Fifty years ago, parenting may have involved a form of corporal punishment. Thank goodness we’ve moved on from that. Yes, the Bible says to spare the rod and spoil the child. But unfortunately it was found that too often parents didn’t realize how rough they were or there would be a struggle, causing the child to accidentally be hit in sensitive areas.
Where to draw the line?
The Gray area could be very broad – dangerously so. What may be a spanking to one is a beating or abuse to another. Any punishment is especially dangerous if parent/authority figure is angry while attempting to discipline.
Time out (also known as social exclusion) is generally accepted as a form of discipline to be initiated when a young child is disobedient. Before the time out, parents/authority figure should be sure their child is old enough to sit still and understand –when it’s briefly explained- why he’s in time out. And, child special needs, challenges, or impairments should be considered.
The child is placed in a secluded area (i.e., corner, chair, stool, floor mat, or bottom step) for a short period of ‘quiet time’ alone. The short period is usually illustrated as 1 minute per the child’s age (i.e., 2 years old, 2 minutes). The hope is time out will give everyone opportunity to chill-out, the offending child will realize the consequences of his actions, and they can all re-group afresh.
Some critics claim that use of time out does not encourage moral behavior, teach the child skills, or address why the child was acting up to begin with. Others say time out can lead children to insecure or anxious feelings. Something to think about. (Search the web for more information about time out, and refer to www.askdrsears.com.)
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