Selenis Leyva Reveals How Her Mom Used to Pull Branches Off Trees and Threaten to Whip Her When She Misbehaved: ‘I Can’t Do That to My Daughter’

05/26/2016 at 07:00 AM ET

Every parent disciplines their children differently. And on PEOPLE’s Mom Talk, four celebrity moms discuss one technique that seems to be debated among parents: spanking.

“I’m against it because I know what [that’s like],” replies Orange Is the New Black actress Selenis Leyva, 43, when Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi asks the group how they feel about spanking.

“And not that my parents were abusive — they just believed, ‘You’re my kid, if I gotta spank you, I’m gonna spank you,’ ” Leyva, who is mom to 13-year-old daughter Alina, adds.

Selenis Leyva daughter Alina
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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Leyva goes on to paint a picture of why spanking never really occurred to her as a punishment technique to use on Alina — namely, because she remembers how she felt as a child when spanking was imminent.

“Going to the park, my mother would be like, ‘Oh, you’re gonna misbehave?’ And she’d take a branch out,” she adds. “And I was like, ‘Oooh, okay, never mind!’

“I can’t do that to my daughter,” Leyva continues. “So I’ve never spanked my daughter.”

So what did work for Leyva considering spanking was off the table?

“Timeouts were big in my house, and it worked,” she confesses.

“I have actually given myself a timeout, when [7-year-old daughter Livia Charles] did throw a tantrum,” chimes in Leyva’s OITNB costar Alysia Reiner, 45. “Which scared the daylights out of her!”

Reiner adds of her daughter’s reaction to her non-confrontational technique, “She calmed herself down because she was like, ‘W-what? What’s Mom doing?’ ”

Jen Juneau


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Kesh on

I agree that discipline is different for everyone with children. I was spanked at home and paddled at school. I’m not in a generation where both are pretty much against the law but I did spank both of my children and I also used timeouts; it just depended on the behavior. As my daughter became older; other methods proved to be more effective because a spanking would only last for moment and then she’d go back to doing whatever she was doing; she would pretty just take her spanking like a champ. So, I started removing things (no tv, no games, no outside, no phone, no sleepovers, etc.) I think it just depends on the child but I’ll always be a supportive of spankings; it has worked in our family for generations.

cucu on

Lets call hitting a child, hitting not a cute name like spanking, whooping or pop in the butt or whatever you want to call it. It is hitting and violence begets violence. It does nothing but damage a child’s self esteem. I was raise with a disciplinarian that hit, and vowed not to ever hit my children and I haven’t. Hitting a child’s about you losing control of that child and your own emotions, it is an easy fit, you discharge the hand and it is over for a few minutes, or not. Teaching and patience are a lot harder to achieve. Hitting a child is never the answer