or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › at the risk of starting a fire here, do you think that spanking EVER works?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

at the risk of starting a fire here, do you think that spanking EVER works? - Page 2

post #21 of 87
I think that there are many other ways that you could deal with things like hitting and kicking that are just as effective. I think it is very childish to say "if you hurt me I will hurt you more" which is essentially what you will be doing if you hit her after she hurts you. You also can't say that this is the last time she will ever kick you since she is still alive and may still do it again.

My dd has gotten like this twice when she was very overtired and we were having a hard week and I just moved out of her reach, talked to her gently, and held her away from me where she could do no damage when she came towards me. She hasn't had a seen like this for several months and hopefully won't again but if she does I am confident that I will find it in myself to draw off of what I know rather than my anger to help her get past this.

I know that society seems to say that it is okay to hit kids and that they deserve to be hit, but I know many women, including my mother, who deeply regret ever spanking their children and they apologize for it and beat themselves up about it a lot. That is not the kind of thing I want to do when I look back on parenting my child.

There is a great line that I read out of Adventures in Gentle Discipline by Hilary Flowers that said that "Violence starts where knowledge ends." I truly believe that to be true.
post #22 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylady
Thanks for not flaming me mommas.

I did apologize and that was that. No more kicking. No more spanking. No more threats of spanking.



I did that for MONTHS. And that works for everything else. But she has a fiery temper like a little lion. I spoke to her. we role played other ways she can express when she is super angry. I left the room and told her calmly I would be in the other room and she could come when she calmed down. I have calmly led her to her room and told her to stay there until she can calm down. I have knelt down and hugged her because she was so angry she felt the needed to kick me to get it out. I have told her firmly that KICKING HURTS. I have shown her the bruises she left on my shins to show her that kicking hurts.

I tell you, NOTHING worked with this issue. I suppose eventually it would have, but kicking me in the stomach is NOT acceptable and the behavior HAD to stop.

anyway...it won't be something I resort to. That's for sure.

Man, that's tough. I always preach prevention, I guess you probably tried that, too, huh? It's probably pretty hard to dodge a three year old.

I agree with the previous posters, that it's not a desirable way to solve a problem, but I also strongly doubt you seriously damaged your relationship with her. That's the thing about relationships, they're personal, complex, and resilient. So I wouldn't beat yourself up over it. And I would tell her that you're not going to spank her anymore, because you don't want that threat lingering between you and eroding your love for each other.
post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by katallen
My dd has gotten like this twice when she was very overtired and we were having a hard week and I just moved out of her reach, talked to her gently, and held her away from me where she could do no damage when she came towards me. She hasn't had a seen like this for several months and hopefully won't again but if she does I am confident that I will find it in myself to draw off of what I know rather than my anger to help her get past this.
With all due respect, the op's situation seemed a little different than this. She replied that she had tried other solutions for months, not just once in a while. I kind of agree with Dharmamama, when the problem is chronic and perpetual, sometimes getting the behavior stopped is a way to regroup.
post #24 of 87
Hey, my child kept going at the stove so I flicked some boiling water on his fingers. The first time I was angry, but the second time it happened I planned to do this in advance. Does this approach ever work?

My wife refuses to clean our apartment. It's a total dump. One day I'd just had enough. It's so unhealthy to live like this and I couldn't take it any more. I was angry and I hit her. The next time I planned it in advance. Guess what!? Now she's cleaning up. Does hitting one's spouse ever lead to the desired changes?

Much of this thread is sounding like a slightly veiled defense of spanking. Hey, I tried everything else, didn't do it in anger, and it's working. Hey everyone else, does it sometimes work to hit your children into submission? Yah, you can beat a child into obedience -- or at least into sneakiness. Some children may take more beatings than others to get to the desired position of subordination.

I don't feel like this is the place for a thread with pro-spanking sentiments -- especially in the freggin' gd forum.

SPANKING IS NOT AN OPTION to turn to when you are having trouble with HUMANE approaches to parenting.
post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dal
Hey, my child kept going at the stove so I flicked some boiling water on his fingers. The first time I was angry, but the second time it happened I planned to do this in advance. Does this approach ever work?

My wife refuses to clean our apartment. It's a total dump. One day I'd just had enough. It's so unhealthy to live like this and I couldn't take it any more. I was angry and I hit her. The next time I planned it in advance. Guess what!? Now she's cleaning up. Does hitting one's spouse ever lead to the desired changes?

Much of this thread is sounding like a slightly veiled defense of spanking. Hey, I tried everything else, didn't do it in anger, and it's working. Hey everyone else, does it sometimes work to hit your children into submission? Yah, you can beat a child into obedience -- or at least into sneakiness. Some children may take more beatings than others to get to the desired position of subordination.

I don't feel like this is the place for a thread with pro-spanking sentiments -- especially in the freggin' gd forum.

SPANKING IS NOT AN OPTION to turn to when you are having trouble with HUMANE approaches to parenting.
Every single poster has said that they felt this exact same thing, why do you think you need to line us out? I don't think she needs to be sarcastically castigated for her mistake, she voiced her immense frustration and discouragement.
post #26 of 87
No one here has advocated spanking.

Most of us have said that spanking only "works" in the short term.

I think everyone here has encouraged the OP not to do it again.

Some of us have said that one or two spankings probably hasn't irretrievably broken down the parent-child relationship.

Berating the OP for doing something that she knows she shouldn't have done just to march in lockstep with the GD line wouldn't be productive.

Sympathizing with the OP for the tough spot she is/was in is NOT the same as advocating spanking. It's merely acknowledging that sometimes we fall short of our own parenting standards and giving some support.

Not every thread from a parent who spanked and regrets it has to turn into another platform for proclaiming the evils of spanking. We all know them already.

Namaste!
post #27 of 87
Haven't read the other replies but here are my .02.

I think it depends on what your definition of 'works' is. Can spanking stop a certain behavior? Yes, I think it can 'work' to make a child stop doing X Y or Z. In your case kicking. I don't though think it 'works' in the long run at getting into the heart of the issue. It doesn't teach WHY the child why he or she shouldn't do X, Y or Z. It just teaches them to avoid pain by not doing X, Y or Z. So to me, I would not define that as working at all.

I definitely think aggressive type behavior (kicking, biting, hitting etc) need to be addressed, but personally, I am not comfortable addressing them with spanking. My 4 year old was a very aggressive 2-3 year old so I have BTDT and it was hard. I'm not sure if you are looking for alternative ways to deal with that, but if you would like to hear some of what we did to stop those things, I'd be happy to share that.

But to answer your question, I would say I think spanking can appear to work in the short term by stopping the behavior but I don't think it works at all in the long term at teaching the child why the behavior is not acceptable.

HTH
post #28 of 87
I think maybe the biggest "risk" in a situation like the OP described is realising how well it works (in the short term, immediate sense) and applying it to an ever growing set of misbehaviours. In other words, its a slippery slope, especially when other methods don't seem to work.
post #29 of 87
Calidris has hit the nail on the head. It IS a slippery slope, and when you are exhausted and at your wits end and on those days when you just don't have the emotional energy to handle it the way you should....well, those are the days when one remembers the "quick fix" and resorts to it. I've been there. I'm sure many of us have. That is the real danger of the OP's situation.

I'd also like to add that children learn best, the most, from modelling. By using spanking the adult sends a message that hitting is okay under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, those circumstances are evaluated subjectively, therefore the biggest person gets to decide when. That's just not a lesson I want to teach, no matter how well it works in the short term.

I'd also be willing to bet that the child will "re-offend", despite the threat of spanking. This is the other danger, is that the child will either decide an action is "worth the spanking", or they will simply require harsher and harsher punishments. The first time a child is hit the reactions is intense. But after a while, children get used to being hit. And then you have to up the ante.

OP, you are not a horrible mother at all. It is obvious you are torn inside. We've all been in places where we've acted in ways we wish we hadn't. The best thing to do is apologize to your DD, tell her that spanking was NOT the right way to handle it. Be honest with her. You'll all be okay.
post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora114
And I thought this thread would stay snark free...

So much for that.

:
That was not a snark. I really think the OP already knows in her heart that there's a better way than spanking/hurting, since she's basically saying it to her son.

How about not looking for a "snark" in every thread? Sheesh.
post #31 of 87
Yes, I think that the way my parents and other relatives of their generation used spanking, it worked. HOWEVER, IT WAS NOT THE BEST CHOICE THEY COULD HAVE MADE. They did it rarely, in situations where a child was going completely wild and had been unresponsive to at least half a dozen gentle and reasonable approaches.
Example: Kid is spinning around the kitchen, in socks on the tile floor, singing loud silly songs, while mom and grandma are trying to cook. Mom firmly tells kid that he may choose whether to stop that or leave the room. No change. Mom explains that kid could slip and fall and hurt himself or her or grandma, and it's particularly dangerous because of the hot things and knives in use. Kid spins faster and sings louder. Mom makes several specific suggestions of other things kid could do. No change. Mom physically pulls kid into living room and tries to interest him in a game. Kid pulls away and spins back into kitchen, narrowly missing grandma and a pot of boiling water. Mom speaks firmly to kid again. Kid spins faster and sings louder. Mom grabs him and slaps him once on the butt. Kid is shocked. Mom leads him out of the room as he begins crying. They sit in his bedroom talking about why his behavior was wrong and had to stop. Then she tells him to stay there until dinner is ready.

I never saw this approach fail to stop the wild behavior for a few hours at minimum. The shock of being hit, because it was RARE and because it only happened at times when I KNEW I was running wild but was sort of weirdly enjoying it too much to quit, always startled me out of the wild mood and made me feel very contrite. It was as if I got so swept up in this wild mood that I just couldn't think logically about whether it was dangerous or how it was affecting other people, and I couldn't really hear what my parents were saying until their action came through: "HEY!!! I AM REAL AND I MEAN IT!" The humiliation of being spanked sort of jarred me into feeling humiliated that I had behaved in such a stupid way in the first place. Thus, I think it did in fact help me to improve my inner discipline. I disagree that spanking works only because the child fears future spankings and therefore walks on eggshells to avoid upsetting the parent; that wasn't my experience at all. My behavior on an everyday basis was guided by gentle discipline and the resulting desire to behave such that my parents would respect and approve of me. I never feared that ordinary disobedience (like ignoring my dad when he told me to get ready for bed) would result in a spanking, because my family didn't use spanking that way.

Still, I think spanking was not an ideal way to handle the rare wild situations because it sent the message that hitting is sometimes okay. It's not that I interpreted that to mean hitting is ALWAYS okay; by about 5 years old I understood quite well the sort of situation in which parents (in my family--there was a lot more spanking in some of my friends' families) could hit kids, so when I was alone with my younger brother and he was wild like that and ignored my attempts to calm him, I would hit him. And then my parents would punish ME and not him!! That didn't make sense.

Luckylady, I understand why you spanked your daughter, and I think it did "work" for now. It may even have solved the problem permanently, not because she now lives in constant fear of being spanked, but because she now understands that she is really absolutely not allowed to hurt you and you really mean it. If the problem does recur, you need a better strategy, and you are working hard to find it. I think you're doing fine. Spanking was not the ideal solution to this problem, but having used it in this one extreme circumstance doesn't ruin your entire relationship, IMO.

Before everyone flames me: I have never spanked my child. I do not plan ever to spank him. I am doing the best I can to learn every possible alternative strategy so that I will never feel I "have" to resort to spanking.
post #32 of 87
THe question is not does it ever work. If it didnt it wouldnt have been the prevalent practice for tens of thousands of years.
The real question is "at what cost?" and "is there another kinder solution that will work just as well?"
post #33 of 87
I agree with the pps who said it can work in the short term. I don't think it will work long term, though. It is frustrating to be kicked or hit ever, but especially when you are pregnant, tired and feel like you have tried everything else. I wouldn't worry about undoing it, you really can't anyway. You've talked to her and apologized I would just let it go and vow to do better next time.

I have to say I think you have a lot of courage to come here (of all places) and admit to spanking your dd. That shows you are committed to finding a better way for you and your child. Good luck to your family.
post #34 of 87
Quote:
And as much as I do not believe in spanking I have to say that it worked for this situation.
That sounds like advocacy to me.

I don't think you are a bad mother. I realize you were frustrated/upset/hurt and that your daughter was being violent toward you by kicking you...I get that. I don't think your relationship is damaged forever.

Okay, that disclaimer aside... I think the comment I quoted is far more damaging than the actual spanking. It justifies the use of hitting as a means to an end. It presents (imo) the image to other people who are on the fence about gd'ing to think "well sure I will try gentle discipline but spanking is okay for certain situations"... I wouldn't want anyone to think that....especially you. I agree with the pp that it can be a slippery slope. It is used "just" for hitting, then "just" for this, or "just" for that -- before you know it, it is one of the tools in your toolbox. It happens that gradually, better to nip it in the bud while you can and just make hitting your child NOT AN OPTION. That is how I look at it in our family. It simply isn't an option.

Good luck to you...
post #35 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylady


I did that for MONTHS. And that works for everything else..

It it "works for everything else" than you have NOT tried what I am talking about. I am talking about reserving certain message for ONLY when physical behavior is involved.
post #36 of 87
Wow. Well, I'm a little surprised that this question would be asked here.

I am far from an expert, but my response would be - yes, things like spanking, timeouts, all sorts of punishments do sometimes work in the short-term ... and sometimes very effectively.

But they are still not things I want to do. I would never treat my DS like a dog. In fact, I don't want to treat my DOGS like most people treat their dogs.

What else could you have done? If it were me, I would have gotten up and left. Not the room (my DS at 2 would feel abandoned if I left the room), but I would not have continued laying there.

I don't blame you for having the reaction you did. I have certainly not always had the reactions I should to my DS, and while I've never spanked him, I've been just as bad a couple of times.

But, don't you think it says something about our culture that your instinct was to lash out, instead of removing yourself from the situation? Peaceful solutions are not our strong point, generally speaking.

It doesn't seem likely that you hurt your relationship with her long-term... you're only human. But if you continued to repeat this pattern, my personal belief is that it would set up a very adversarial "I'm the boss of you" relationship, and she would start to see hitting as a way to solve problems.

I'm really sorry you're going through this. No one should be in that position. But, maybe we can use this thread to brainstorm on other GD solutions? Leaving is the best way to send a message (not leaving the house though, even though you might want to... LOL). Maybe we can all come with more solutions and ways to communicate that kicking mama endangers the baby and is a VERY socially unacceptable behavior?
post #37 of 87
Thread Starter 
Envirobecca - your post made me cry. That is exactly the thoughts I had on this. I have not spanked her before...

Maya I don't know how old your child is, nor do I know his or per personality. Let me assure you that my child is INTENSE and was born that way. This is the only thing she has ever done that hurts me - she was never a biter or hair puller and never hurts other kids. She started this kicking me thing a few months ago, which is psychologically right about the time it WOULD happen - she is pushing me away. My Harsh voice is saved for when I mean it - like running from me and I say STOP. I mean it.

I am not advocating spanking by any means - I was wondering the thoughts as to if it ever really works as a teaching tool.

Someone else hit the nail on the head when they said violence starts where ideas end. Obviously true here. I literally tried EVERYTHING EVERYTHING to get her to stop hurting me. And when nothing else worked - ie; I was out of ideas - I spanked her.

Hopefully the behavior won't happen again - she has gotten mad since then of course, and she says to me "I am feeling really really mad!" And I will back off as the case may be, or she will simply tell me to leave her alone. yes, those are her words "Leave me alone." Just today she threw a fit that she didn't want to go in the store (after we drove 20 minutes to get there - we needed to get food for lunch or I would have just left) and wanted me to leave her in the car. Obviously I am not leaving her in the car. She has a little temper and let me assure you - she was BORN with it. She started crying her hysterical PO'd cry so i asked her if she needed to cool off. She said yes. So I closed the door and when I reopened it she had calmed down and I asked her if she wanted to be in charge of getting all the fruit and she was happy with that idea.

Someone gave an example of splashing the child with hot water...My DD's personality is such that when I told her no touch, the oven is HOT, she looked right at me and touched it anyway - and she will STILL do it if I tell her the oven is hot!!! I am afraid she is like me in that respect - has to learn it see it and experience it for herself. Sometimes the hard way.

Anyway - I am rambling and obviously need to find another tool box of ideas for the obstacles to come - of which I know there will be some.

So thank you mommas.
post #38 of 87
I wasn't trying to be harsh when I said it sounded like advocacy. I was basically saying that if itis even in your toolbox...at all.. even if it is a "last resort", then you are more or less advocating it. I think personally, it should not even be an option.

For example. Would crystal meth have *worked* to keep me awake during finals in college? Sure, they would have -- pills too or whatever....they would have definately given me the energy to pull all nighters and the edge that coffee never could. They just simply WERE NOT AN OPTION. It was not even something I would have considered. I think that is where people (imo) should be with hitting (people who desire gentle discipline). Choosing to even eliminate it from any of your options...that way after so long, it won't even be something that is considered for a second.

I really hope that you and your daughter find some middle ground and that you stop, breathe, think, and remove yourself from the situation (temporarily) if the urge strikes to spank again. Good luck and peace to your family.
post #39 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I wasn't trying to be harsh when I said it sounded like advocacy. I was basically saying that if itis even in your toolbox...at all.. even if it is a "last resort", then you are more or less advocating it. I think personally, it should not even be an option.

For example. Would crystal meth have *worked* to keep me awake during finals in college? Sure, they would have -- pills too or whatever....they would have definately given me the energy to pull all nighters and the edge that coffee never could. They just simply WERE NOT AN OPTION. It was not even something I would have considered. I think that is where people (imo) should be with hitting (people who desire gentle discipline). Choosing to even eliminate it from any of your options...that way after so long, it won't even be something that is considered for a second.

I really hope that you and your daughter find some middle ground and that you stop, breathe, think, and remove yourself from the situation (temporarily) if the urge strikes to spank again. Good luck and peace to your family.
This was an excellent metaphor captain!
I agree 100%.
It doesnt matter whether or not it "works" it is not even worthy of consideration.
post #40 of 87
We agree Joline.... holy crap... *waiting for the apocalypse* jk
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › at the risk of starting a fire here, do you think that spanking EVER works?