standing in the corner abusive?

I was listening to the radio the other morning and the host said that making a child stand in the corner as a punishment is now considered abusive. Is that so? Have I abused my kids? What will the parents of Dennis the Menace do next?

considered abusive? by whom?

For how long? (eg. standing in the corner for 3 days…)
etc. etc.

Good heavens, what is this world coming to? I think my parents’ means of disciplining my brother and me were very good. For some things we were spanked (but not very often), for offenses of the mouth (cussing, sassing back, etc.) we had a drop of Tabasco sauce placed on our tongues (I have some GREAT stories about that!), and for fighting/arguing with each other, we each had to sit in the corner for x number of minutes.

I plan on using the same forms of punishments when I have kids, if it’s not illegal. It worked for me; they were always very fair and not angry when they punished us, and we always knew exactly what it was for. And we were always sure of their love for us. And we both turned out great! :wink:

While I do think child abuse is definitely a problem in this country, I think we are beginning to take it too far. And it’s hard to regulate reasonably, because there is so much subjectivity – you can spank a child with this much force on this part of their body, but not with that much force on any other part of their body. Some people can spank fairly and non-abusively; others can’t.

What we DON’T need is children without discipline; how do we find the middle ground?

jwg, who was the host?

Not disciplining your child is a form of abuse, too.

Forcing someone to stand for a long period of time is abusive. Short periods of time would not be abusive.

In Dennis the Menace, he sits in the corner. You should be able to go several hours sitting, without it being abusive.

Very true!

I remember one detention I suffered through in high school. The teacher had each of us stand, for an hour, holding a chair with our arms extended. That sucked …and I would consider to be abusive. However, the frequent whippings I would take from my pop wielding the dreaded “wooden spoon”, I think, were appropriate. Although, I probably won’t be able to use the same form of punishment on my kids.

Corners abusive? Private time? Quiet time? Time outs? HOW?!?!?

I think its one of the better punishments, complete with “Think about what you did.”

Beating a kid is abusive. Not feeding them is abusive. Telling them they suck is abusive. Putting them out of the action for 15 min because they dropped the cat in the pool is not abusive.

(I actually kinda liked Time Outs, I could seethe and plot dire consequences for my parents. Or sneak a marker out and draw on the wall. Or both, using the wall as my engineering blueprint space. Yea, I was a hellion. I think I turned out okay though.)

Of all people, Medea’s Child should be able to speak authoritatively on the topic of child abuse.

Maybe it was a round room?

Lance Turbo: the soul of wit.

I don’t see how having a child stand in the corner could possibly be abusive. My mom talked about a teacher she had in third grade who would force unruly kids to stand on tall stools for hours on end. That, I should think, qualifies as abusive. Putting a child in a corner for a while simply removes them from social interaction and also, hopefully, calms them down. Ideally, the kid will think again before repeating whatever they did wrong, which is the whole point.

Abusive? It’s better than a smack in the mouth at least. I’m no fascist, but I believe it healthy for children to know discipline, to learn the difference between wrong and right, and simply removing them for a number of minutes is ideal, so long as you hurl them headlong into the corner.

When I was in Primary school (5-8 years old) we had a teacher, Miss Sherman I recall, who would make us sit under her desk for 5 minutes. This proved to be a bad move because, I’m sure it wasn’t sexual at that age, but I would love trying to see up her skirt (even to a 5 year old, she was a babe… well, so my aging memory banks tell me)

Forcing a child to stand, or sit, in a corner is just a form of “timeout”, which last I heard was considered a preferred form of child discipline. I don’t see any fundamental problem with it.

Of course, it can be abusive, as can any discipline method, when used excessively or arbitrarily, or for excessively long times. The guideline I recall from my ex’s child psych books is 1 minute per year of age. Forcing a child to sit in the corner for several hours is abuse.

The use of this punishment in school is subject to additional considerations (such as social stigmatization and unintended reinforcement of undesired behavior) that tend to counsel against its use, but I don’t think that it, on its own, amounts to abuse.

As a trained child custody evaluator, I would not consider the justified use of this form of punishment to be evidence of parental unfitness. Your mileage may vary.

My daughter is 3 years old and we do not spank her. Instead, we make her sit on the bottom step of the staircase for a minute or two. Her reactions would make you think she was being beaten. However, the punishment is very effective and no one gets hurt. I think a short time out is the perfect punishment. It forces (most) children to calm down, and it is incredibly mild. Considering what a lot of us grew up with, a time-out is a piece of cake!!!

Some sickos have taken what would seem to be mild forms of punishment and made them hideous crimes. Standing on a stool for HOURS is a sickening punishment for any child. SITTING on a stool for a few minutes in the corner isn’t going to hurt anyone.

The government can make it legal or illegal. I think that by disciplining my kids I do them more good, than bad. I also think that I am saving some future money to the government (on prisons). Colin Powell recently answered the question about his drug abuse like this: “My Jamaican mother would beat shit out of me if she suspected that I did drugs. I wanted to stay in one piece.”


I’d like to get back to the OP:

the host said that making a child stand in the corner as a punishment is now considered abusive.[/quoe]
Was the host a Rush-clone putting words in the mouth of some person/group who had never actually said that?

Or was the host the anti-Dobson who actually believed the statement himself?

Just curious.

Then there are people who say time outs are wimpy punishment. Obviously, they dont’ remember what it was like being a kid-I HATED time out…I just wanted to play and having to sit for a few minutes doing nothing was horrible, and pretty effective.

I personally would not be too concerned with the opinions of an individual who never knew you, your children, or your family situation. I was banished to the corner quite a few times when I was a child, and it has proved to be quite effective. I am a well-rounded, caring individual who has no bad feelings or nightmares from it.

Knowing now, the amount of energy that can be multiplied when one’s emotions are involved, I am THANKFUL that I went to the corner, (or to the dining room table, as I was at times), rather than get a whipping!

Short periods of time are ok, but longer lengths are probably painful and traumatic…

If and when we have kids, I am sure they will spend time in a corner, as well…if it was good enough for the Pilgrims, it’s good enough for me!!!


Next thing you know, they’ll be saying that sending a child to his/her room is abusive.

Tell me, in the name of the Goddess, just how they expect me to discipline my kids?

I’ve got a three-year-old and a one-year-old. right now, the one-year-old is still at the completely clueless stage, so there’s no real discipline with him, outside the firm “no” when he starts to do something I don’t want him to do.

My three-year-old, on the other hand, is “spirited” and “assertive.” Oooh, she’s a corker sometimes. She’s been getting a lot of time-outs lately, and like Alias’ daughter, you’d think we were beating her, she shrieks so loudly about it. But believe it or not, the time-outs seem to be getting more effective as time passes. Just the threat of a time-out is starting to work.

I do not understand how this could even remotely be considered abuse. Hours on end, yes. Standing for long periods or holding something heavy, yes. But a few minutes in the corner? No way.

I’m ashamed I know this… The radio talk show in question is Imus in the Morning. Yes, yes, I’m guilty. I listen to talk radio while I’m in the car or doing repetitive tasks around the house. And I’m a housewife, so most of my tasks are repetitive. Imus first, then G. Gordon Liddy then Dr. Laura. They’re amusing – in a watching-a-car-crash kind of way – and help keep my mind off the toilet I’m scrubbing. So don’t give me a hard time, ok?

Anyway, Imus said that he had had to fire his kid’s nanny for abuse. The abuse was making the kid stand in the corner. I don’t know how old the kid is (I do know his name: Wyatt), but I know he’s old enough to speak in sentences. Old enough to talk, but still young enough to need a nanny – so, he’s probably somewhere between 3 and 5. Imus didn’t say how long or how often Wyatt was made to stand in the corner; nor did he report any special circumstances, like standing on a stool or with a heavy Tonka truck in each hand. He did say (several times) that it was ABUSE. Furthermore, he said he was considering taking legal action against the nanny. I should also mention that Imus is kind of an idiot. Obviously.

Jess (covered in embarrassment)