My bf just got cusody of his two sons, their mother is on drugs and we think she did bad drugs while pregnate with the oldest one that is 4 (Casen) right now. The other one is 3 (Cenlan) and is well behaved.-- At their mothers they hardly got baths or food or toys. We give them everything they need and more, but for the 4 yr old, its never enough he always wants more. He doesnt share with his brother and gets mad when his brother doesnt share with him. My bf spanks him and we use timeout or no tv. He says no and whines no matter what we do. He calls himself stupid and a loser and says the word hate alot, We have an idea where he got the words from but not sure why he says that abt himself. He has started hitting and bitting himself hard! And he bites his brother. I stay at home with them, while my bf works to support us. Someone please help us with some advice, We have already looked in therapy for him.
Please help us, my boyfriend's son needs help!
I would not spank that child, ever. Its not ok and its certainly not going to teach him not to hit or bite. Children that come from homes like that will have a hard time sharing because they are afraid there isnt going to be anymore. Its going to take lots of time before he understands that he is in a safe place and that there is more food and toys in your home. I imagine his sense of security and safety will only increase if you stop spanking him.
Therapy is a great idea.
Not spanking is just your opinion on parenting style. If nothing else works to discipline a child then I say by all means. I have a friend who has her 4 year old daughter in therapy. It's play-therapy so the child can work through emotional issues without thinking too hard on what she is telling the therapist. It's working pretty well for her. I would definitely suggest the therapy and TRY to use other methods than spanking and only use it as a last resort and if it's used as discipline make sure he knows why he was punished and that he IS loved when he has calmed down. Spanking used to be the only way I could get through to my 4 year old but he has gotten better with his behavior (CONTRARY to what doctors say happens to children that are spanked).
I don't think it's ever right to hit a child and I don't believe it will "work", either. It looks to me like the only spankable offense would be biting, but that's such a backwards message. He needs to be taught that he is worthy of love and respect no matter what his behavior, not that he will be hit if he steps out of line.
Spanking a child who was clearly abused, as stated by the OP, is not what is in the best interest of that child. It will not help him adjust to his new home. He needs to know he is loved, and that this new home is different that the last one. He needs to know he doesn't have to act out or mis-behave to get the attention of the adults in the household.
Everyone step back. Spanking is the LEAST of these childrens concerns at the moment. We want to take this thread off track to argue about this, or give the OP some helpful advice?
OP - give yourselves time. ALL of you. It is a huge adjustment for each one of you, you, your bf, Casen and Cenlan. Even in the best of times, I think a 4yo and a 3yo would act out. They are going to test boundaries - am I safe, will I still be loved if I hit, bite, destroy, whatever, why is this person speaking nicely to me instead of hitting me - it makes no sense in my worldview and makes me confused, is there really more food or toys or XYZ (and the 4 yo has learned to hoard as a survival technique, so that will take time and therapy to get over.) The list goes on and on.
You guys are going to need tons of therapy. You and bf will need your own support, and coping skills, and these two children - who knows what they need. I'd be on the phone in a millisecond getting whatever you can. And I would shop around. Therapists are like every other profession. There are some that are a total waste of time (due to bad fit, lack of experience, whatever), some that are actually damaging (just on the money train, really bad advice) and some that are worth their weight in gold (listen, over constructive advice, have a plan and limit on the therapy and goals to get to a specific point...). Shop until you find the right fit.