Ineffective and cruel
I don't believe that discipline works, especially physical discipline. All it does it teach the child to try not to get caught, and that they can't trust you. The best method, I have found, is to teach children not to do something because of the obvious consequences. I want my daughter to not hit another child because she doesn't want to harm that child, not because she's afraid of getting in trouble. Because then she may spend the energy finding a way to hit the child and get away with it, vs understanding that she shouldn't hit him because of the pain it will cause him and the social consequences that will follow for her.
Lying for the same reason. I always tell my kids that if they tell the truth they will have a lot less trouble and I will not get mad. I follow through on this.
Really these two things go hand in hand as part of the package of having learned that they need to avoid being caught doing things, not follow the rules because it's the right thing to do.
I feel like my efforts are in vain, because if I get a breakthrough they're back to dad's where it starts over again!
But we worked hard and he quickly understood that this is our home and his home with us has different guidelines and they must be followed.
I had to let go of trying to parent him enough here that he would take it with him. But I soon learned that he was 4 or 5 or 7.. And it's not totally his responsibility to say no to 4 hours of tv or fast food. He's a kid. So I had to let go. A lot.
But if you make it clear how things are in your home only. And try to not even talk about or deal with their dads. You and they will be a lot happier.
I used to say A LOT " I know that's what you do at your moms and that's fine at her home but here... "
Or "we do things differently here. Whatever you do there is your moms problem but here you must..."
Then let it go. Be CLEAR what u want them to do in your home and then follow thru. Don't worry about whether they wish or liked their dads more. I worried about that too. Being the step mom I really hated that he preferred his moms cause he got waited on hand and foot.
But after some time, he saw how good he felt w when we praised him for something and that he loved being outdoors with us rather than 4 hours of tv really is better.
So hang tight. Focus on only what you can control. And that's YOUR home ;)
No, spanking is not the only form of punishment.
Discipline means training to act according to the rules. Whether it be rules of being a kind human (no hitting or biting etc) or rules you set in your own home.
Kids don't Akways need a reason. I told my kids no hitting cause.. Well no hitting. We don't hit. Period. It's touching someone else's body with intent to harm and its not okay.
So I'm extremely big on discipline in that sense. I have rules, I enforce them. There are rules of the world and I help teach them.
As for punishment. I rarely have to. But it's not punishment, it's consequence. I don't hit or spank or smack my kids. Ever.
I take things away or they lose out on a play date or party or tv.
My rules are clear. My kids know what I expect from them and they know if they don't follow then our home doesn't work ...
This article explains more what I mean: http://discipline.about.com/od/typesofdiscipline/…
"When it comes to parenting children, there’s a big difference between punishment and discipline. When children make mistakes, they rely on parental intervention to help guide and teach them."