13 People Discuss the Unpopular Opinion That Parents Need to Bring Real Discipline Back

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Parenting is a daily delight and struggle all at the same time. Children can be wonderful and fun one minute, but the next, you find your tiny terror screaming at you because they want candy. What’s a parent to do?

Obviously children need discipline. They need to learn right from wrong and that there are consequences to their actions. The hard part is for parents to know the most effective way to discipline their children.

Some parents are stricter with their children than others. Some parents give their kids (almost) whatever they want because they don’t want them to feel deprived. They want them to have a perfect childhood. Other parents set strict rules and consequences. Perhaps they restrict screen time or give the child a time out.

One Reddit user shared the unpopular opinion that parents need to bring back the type of discipline many people grew up with. Reddit user JengaSauce268 wrote, “I believe discipline should exist. Go stand in the corner, wash your mouth with soap, and at the max, a smack on the butt.”

He also gives examples of situations that show the children need to be disciplined. For example, he wrote, “When a child at 4 years old tells you off in a way you would want to punch your neighbor if they told you the same, then why do you blame society? You should blame yourself. If they say that in front of you, and you laugh, well you’re encouraging it. If you do nothing, you’re encouraging it. They see no wrong in it, but you do, yet you would rather blame someone else.”

He added another example. “When your child is having a zoom class, and he runs off to play with his toys, it’s not ADHD. It’s because you haven’t taught him responsibility, it’s because you let it happen. It’s because you say, go back, but don’t do anything about it. You are afraid to be seen as the bad man, even when you know it’s the right thing to do.”

According to this Reddit user, by failing to discipline our children, “you’re not failing yourself, you’re failing you’re children. You don’t need to do what you’re parents did, but you don’t need to be afraid of teaching your children.”

How unpopular is this opinion? Reddit users chimed in with their thoughts. Scroll down to see 13 thoughts on this unpopular opinion.

  1. “It Punishes Me Too”

    Reddit user Fifty4FortyorFight wrote:

    I agree with you, but I’d argue that the majority of of time, the reason parents don’t discipline their children is laziness.I have kids. I just took my son’s tablet away for 3 days because he mouthed off (he’s 5). And, really, that punishes me too. It’s going to be a pain in the ass when I have to do a ton of laundry tomorrow and when I drive my husband to the airport. I don’t throw them in front of a screen, don’t get me wrong, but he’s allowed to play roblox for an hour or two on Saturdays, especially since it’s ridiculously cold outside right now where I live. They play online with their cousins and friends on video chat. This is further compounded by the fact that his sister isn’t punished from her tablet. So he’s going to have to sit and watch her play hers. With her cousins. While he can’t play. This does not set-up an easy day as a parent. It punishes me too, because it sucks to see him upset. It sucks to see him jealous. And, frankly, it’s easier to just let him play a game when we’re stuck in the car or I’m busy with other household stuff.

  2. It’s Okay If They “Hate” You

    One_Bathroom2974 added:

    Parents today are more concerned with being their kids friend than being their parents. Newsflash, there’s millions of people out there that can be your kid’s friend, but only you can be their parent and your kid needs parenting way more than he needs friendship.If you are stern parent who disciplines their kids, they might hate you while they are under your authority, but one day they will come back and thank you for stopping them from so many stupid mistakes.

  3. 100% Agree

    Gonzod462 commented:

    I think you nailed this perfectly! One of the most insightful posts I’ve seen in this sub forsure. I truly believe this is one of the biggest factors in our incredibly narcissistic, thin skinned, instant gratification modern society.

  4. Self-Discipline

    antswithpants32 explained:

    I believe the only discipline that will help your child for the entirety of its life is self discipline. People can show you the way by leading by example, but it has to come from within.

  5. 2 Parenting Struggles

    gummyworm5 wrote:

    I think the biggest problem with parenting in modern times in the usa (i’m not totally sure what it’s like elsewhere) is that 1people don’t spend enough time with their children and that 2children need more playtime.

  6. “Emotional Support”

    Shou_exe answered:

    I agree with this strongly. Though I do think that spanking and related disciplinary actions aren’t the best way to handle situations. I was spanked many times, but I definitely wouldn’t say it was abuse and it did work in getting me to behave, but not for the right reasons. I started behaving and listening not because I wanted to be good, but because I was scared of getting hurt if I didn’t. It got to the point I was actually scared of my dad because I was disciplined by him so much (he had other issues that contributed to it though that he has since grown out of).Honestly, when analyzing my childhood, the things that contributed to my personal issues wasn’t being disciplined, it was the emotional neglect. That’s really what I think a lot of parents need to realize. Emotional and mental support from parents will likely solve most misbehavior and will benefit the kid as they grow up. So yeah I was spanked, and I have LOTS of personal issues, but not because I was spanked. Its because I wan’t given the emotional support I needed. So though I don’t necessarily condone spanking or physical punishment, I get it. But I think a lot of parents should try to focus more on the emotional aspects of their relationship with their kid rather than if they are being disciplined enough or too harshly.

  7. You Don’t Need to Be Friends

    rudebish explained:

    The problem is that a lot of parents want to be their kids’ best friend. Sorry, you can’t be a parent and your kids’ friend while trying to enforce rules and boundaries for children.

  8. It’s About Teaching

    slashbackblazers shared:

    The problem is that most people, including you, don’t realize that “discipline” truly means to teach. (The root of the word is disciple.) People think it is synonymous with punishment, and that should not be the case. The other issue is that most adults have completely unrealistic expectations for child behavior. So what ends up happening when people do enforce the classic notion of “discipline”, they’re punishing a kid for behavior that they literally have no control over. This only furthers the behavior.

  9. Completely Disagrees

    I_GetOffOnAnarchy wrote:

    A child mouthing off their parents is a much deeply rooted problem than your perceived “lack of discipline”. What works for a family doesn’t work for another, and i assure you “washing your mouth with soap” and a “smack on the bottom” is not an effective method of education and yes, it is abuse.

  10. Give Respect

    _DepressedSunflower_ answered:

    You should be able to discipline your child without shoving soap in their mouth or smacking them on the butt. I never got soap in my mouth but I did get spanked with a wooden spoon and eventually I started hitting back. I don’t care if oh, it’s only a little smack on the butt, you shouldn’t be hitting your children, period. You should be telling them off and explaining why what they did is wrong, none of that, because I said so bs. And if they ask why, it isn’t them mouthing back, they are legitimately confused as to why what they did is wrong, and instead of saying because I said so or saying my house, my rules, you should actually explain it to them. If you want respect, you have to give respect.

  11. Against “Physical Harm”

    kallekillen22 wrote:

    I agree that parents should discipline their child, but i don’t see why they have to cause physical harm to do so. Standing in a corner sure, but hitting your child is not ok. And washing their mouth with soap is just dumb, soap can be dangerous if ingested.I don’t see why we can’t just take away their phone if they are old enough to have one or not let them have candy if they don’t eat or not let them be with their friends if they are acting up.

  12. Don’t Hit Your Kids

    JasonJdDean answered:

    If you can’t teach your child without laying a hand on them, you’re an awful parent. Corporal punishment has been proven to have lasting negative effects, and if you think as an adult that it’s okay to smack a child, you most certainly did not turn out fine.

  13. False Information

    Jpm1123 responded:

    If this were true why are children literally the best they’ve ever been.Kids have the highest graduation rates, highest rates of education, lowest rates of teen pregnancy, lowest rates of drug use etc in almost 50 years. Kids are literally the best they’ve ever been because parents have slowly evolved and learned there are better ways of communicating with your children than hitting and punishing them. Your entire premise is based on a false assumption that kids today are somehow worse than kids in previous generations