Momlogic’s Andrea: I thought timeouts were the progressive way to punish. But are even they too cruel?

Yesterday, when I picked my daughter up from her new preschool, the teacher told me my two-year-old was having trouble following directions that day. I nodded in weary agreement — she’s been very defiant this week.

**“I give her timeouts,” I offered, “That’s what you guys do, right?”

“Oh no!”, said the young teacher, aghast. “We praise the good behavior and distract them with something else when they behave negatively.”

Oh. Crap. This discipline thing is tricky. And here I was secretly patting myself on the back for not spanking my toddler’s backside. Meanwhile, it turns out the preschool’s mode of discipline makes mine seem like Abu Ghraib. But, hey, it’s not like I’m waterboarding.**

As the teacher expounded on the preschool’s principles of punishment, my mind wandered to my timeout experience the night before. My daughter was locked in her chair prison — it’s amazing to me she stays put. She can escape any time — instead, she begs for mercy. Her crime? Hitting me in the face when I tried to put on her new Dora pajamas. (Maybe I should’ve bought Diego instead?) I don’t know if “distracting” her would’ve helped either of us at that moment. It took every bit of my moral strength not to punch her back.

Has the pendulum swung too far when it comes to doling out punishment for our kids? I don’t even know ANY moms these days who spank. Maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd?

Source: Mom Logic