call it – I’ve arrested well over 50 parents who quoted the same scripture to me as I was cuffing them). So, yeah, you do have victims and, yeah, my family will pray for them. Like most of the felons I have placed into custody – you have your excuses and SWEAR you have done nothing wrong. But, please, keep believing you are right. It gives me job security! Merry Christmas!

Mom3Boys

December 18th, 2010
9:22 am

When mine were little I popped a behind or two, or slapped a hand. I don’t think anyone was spanked after age 5; other things worked better. The little one was a terror until he was two, so he got his fair share…but overnight became an angel and hasn’t even been grounded. I got the kid lottery, I guess!

Fred

December 18th, 2010
11:38 am

You sound like one who abuses his badge normal dad. You have decided that the American system doesn’t work and YOU are the judge and jury. It saddens me when people like you, who forget their place in the scheme of things, have the “authority” to harass those who don’t share your ideals and beliefs. I wonder how many “arrest” reports you have had to embellish……….. probably quite a few.

budman

December 18th, 2010
12:00 pm

Let me preface this statement by saying everything I got I deserved. I use to get the board of education on my rear end from the 2nd grade thru the 12th. When I got home I got more of the same. When I thought I was a man ( I was a punk 15 year old ) my Dad and I went at it. My father had a wicked right hook and he knocked me out cold. I swore I would never treat my kids the way I was punished, but they, my children, were good kids. Except for the swat on the hand to stay away from the stove or a pop on the butt to stay out of the road corporal punishment was never dealt to my children. There is not an answer that addresses all children in all circumstances. If you had a demon spawn like me when I was growing up you had to hit me just to get my attention. My father and I loved boxing we watch many a fight together, we both loved each other very much. He taught me how to fight and how to take a punch. I do not recommend anyone to strike a child. If my children were put in the ” thinking chair ” in the corner of their rooms that was all it ever took.

motherjanegoose

December 18th, 2010
12:09 pm

@newblogger….good points. I have one who has made it through undergrad and knew our rules. He lives away now. We pay his insurance and cell phone. He works and pays for all other expenses and Pharmacy School ( with loans) .

Our daughter knows our rules too. She had a friend from UGA over yesterday and we went to lunch. We were talking about their grades. She has told me hers and they were good. I told her friend, ” I never once saw her brother’s grades ( either on paper or on the computer) but he made it and we expect her to do it too. We trust our kids until they break that trust. So far, they have done a pretty good job.”

We have a neighbor whose son left for college without the HOPE scholarship. The parents said,
” he should get it back after his first year..”

WHAT? I have not heard of one student who did not have the HOPE while living at home but managed to get it back ( freshman year) at college…out of the house….has anyone here?

Let’s just say he has continued to fool around and not pass his classes but his parents are not seeing it.

Their issue, not mine.

I would have told mine, “You can live at home and go to college here. If you get the HOPE, you can go away to college next year.” But that is just me. Georgia Gwinnett Campus is 15 minutes from our house.

catlady

December 18th, 2010
2:21 pm

MJG, that’s pretty surprising that the boy didn’t get HOPE. I don’t know any kid PERIOD that went off to college without it–it seems very easy to get, much harder to keep–even in our area. And I don’t know anyone either of traditional age who went without it then gained it. I DO know some older students who got it after the 30 hour (or whatever) mark, but they graduated from HS LONG before HOPE was available.

Re your earlier post: Quite a few times I had parents come in the first day of school and say, “Here he is. I hope you can do something with him. I cannot.” And I am thinking, “if you can’t, and you have had 5 years, JUST WHAT do you think I can do?” I had mothers tell me, “She won’t let me….” and I said, “What? Who is the parent here? What do you mean “she won’t let you? She’s 5 years old for #%@ sake!” Had a dad of an 11 year old tell me he couldn’t make the kid take a bath. (The kid stank and was filthy) Seriously? Who, exactly, is in charge here? And this can be repeated endlessly, I am afraid. Seems to be getting worse, from school observation and casual observation in public. How many of us have seen kids be disrespectful to their parents in public lately?

On HOPE: My daughters used HOPE at their private colleges and never lost it. My son went to a private out of state school and never used it, though he qualified.

See you soon!

Sandra

December 18th, 2010
7:57 pm

MotherJaneGoose,

They all were awesome babies right from the start. I know that something is going right with the older boys because of what they do.

My eldest, who is now 14, and his friends were jumped at their school by a larger group of boys when they were 12. My son was picked on by a couple of these boys when he was younger because …. get this ….. he had an american accent. My son and his friends took off to get help but one of his friends was caught and kicked in the head. My son went back for him, even though he knew he wouldn’t be able to fight them off, and ended up getting stomped on by three or four other boys. The school was very good and solved the problem very quickly although I believe the mother of the boy who was kicked in the head called in the police. This last Friday he came to me and said, “I know what I want to do now mom.” I said “what” and he said that he wanted to “be able to prevent people from dying.”

My other son, 9, went to another boy’s house that had a small dog. That boy and another started throwing the dog onto the couch, scaring it. My son stood up to them and told them to stop or he would punch them.

All of my kids, that are in school, have a lot of friends and they know that they are required to ask kids at their school that look lonely to join them and their friends. My eldest now has at least one friend who only has him as a friend as others won’t take the time to get to know him.

We try and teach our kids through example which is why we apologise when we are in the wrong and why once my husband put himself between a drunk agressive man and his girlfriend. We don’t think a kid can’t just be told how to live but needs to also be shown how to live.

Normal Dad

December 19th, 2010
5:25 am

Sandra, congratulations. You and your family are exactly what is right with our country. Way to go.

Sandra

December 19th, 2010
5:29 am

Budman,

Most teenagers think they know everything. I personally don’t think they should get punched for it. In fact, there are a lot of aduts in the world that think they know everything and they are sadly mistaken. Now some people may want to punch them but being irritating, a bore, a know it all, or other similar is not against the law. Punching them would be.

I hope that I’m not coming across as a know it all :-) as I have plenty of faults. Like I said, my mother’s goal was to be a better parent than her parents. Mine is to be better than my parents and I hope my kids will be better than me.

John

December 19th, 2010
6:55 am

My mother raised 3 sons on her own, so she didn’t have a lot of time for foolishness. The spankings (whippings, or whatever you call them) were the most effective attention-grabbers we had as boys. Not to mention the tough “speeches” that ensued. That was in addition to privileges being taken away. She also had us cleaning gutters, scrubbing toilets, heavy lifting, doing yard/house work for neighbors (with no pay), etc as punishments. Plus movement would be restricted to home and church; social activities were eliminated, no birthday presents, no TV, music was taken away, etc. until she lifted the punishments. It was effective because at least the extreme punishments didn’t have to be handed out often. As long as we lived by the standards she set, you were okay, but step out of line and all heck would break loose. As a result, there were no problems out of us at school, in the stores, etc. Nobody died and we all turned out great (3 college grads, a pilot, engineer, army/air force officers). I don’t have kids, but I’m assuming that tough discipline like that these days would be considered abusive with DFACS having something to say about it.

Brenda

December 19th, 2010
8:02 am

WHen our children were teenagers we would take away cell phones, computer and TV. We called it “Going Amish”

Dad of 4

December 19th, 2010
10:08 am

My kids use the internet to do their homework, check their grades, and communicate with their teachers. Taking away internet time would have a negative effect on their grades.

catlady

December 19th, 2010
10:28 am

Dad, don’t be fooled. How do you think the kids manage who don’t have computers, internet, etc? Are they doomed to failure?

jan

December 19th, 2010
4:17 pm

I love the “Going Amish” phrase. That is also the term we use for it. In addition to taking away all electronic forms of communication and entertainment, I get to answer all texts and calls with ” This is Patrick’s mom. He is not allowed to use the phone right now. Don’t contact him again until he calls you. If you MUST call him, try the land line.”

motherjanegoose

December 19th, 2010
6:55 pm

@ jan….ROFL

Even adults sometimes have to be embarrassed into complying with the rules.

Mom3Boys

December 19th, 2010
7:04 pm

Love the “going Amish phrase.” I might have to replace “technology blackout” with it. I hope someone is naughty so I can try it!

JoDee

December 19th, 2010
8:19 pm

We do TEB—-Total Electronic Blackout. If it uses electricity, he can’t have it.

JATL

December 20th, 2010
12:00 am

@Jan -that’s AWESOME! I’ll remember that one in a few years!

@catlady -I finally picked my jaw up off the floor after reading a post to a different mom blog yesterday. The mother wanted to know what to do with her 5 year old, who hasn’t been to kindergarten since November, because she “didn’t want to go” and she refused to get dressed for it. WHAT?!?!?! She’s freaking FIVE YEARS OLD -and this adult woman -her mother didn’t feel like she had the “authority” to force her daughter to dress and attend school. Can you imagine what that household will be like in about 7 years?

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2010
7:48 am

@JATL…yes these kids are out there and catlady and myself have seen variations over the past several years. Scary stuff.

Once, a teacher told me of a child who had just entered Kindergarten in NOVEMBER. The parents
*** didn’t get around to bringing her*** until then. Think she missed much?

Can we say COMMON SENSE?

catlady

December 20th, 2010
7:59 am

JATL, unfortunately I can imagine. I see quite a few kids who are the “victims” of no leadership at home. From an early age, they were not expected to “grant authority” (I love that phrase) to anybody. If mom said no, the kid would test and test until mom capitulated.

The problem is, we live in a world where we have to grant authority to others all the time. Even Bill Gates has to drive the speed limit or pay the fine and risk loss of his license! So what kind of world is this child going to be prepared for?

One little girl refused to wear anything in her (beautiful,long curly) hair. It was in her face all the time. Her mother said her daughter “wouldn’t let her” put barretts in her hair! I was astonished–the girl was 5. The same mother told me her daughter ‘wouldn’t ride” the school bus home. I told her to tell the girl she wasn’t picking her up, and that I would put her on the bus. It wasn’t that the bus riding or the hair was that important, but that the mom had no authority, no leadership over her 5 year old. I can tell you she led her mom on a merry chase until she got pregnant at 15. She was out of the house for a year or two,and then came back when her boyfriend put her out, angry that he wouldn’t cater to her wishes.

I see 4 kinds of parents: the sensible ones (few and far between), the helicopters (few on that here, too), the absent (everything else,including dating,takes precedence over their child–lots of those), and the non-parent (as above.).

JJ

December 20th, 2010
12:09 pm

PHYSICAL LABOR!!!!!! I made my daughter rake the entire back yard of leaves, bag them up and take them to the curb. This was punishment for sneaking out at 2:00 in the morning. She NEVER snuck out again.

4parents

December 20th, 2010
12:21 pm

Using media for disipline works, but what about the amount of time our children are comsumed over them. We found a simple solution that works great called the Mikko Que. You can set up an allowed amount of time within a time range for TV, video games and the Internet. It has taught our chidren time management skills. It also helps to curb arguements about how much time they spend using them and gives us more family time to talk with them.

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