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I slapped him : (

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Last night (after a very long day for all of us), my newly 8 yr old was not in cooperation mode. I asked if he would help me make dinner as usual and he refused. When dinner was ready, we all sat down to eat and he sat on the couch upside down with his feet in the air. He said he didn't want to eat.
My dh told him that it was family time too so he could sit and talk with us even if he didn't want to eat.
DS grumbled about that too. DH suggested that DS looked hot and bothered. Maybe he would be calm after a cool bath. I ran a cool bath and he argued about that. He didn't want to get in. I told him that he only had to get in for 2 minutes. Just to get the sweat/dirt off.
At this point, he was angry. He wanted to get a point across so he starts splashing around as rambunctiously as he can, water going everywhere...all over the floor.
And I snapped. I reacted. I reached out and gave him a slap on the cheek. I told him to knock it off. Now I had more mess to clean up.
DEAR LORD. I don't want to be a hitter
post #2 of 19
What a frustrating day! I'm sorry it was so hard, mama. Please be gentle on yourself. We all have our breaking points.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Your empathy is appreciated and making me tear up
I feel awful. Like a monster.
He is so little, only 8! And I slap him? For something so small? A towel fixed it for goodness sakes!
Dear goodness gracious...It's such a puzzle. I regard him as a spiritual equal. He is as valuable, wonderful as any of us/I am.
But I think my expectations are so high of him. He is only 8!
I think I need some reflection time to remind myself that I'm supposed to be the one "in control".
post #4 of 19
I almost didn't open this thread because I felt like: I'm so close to being there- I can't read this!

But then I thought, I really really want to sympathize (or is it empathize?). I'm so sorry you had such a rough day. Your son is very lucky to have such a sensitive and gentle mom.
post #5 of 19
At least you can admit that it was a mistake to slap him... Don't beat yourself up. Instead, use this as a learning experience for both of you. For me, knowing when I need to leave the room before I explode is huge. I think he's plenty old enough that when you're both cool and calm you can discuss it and come up with solutions. Good luck, and remember that you're a good mama who makes mistakes, just like your son is a good kid who makes mistakes.
post #6 of 19
I haven't gotten to that point yet...I'm a hollerer right now...but I am scared that I might cross over, given my upbrining.
Anyways, I know how you feel because when I've snapped and holler, the thoughts in my head are completely different and very violent. I think the only thing that has prevented me from going there is that I quickly get a visual in my mind that if there were a bunch of other people in the room - how they would look down upon my behaviour.
Sorry you had this experience, did you have the chance to talk to your DS about it yet?
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yes, I am a hollerer too.
What makes it worse is his dad (my ex-husband) is a horrible, arrogant, authoritarian intimadator so my ds gets his share of stress from taht household. Did I mention my son threatened to tell his dad? Dear lord, all I need is that man lecturing me on parenting
My current dh is, on the other hand, very soft-spoken and reminds me constantly to tone it down. Thank God/Universe for him
Since the "incident", my 8yr old and I have talked it through.
I let him know how frustrated I had been feeling and why. And I apologized for the slap. It wasn't justified no matter the frustration.
He also apologized for not being cooperative to do his part to help the family. He said, "from now on, Mommy, I'm going to help you do the dishes whenever you ask!"
So sweet. My angel. My first baby.
Any other advice?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama_2_Boy View Post
I think the only thing that has prevented me from going there is that I quickly get a visual in my mind that if there were a bunch of other people in the room - how they would look down upon my behaviour.
I'm going to use this!
post #9 of 19
My advice; think through how you got there....Where could you have let it go before it got to that point of frustration.

You have information now on your "breaking point," so you can stay away from it in the future.

What could you have done to model cooperation rather than resistance? How can you make yourself softer?

These are the things that help me when I'm finding myself frustrated alot and unable to move past it.
post #10 of 19
Let me preface by saying I once slapped DD for her saying to me "Shut Up!" after a 15 minute period when she had generally been calling me names, screaming about trivial stuff and generally destroying my nerves (as I was working hard to get everybody to school). So I am no saint.

I wondered reading OP's story why you 'made' him take a bath. I get the impression that you never tried to ask why he was hot and bothered, and you didn't give him space to just be grumpy. You kept trying to cheer him along or make him act normal when he didn't feel normal. It just seems like you could have done more to validate his feelings, or even just acknowledge his right to have them, rather than just keep making him act as if he didn't have them.

Maybe I'm all wrong. I only suggst all that because I imagine that you might appreciate some constructive feedback (from a fellow thoroughly imperfect parent).
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama_2_Boy View Post
I haven't gotten to that point yet...I'm a hollerer right now...but I am scared that I might cross over, given my upbrining.
Anyways, I know how you feel because when I've snapped and holler, the thoughts in my head are completely different and very violent. I think the only thing that has prevented me from going there is that I quickly get a visual in my mind that if there were a bunch of other people in the room - how they would look down upon my behaviour.Sorry you had this experience, did you have the chance to talk to your DS about it yet?
I like the bold. It is something I will use in the future.

I slapped DS once after a long period of him beating on me (he was about 2yo) I felt awful. OP - you are not alone. I think there are many that have been there, fewer that are willing to admit it and learn from the experience.
post #12 of 19
We've all had parenting moments we're not proud of.

Don't beat yourself up- you can't undo what you already did, you can only go forward from here. The important thing is that you recognize that you made a mistake, and you'll do all you can in the future not to repeat it.

Plus, I completely agree with the above poster about "making" him take a bath. When you're already near your breaking point, this is the time to cool off, give yourself a little distance from DC, and not enforce things you'd normally enforce. That is NOT the time to argue with a child about doing something that's not even a part of the normal routine. When DS gets "hot and bothered", I usually offer him a cool washcloth first, and only suggest a bath if he's calmer ANd if the washcloth isn't doing enough.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
I should explain about the bath.
Every since he was a bitty thing, no matter how hot/bothered or irritable he has been, all it takes is 2 minutes in warm soapy water to transform him. He really does love the bath and always has.
So when he gets like that, we are prone to direct him to the bath. Sometimes I even get a candle burning in there, I spray lavender oil. Maybe bring him a little snack like a bowl of nuts to chew on when he's floating around.
I did not physically force him into the bath, he got in of his own accord...but definitely wanted to make a point before I got to pull out the spa treatments
post #14 of 19
First -

Second:

I have an 8yo also, and there seems to be a big shift happening with their independence. I've seen so much of what you've described! The difference for me is that she's my third, so I've been run down this road a couple times already

My advice mama is to see what he's doing as seeking out his independence. I'd really suggest embracing this 'pull away' he's doing and try to let go from a place of serenity.

If he doesn't want to come to the table, you can ask and explain why it matters to you, but he still might say no. You could brainstorm his participation in how often he'll come to the table, but he might still say no. When he's angry and fuming you can offer for him to take a cooling, calming bath. But he might still say no.

It's a frustrating dynamic, but my guess is if you guys back off on 'making him' do things and re-approach it as involving him in the process/solution, you'll have much better results

Also consider reading How to Talk so your Kids will Listen, How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk. Awesome book about this entire process.

Good luck mama!
post #15 of 19
It happened to my mom once as well. We were moving from my dad's apartment to a new apartment where it would be just the two of us. I was being a total brat - not usual, but what was unusual was that my mom has endless amounts of patience. That day, she just didn't. It was the only time in her life she did it, too. Before and after that moment - my mom had/has the patience of a Saint.

To be honest, the only reason that I remember it was because she made it up to me by giving me loads of ice cream at our favorite place.

So ... yea, it didn't scar me for life. In fact, I remember the day quite fondly because of the amount of ice cream in which I was able to indulge.

It happens. Don't beat yourself up about it. It's OK. Your child will be OK.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Okay....loads of ice cream tonight!
No really, thanks for the insight everyone.
I'm going to try and back off a bit. Rather than being focused on him being INCLUDED in the said activities, may we can find some other solution together. I'll see where he's going with this new independence thing...
post #17 of 19
Something to keep in mind in mealtime struggles--

sometimes being hungry can lead to opposition. My dd is 8 and, while she has generally joined us happily for meals since late infancy, she sometimes "Isn't hungry" and doesn't want to join us. Well, I know she is hungry, and hunger is contributing to her attitude. So we just sit down and invite her to join us if/when she is ready. Our only rule is no tv while we are eating, so she will sit and sulk or go in her room. Once we step out of the struggle, she has always joined us somewhere in midde of the meal.

My dd is calmed by showers. But, at 8, she is old enough to start her own shower and get in when she is ready. If you think a bath may calm him, it might be better to suggest it and let him take control of running the water when he is ready.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
YES! This is exactly him too!
He has always been subject to these little blood sugar dips that cause a monster of a mood. I try to pre-empt them. It's harder at the end of the day when I get home from work and I've just gotten home and am trying to get dinner on the table as fast as I can.
That is why I used to like to use the bath/snack ritual. It served a dual purpose...to calm him and get some food into him.
I ALWAYS see a huge different after he's eaten, bath or not.
I just lost my cool this time.
I was tired, hungry myself and then had a bathroom to mop up. Yikes.
Recipe for disaster.
post #19 of 19
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