Every parent, most of the time, is trying to do the best job they can. Raising kids doesn't come with a mandatory handbook, so most decisions first-time, or even fourth-time, parents make come from their gut or from learned experience.

Is that experience always spot-on?

That's what we're here to figure out, reflecting on what our parents did to us and whether or not it worked.

Reddit user, kindofmischief, wanted to know how you knew you done messed up when they asked:
How did your parents discipline you when growing up?

There are the classic "boomer" methods, shall we say, that get thrown around a lot. Sure, you could discipline your child like the following, but do you really want to take advice from the people giving it?

The Classic Debate

"Hitting me"


"I grew up that way too, I don't think it is a good way anymore. What do you think?"


"I don’t know I’m 50. I grew up getting spanked. I spanked my boys to a much lesser degree. Maybe my family is evolving? The boys are 18-19 year old college students now. Amazing young men. Seems weird to look at them now and think I used to hit them."


A Punishment Becomes A Blessing

"If I said something bad, I'd get my mouth rinsed out with Tabasco. Jokes on them, now I love hot sauce!"


Nowhere To Go But Down

Constantly "grounded for life." They then wondered why I didn't listen, like what are you going to do, ground me for "double life?"


Take The Time To Write Apologies

"I had my privileges taken from me (tv, phone, computer, car). Had to write some apology letters, only got spanked twice thanks to my Aunt crying and telling my mom that she hugs me with those hands how can she spank me with them?"


Some methods are more subtle, like they're trying to punish you with the least amount of effort on their end but with maximum efficiency on yours.

Tugging On Your Heart Strings

"Catholic mom and Jewish dad; their weapon of choice was GUILT!!!"


"'I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed'"


"Growing up in a Catholic household, my mother is still a pro at guilt tripping & I’m 28, a mother, & a homeowner…"

"Best one was her trying to brainwash me into thinking I’d be trapping my SO if we had another child before we get married…. even though my SO loves being a dad…."

"Yeah… her reasoning was always “I wAnT wHaT’s BeSt FoR yOu”

"Yeah no."


Let Them Take It Out On Themselves

"They didn't. See when I do things that are wrong, I feel really bad about it. really bad. I'd punish myself more than my parents ever could. And they knew that ."


"Yep this was it for me too. I don't think my parents were the type to hit shame or scream regardless but I won't know now. A lot of the self loathing and problems turns out we're a result of undiagnosed ADHD."


You Can Get A Lot More Reading Done In This Time?

"The silent treatment"

"They wouldn't talk to my brother or me for hours or days at a time."

"To make it worse, they wouldn't tell us why they were upset, making us feel guilty for something we didn't understand."


Know What's Going On In Your Child's Life, But Don't Be A Jerk About It

"My parents would look through all of my devices which gave me insane privacy issues. Even if I have nothing to hide I panic any time someone touches my phone. They also took my door down once which I think was f**ked up, punish your kid but don't take away their privacy, I'm of the belief it's a right."


A Good Balance Of Both

"I experienced both sides. I was spanked maybe 2 or 3 for serious stuff. But my parents were never crazy abusive. My mom was the disciplinarian while my dad was more chill. I was grounded when I did stupid things but I was also shown love, compassion and understanding. I remember when I was bullied in 6th grade and came home crying, my mom hugged me and let me cry all I want while stroking my hair."


At its core, disciplining your child should be about showing them there are consequences for their actions. If you do something bad, something bad can happen to you.

Some parents take that concept and twist it, warping it into something so awful they miss the point completely.

...I Think You're Doing "Time Out" Wrong

"They put me in “time out” which meant they cornered me and screamed at me and filmed the whole thing. Usually 2-3 hour sessions."


Unable Or Unwilling To Hold Back

"There was rarely discipline. It was usually straight up abuse. My parents didn't "cross" the line between discipline and abuse -- they pole vaulted over it, set in on fire, then threw it into the Grand Canyon."


What's The Point Of Any Of This?

"If I didn’t get beat, they would make me stand in front of a wall, about a foot away (the more mad they were, the farther I had to stand) and I’d have to touch my nose to the wall and lean there with my body weight on my nose. Usually for an hour or 2, the longest was 5. They would periodically check to make sure my nose was still in contact with the wall."

"If they got bored with that, I’d have to kneel in front of a closed door and put my nose in the keyhole, again, for a few hours. The keyhole was always underneath the handle so it f**ks up your neck."

"For a little spice they would take my bedroom door away as well as empty my room out except for my clothes and a mattress. Blankets may or may not be left."


Try talking to your kids first. Let that be the first step before you make any other decisions. Who knows? You might solve the problem then and there.

What ways did your parents discipline you? Do you think it worked? Tell us about it in the comments.

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