How Could I have Handled This Differently? (spanked DS) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 55 Old 06-08-2011, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have never spanked almost 4 year old DS until yesterday. Here's what happened:

 

We arrived home from the park and had 30 minutes to go inside, eat lunch, and leave again once DH got home to do something DS was really looking forward to. DS wanted to wait in the car. I calmly told him it wasn't an option because he's not allowed to be out in the driveway/front of the house by himself (busy street, garage was too full to pull in) and besides it was too hot to stay safely in the car.

 

DS refused and started banging things around in the car very roughly, almost breaking things. I calmly told him he needed to stop and he could walk in the house himself or I could carry him in, which would mean a time out in his room. He immediately slammed the console shut again so I grabbed him firmly and brought him into the house. On the way to his room he started hitting me. I told him this was not ok and I would take a toy away for every time he hit me. I was up to 5 by the time he got to his room. I stayed calm this whole time (amazingly).

 

After a couple minutes his room was quiet and I opened the door to talk it over. He had one leg out of his window sill and laughed at me as he climbed the rest of the way outside and ran around the house (first floor window). When he ran back inside I took hold of his arm and marched him back to his room to talk. He started hitting me again.

 

Now I was trapped: I couldn't stay and let him hit me and I had no safe place to leave him alone. Taking his toys/privileges away was having no affect on his behavior. I explained that because I wouldn't let him hit me and I couldn't safely leave him alone if he didn't stop I would have to spank him (I explained what this meant). He kept hitting me so I spanked him. He cried long and hard as I held him and explained calmly over and over why I did that. I just keep trying to figure out what else I could have done.

 

We bought a window lock so he won't be able to get out his window again, but what do I do if he's hitting me and there's not a safe place to leave him alone?


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#2 of 55 Old 06-08-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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Perhaps wrapping him in a blanket and holding him til he's calm might work. Or bear hugging him from behind so his arms are kind of pinned. I know not everyone agrees w/measures such as these, but I've worked in day cares and been a nanny for lots of kiddos that were pretty wild or had wild moments and the only safe thing I could do was hold them firmly until they were calm so they could remain safe from themselves and the other children. That's not to say I didn't come away with some bruises, but you just keep repositioning them or you to keep their limbs from flailing about as much as possible. 

I know you didn't ask about anything else, but I'm gonna offer...perhaps using natural consequences when he started hitting will help more than say taking away toys which have no correlation to him hitting you. I'd say some time in his room would suffice. He's pretty young yet. Usually enough time for them to calm down or 1 minute for each year old they are and not have it be punitive. They're allowed to come out when they're ready. and they're allowed to play or read or whatever. There's no "naughty" chair to be forced to sit in. The goal is for them to chill out, not feel bad, cuz that really doesn't help. If he comes out and he's still riled up you just calmly walk or carry him back to his room and explain that it looks as though he's not ready to come out and that you'd like him to stay in his room a bit longer. If it escalates you may just have to drop everything, not worry about time schedules, and sit with him til he's ok. Transition times in a busy full day can be really challenging for littles to deal with.

Good luck!!


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#3 of 55 Old 06-08-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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The first thing I would have done differently is allowed either way more or way less time at home.  30 minutes would have been a disaster for us.  There wouldn't be enough time to wind down from the park, prepare and eat lunch and be ready for Dad to come home.  We'd need at least an hour.  OR  I would have lunch ready in the fridge, zip in and grab it and eat in the car while waiting or with Dad on the way.

 

I would also make his room a safe place for him.  You've got the window locks, so that's good. You didn't mention why else his room might not be a safe place to have him cool down.

 

If you don't have a safe place I like the bear hug suggestion from above. 

 

Also, were there any other options than his 'stay in the car' and your 'come inside'?  I let my girls sit on the front step sometimes when I can see them.  Or maybe he could have run in the backyard while you got lunch ready?


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#4 of 55 Old 06-08-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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I have nothing productive to say otherwise, but I just can't fathom how this is any better than spanking.  I feel that way, too, about yelling.  "I yelled today, but at least I didn't spank" doesn't seem any better to me.  Emotional abuse is just as bad.  I think a near 4yo being rapidly swaddled would be traumatic and induce a fight or flight response.
 

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Originally Posted by prescottchels View Post

Perhaps wrapping him in a blanket and holding him til he's calm might work. Or bear hugging him from behind so his arms are kind of pinned. I know not everyone agrees w/measures such as these, but I've worked in day cares and been a nanny for lots of kiddos that were pretty wild or had wild moments and the only safe thing I could do was hold them firmly until they were calm so they could remain safe from themselves and the other children. That's not to say I didn't come away with some bruises, but you just keep repositioning them or you to keep their limbs from flailing about as much as possible. 

I
 

 


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#5 of 55 Old 06-08-2011, 08:15 PM
 
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I have nothing productive to say otherwise, but I just can't fathom how this is any better than spanking.  I feel that way, too, about yelling.  "I yelled today, but at least I didn't spank" doesn't seem any better to me.  Emotional abuse is just as bad.  I think a near 4yo being rapidly swaddled would be traumatic and induce a fight or flight response.
 

 



I completely disagree. I think hold/swaddling a 4 yo is way different than spanking. This method is used in facilities all over the country that specialize in dealing with emotionally or physically abused children. My brother was a hitter, and this is how we learned to deal with him. I dont think a bear hug is emotionally abusive. Typically children fight and fight and then eventually go limp when they are in a hold like this and then you just keep holding them and calming them down. I have even seen children go from being held like this while they were hitting to laying in the peson's lap and holding their hand after they had calmed down. Its a really good way to keep the kid from hurting other people or hurting themselves.

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#6 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 05:19 AM
 
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I'm not a fan of the bear hug. I did try it with my challenging kid, but it seemed really cruel, as it totally did freak him out in a very bad way. Like, I think he really convinced himself I was trying to murder him or something. The effect was really bone-chilling, tho.

 

My kid was closer to 4.5 when consequences like grounding and my modified timeout started being effective. Around that age he was really into certain TV shows, riding his bike up and down the sidewalk, and playing with neighborhood friends. Grounding him from that stuff became really effective eventually. But *nothing* was really effective at 3, so all I know to tell parents of three yo's is advice about how to try and stay sane. (aka, don't blame yourself for having a nutty kid, some kids are just like this, I have a second kid now who just doesn't do this stuff, and kid #2 was parented just like the hellion was.)

 

Until your kid is at an age where they can make a logical choice (hit mom vs get grounded, etc) to not hit you, etc...I just don't know. You just survive it. Everything you did minus the spanking. I know of no research backing my opinion up, but I strongly suspect that the exact same age where spanking starts to "work" is the age where grounding starts to "work".

 

If you try the bear hug, or anything else someone here comes up with, I very honestly hope it's effective for you right now. I mostly just want you to know that you didn't "make" your kid be like this because you're not enlightened enough or whatever. lol. And that there's a 90-99% chance that eventually non-spanking consequences will be effective.

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#7 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 05:29 AM
 
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i'm glad you got window locks - a safe place is the best answer.  In the situation you describe i would have probably done the hugging (welcome to MDC where hugging = hitting!) if there were no safe place, what about a bathroom, or your bedroom?  An empty bathtub can be good to cool down - i once put my DD in, fully clothed and put the water on and got in, also fully clothed, with her.  It sure broke the tension!  If there were truly NO safe place where he could chill out i would have gone with the hugging to keep him safe and try to avoid getting hit.

 

And i think you're lucky in a weird way - if i'd smacked my DD she'd have climbed straight back out the window yelling that her mama was beating her (i don't smack) and she's on the 2nd floor (well, 1st in the UK!) but it wouldn't have stopped her!

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#8 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 05:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

i'm glad you got window locks - a safe place is the best answer.  In the situation you describe i would have probably done the hugging (welcome to MDC where hugging = hitting!) if there were no safe place, what about a bathroom, or your bedroom?


Right.  Maybe I misunderstood what a bear hug was.  To me it is a big hug that would keep DC close without my getting hit.  Thereby giving them a chance to cool off without anyone getting hurt. And we'd be close enough so that I could talk to them.  It certainly wouldn't involve emotional abuse or anything! yikes!

 

I'm still of the mind that the OP's child's behavior was a product of his circumstances that snowballed out of control.  Making some changes, ie making a safe place for him to cool down, planning the schedule better,  offering options, etc,  might prevent her from being in the situation to begin with.

 


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#9 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 06:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

  I feel that way, too, about yelling.  "I yelled today, but at least I didn't spank" doesn't seem any better to me.  Emotional abuse is just as bad.  I
 

 



I just have to respond to this. As someone who has been through a childhood full of emotional abuse, and is a recovering yeller herself, let me say yelling is NOT the same thing as emotional abuse. Yes, they do many times go hand in hand, but there is a significant difference. Emotional abuse involves shaming, guilt trips, put downs, name calling, manipulation, threatening... Yelling can be as simple as the raising of one's voice to show irritation/frustration, or it's outright screaming, and sometimes involves the above. I have yelled many times but I have NEVER emotionally abused my children.

 

"The American Medical Association AMA describes Emotional Abuse as: "when a child is regularly threatened, yelled at, humiliated, ignored, blamed or otherwise emotionally mistreated. For example, making fun of a child, calling a child names, and always finding fault are forms of emotional abuse.Emotional abuse is more than just verbal abuse. It is an attack on a child's emotional and social development, and is a basic threat to healthy human development."2

 

http://www.findcounseling.com/journal/child-abuse/emotional-abuse.html

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#10 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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Wow I would have lost my head with that behavior (I have had that behavior and I have lost my head).  Was he tired?  I'd probably have threatened to take away whatever activity he was going to do with your husband, and followed through.  And screamed my head off about 'absolutely unacceptable' behavior.  And I'd probably still be lecturing him.  winky.gif

 

I dislike the bear hug thing.  I guess it might work for some kids but not mine.  


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#11 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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These replies are all so interesting and helpful. As at least one pp mentioned, I now see it was definitely a result of events spiraling out of control. We are going through a stressful time as I just miscarried twins last week and my parents had been with us for a week and just left on the morning this incident happened. I remember the exact moment when he was sitting in the car slamming the console down ignoring me and I literally felt something snap inside of me...I was done! I couldn't stand the fact that he was blatantly ignoring me and I felt so helpless to get him inside. I also am physically weak and tender from my miscarriage so I was leery of doing anything too physical with him (i.e. carrying him inside or trying to restrain him while he was hitting/kicking).  I know all that played into spiraling out of control...not only did it affect DS but it affected my tolerance levels and ability to creatively deal with the situation before it got out of control.

 

Regardless, I'm not perfect and there are times when I let things spiral.

 

But once I am healed physically (and emotionally lol) I will definitely try the bear hug technique next time things get out of control (and I'll be even more aware of the steps leading up to the "getting out of control" danger area!). I just feel like sometimes when he gets so angry or just out of control...I don't know how to stop his behavior and get him to "snap out of it" so to speak. Up until now, keeping him in his room worked and hopefully still will now that we have window locks.


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#12 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 08:22 AM
 
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Oh I am so sorry for your losses.  :hug:


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#13 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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These replies are all so interesting and helpful. As at least one pp mentioned, I now see it was definitely a result of events spiraling out of control. We are going through a stressful time as I just miscarried twins last week and my parents had been with us for a week and just left on the morning this incident happened. I remember the exact moment when he was sitting in the car slamming the console down ignoring me and I literally felt something snap inside of me...I was done! I couldn't stand the fact that he was blatantly ignoring me and I felt so helpless to get him inside. I also am physically weak and tender from my miscarriage so I was leery of doing anything too physical with him (i.e. carrying him inside or trying to restrain him while he was hitting/kicking).  I know all that played into spiraling out of control...not only did it affect DS but it affected my tolerance levels and ability to creatively deal with the situation before it got out of control.

 

Regardless, I'm not perfect and there are times when I let things spiral.

 

But once I am healed physically (and emotionally lol) I will definitely try the bear hug technique next time things get out of control (and I'll be even more aware of the steps leading up to the "getting out of control" danger area!). I just feel like sometimes when he gets so angry or just out of control...I don't know how to stop his behavior and get him to "snap out of it" so to speak. Up until now, keeping him in his room worked and hopefully still will now that we have window locks.


I'm so sorry for your losses!   We all have times when we just snap.   In our house we have a code word that we use with DD1 when she pushes our buttons.  We call it 'burning'.  As in, "DD1, I feel like I am really burning up inside!  This [insert behavior] has to stop now!"  She knows, now, what that means and will usually back off.

 

Another suggestion, which I remember from pre-marital counseling, is to try to diffuse the tension and anger with humor.  It is incredibly difficult to let go of one's own anger and frustration, but in doing so you can often release others (kids, partners) from their own snowballing anger.

 

So in this case, when the car incident started to get out of hand maybe saying something like "how loud can you honk the horn?"  (or even honking it yourself to catch him off guard)  or starting to sing a silly song or asking him to climb out the back hatch instead of his seat  might have distracted him from his anger.   DH and I sometimes bust out with an inside joke when we feel like our disagreements are getting too heated so maybe a joke with DS could work, or a silly hat made from something not a hat. You know, just do something so over the top that it grabs his attention.

 

It can be so hard to find a solution because so many suggestions might or might not work given the day or situation, but hearing them might trigger an ah-ha moment the next time you need it.

 


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#14 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so sorry for your losses!   We all have times when we just snap.   In our house we have a code word that we use with DD1 when she pushes our buttons.  We call it 'burning'.  As in, "DD1, I feel like I am really burning up inside!  This [insert behavior] has to stop now!"  She knows, now, what that means and will usually back off.

 

Another suggestion, which I remember from pre-marital counseling, is to try to diffuse the tension and anger with humor.  It is incredibly difficult to let go of one's own anger and frustration, but in doing so you can often release others (kids, partners) from their own snowballing anger.

 

So in this case, when the car incident started to get out of hand maybe saying something like "how loud can you honk the horn?"  (or even honking it yourself to catch him off guard)  or starting to sing a silly song or asking him to climb out the back hatch instead of his seat  might have distracted him from his anger.   DH and I sometimes bust out with an inside joke when we feel like our disagreements are getting too heated so maybe a joke with DS could work, or a silly hat made from something not a hat. You know, just do something so over the top that it grabs his attention.

 

It can be so hard to find a solution because so many suggestions might or might not work given the day or situation, but hearing them might trigger an ah-ha moment the next time you need it.

 


Great ideas! I love to stockpile mental options so hopefully at least one will come to mind in the heat of the situation! I'm a little ways into the Playful Parenting book and the humor ideas sound like something that would come from there :)

 

I think having a code word might work with DS too. I'll have to talk it over with DH and DS and come up with something.

 


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#15 of 55 Old 06-09-2011, 07:23 PM
 
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Ahahaha.  I think this comment was a little much, but whatever.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

(welcome to MDC where hugging = hitting!)


 

A bear hug is one thing...wrapping in a blanket is another.  I can't picture how this goes.  So, the child is in a rage, and is screaming and hitting and whatnot and you wrap him in a blanket so tightly he can't move?  Seriously?  Holding a child and preventing them from hurting you, to me, is SO different from this whole "wrap him up in a blanket" thing. 
 

 


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#16 of 55 Old 06-10-2011, 02:23 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by GoBecGo

 

i'm glad you got window locks - a safe place is the best answer.  In the situation you describe i would have probably done the hugging (welcome to MDC where hugging = hitting!)

I don't think hugging = hitting, but I just don't think it's anywhere close to a normal hug when the kid thinks you're trying to kill them. I think if you're doing something to your kid and they think you're trying to kill them, I think you need to stop, regardless of your actual intentions or how unsafe they actually were.

 

My kid might very well have been a unique snowflake with his perception of my "hugging" him to get him to stop hitting me, but I'm skeptical.

 

The "bear hug", when used, is a method of restraint. And it's not a method of restraint that all kids respond well to, IME.

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#17 of 55 Old 06-10-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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I felt like I needed to chime back in. I know folks here are mostly against forcing their children to do things against their will, as am I; however, until you've experienced an out of control child who doesn't respond to redirection, humor or distraction and is in danger of harming themselves or others you won't understand fully why someone would want to use this technique.

 

There's a book on this topic if anyone is interested in learning more. http://www.amazon.com/Holding-Time-Martha-G-Welch/dp/B002ECEHZQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307734070&sr=1-1

 

I think the thing I appreciate most about this method is that it shows a child that despite the intensity of his anger you are there with him, you love him, and even if he hurts you-you're still there, and it can lead to some serious bonding/reconnecting when the tantrum is complete. One of the key things is to remain calm and loving yourself. You're there to witness every emotion your child needs to express while keeping them safe, and as the tantrum diminishes you are able to lessen the firmness of the hold until the child is merely lying in your lap calm as can be.

 

I'm not advocating this as a method to be employed for every child. It was merely a suggestion for something the OP might try in the future if she finds herself in a similar situation.

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#18 of 55 Old 06-10-2011, 02:28 PM
 
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Well, you  lost it and committed what is an act of violence against your child. You need to admit responsibility for it. There is no rationalizing about it. You did not swat his butt as way of preventing him from dashing  into a busy street. You went after him and spanked after you told him that you would do it. That is premeditated acts of violence. You are teaching someone not to hit by hitting  them

 

That said, it is important to forgive yourself once you accept what you done. 99% parents loose it at some point and do something they regret. Remaining 1% are liers.

 

I had kid with bipolar disorder who did all sort of property damage an hitting others until his disorder was under controls. We learned safe restarting methods. You can get hold of a child and restrain them using your body in such way that is no harmfull to them, not harmful to you and allows you to prevent them from being danger to self and others. It is very important to stay calm, and not talk at all sometime, because during an episode like this a child is not listening.

 

 Also, if the window is totally secure, sometime it  helpfull to let kid rage in his room. Afterward, it is his job to clean up and it is explained to the child that thing he broke will not be replaced

 

Eventually, the child becomes exhausted and stop struggling. I find it help full  at this point to do something like have tea or lemonade together and talk calmly.

 

 

Both methods worked for my son. Another good  thing about dealing with hitting and tantrums in non violent way that it was good for me too. I did not have to feel guilty about spanking or slapping my child.

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#19 of 55 Old 06-10-2011, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, you  lost it and committed what is an act of violence against your child. You need to admit responsibility for it. There is no rationalizing about it. You did not swat his butt as way of preventing him from dashing  into a busy street. You went after him and spanked after you told him that you would do it. That is premeditated acts of violence. You are teaching someone not to hit by hitting  them



I feel this was harsh and unnecessary. I came to this board for help because I wanted different options, not to help me rationalize what I did was right.

 

To be honest, the rest of your post lost all credibility with me. Next time you're trying to help someone with alternative methods to spanking perhaps you could be a bit more gentle. Especially to someone who is in the middle of a grieving process for 2 lost babies.


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#20 of 55 Old 06-10-2011, 07:00 PM
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Ok, first, just put what happened into the emotional compost pile. It's done now, and you can move forward with a better situation.

 

I completely and totally and utterly agree with the PP who mentioned you needed *more time.* When I feel rushed, I feel tense. When I feel tense, my son feels my tension and acts it out physically in some way -- running around crazy, climbing on things, getting into things he shouldn't, hitting, screaming, etc. He's just about 3, btw. So, I know I need to give myself more time for things -- and so I might have reorganized this day around the activity with Daddy so it would be more mellow overall. 

 

In addition, DS goes nutso when he's hungry. He can't say that he's hungry, but when he is, he starts acting crazy. Feeding him makes a huge difference -- he mellows right out. So, it could have been a combination of hunger and tension that was setting your son into a completely mercurial state (cheeky monkey climbing out the window!) that frustrated the heck out of you.

 

There's also a situation going on, isn't there? You are grieving -- which means emotions are running very high and you have a very short fuse -- right? This means you also need much more patience with yourself in these situations -- if you loose it, you loose it. It goes into the compost bin once it's done, you move forward.

 

I'm pretty sure every parent has been at the end of their rope -- and done something that they truly didn't want to do. I know that I have been there. And, it's true, I need to intellectually own up to it, but that doesn't mean holding on to regret and guilt over it -- because that makes it harder to develop skills so it doesn't happen again. That's why it goes into the compost. :)

 

I would say that if you can make sure he's fed and give yourself more time in general, things will go more smoothly. after that, he might just be a normal little guy who is deeply curious and capable of extremely mercurial behaviors. My son is also quite mercurial. It's not inherently naughty, btu sometimes it is and he knows it! He's full of mischief. Sometimes, I have a low tolerance for it.

 

I find that if I can see the humor, and laugh at his mercurial way of being, he feels that he's being seen and valued for what he is doing (exploring, playing, mischief), and he's very willing to do as I ask "oh, come here you funny boy!" tends to work well. But, only if I have emotional space for it, you know?

 

Create space for yourself and your son at every opportunity -- particularly because you are grieving. You'll both be fine, truly. 

 

I'm very sorry for your losses. 

 

 

 

 

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#21 of 55 Old 06-10-2011, 07:16 PM
 
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I am sorry you feel this way. I feel that the way to move on and change is to face the reality.   There is always something that put us all on edge....there is always something that make whatever it is the kid does the last straw.  It is easy to be loving nurturing parents when life is stress free.

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#22 of 55 Old 06-10-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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Wow. Let's not beat up on people, huh? That's hardly helpful. We spanked on one day (and stopped spanking on that very SAME day out of horror at what we had done), and we understand that we just needed to forgive ourselves for that one lesson learned and be SO grateful that we learned it so fast and never did it again. Forgiveness is the way to go. And vowing to be different next time.

 

As for the OP, my son would also escalate pretty quickly and the more force I used with him, the more he'd use back. It was AWFUL. I mean, we'd carry him in to time out and he'd hit and bite. In hindsight, now I see that in your situation, I would have been wise to just do something I learned to do called "going on strike." I would have just said "you're not coming in with me? Ok, we sit in the car here. No lunch, no event with Daddy. I need you to cooperate if we're going to have lunch and some fun." And that's it. I sit there. Grab a book, read something on my iPhone, whatever. (Of course the engine's running to keep us cool with A/C.)

 

It's real hard to force someone to DO something. But you CAN control what YOU do. I've done that in other situations with my son, too, like if we're driving down the street and he's, say, throwing a toy around hitting me in the head or if it's just a dangerous distraction. I will just pull over to the side of the road and take out a book to read. When he protests I say "we can keep going when you're ready to put the toy down. I won't drive with that going on in the back seat." Totally non-confrontational. Works every time. Have you considered taking that route? When we tried punishments, time-outs, all that, our very intense little guy just got worse and worse and worse. That was before we realized that the punitive approach was just NOT the way to go with him.

 

Every child's personality is different. Yours sounds similar to mine. Even so far as the climbing out the window and/or running away laughing. Smart kid. They can see that the more "force-y" we get, the more angry we get, the more out of control and powerless we really look to them. It's odd but true!

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#23 of 55 Old 06-10-2011, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Zoebird and Nelliekatz, thank you...both very helpful replies. I like the "going on strike" idea. I can see that being very effective for my son. I'm so grateful to be adding these tools to our parenting!


Married to my wonderful DH; Mama to DS born 6-07 and 4 in heaven brokenheart.gif1-06 (7 weeks) brokenheart.gif1-10 (6 weeks) and our twins 5-11, brokenheart.gifone sweet boy (17 weeks) and brokenheart.gifone precious baby girl (18 1/2 weeks).

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#24 of 55 Old 06-11-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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Hi,

our five year old can be very intense and went through a phase when he would completely lose control and try to hit, kick and bit us. When this happened there was absolutely no point in trying to hold any kind of rational conversation. He really was in a different place and just couldn't stop himself. We would hold him to restrain him in a sort of bear hug so he couldn't harm himself or us, but we would make sure that we were absolutely calm (not always easy!). He would generally fight against us a while but then relax and often cry - like a big release of tension. I think he found his own aggression very scary and it was reassuring to see that we were not rejecting him in any way or feeling rejected by him. I can see that this wouldn't work for all children but it did work for him, although like I said, I think it's important it is done in a very calm and loving way.


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#25 of 55 Old 06-11-2011, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prescottchels View Post

I felt like I needed to chime back in. I know folks here are mostly against forcing their children to do things against their will, as am I; however, until you've experienced an out of control child who doesn't respond to redirection, humor or distraction and is in danger of harming themselves or others you won't understand fully why someone would want to use this technique.

 

There's a book on this topic if anyone is interested in learning more. http://www.amazon.com/Holding-Time-Martha-G-Welch/dp/B002ECEHZQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307734070&sr=1-1

 

I think the thing I appreciate most about this method is that it shows a child that despite the intensity of his anger you are there with him, you love him, and even if he hurts you-you're still there, and it can lead to some serious bonding/reconnecting when the tantrum is complete. One of the key things is to remain calm and loving yourself. You're there to witness every emotion your child needs to express while keeping them safe, and as the tantrum diminishes you are able to lessen the firmness of the hold until the child is merely lying in your lap calm as can be.

 

I'm not advocating this as a method to be employed for every child. It was merely a suggestion for something the OP might try in the future if she finds herself in a similar situation.



I think this might work for some kids, but not all (as you mentioned). I know for my child the more I touch him and "get in his face" so to speak the more the tantrum escalates. He is VERY introverted and needs his space to calm down. It took us a long time to realize this about him. Well we knew he was introverted but didn't realize how our close proximity during outbursts was affecting him. I will remove him from situations where he is being unsafe but I quickly try to give him his space, ie, his room or somewhere else.

 

I think the best approach is to try to avoid the outbursts in the first place. But with a 5 yr old myself and having seen this behavior for over a year now, it's not always possible.

 

Making his bedroom as safe as possible is a good idea. We've considered removing more items out of ds's room because his angry outbursts have been causing damage to walls, doors, etc. The window lock is a good idea.

 

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#26 of 55 Old 06-11-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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grouphug.gif Sorry for your loses OP.

 

The thing i first picked up on was that he either get out of the car or you would carry him out but if you did that he had to go to time out. I think that just makes it worse YK he is upset to leave the car (for whatever reasons) so if you have to remove him them he gets punished? I think things may get better if you relax a little on the threats and punishments. When you focus on the bad it just stresses you both out KWIM? I like the whole make it into a game idea and things like that.

 

Also I find with my nephew (who has a lot of "behavioral problems" and is spanked several times a day) whenever I need something from him I make sure to get to his level and make eye contact and ask him firmly but kindly. I will say "John I need you to take a breathe and stop playing with the AC" or you now something like "Alex we are getting out of the car now to go make lunch and then we can see daddy ok bud?" I always say thank you when he listens or I will say "good job listening that makes me happy". Granted he is not my child but he did live with me on and off throughout his 4 years (he has had a complicated life) so I have some experience.

 


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#27 of 55 Old 06-11-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Well, you  lost it and committed what is an act of violence against your child. You need to admit responsibility for it. There is no rationalizing about it. You did not swat his butt as way of preventing him from dashing  into a busy street. You went after him and spanked after you told him that you would do it. That is premeditated acts of violence. You are teaching someone not to hit by hitting  them

 

That said, it is important to forgive yourself once you accept what you done. 99% parents loose it at some point and do something they regret. Remaining 1% are liers.

 

I had kid with bipolar disorder who did all sort of property damage an hitting others until his disorder was under controls. We learned safe restarting methods. You can get hold of a child and restrain them using your body in such way that is no harmfull to them, not harmful to you and allows you to prevent them from being danger to self and others. It is very important to stay calm, and not talk at all sometime, because during an episode like this a child is not listening.

 

 Also, if the window is totally secure, sometime it  helpfull to let kid rage in his room. Afterward, it is his job to clean up and it is explained to the child that thing he broke will not be replaced

 

Eventually, the child becomes exhausted and stop struggling. I find it help full  at this point to do something like have tea or lemonade together and talk calmly.

 

 

Both methods worked for my son. Another good  thing about dealing with hitting and tantrums in non violent way that it was good for me too. I did not have to feel guilty about spanking or slapping my child.


Seriously?
OP just lost two babies. Could you be any less sensitive? OBVIOUSLY, she knows that it was wrong, otherwise she wouldnt be asking for help.

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#28 of 55 Old 06-11-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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Dr. Laura Markham has a wonderful parenting website/newsletter that has really helped me as a parent.  One thing that might have worked earlier on in that situation was what she calls wish fulfillment. "When a desire can't be granted, acknowledge it and grant it through "wish fulfillment"" (from her article Teaching Emotional Intelligence When Emotions Run High).  I've been using it with my 5 y.o. DD and it can be a great distraction. 

 

So, when you were still in the car and your son wanted to stay, saying "You really, really wish you could stay here in the car!  It's so much fun to be in the car, and you don't want to have to go inside with me.  What would you do in the car?  Pretend you're the driver?  Let's pretend we're racecars and zoom really fast inside!  Do you think you can zoom faster than me?"

 

Trying to reframe with what he can do, vs. what he can't do - you can do xyz in the house, but it's not safe for me to leave you in the car while I'm inside.  Do you want to stay in the car for a couple of minutes and sing a song, then we'll go inside and eat lunch? When Daddy comes home after lunch, you can get back in the car.

 

Other thoughts include telling him you would both come back out to the car, but you needed help packing a "picnic" first to eat in the car, and grabbing some food from inside and heading back out (even if it meant you had to turn the car & a/c back on for 5-10 minutes), asking him if he wanted to help prepare lunch in some way (wash fruit, count pretzels onto plates, set the table, fill cups with ice & water, etc.)  or let him have a quick a bath or watch tv or while you were fixing lunch and then even feed him in the tub or in front of the tv.

 

For my DS at that age (he's now 8 and still thrives on predictability), the rush of getting home from the park, going into eat and having to leave again & unpredictability of doing something new/not usual schedule after (even something fun) would have sent him over the edge, especially if he was hungry/thirsty at all or just tired from all that playing. 

 

Once he was already out of control, voicing his emotions for him can help instead of getting into a power struggle (threatening to take toys/privledges away).  Easier said than done sometimes in the heat of the moment, but easier with practice.

 

 

 

 

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#29 of 55 Old 06-11-2011, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAMom View Post

Dr. Laura Markham has a wonderful parenting website/newsletter that has really helped me as a parent.  One thing that might have worked earlier on in that situation was what she calls wish fulfillment. "When a desire can't be granted, acknowledge it and grant it through "wish fulfillment"" (from her article Teaching Emotional Intelligence When Emotions Run High).  I've been using it with my 5 y.o. DD and it can be a great distraction. 

 

So, when you were still in the car and your son wanted to stay, saying "You really, really wish you could stay here in the car!  It's so much fun to be in the car, and you don't want to have to go inside with me.  What would you do in the car?  Pretend you're the driver?  Let's pretend we're racecars and zoom really fast inside!  Do you think you can zoom faster than me?"

 

Trying to reframe with what he can do, vs. what he can't do - you can do xyz in the house, but it's not safe for me to leave you in the car while I'm inside.  Do you want to stay in the car for a couple of minutes and sing a song, then we'll go inside and eat lunch? When Daddy comes home after lunch, you can get back in the car.

 

Other thoughts include telling him you would both come back out to the car, but you needed help packing a "picnic" first to eat in the car, and grabbing some food from inside and heading back out (even if it meant you had to turn the car & a/c back on for 5-10 minutes), asking him if he wanted to help prepare lunch in some way (wash fruit, count pretzels onto plates, set the table, fill cups with ice & water, etc.)  or let him have a quick a bath or watch tv or while you were fixing lunch and then even feed him in the tub or in front of the tv.

 

 

 


What a great article! I'm really beginning to realize how far I've slipped into auto pilot these last couple weeks. Thank you for the helpful ideas and alternatives.

 


Married to my wonderful DH; Mama to DS born 6-07 and 4 in heaven brokenheart.gif1-06 (7 weeks) brokenheart.gif1-10 (6 weeks) and our twins 5-11, brokenheart.gifone sweet boy (17 weeks) and brokenheart.gifone precious baby girl (18 1/2 weeks).

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#30 of 55 Old 06-12-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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So, The first thing I would say is better prevention.  What are his triggers?  Is it low protein, is it time scrunch, is it transition issues?  Find out what need of his was being expressed.  I think a lot of tantrums can be prevented by getting to the root and meeting needs before they happen.

 

Next...I am having a hard time figuring out what you mean by he was slamming down the console.  Was he in the car out of his car seat?  I had a strict rule with DS at that age that either he was strapped in or he was out...there was no hanging out in the front seat of the car because he just could not resist pushing buttons and playing with the shift and the emergency break...so he was strapped in or not in the car.  If we had to wait in the car, we listened to the radio and ate snacks and played I spy, while he strapped in.  He was always strapped in.  So maybe it would be good to have a strapped in policy?  I mean if you had the windows open, doors locked, could you have run in and gotten a quick snack and then sat in the car listening to music with him? or playing a game?  Could you have gone to a drive thru for a bite to eat in that 30  minutes, as a compromise seeing as time had been cut so short an he was having a hard time with the transition?

 

I also like a PP mentioned would have given more time between the park and another stimulating event...or skipped the park altogether before an exciting event. 

 

But once you miss that opportunity, I would at the first swat at me A) choose a natural consequence: like maybe -- hitting means you are out of control so there will be an earlier bed time that night to get more sleep even if that means leaving the event with daddy early or hitting means you are not ready to be in public so no outing, pal, what a sad thing, but if I can't trust you not to hit your own mother, how can I trust you not to hit other people?...but after he has calmed down, not in the heat of the moment. or B) pick him up immediately, at the first sign of a tantrum and plop him down in the kitchen and feed him.  My DS esp. at that age was very sensitive to an empty stomach. I started carrying snacks in my purse.  I had a steady supply of boiled eggs in the fridge and always had cheese and peanut butter ready.  I'd have taken him in and sat him down and said "You need to eat."  and put out something protein packed and I would stand there (not close enough for him to hit me but sternly with arms folded) and wait for the bus...basically telling him with my body there is no option.

 

I would definitely not make threats or discuss unrelated consequences after things have gotten out of control or while carrying him into the house (which was a consequence in itself...it's sort of a double jeopardy situation.  He already feels he's being punished for something else and now anothr thing fr noit liking the punishment?)...he's already feeling impotent and out of control, so threatening to take away toys or privileges for being unhappy about it, even if violent just seems to something that would escalate things, ya know? 

 

I think you could have gone in with him sitting on the other side of the room to talk to him and said if you hit me again I will have to leave to keep myself safe, and then go sit outside his window to make sure he doesn't get out, and keep taking him back to room each time he does.  But sitting outside his room means you can talk to him.  So you can find out what was reall going on with him. 

 

Sounds to me like things just escalated quickly, and you were running behind schedule and you just needed him to get on board with your plan.  I found that age to be particularly difficult during high stress moments in my life.  I had a plan, it would be great, if only he would flipping get on board!  And then he has a different plan and it can be hard to give that up when you are emotionally invested in the plan.  Next time I would have offered a couple compromises "We could run in, and grab a bite to eat and then we could wait in the car together."  or "How about you come in and you can watch a video while we wait for daddy." I try to remember to be fair to DS and honor his needs, too.  Sounds like your DS had a real need to be ready to go and really felt being in the car was the best way to meet that need.  Maybe suggesting other ways to meet that need like "Okay, but you have to eat lunch before you go out or you'll be super hungry later, and you need to change that T-shirt so you stay cool enough/warm enough, and you probably want to pick a toy to take with you, in case you get bored, right? then we can come right back outside and wait for Daddy."  Or "Okay, Buddy, but 30 minutes is LOOOOOOOOONG time!  are you sure you want to wait? " and then probably wait it out with him in the car, windows open, music on, playing a game or something and text your DH to let him know he's going to have to pick up lunch on the way to the event.  

 

That being said, you've been through a lot the last few das it sounds, so don't beat yourself up.  No one thinks at the best or does their most creative problem solving when run down, emotionally weary and physically run down.  He'll get over it, and eventually you will too.

 

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