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what convinced your partner to gd?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My husband is the type who thinks the problems in this country could be traced back to too many kids not getting enough spankings, and I am very frustrated.

DD is 2.5 and she is a very sweet girl. However, she is also 2.5 and therefore acts 2.5

DH spanks her and I don't. He says the reason she listens to him better is because of the spankings, but really she listens to us about the same UNLESS he is threatening her with a spanking. That, to me, is not "working."

I try explaining why I don't want to spank and he just doesn't get it.

He left a bunch of candy on the floor for several days. He wanted me to spank her if she took any after being told "no more." Finally I just hid the candy from both of them. The next day DD started asking for "no mo" (no more), so she thinks it is called no more, now. I told DH about this and explained it wouldn't have helped at all to spank because she didn't even understand what we were saying! Somehow he still insists on it.

Recently DD has started hitting other children if she asks something and they don't comply. He insists it is unrelated.

Sometimes if one of us gets upset, she will hit herself and yell "spank!"

If I give him something to read about gd he either won't read it or he will read it and laugh and make comments about liberals ::eyeroll::

Right now I feel like my best option is to keep her away from him and handle her myself but it is an overwhelming burden. I hate it when he spanks her, especially if it is for a tantrum. He comes over and asks why I wasn't doing anything about it, which really means why wasn't I spanking her. When she tantrums I explain why I think she is upset, ask if I am correct, tell her it will be ok and offer her a hug. Sometimes it calms her down and sometimes it doesn't.

His best friend spanks their 6month old for crying if they take something from her. His family all think spanking is great. I feel very outnumbered.

What is the best thing for me to do?
post #2 of 15
Watching Unconditional Parenting DVD sparked great discussion between me and DH, we talked about the way we were raised, what mistakes did are parent make, how did it affect us and how we want to avoid it. This DVD helped me convince DH that GD rules
post #3 of 15
It took a lot of talking. My DH was spanked and has anger issues that I think are related. He very rarely spanked our kids because I refused to allow it. This led him to wanting me to discipline the children and I took over until I got him to see how I wanted it done and why it works. I took lots of time telling him how I think spanking is related to him and his brothers anger issues and how our children were not violent like friends of ours children are and I think this is related to the fact that our friends spank their children. (I would not dis their parenting they don't "beat" their children so I keep my nose out)

I didn't even think to look for a video but that would have helped a ton I am sure.

Now he agrees with me and will talk in a gentle voice and get stern if they don't listen the first time or if it is safety related.
post #4 of 15
Well, my dh was against spanking to begin with - the most I have to do is argue against punishments in general (he thinks she needs "more consequences" ie time outs -I've always argued that esp with dd, a time out would be nothing more than a pointless power struggle over staying in timeout - especially at 2 and three when he felt she really needed them - she's 6.5 now, pretty well behaved (certainly for others) but is and always will be VERY strong willed - I say that I hope she makes LOTS of mistakes before her teen years - she does not take advice well and learns most things the hard way - just like her DAD lol

In your situation - I feel for you - this is a SERIOUS discrepency in how you wish to raise your children - I'd recommend a counselor but he sounds like the type that would be completely dismissive of that and unwilling to go....

For those that are really PRO- spanking - I usually try (rarely successfully - pro-spankers seem unususally wedded to this principle?) to convince them that while judicious spanking MAY have worked well for them/our parents, that in reality, there is ALWAYS a better way - the problem is most people don't have any other tools - I also argue it wasn't the spanking that was effective - if they came out of a spanking situation unscathed it was IN SPITE of the spanking, not b/c of it - probably because they had otherswise loving and supportive familiy with clear and consistent boundaries - THAT is what makes happy healthy well adjusted people -

I once had an arguement with a woman that had no kids but she herself was severely beaten as a child - she argued that she deserved it and cited how she attacked her brother with a scythe in the back and left him to bleed in the field as reason why she derserved a spanking - COULD NOT SEE that maybe all the violence she was subjected to could have been to blame?

sorry to say this, but I don't think I could stay with a partner that mocked my views and insisted on spanking my child - my heart aches for you and your lo
post #5 of 15
Dh and I discussing important parenting issues *before* we had a child. We are on the same page when it comes to discipline and we always smile when the studies come out supporting our beliefs (our parents think we're nuts).

Whenever we have difficult issues between us, the one thing that has worked 100% has been to have a third party step in and mediate. I'd suggest seeing a counselor together to work it through.
post #6 of 15
Couldn't not reply.

What convinced my husband (and myself) is our own experience with being spanked.

When I was obedient or did "The right thing" it wasn't because I felt compelled to do what was right or because I respected my parents.

It was out of fear of my parents' reaction, fear of getting spanked, fear of getting into trouble.
Spanking worked GREAT for them when they used it but it didn't really "work". They wanted us to respect them, love them, learn from them. We just ended up being obedient out of intimidation. Fear is not respect.

DH and I decided that we want to use discipline as a tool, as a way to teach our children. Not just teach them "That's not how we act!" but to really help them grasp the concept of why and learn how to make the right decisions and act the proper way independently. We want them to listen to us because they respect us and because they know we will only ever do what is best for them.

Our parents believed they were teaching us right from wrong and teaching us about respect when they spanked us. Instead they were only fostering a sense of fear in us. In a way, this made it very difficult to respect them at that time.

I've also read a few times that studies have shown that you truly CAN tell when a child has been spanked often because their behavior is often MORE out of control when their parents are not around.
They've not learned right from wrong or how to act, they've just learned how to avoid getting spanked around their parents. When mom and dad aren't around, they don't have the tools to control their behavior. They haven't been truly taught.

It's almost like a false solution. Sure, she'll stop what she's doing when you spank her...but what does she learn from that? When she's older what purpose will spanking serve in helping her understand why we do certain things and why we don't do other things?

I'm sorry you're in this situation, Mama. I hope things work out for you soon and you're able to get through to him.
post #7 of 15
I'm so sorry. This is so hard. But, I have to say, I love my husband more than I ever thought possible, but I could NEVER stand by and watch someone, anyone, hit my child. Never.

Have you guys had a heart-to-heart about your own upbringings. How did he feel about being spanked as a child? What was his relationship with his parents? What's his current relationship with his parents? What does he want to accomplish as a parent? How does he want to be remembered by his children?

Would he be willing to go to spanking as a last resort? Would he be willing to try other techniques first? What about saying that if a spanking is deserved it won't be dispensed until the end of the day. (The hope is that by the end of the day he wouldn't be willing to spank a child who's doing nothing wrong at the time and would have no idea why they're being hit. And, the problem would have resolved itself without spanking so the futility of spanking would be reinforced. Absolutely, don't try this if he would spank them anyways.)

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I think what the other poster said is what I would do. I'd say I'll handle all discipline issues. This is a huge burden, but better than a child being hit.
post #8 of 15
To be honest it was something we talked about LONG LONG before we ever even contemplated having kids. Like in our first year of dating. We both knew instictively that there was a better way than hitting a defenseless child. We were both spanked growing up, him longer than I was but mostly because he is the type of person to always ask questions and always test boundaries head on like a bull to a red cape, where as I am the type of person that only needs to be told the boundary once and then I find a way to skirt the boundary or find the loophole so that I can be all "who me?"

We both knew we would never want to parent that way. This is not to say we don't ever find ourselves reverting back to the way our parents did thing, or never question whether or not we are doing the right thing by "sparing the rod" so to speak, after all it is what we grew up with and we have a gaggle of grandparents tsking their way through our doubtful minds every time we face a disciplinary struggle or find ourselves rationalizing with a toddler while onlookers laugh their heads off. But at the end of every meltdown (either by the children or ourselves...or both) we talk it out and think of strategies that might work better next time...sometimes we employ them, sometimes we lose our cool and have to tag out if you will, and sometimes we need to take a time out and shut the door, but we never raise a hand to our child, because at the end of the day if our children learn nothing else from their upbringing, they will know this:

WE will never hurt them. WE will be their refuge from the pain and hurt of the world. WE will be their ultimate protectors and their super heroes. WE will do anything to keep them safe.

That's a message I am unwilling to mix.

Now that is not to say that I think of my mom and dad as abusers, but even they will tell you that in retrospect hitting me only made me figure out how to not get caught when it came to the important stuff (stealing, sex, drugs, boys etc.) it never taught me to obey. I might have listened to the demand of "get over here" or "Clean your plate!" or "Make your bed.", but it wasn't discipline in the strictest sense of the word, it was just arbitrary control.

Our facts are merely anectdoteal, but for us when we look around at the homes our friends grew up in, those whose parents were "lenient" i.e. whose parents were following GD before GD was a "thing" experiented less with drugs and alcohol, were less likely to engage in permiscuous and unprotected sex, and were more in touch with their feelings and talked to their parents about all the stuff adolesence puts you through. They are the people now who are sucessful in their careers, have loving healthy relationships and who the rest of F-ups looks up to. So, for us that just made sense.

I don't know if you can change someone's mind, but I would be real clear if my husband suddenly decided to start spanking my kids that I would leave with my kids in tow and he would never ever see us again, and in fact I have said as much to him when the going gets rough. Last year DH was really depressed, and he was self-medicating with alcohol and pot. I found out I was pregnant and there was a brief turn around but before long he was worse than ever, and he grabbed Benjamin really roughly one night, left a mark on his upper arm. I sent him out of the house to blow off some steam, and when he came back there was bag packed for him and a note letting him know that he would not be welcome home until he got help for his anger and depression, and that our friend would be happy to give him a spare room until he got himself together.

By the end of the week he was in therapy and had joined a substance abuse support group, but rest assured I would have moved heaven and earth to make it work without him if he hadn't.

I suppose the good news is that he is as devoted to it as I am, and he has done the same to me when I have lost my cool with PPD ranting and crying like a loon, taking the kids to his friend's house for a few hours till I have cooled down and seen through the rage to my true self and agreed to see someone about it (good thing I did too. I need that time and venting space to work through the hormonal imbalance...I only wish I had started it sooner really).

FWIW, I would call CPS if I knew of a family spanking a 6 month old...that can not possibly be legal...SIX MONTHS!?! No way.

It is overhwleming to do the parenting thing alone, but I'd rather do it alone than do it with someone who thinks spanking is the answer to all problems. I would definitely rather do it alone than do it with someone who thinks it is a good idea to bait my toddler into "bad behavior" then spank them for it...even in the real world entrapment is illegal! I don't want to say the best thing to do is to run away with your child before he can do anymore damage...but you're sort of forcing me to.

@Laughymama, that was exactly my experience and the experience of so many others I know.
post #9 of 15
I can't stop thinking about your post. I really feel for you.

I keep on thinking about "no mo." I can't understand how he would bait a 2.5 yo into unacceptable behavior and then punish her for it. I mean really. Ask him, would he train a dog that way? I'm not being flip, but seriously. He seems to be kinda hard. Have you ever seen the show "Secrets of a Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Millan. Seriously, it might work for him. It establishes a dominant hierarchy, maintains control and Cesar never shouts or hits. It's not a perfect style of parenting, but it might be an acceptable option for the power hungry. (Sorry) Over time, maybe he'll feel more secure and not have to be a bully (Sorry, again) and completely in control all the time.

For a human version there's a great book called the Secret of Parenting. Which esentially states you're in charge because you say you are. Your kids love you and want your approval and all you have to do is require their obedience and (overall) you'll get it.

Good luck.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxella View Post
I can't stop thinking about your post. I really feel for you.

I keep on thinking about "no mo." I can't understand how he would bait a 2.5 yo into unacceptable behavior and then punish her for it. I mean really. Ask him, would he train a dog that way? I'm not being flip, but seriously. He seems to be kinda hard. Have you ever seen the show "Secrets of a Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Millan. Seriously, it might work for him. It establishes a dominant hierarchy, maintains control and Cesar never shouts or hits. It's not a perfect style of parenting, but it might be an acceptable option for the power hungry. (Sorry) Over time, maybe he'll feel more secure and not have to be a bully (Sorry, again) and completely in control all the time.

For a human version there's a great book called the Secret of Parenting. Which esentially states you're in charge because you say you are. Your kids love you and want your approval and all you have to do is require their obedience and (overall) you'll get it.

Good luck.
It's not just bullying to entrap a toddler that way, it's abusive. It's a total mind youknowwhat.

Imagine if you hired a prostitute to solicit your husband every day and night for weeks and then used it as grounds for divorce when he slept with her, or called the cops and had him thrown in jail. Why not lace his coffee cake with pot and then call his boss and tip him off on a need for "random" drug testing, eh?

I too can't stop thinking about you and your poor little girl. You might want to check out the surviving abuse forum here for some perspective.
post #11 of 15
I highly recommend Parenting Effectiveness Training for an alternative to authoritative parenting and an alternative to permissive parenting which he probably sees as the only two options (ie parents win/kids lose and kids win/parents lose philosophies).

Also, spanking and other punishments DO work as long as you have power over you children. The problem is the long term consequences as you lose power over your child as they get older. Not to mention that it is inducing fear to get a child to cooperate instead of inducing their empathy and problem solving and whatnot. Is having an obidient child now that will get more and more defiant as the child gets more and more power trump having a child that learns self-discipline and responsibility in the future? The book I mentioned explains this much better than I do. I think they may have a DVD as well if that works better. It's also GD without calling itself GD which often helps with folks that are already turned off to GD as your DH seems to be.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post
I highly recommend Parenting Effectiveness Training for an alternative to authoritative parenting and an alternative to permissive parenting which he probably sees as the only two options (ie parents win/kids lose and kids win/parents lose philosophies).

Also, spanking and other punishments DO work as long as you have power over you children. The problem is the long term consequences as you lose power over your child as they get older. Not to mention that it is inducing fear to get a child to cooperate instead of inducing their empathy and problem solving and whatnot. Is having an obidient child now that will get more and more defiant as the child gets more and more power trump having a child that learns self-discipline and responsibility in the future? The book I mentioned explains this much better than I do. I think they may have a DVD as well if that works better. It's also GD without calling itself GD which often helps with folks that are already turned off to GD as your DH seems to be.
Came back to say, YES..this. Exactly.

Also wanted to add that many of the parents we come into contact with who spank regularly typically have the kids who laugh at the spanking at a later age. Once they hit 5-8 it seems the kid(s) realize that this is as far as it will go. So they laugh while the spanking/swatting/whatever is happening and end up mocking the parents totally. It's made obvious that they truly haven't learned anything from their parents spanking them.

This is what REALLY frightens me because I know how infuriating and frustrating it can be to be openly mocked when trying to discipline a child. It can really be a big trigger for some. If the person is already spanking the child and the child laughs at them/mocks them/doesn't take it seriously, it makes me really anxious about how the adult will react. Will they spank them harder? Jerk them around to get them to pay attention? Then what?

Maybe that's just my own imagination running wild because I know not every spanker ends up bruising their child...but it just feels like such an open doorway. If a "swat" on the bottom is okay then maybe a smack on the hand is too...then if that's alright, the back of the legs..and so on. It just feels like a giant invitation for disaster and abuse.
post #13 of 15
We also talked about it long before we had children. I come from an abusive family so Im extremely sensitive to violence of any type. My husband has a short temper and had to learn fast he couldn't lose it with me (although he never has and never would raise his hand to me, its just not in his make up) because it would cause me to shut down totally.

That being said we knew it wasn't going to be a possibility but not for the reasons everyone here has. Our parenting philisophy has changed over time to becoming more and more GD. We do argue at times (like I don't like time outs, he doesn't see a problem with them) but we tend to be able to come to an agreement (instead of time outs we do time ins, one of us will sit with our daughter and talk with her until she gets calmed down). I found the only way to have a successful marriage and to be successful parents are to compromise together.
post #14 of 15
Wow. How incredibly sad for you, your daughter, and the poor innocent 6mo who is being abused. I agree with others above who pointed out that taking advantage of a toddler's inability to completely control her behavior as a pretext to physically abuse her is sick in the extreme. I literally feel nauseated thinking about it.

I am struggling to find something positive to say, but it's unlikely that someone who feels this way about physical punishment is going to change his mind. The best hope I can think of is that if there is someone, anyone in your life who he respects and admires who believes that spanking is wrong and could talk to him about it. But it sounds like there may not be anyone but you.

This is a sensitive topic for me, I will say, because I know first hand what the long-term effects of physical punishment can be. For me, it manifested sexually in later life in a way that will never be fixed. That's as much detail as I can provide and I've never said this to anyone before, not even my DH, but something about this post got to me. What your husband is doing to your daughter is likely to harm her emotionally in ways that will never be undone.

One of two things will occur: (1) she will hate and resent him; or (2) she will develop Stockholm Syndrome and poor self-esteem. I hated and resented and also developed poor self-esteem, so I had the worst of both worlds. My parents had ZERO influence on my moral development, and I never cared a fig what they thought about anything I did because they destroyed our relationship early on in my life. Fortunately, I managed to become a good person in spite of them, but our relationship is problematic to this day (though much better now that I have kids than it was during my young adulthood). My dad has said that he regrets the corporal punishment (which was not that frequent, maybe 2-3x a year, but it still scarred me for life). My mom still says "we didn't beat you enough." (which I understand is your husband's attitude).

Anyway, I know this probably isn't helpful, but I would never stand for my partner hitting my child. This was understood long in advance of marriage. I hope that you can get some help and find a resolution to this for your daughter's sake.
post #15 of 15
I agree with posters who say that your husband's treatment of your lo constitutes abuse. Google around for parenting classes in your area. Insist that he goes. If he doesn't, go yourself and bring him your notes and handouts. Go to parenting websites like zerotothree.org, and print out the stuff on discipline. It doesn't have to be GD, in fact, in this case it might be better if it came from a mainstream source. Bring the issue of with your child's dr. The next time he does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you step in and say, the dr said...
It's not just a GD thing, the AAP is against spanking.
Again, don't make it your goal to get him on board with GD, just make him stop with the spanking and manipulation.
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