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Ear Pulling & Culture

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My DH has a habit of ear pulling my 3 year old son when he does something wrong or is not listening. I find it mortifying... as it's something I've never seen done to a child (and I try to be a lot more GD!) But, I acknowledge that it may be cultural...

He pulled our 13 month old son's ear a few days ago... which left the little guy bawling... and my DH saying, I didn't do it hard. (WTF... why would you discipline any 13 month old who obviously doesn't know any better??)

So how do you deal with cultural differences regarding discipline? My expressing my opinion doesn't seem to be going anywhere
post #2 of 10
Something harmful should not be excused because its a cultural norm. Being culturally acceptably doesn't make it ethically acceptable. I fully supporting honoring diversity and respecting differences, but every culture has "broken" aspects, and harming a child must be one of those broken aspects. Its not okay for him to do this.
post #3 of 10
Has he had it done to him as an adult? Does he REALLY know how much it hurts? Perhaps someone could do it to him, to show him how dreadfully painful any force applied to the ear is, and maybe he'll see that it's not a good discipline tool, as all it does is teach a child that his parent can and will hurt him quite a bit.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
LOL.. good idea, I'll have to do it back to him

Honestly... he says stuff that scares me... like "I guess I'll have to make him hate me"... or tells him that he's going to make him cry. It bothers me so much, that I'm thinking of leaving him.
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
Honestly... he says stuff that scares me... like "I guess I'll have to make him hate me"... or tells him that he's going to make him cry. It bothers me so much, that I'm thinking of leaving him.
post #6 of 10
Oh UmSami, I'm sorry.

Of course, if he's like that, you might *not* want to inflict physical pain on him to teach him a lesson...
post #7 of 10
I suspect he knows perfectly well what if feels like, because I suspect it was done to him. And on some level, he's still trying to justify it to himself.
post #8 of 10
It bothers me so much, that I'm thinking of leaving him.

he says stuff that scares me
Please trust what your instincts are telling you. Your priority is to keep your babies safe from harm. A "habit" of hurting your 3 yo and now your baby is a big red flag for me. I think it's great that you're acknowleging the role of cultural differences, but IMO, he's diminishing the fact that he's continually hurting his own children. A lack of concern about inflicting pain or having his child hate him...... You are mortified because you know it's harmful to them.

or tells him that he's going to make him cry

Would he be willing to consider counseling? It sounds like he has some issues that aren't going away, and he's not listening to your very important POV. You're the mama! What can you do to keep you and your little ones safe? What is he willing to do to ensure you and your children feel safe in their own home?

You don't have to answer these questions on the board. Just something to think about...please listen to what your inner voice is saying It's telling you something is wrong and steps need to be taken to address his actions.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
He did it again tonight. Sami wasn't cleaning up his toys fast enough... and he went and started pulling his ear. I told him to stop... he didn't... so I went to pull his ear. Good thing is, it stopped him from pulling Sami's ear. He yelled at me never to touch him again. I told him that ear pulling was considered child abuse in this country (which I have no idea if it is)... and he said, "I don't care. He has to listen to me." I said, "There are other ways to get him to listen."

As he was leaving, he promised Sami to go out for ice cream if he was good. I think that may be guilt, but who knows.

I've asked him to go to counseling... and he just says, "You need counseling." So I say..."Fine... let's both go." Even if I leave him, the boys will still spend time with him... still be subject to his forms of disclipine. I think I need to try and give him some more parenting tools before we leave... for everybody's sake.

I just don't understand why you would think hurting a child would do any good? He pulled me ear once, in a joking manner, and it hurt like heck.
post #10 of 10
I would treat this as if you had a spanking parent - it's the same philosophy, different body part.

If he won't go to counseling, go yourself. Remember, you can't make him change, but you can decide what you will do. Counseling will help YOU make the best informed decision that you can, to figure out what your needs are, and how to keep you and your children safe. (You need to have a VERY clear plan set up -- if he's at all dangerous or abusive to you, you need to have a very safe place to be away from him, where he can't contact you for several weeks while he gets over his anger.

The other thing is: Who, in his culture, mediates family disputes? Can you work within that kind of framework? Counselors are our culture's mediators, in many ways. Who else could you go to? I would specifically look for someone to help him gain parenting skills. Reading between the lines, it sounds like he got lousy parenting himself and/or the philosophy of what a parent is is very different. I'm just thinking that if you can work from within his culture to help him see that, then he can't dismiss it as this "crazy western idea of how to raise kids". If someone he respects tells him he's harming his kids, what would he do?
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