challenge posted a blogging challenge…  “How do you discipline your children”.  There’s nothing I love more than a good controversial topic… so here goes..

The short answer is: I discipline according to the circumstances.

Each of my children are disciplined differently.. why? because my children are all different.. different ages… different temperaments… different likes and dislikes and different learning styles. As much as I struggle to stay “fair” I will never be so in my children’s eyes.

I’m not a big fan of physical punishment but I’m a firm believer in letting the punishment fit the crime so on occasion I have used “spankings”.

I never ever ever punish my kiddos for true accidents. I have a couple of klutzes in the family and to me it makes more sense to invest in paper towels and inexpensive dishes than to instill a fear of spilling juice or dropping a plate. I never punish my children for being children… 8 year olds are going to forget to feed their pets or do their homework on occasion… that’s why it’s my job to remind them and help them build their responsibility levels.

Things that warrant discipline: physically harming each other (I.e., My brother took my toy so I’m going to punch him in the face.), Lying, using foul language, telling me No when I request something (I.e., “I forgot the diaper wipes, would you please get some for me?” “No… I’m busy.”), “forgetting” to do things they’ve been reminded to do, Begging at the store (HUGE pet peeve of mine… ask once and if I say no… Drop it.)

The actual disciplines…
For lying, cursing, being disrespectful: Gargling a mouthful of Lysterine. And not the mint stuff, the stuff that tastes like the urine of a severe alcoholic.
For not sharing toys: 1 warning and then the toy belongs to Mommy. Toys may be earned back at a later date.
For physically endangering themselves. (I.e., My eldest, when she was 9, thought it would be a grand idea to cross a major 4 lane highway with a friend so they could go to Subway.) Spanking.
For deliberate destruction of property (I.e., one of my boys has a love of scissors), for breaking “house rules”, and for everything else that doesn’t fall into the above categories: Loss of privileges. What privileges and how long depend on which child and what the offense was.

I think the important thing about disciplining your children is not whether you spank or do time-outs… it’s whether you are consistent and if the discipline is done with love. Whatever the discipline and whatever the circumstances I always tell my children how much I love them and I explain why I did the discipline (I.e., I love you and I want you to grow up controlling your tongue and not letting it control you.)

I enjoyed writing this post and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. I’m off to do Stretch X now!!  =)