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Is being AP a whole pick and choose whatever you want and do away with the rest? - Page 4

post #61 of 137
Mothra, You seem like a very wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent person, and you have a handle on something that I don't. FWIW I think you are ahead of your time. This is a very difficult thing to get a handle on. I can think of it in more than one way. I can see what you are saying about spanking being abuse, esp when you compare it to wife-beating. Wife-beating used to be the norm. It was accepted practice. That is where the phrase "rule of thumb" came from. A wife could be struck with something that was as big around as a man's thumb or smaller. Of course, domestic violence still occurs, but it is not socially acceptable. It is abuse.

Spanking is still socially acceptable behavior in this country. It has not yet been unlearned by the collective conscious. I dare say, that is where we are headed, though, so that's good. But, it has got to be replaced with something else. Something that works. The gentle discipline methods I have learned do not work! On my daughter at least! (Sheacoby, they are two peas in a pod, sounds like! And, yes I get dumb@$$ of the year award, too!) They work sometimes and sometimes they work for awhile. I am just not there yet and I can't consider spanking abusive in the face of the horrors out there that are wrought on children. It is a difference of degree. I really am not sure how else to explain. I don't know if I am making any sense. Spanking is still a discipline tool in this culture. One that I am trying to find a replacement for. It is hard to replace something that works for something that doesn't. Part of it is my kid, I realize. (And, yes, I have heard of ODD, my dad is a psychologist. I get a little hot under the collar about "disorders" and the overmedication in this culture, but that is another thread.) I also need to reread some of my books. I think I have forgotten how to do some of things I read about before. I need a "refresher."

It is a continuum. I'm not at the end of it. And neither is spanking. Intellectually, I can see that it is wrong and why it does not work in the long run. But that is not my lived experience. It works, but I can tell by the way she glares at me that it is not *the* answer. Haven't found it yet, though. I feel like I am fumbling around in the dark for the light switch.

I don't want to be told spanking is not abusive to make me feel better. I don't need anyone to make me feel better about it. If I felt better about it what would be the point? However, telling me that it is abusive doesn't help, either. To me, that is an intellectual thing. A research finding, a value judgement. And I don't yet agree with it. I don't consider myself abusive. I am not totally convinced that there are not some children who don't need a swat from time to time, because otherwise they will continually barrell on ahead like a bull in a china shop. I have corrected my child in the presence of other parents who then chide me to leave her alone, "She's okay, she is just being a kid" or something like. They don't know her, though. They don't know at what point she needs to be reigned in before she spins out of control. If I don't stop her *now* when her voice is simply too loud or she just bouncing in the seat, I will be too late to stop her when she is pitching overboard! (Or the zoo train conductor is turning around to tell her if she does not lower her voice and sit still she will not be able to concentrate to drive and the animals will be scared!!) : Who me, I've never even been to the zoo.
post #62 of 137
Why not? A smack on the butt is still a smack on the butt isn't it? As to the 2 questions you posed I guess I'd have to say not necessarily. Because there have been times that he's cussed in front of our daughter and I've smacked him on the butt and said "Hey! Watch it!" So I guess in your book I'm an abuser. Oh well, I suppose I can live with that. And good luck in getting people not to spank. BTW, there's an expression that goes "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Perhaps you should think about it.

Edited to say: Great post up there, Sofiamomma.
post #63 of 137
Sabrina and Mothra, I agree with you both. Therein lies the rub. I get my dd's attention when I spank. That is why it works. I get her attention when I yell. That is why it works. I have pleaded and pleaded for someone to tell me how else to get her attention. I have not yet found a way that consistently works. The drawback, of course is that she is scared and/or angry of/with me. I don't have a dh, but I do smack my friends and they me, in both a playful way and a "Hey! I don't like that!" kind of way. Perhaps that is the next thing to be called abusive! In the future our communication skills will be so advanced we will not resort to physical communication of that sort. Where is the line?
post #64 of 137
Sabrina-- you are obviously not open to discussing this seriously. If that is what you honestly believe, then I'm not going to bother.

Sofiamomma-- I'm not a psychologist, not even close, but I do have experience with kids who have ODD and kids who simply act like they do sometimes. I actually think medication for the majority of these kids is useless and I have seen behavior modification and diet changes work wonders for these kids. It is so heartbreaking to watch them lose all control of themselves. I was only with them for 8-10 hours a day and I remember clearly the frustration I felt at times. I understand your reluctance to labels, but you don't have to label your daughter in order to try some of the behavior modification techniques. I have to go run some errands right now, but tonight I will look for some resources and pm them to you, if you want. It sounds like you already have some but maybe a different take on things would jolt something for you.

Thank you for your patience with me, Sofiamomma. It is especially kind since I didn't show you any at first.
post #65 of 137
I am very much appreciating this discussion. I have the hardest time with this aspect of attachment parenting and find it is usually very difficult to discussion. The OP really pointed to something that bugs the heck out of me.

I apologize for skimming over using some of the techniques for ODD earlier. I can't quite get it all in. I'm posting as fast as I can! :LOL I would appreciate any help I can get. You are expressing yourself very well and I can see that you are genuinely wanting to understand another POV. I see that you are very patient. I have been very impressed with how people are expressing themselves here and being heard!
post #66 of 137
post #67 of 137
I am very opposed to spanking. I'm even opposed to calling it spanking - it's hitting. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that I think it is always abusive. However, I would go so far as to say that it is always wrong.

Hitting someone is humiliating. It detracts from the equality of a relationship. It's true, you have an unequal relationship with your child - you are the parent and must make a million different decisions a day which are in the best interests of helping your child grow and expand. They don't always like those decisions but they have to defer to you, the parent, who knows what is best. But there is a difference in the inequality between parent and child in terms of the way a household runs and the inequality in terms of the respect that each deserve - to me, there is no difference in the amount of respect your children deserve as opposed to the amount you deserve: it is equal.

The only thing hitting teaches is that the stronger person wins. The person who can overpower and intimidate will have the last say. It may "work" in the sense that it stops the behavior, but what does it do to promote the loving bond between parents and children? I can only imagine that it detracts from it.

Hitting teaches children that it is acceptable to be hit. I would assume (and you know what they say about assumptions) that the children who have grown up in a spanking household will either spank or not, but those that grew up in a non-spanking household wouldn't spank their own children since it has been ingrained in them that you just don't do it.

I'm curious about that: for those that spank, were you spanked? I'm really curious to see if any grew up in non-spanking households and decided that spanking is the better way to go.

Anyway, I am opposed to hitting and all means of physical intimidation but my best friend is the occasional spanker and you would be hard-pressed to find a better, more connected mother on this earth. I'm proud that she is my best friend and she has taught me much. But I still disagree with spanking.
post #68 of 137
Mothra, would you please pm them to me too. I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
post #69 of 137
Mothra, just because you don't agree with my beliefs doesn't mean I'm not open to discussing this seriously. Actually, I feel discussing this seriously is exactly what I'm doing.

I'm not trying to tell you that you should stop thinking spanking is abusive. If that's what you think than that's what you think. I'm not even suggesting you start going around saying spanking is NOT abusive. But throwing around accusations of abuse the way you are is not going to endear anyone to your cause. It makes people defensive (surely you know this) and when people are defensive they are likely not going to hear the good points you make.

Lovebeads, yes, I was raised in a household that spanked. Your post is great, and the kind of post I feel WILL make people stop and think about it. You expressed your opinions without being judgemental and accusatory. Most excellent.
post #70 of 137
You know, I think this is an interesting thread and it raises some interesting question. . . the allusion to Christianity brought something to the forefront for me though.

Is being respectful to your child considered a cornerstone of attachment parenting? If that's the case wouldn't it be sort of like the existance and life of Christ being a cornerstone for Christianity? It's not a question of literal or figurative interpretation of the bible (something that differentiates Christians), but a question of the existence of Christ (something that differentiates Christians from, say, Jews or Muslims). So if respectfulness to your child is a cornerstone of Attachment Parenting and spanking disrespects the child, then being a spanking APer would be sort of like saying "Yeah, I'm a Christian but I don't believe in Jesus." The two seem mutually exclusive to me.

I have no real judgements of parents who yell or spank. I was raised by a few of them - and I love them with all of my heart. I hate, though, that my first reaction to any conflict with Lilly is to bully, spank, or yell. I am doing everything in my power to change that, but the programming is difficult to debunk. I will say this, though -- I remember with stunning clarity the last time my mother spanked me. I was seven or eight and I ran from her. I feared her. I remember how I felt deep in my heart and how much it hurt me on an EMOTIONAL level. To this day when I think of the event, my heart races. It's been over twenty years since that happened, but I can still recall it all with an amazing amount of clarity and detail. I don't want my daughter to EVER feel like that.

We're probably more AP than most people -- nearly had a drug free labor, we breastfeed (and extended nurse), coslept until DD wanted otherwise (which STILL breaks my heart. I MISS her), we try to use gentle discipline, we babywore until DD wanted otherwise (again this breaks my heart, but it's about HER wants and needs, not mine). And yet I'm hesitant to call myself AP until I can deprogram my hitting, yelling, and generally bullying mind. No, I don't yell often. I've only spanked once. But EVERY time we have conflict everything in my being wants to yell and spank and hit. Until that changes, I don't feel comfortable calling myself AP.

As for others, well, I guess to each their own - if they want to wear a label with pride whether they follow it or not, I guess they can. But I really can't, in my mind, call someone AP when they don't follow the very basic tenet of the philosophy - respect for their child. And I can't see any way whatsoever that spanking, forced weaning, and CIO are respectful of the child.

**I should note, though, that CIO and fussing are, in my mind two very different things, and that for things like running into the street, touching a hot stove, or what have you, a certain amount of fear should probably be instilled in the child. I don't know how that should be done, but I'm continually learning here. I'll also note, for what it's worth, that my daughter is 18 months old and we are JUST ENTERING the boundary testing, limit-testing territory.
post #71 of 137
Quote:
Originally posted by LoveBeads
I'm curious about that: for those that spank, were you spanked? I'm really curious to see if any grew up in non-spanking households and decided that spanking is the better way to go.
I was spanked on and off. When my mom had us I was switched (for wetting the bed mostly) and spanked. My sister was pretty much beat on to the school bus every morning (I wasn't school age yet). When my grandparents had us ( most of the time) we weren't really spanked, however my older uncle (4 years older than me) beat us up and abused us in many ways. We did watch my grandfather beat our uncle on several occassions. I was abused physically, emotionally, verbally and sexually thru out a lot of my childhood.
post #72 of 137


(((((((Sheacoby and sister))))))))

Edited to add: this is why I can never get angry with a spanker. I remember that they were children once, too and probably spanked.
post #73 of 137
Thank you Lovebeads. You know I feel the same way when I think about that little girl that I was I just want to hold her so much.
I really never never want my dd to feel like I did as a child. I know I should never hit her and I feel so much grieve about this whole thing. I know she gets scared of me and it breaks my heart. I know I am so much better to her than anyone one was to me but it's not good enough. I want to be the best mother possible to her and my ds. Writing about this really helps a lot and has got me back on track to finding better parenting tools!!
post #74 of 137
Quote:
Originally posted by MFuglei

**I should note, though, that CIO and fussing are, in my mind two very different things, and that for things like running into the street, touching a hot stove, or what have you, a certain amount of fear should probably be instilled in the child. I don't know how that should be done, but I'm continually learning here. I'll also note, for what it's worth, that my daughter is 18 months old and we are JUST ENTERING the boundary testing, limit-testing territory.
MFuglei, this is exactly the kind of situations a spanking was reserved for in our household (like I said, last time DD was spanked was for running in the street and she never did it again). Did we like spanking her? Of course not. But we didn't know of any other way to instill fear of that situation into her. We'd already discussed it with her numerous times and taking something away from her wasn't something that would adequately get the point across.

If someone had walked up and offered us a better way that was guaranteed to make her understand that running into the street was extremely dangerous and not at all acceptable, we would have taken it. But we did the best we could at that current time with the skills we had.
post #75 of 137
this spanking tangent is very interesting. i don't have too much to add there, though. i did want to digress back for a minute to the original question of if somebody self identifies as AP, but spanks or does CIO or weans early is she still AP, here's what popped in to my mind. suppose somebody says to you, "i breastfeed", but then you find out that person breastfeeds only once a day and feeds her baby formula the rest of the time. (lets also suppose that this example mom has no physical difficulties precluding her from breastfeeding.) i guess the mom in my breastfeeding example would still be breastfeeding, but certainly not to the same degree as a tandeming mama who lets her children self wean. i don't know that I would self identify as "breastfeeding" if i only nursed once a day for a month and then decided formula was easier (remember, no physical problems), but some people would i guess. if you want to educate the moms who are doing CIO and spanking, etc you could offer to help and offer some resources/books, experience.

gotta run, but that was just burning a whole in my keyboard...
post #76 of 137
Quote:
Originally posted by LoveBeads
I am very opposed to spanking. I'm even opposed to calling it spanking - it's hitting. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that I think it is always abusive. However, I would go so far as to say that it is always wrong.


You said it beautifully.

Quote:
...my best friend is the occasional spanker and you would be hard-pressed to find a better...mother
That's how I feel about my dear friend who spanks. She honestly tries to do it "with love" and not in anger. I don't agree with it at all, but she loves her kids more than life itself and is the most selfless person I've ever met.
post #77 of 137
Quote:
Originally posted by SabrinaJL

If someone had walked up and offered us a better way that was guaranteed to make her understand that running into the street was extremely dangerous and not at all acceptable, we would have taken it. But we did the best we could at that current time with the skills we had.
And I guess this is why I'm searching for those skills now. I'm not trying to criticize you because I understand why you guys did what you did -- but for me, deep in my heart, being spanked was such a horrible thing that I can still remember it vividly, and I want to be armed with a different arsenal to deal with Lilly, you know?

Anyhow, not trying to be critical, just trying to say that I understand.
post #78 of 137
You guys, you *have* to differentiate between spanking, hitting, and abuse if you want anything to change, because *spankers* make that distinction, kwim? Spanking can certainly lead to hitting and abuse, but when someone who uses spanking as discipline refers to it they are generally talking about something pretty specific (the wooden spoon example not included).

Eilonwy, I have read that book. In fact I got it out last night to read it again. It was interesting to me that I am still dealing with a lot of the same issues that I was three or four years ago when I was doing the exercises in it. A lot of my issues with dd center around her acting like she is a grown up and not knowing how to behave in socially appropriate ways. The suggestions in the book work sometimes, but it is when they don't that I get so frustrated. It is very similar to Love and Logic, which also works, but sometimes doesn't. The problem with Love and Logic is that it requires so much time, effort, thought, planning, etc. ahead of time for it to work well.

I don't know if I should keep posting here or start a new thread, but I wanted to give a couple of examples. Last week I took dd out to eat. She was crying and the waitress came over to see what was wrong. She sat down and talked to dd like she was a real person and really helped her feel better. (Dd was upset about child labor laws. She wants a job.) Dd kind of glommed on to the lady after that. She does that. Kind of gets obsessed with people. So she's grabbing the lady around the waist and not letting go. As her mother I realized she needed to be stopped right then and not let it go further, but when I tried she waved me off. "Oh, it's fine. She's okay." When it was time to go I gave dd the check and sent her to pay, thinking that would distract her from the waitress. She didn't want to leave her, and I was trying to get her to go so the gal could get back to work, but she went with her. When the check was paid, dd was hanging off her, being totally inappropriate. The waitress said she needed to get back to work a few times, but dd wouldn't let go. Of course, at the same time I am trying to talk to her too. Finally, I start counting and she lets go. I could tell by the look on the lady's face that she was upset. When we got to the car I was trying to talk to dd about it, but she was blowing me off. Finally, I started yelling and only then did she listen to me. Today we went back to that same restaurant and I apologized to the waitress, but she never once came near us. I felt horrible. I was so humilitated and also sad for dd that she lacks these social skills and I can't figure out how to teach her without yelling. My insides were all twisted up. She was pretty nice on the way out, so I felt better, but I could barely eat, my stomach hurt so much.

Another example: We are in the car, dd2 needs to go to sleep. Dd1 is reading aloud. Dd2 starts to fuss every time dd1 speaks. So I say "You need to stop now, please." I didn't explain. Dd2 didn't any more talking and dd1 is smart enough to figure it out. Besides which she needs to not argue with me every time I ask her to do something or not to. So she keeps reading, because of course she isn't finished. I say "now", she keeps on I say, louder, "Now!", she keeps on and I am livid! I yell "NOW!, Not when you are done, not when you decide, when I say so!" Of course, now the baby is crying because I am yelling. I pull over, get the baby out, calm her down and nurse her, put her back in her car seat and ask dd1 to get out of the car. I tell she may ride home with me in the car if she can mind. I say I do not owe her an explanation every time I ask her to do something. If she needs to know why she can ask me later at an appropriate time. She agrees and the rest of the trip home is uneventful.

So, I understand that spanking is wrong, does not work in the long, is disrespectful of my child, and is not AP. I realize that I am not AP. I knew going into it as a single parent that I would not be able to truly be AP, or do everything the way I wanted to. I do get very frustrated, though, when I feel like I don't have alternatives that actually work and that my smart little cookie can not thwart!

P.S. If you read this and feel like you have no suggestions for me, could you maybe tell me why? Is my post too long, too hard to understand. You just don't get where I am coming from?
post #79 of 137
Kara, I don't have any advice because my dd does similiar things and I can't find a better way myself. It makes me feel a little better knowing my dd isn't the only child like this and I'm not the only mom that struggles. Of course I wish we all were perfect and knew exaclty the right thing to do at all times. However, I guess that wouldn't make us human.
post #80 of 137
I just had to pop in again and say one thing (or two) about spanking...
My ds#2 was about 18 months old at the time, when he did something (not sure what) that made my father feel it was ok to hit him on the butt. I walked in when he was "spanking" him... maybe 2 or 3 swats. I freaked. My son didn't appear upset by it, he wasn't crying, he didn't even look shocked: like what was that???? I confronted my dad, and told him NO ONE hits my kids, NO ONE!!! My dad's reply was Look it didn't even hurt him.
So what was the point of hitting him, if not to hurt him? That is what I don't get. If you are going to use spanking as a form of disapline even one you choose the very last to use, you are wanting to get something from it right? I mean to say you hit, but not to hurt... is good, but what is the point of hitting them if NOT to hurt them even just a little to get that immediate response. I mean it has got to sting or what is the point. I don't mean to say that as accusatory (sp) because I know just reading over it it sounds bad... but I am not sure how else to put into type what I am trying to say... so please for give the very judgementalness of this reply.
I guess what I am saying is, if you do hit, it is going to hurt, or what is the point of hitting?
I don't think that every child that was hit turns out to be a hitter or even as they grow up hits other kids. But I do think that it instills a fear into the child, that IMO (from being hit as a child) isn't good, and isn't something I want. For me the yelling (me to my kids) was so bad, I feel terrible about it. I realized that I wasn't even yelling out of love... I was at the end of my rope. That is when I desided I needed to find something better for me and my kids. I read "When Anger Hurts Your Kids" and that was so freaking helpful. I love it, and when ever Iget to the "end of my rope" I just pull it off the bookshelf and look inside and remind myself that just cuz I don't hit, doesn't mean my yelling and attitude aren't just has harmful....
OK I don't think I made any since here...
H
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