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STOP hitting my son!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So, I feel bad even posting this, I come from a background of strong women and primal mommas. But lately, I don't know how to address the hitting that's been going on between my DH and DS. DH thinks that every misbehavior deserves a swat or spanking, or threatening to spank and that really makes me mad! Today was the final straw, he swatted my DS in public. In front of his cousin and 100's of other people. What do I do? Whats worse is that my MIL is pro spanking and when he did that, she mouthed "good job" to my DH. Huh??? How is that a good thing?
My son can be a little violent he is 18 months and enjoys head butting me for some reason. I try and correct the behavior in a way he would understand, I yell "ouch", put him on the floor and say you don't hit mommy. I usually refuse to pick him back up and he gets upset gets over it and plays by himself for a while, that works. But if DS hits or yells at DH he gets a spanking, that's very confusing to him, it confuses me!
Honestly, I have stooped to spanking him once or twice, I guess because its expected of me from my DS and MIL (who we live with).
I don't want to anymore. And I don't want anyone to spank, slap, swat or hit. No pinching. No hair pulling. No corporal punishments.

How do I tell my DH? He gets offensive when I say things about some of his parenting, like giving him Coke, (babies should not drink Coke!)

Anyways, your all wise mothering types. How would you handle breaking the news that DH will have to find other ways of correcting bad behavior. I would ask my mom, but unfortunately she is also pro spank. So, you ladies are all the back up I have got.

Momma to toddler
post #2 of 19
I would ask your husband how exactly does hitting and hurting someone smaller then you teach them not to hit and hurt someone?

This is hard for me because hitting is absolutely never allowed-I don't give a rats behind WHAT anyone else in my family thinks. DH was beaten with a belt, and he used to have to go out and cut his own switch to be hit with.

Needless to say he does not condone hitting as he does not want anyone to experience that.
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KorbanJ08 View Post
My son can be a little violent he is 18 months
18 months and he's getting spanked on a regular basis? Yikes! Sorry mama, that doesn't sound too good. I also don't think "violent" is a good adjective as he's just being a toddler, my DS gets a little exuberant at times too. I know he doesn't mean to hurt me.

Hmm, have you had a talk with your DH about this? I'd start there and maybe show him some websites that explain toddler behavior.
post #4 of 19
18 months is still a baby! I guess I just don't understand what exactly your DS could be doing that is so bad that your DH feels he should be spanked. Have you told him that hitting clearly doesn't work if your DS is still behaving the same way? Besides being an awful form of discipline, it sounds like it's not even effective! Ages 2-3-4, in my experience, is much more challenging than a one year old, so I shudder to think how often your DH would be inclined to spank in the next several years. Best of lucking getting through to your DH.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KorbanJ08 View Post
So, I feel bad even posting this, I come from a background of strong women and primal mommas. But lately, I don't know how to address the hitting that's been going on between my DH and DS. DH thinks that every misbehavior deserves a swat or spanking, or threatening to spank and that really makes me mad! Today was the final straw, he swatted my DS in public. In front of his cousin and 100's of other people. What do I do? Whats worse is that my MIL is pro spanking and when he did that, she mouthed "good job" to my DH. Huh??? How is that a good thing?
My son can be a little violent he is 18 months and enjoys head butting me for some reason. I try and correct the behavior in a way he would understand, I yell "ouch", put him on the floor and say you don't hit mommy. I usually refuse to pick him back up and he gets upset gets over it and plays by himself for a while, that works. But if DS hits or yells at DH he gets a spanking, that's very confusing to him, it confuses me!
Honestly, I have stooped to spanking him once or twice, I guess because its expected of me from my DS and MIL (who we live with).
I don't want to anymore. And I don't want anyone to spank, slap, swat or hit. No pinching. No hair pulling. No corporal punishments.

How do I tell my DH? He gets offensive when I say things about some of his parenting, like giving him Coke, (babies should not drink Coke!)

Anyways, your all wise mothering types. How would you handle breaking the news that DH will have to find other ways of correcting bad behavior. I would ask my mom, but unfortunately she is also pro spank. So, you ladies are all the back up I have got.

Momma to toddler
Your MIL sounds a LOT like my grandmother who lives right next door I do know the family pressure you are under My dh on the other hand is not much of a disiplinarian (sp) so I don't have that added stresser. Talk to your dh about gentle disipline, and make specific plans on how to address unwanted behaviors. Explain to your dh that you both need to be on the same page when it comes to disipline, it is a must. Of course you are not going to agree with hitting, so go over alternatives until you both can agree on it. *examples like the 1,2, 3 method, or distraction, etc) Distraction seems to be most appropriate for your dd's age. Once you both can agree, than agree to put your foot down when it comes to the MIL. Set firm boundries, with my grandmother, I bluntly said "we will not ever hit our child, and YOU are not to hit her no matter what". Hugs!
post #6 of 19
There are a few ways to approach your husband, depending on who he is. One might be to let him know that you will not interfere with his parenting, he has every right to parent the way he wants etc, unless physical force, shaming etc is used, then you be compelled to intervene. Then tell him why you feel this way. Stress that you don't want to interfere but you won't be able to help it in these cases because hitting a child is wrong. You could also bring up the inconsistency between telling a child not to hit and then hitting said child. 18 months is so young- it will get SO much more stressful as your child gets older that it would be awesome if you could stop this right now.
post #7 of 19
Oh, I have so been there and done that with DH. IL's are extremely pro-spank, hitting, slapping, etc..my mom as well was a spanker, and occasional slapper. So I was out there on my own with my extreme desire for DS to not ever be hit.

He's 2.5 now, and when he was around your little one's age, we went through this because DS became pretty aggressive..hitting, biting, throwing.
Here's how I have *mostly* convinced DH that gentle parenting is the way to go.

#1. I model it. I never ever hit DS. I rarely raise my voice to him. I have found that if he is in true danger and I can't get to him in time, I may have to raise my voice to say "STOP!" but otherwise, I actually talk very quietly if he is behaving in a way I don't want him to. I have found that he has to really listen if I talk quietly..but if I yell he just tunes out.

So DH has seen how it's working for me and adopted some of these practices.

I also have to repeatedly remind DH that DS is a little person. He is not a pet. (not that I would hit a pet either!!) I remind him that he has very strong feelings about things and he can't always express them in words, and when that happens, sometimes he throws things or bites or hits.

Usually when he is upset, and doing those things, I know that he's actually TELLING us "I'm tired, or hungry, or sad, or need attention". I tell DH it is our job to figure out what the problem is and work on that.

I have to remind him that DS is not "being bad" just to tick us off or inconvenience us. He is communicating. And we have to teach him to communicate that in other ways. Your DS is probably still a little too small, but we have taught DS to say "I'm upset" or "I'm sad" instead of hitting/biting/throwing things. And it's working. It's not 100% of the time, but it's alot.

Then we just talk about what is making him sad or upset.

But I know you asked, how do I tell this to DH. I think you just do what I have done. You TELL HIM in no uncertain terms this is just unacceptable to you for your child. And that you would really like him to try it your way for awhile and see how it goes. Point out that spanking isn't working anyway. Or if it does, it might work temporarily, but DS will go back to that behavior later because spanking is confusing! That's like saying, you can't have anything to eat, but eat this!! Totally mixed message.

I also think you need to set some boundaries as far as IL's go, as in, y'all need to move out, or there needs to be rules enforced about discipline and your DH has got to get on board for that to happen. He is going to have to be the one to tell his parents, hey, this is not happening anymore.

I really think (of course I have no clue about your financial situation) that moving out would be for the best, if you possibly, possibly can. Your IL's have way too much control right now and it obviously isn't helping your child or your marriage.

Good luck sweetie. Just know, you can do this. Tell him how you feel.
post #8 of 19
Well, if it were me I would probably say something like stop hitting the baby or I will be divorcing you.
post #9 of 19
i read this earlier and didn't know what to say. so sorry. how hard for you.

thinking about it, if it were me, i would leave my husband, but if for some reason, i couldn't leave, i would probably bite my husband, maybe bite his hand or his shoulder real hard, if he hit the baby. to get my point across, if i weren't going to leave.

guess i should add that i've never bitten before. but i've had children bite and it is very effective in expressing...

in any case, hon, i think you answered your own question, in mentioning that you come from a line of primal, protective circles of mothers and women. draw from that. let your husband know.
post #10 of 19
In this sort of situation I think I would helicopter my child a bit to take the opportunity away from your dh the less he taps/slaps your baby the better. I would also try and find a little book that's easy to read about non-violent communication and parenting let your dh read it or mark pages (if he's anything like mine) and then go to your ILs and leave it there by a mistake - human curiosity is a wonderful thing and the ILs won't manage to resist taking a peak!! As with pps your ds is just a toddler doing toddler things and this isn't violence it's all about discovering limits/communication etc.

Sort of OT but my dh came from an extremely violent background with his father who beat him - and hospitalised him on several occassions but also his mother who didn't protect him - I'm not saying that your dh is going to be as violent as my dh's father - rarely does it escalate like that but now it's his relationship with his mother that is suffering. You could maybe explain loving guidance or go to a toddler LLL meeting, take you dh and maybe the ILs with you to see other likeminded mothers and fathers communicate with their kids.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver Mommy View Post
Well, if it were me I would probably say something like stop hitting the baby or I will be divorcing you.
Yeah, this was non-negotiable when I married, so for me it rises to this level.

OP, it's difficult to blend parenting styles for sure. I guess I'd try to approach him at an off-time (not right after he's spanked your child) and tell him how much it means to you to "not" spank. That while spanking may work (it might stop immediate behavior), that there are other ways to discipline that focus on the whole child -- including your child's development of self-esteem, empathy for others, self-control, etc. Spanking does nothing for teaching a child why something's right or wrong other than an authoritarian parent telling him it's right or wrong.

If you think he's open to reading parenting books, I can recommend a couple of very short, to the point ones that explain why what your child's doing is completely developmentally appropriate and why spanking is bad.
post #12 of 19
OP, I just wanted to add that my son was similar. He had pretty bad biting, hitting, and scratching issues starting right around 18 months old. We've never spanked, and it took a while for us to get his behavior under control, probably longer than spanking would have done. But our son is 3 now and a wonderful, extremely well-behaved boy. Everyone comments on how nice and polite he is. He's very loving and understands the difference between right and wrong. He has good self-control for that age. He's not perfect, but I want you to know there's light at the end of the tunnel even if your child is pretty aggressive right now. All done with no spanking. It "can" be done, and hopefully if your husband can see that, he'd be more agreeable to a non-spanking approach. Good luck!
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel a little better about making the "hand" stop here. And yes "violent" was the wrong word to describe a toddlers behavior, he is just trying to communicate. I think I will take that advice and just tell DH obviously hitting is not working and he will get more flamboyant with age. I think I will address the issue ASAP, while we are getting ready to go out with our son tonight. Even if he gets upset with me he will still have to be pleasant, LOL.
post #14 of 19
s. MIL lives with us as well, and I know how awful that can be.

I would tell everyone that anyone who hits my child can leave the house. That's what I would do if MIL or DH hit *me*. I think it's reasonable to transfer that protection to our child.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
s. MIL lives with us as well, and I know how awful that can be.

I would tell everyone that anyone who hits my child can leave the house. That's what I would do if MIL or DH hit *me*. I think it's reasonable to transfer that protection to our child.
Absolutely!

I would completely. freak. out. if DH hit our child. You mess with the bull, you get the horns....
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver Mommy View Post
Well, if it were me I would probably say something like stop hitting the baby or I will be divorcing you.


This would be a breakable for me.



As for what to do...maybe everytime he does it you need to saying something like, "oh look, he hit you and you hit him! Like father, like son!" Or some such thing. It's such a disconnect to hit little kids. Makes my head spin.
post #17 of 19
I think the answer is pretty simple, even if it doesn't seem so to you.

I would tell him he needs to stop hitting your baby and if he doesn't I would leave him. You are talking about an 18 month old? This is horrible! Your husband is abusing your baby and you are still there wondering what you should do? You need to stop this from happening right away and do whatever it takes to make it happen.
post #18 of 19
Be strong, mama, and stand up for your child and don't take no for an answer! There have recently been some mainstream articles publishes ( you could probably google them) that say that spanking one year olds is definitely correlated to violent behavior in those kids when they grow up--I think this was published in Newsweek or something like that--maybe you could find it and show it to your husband? There was also a long study done at harvard or yale that concluded that spankind (and reasoning) does not work, that the only way to motivate children to do what you want is through praise. Maybe if you could find some of these articles to back up your claim he would agree with you?

Sympathies on the in-law front. That would drive me NUTS, and living with my parents, I know how frustrating it is to have to bend to someone else's rules, even though I am grateful for their generosity. But I have to admit when my MIL gives parenting advice it makes me crazy--hey lady, I am not going to relive your life for you, it is my turn now!
post #19 of 19
I am so sorry that you are faced with this situation. As PP suggested, perhaps a mainstream article will help. Here's one that I recently found because I started to think that my DH would consider spanking. I had to let him know that there is NO way that will happen.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/09/16...ing/index.html
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