I spanked my 3 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 04-23-2009, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I used to be such a great mom when DS was a baby. Breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, etc.
I was so sure I would do all the right things but after DS turned 2 I haven't lived up to my expectations at all. It has been such a huge struggle, especially with another baby now.
DH has been away for a week. No family close by. No breaks. And today I've just had it and I spanked DS.
He's never been spanked in his entire life.
This is not the parent I want to be at all.
Where do I go from here?
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#2 of 12 Old 04-23-2009, 11:23 PM
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apologize to your child. promise yourself you will not do this again. Next time you feel the urge, separate yourself from the child. Find support (this forum is a great place) to find solutions that don't involve hitting. Here is a list of books too:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1050388
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#3 of 12 Old 04-23-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I have a 3 year old, a new baby, just moved away from home with no family nearby, and my husband is gone about 90% of the time. It is not easy and I completely understand.

What is working for me right now is to take DS to his room when we are both angry and butting heads. I have to pick him up, carry him up there, and shut the door. I tell him that he needs time to be angry and then calm down, and so does mommy. We both get a few moments away from each other to cool off, and then we can both calmly discuss the situation.

Apologize to your son and tell him how much you love him. Tell him that hitting is never okay. Talk about what you should have done instead and what you will do next time.
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#4 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 03:48 AM
 
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I just wanted to give you a hug and tell you it'll be ok. You're not a terrible mom, you just had a terrible moment. The PP's advice are a good place to start.
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#5 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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I agree with the above posts. Apologize, never let it happen again, find other ways to deal when you're angry with him, and move on (don't beat yourself up over it anymore, because it's not going to do any good to stay depressed about it). Just find a solution. Hang in there.
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#6 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 11:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuits & Gravy View Post
What is working for me right now is to take DS to his room when we are both angry and butting heads. I have to pick him up, carry him up there, and shut the door. I tell him that he needs time to be angry and then calm down, and so does mommy. We both get a few moments away from each other to cool off, and then we can both calmly discuss the situation.

Apologize to your son and tell him how much you love him. Tell him that hitting is never okay. Talk about what you should have done instead and what you will do next time.
This.

We all make mistakes.


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#7 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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i have btdt. my dd at 6 1/2 is fine.

however that to me was a big wakeup call.

i started looking for things to make sure i keep everything in perspective. like remember that my dd is a child and that all bad behaviour was a cry for help. i worked on developing compassion so that i would not get angry. it took me a while but i was able to change my way of thinking. one thing that helped was keeping 3 pictures of my dd on the fridge from birth to present to show how she was changing and growing up.

when i was getting angry i discovered the best thing for me was to give myself a time out, go take a break after making sure my dd would be safe adn then go scream into the pillow in the bathroom or do some breathing exercises.

i took as many breaks as i could possibly take. and made sure i wasnt cleaning or doing housework during that time. i was doing something for my soul. either reading or taking a nice long relaxing bath. or just going out for a walk. my hosue suffered but i didnt care.

btw before my ex started taking dd i did not get breaks either. so at hte cost of sleep i would take them when dd was asleep. read or watch a movie (with her sleeping with me - sound on silence and read subtitles) or take a bath. or paint my nails.

usually i have noticed when i get frustrated or mad at my dd - it really isnt about her at alll. its something irritating me in my life and making me angry and me lashing out at my dd. which is why when i see anger coming up i take a breather.

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#8 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frazzled_mom View Post
I used to be such a great mom when DS was a baby. Breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, etc.
I was so sure I would do all the right things but after DS turned 2 I haven't lived up to my expectations at all. It has been such a huge struggle, especially with another baby now.
DH has been away for a week. No family close by. No breaks. And today I've just had it and I spanked DS.
He's never been spanked in his entire life.
This is not the parent I want to be at all.
Where do I go from here?
Well, at least you realize that it's about you and not him. That took me awhile to learn. Now, you search for tools to use when you need them. I love the video "Unconditional Parenting" and it really helped me to become a more relaxed and non-punitive, non-threatening parent. Of course, I'm nowhere near perfect, but at least I have another tool to use when things get crazy around here. The thing about "unconditional parenting" is that it's a tool to use on yourself, not children.

Feel better.
Lisa

Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will.  If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk Rainbow.gif  New  User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/user-agreement

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#9 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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You sound a lot like me. Except that I'm worse.
I was a "perfect" mom to my son until he was about 2. We had this amazing bond. Then I got pregnant, and when I am pregnant I get very sick, so as a SAHM (with no family nearby) I was at a loss for what to do with my son. I really needed help, but didn't seek any. So I just became angry (not saying this is like you're situation, I'm just explaining what "changed" me). I started yelling at him and spanking him more and more. He became scared of me. And that made me mad at myself, which came back to him. It was an awful year. In the last couple of months I've been able to realize what I "turned in to", and how completely disgusted with myself I am. My husband has no problems spanking on occasion (the whole "we were spanked, and we're fine and love our parents" argument that I can't figure out how to contradict). And I have a long line or anger and abuse in my blood (I believe in generational curses, but even if you don't there's definitely something horrible spanning generations in my family).
I feel like the bond I had with my son is completely gone. I'm also having a hard time adjusting to his growth - now he's a real person that walks, talks, argues, jumps off of things, tells me stories, wants to understand, etc. I am clueless. I just don't know how to respond to him. I've mostly stopped spanking. I feel like my anger is definitely being absorbed by him. But I still feel like... a parent who has no idea what they're doing. Shouldn't you know by 3? I also feel that once my daughter was born, I expected much more of my not yet 3 year old than was fair to him. It was because I was exhausted with the baby, and had no idea how to juggle both of their needs. So my sons needs got somewhat ignored. I have finally put some money into getting regular help with my daughter, so that I can be less overwhelmed.

Anyway, don't feel too bad mama. Sometimes I get so depressed about spanking that it makes everything worse. I have started some counseling, which I think may help. I'm also looking for lots of help and support locally. And when I'm alone with my son, I try to think before I act. It's a simple concept, but surprisingly effective, although you have to train yourself to do it.
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#10 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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I'm right there with ya, Mama. I'll be watching this thread for ideas.
I have no problem giving you a break but it's so very hard to give myself that same treatment. We can get out of this rut and be the Mama's we want to be.
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#11 of 12 Old 04-25-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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I had an "A" as a parent when first was born and it has steadily gone downhill since I never used to imagine that I could get angry with my precious baby. Now I have three and sometimes it is overwhelming. Sometimes I make big mistakes. Make your mistakes a time for growth and learning. You will do better next time.
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#12 of 12 Old 04-25-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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1. forgive yourself and move on. Ask your son for forgiveness.

2. Totally take it off the table as an option.

3. Make a plan for what you will do when the urge to spank strikes. In my case, I never had the urge to spank until our older dd would hit our younger dd, who was medically fragile, and we got into repeated struggles, it, her hitting the baby with me trying the hold the baby away from hits. So I had a plan -- basically, physically and calmly separate the two kids and then comfort the older child over a babygate if necessary. Whatever the plan is, just take spanking completely out as a choice.

4. get your dh on board.
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