We were routinely spanked growing up. Both Ben and I were spanked by our parents and we turned out just fine. Neither one of us is violent, we don't hit other people (*ahem - sushi bar incidents not included). We didn't grow up to be serial killers or abusers.
Early on, we had the discussion about discipline and I was of the firm belief that we would never, ever hit or spank our child. I was raised on the more abusive end of the discipline spectrum where verbal insults and a heavy hand were employed on a weekly basis. I know that I have a tendency to fly off the handle and go overboard in my emotions. I don't want to start with physical punishment because I am afraid of the temper that I have. I know this about myself so I know that physical punishment is not an option for me as a parent.
Of course now that I have a child, can look at his adorable face, I can't imagine ever even wanting to spank him. I can really only recall in the past 10 months one or two times that he has seriously pushed me near my limit. Not to the limit or over the limit but damn, was that limit within my eyesight. I ended up just putting my shrieking child in his crib and walking away, letting him shriek, until I was calm enough to be a loving, nurturing mama again.
Recently, Little Babes has been swiping at me and the dogs and occasionally at Ben. He does this when he's annoyed or frustrated or we have done something he does not like (like take away the remote control). Generally we say, "Don't hit. Mama doesn't hit and dada doesn't hit so you don't hit." We show him "Nice and soft." We show him on the dogs, "Pat soft." (Here I must say that spanking when a child hits has always boggled my mind. "You hit so and so, now I will spank you to show you that hitting is wrong." What kind of f-ed up logic is that?)
I know we're entering the dreaded hitting/biting phase of parenting and I am so not welcoming it or ready for it. We had our first Time In yesterday and as soon as he cried and said, "Mama!" I picked him up. Such a pushover.
I'm not a fan of Time Outs for our son because I don't think that removing him from all activity and the family is a good idea. For a little person who has already had so much taken away from him, I just don't think a Time Out sends the right message to him. "You're bad so we don't want to see you or hear you for one full minute." That just doesn't make sense to me at all.
So, blog readers (all 3 of you), any thoughts on Time Ins versus Time Outs? Anything that you've used to address hitting?