Friends and Corporal Punishment - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-13-2012, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll get right down to it. I have a friend that I have known for the last year, and she has a very spirited 4 year old daughter.

 

Her parenting style is MUCH more authoritarian style. Recently, she has begun disciplining her daughter physically. We had a playdate last week with the friend and another family. Friend's daughter hit another child in the head with a plastic baton, pretty hard. She left a lump and a large bruise where she hit the other little girl. Friend immediately grabbed her daughter, dragged her to the kitchen and I heard the sounds of either a spanking or a hand being slapped, and the daughter crying.

 

The sounds of the discipline were loud enough that my own 4 year old overheard it in the living room, and asked me what was wrong with her little friend. I explained to her that she was having a talk with her mommy, and that we should pick up a few toys and get ready to go.

 

This is not the first time we have experienced public corporal punishment, and I'm sure it won't be the last. We have seen it at a neighbor's house, at the park, and even at the library.

 

How do you explain corporal punishment to your littles? I for one, am at a loss.

 

 

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#2 of 4 Old 01-14-2012, 05:48 AM
 
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I always focus on the out-of-control behavior of the adult, if it is visible.  I would have done what you did when it happened in the other room.  I wouldn't have wanted to cause a bigger issue in my own child's mind.

 

Often, though, in a store, parents are stressed and hurried and jut rude and mean to their kids, and that includes spanking or threatening them with it.  I've just emphasized with my kids that it isn't okay to be out of control, and to talk to people that way.  We discuss how each party was probably acting, and how the grown up is responding, etc.  I use it as an opportunity to think through conflict resolution with my children, and try to keep any of us from becoming too emotionally invested in a situation we can't effect.

 

I know you didn't ask what to do about you friend, but I thought I'd off that if I had a friend who was being over the top, though, and not having much luck, I might spend some time really sympathizing with her situtaion, carefully not blaming her.  "Wow, so I heard that you've even had to try to start spanking your dd.  I know you've had a hard time with her, is it working?"  And, then, based on her response, maybe offer a few suggestions of articles you've read about sometimes punishment just ramps kids up, and ways of working wtih them, etc.

 

Change doesn't come overnight, and rushing people just creates conflict. If this mom is mean to her little girl, I'd keep my child from seeing it at all.  But, if she is just a struggling loving mama who needs some help thinking through her toolbox, I'd try to be a sounding board and drop a few "pondering points" here and there.  Just casually.  See where it goes.


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#3 of 4 Old 01-17-2012, 05:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

I always focus on the out-of-control behavior of the adult, if it is visible.  I would have done what you did when it happened in the other room.  I wouldn't have wanted to cause a bigger issue in my own child's mind.

 

Often, though, in a store, parents are stressed and hurried and jut rude and mean to their kids, and that includes spanking or threatening them with it.  I've just emphasized with my kids that it isn't okay to be out of control, and to talk to people that way.  We discuss how each party was probably acting, and how the grown up is responding, etc.  I use it as an opportunity to think through conflict resolution with my children, and try to keep any of us from becoming too emotionally invested in a situation we can't effect.

 

I know you didn't ask what to do about you friend, but I thought I'd off that if I had a friend who was being over the top, though, and not having much luck, I might spend some time really sympathizing with her situtaion, carefully not blaming her.  "Wow, so I heard that you've even had to try to start spanking your dd.  I know you've had a hard time with her, is it working?"  And, then, based on her response, maybe offer a few suggestions of articles you've read about sometimes punishment just ramps kids up, and ways of working wtih them, etc.

 

Change doesn't come overnight, and rushing people just creates conflict. If this mom is mean to her little girl, I'd keep my child from seeing it at all.  But, if she is just a struggling loving mama who needs some help thinking through her toolbox, I'd try to be a sounding board and drop a few "pondering points" here and there.  Just casually.  See where it goes.

yeahthat.gif

 

Very well said!

 


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#4 of 4 Old 02-03-2012, 06:11 AM
 
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I think you handled it fine... I too would focus on the adult's behavior being out of control and that it's not OK for anyone to hit anyone else. Given that this happened in the other room, hopefully your DD didn't totally make the connection and just saying they were having a talk is enough. Probably not a good idea to make too big a deal out of it unless your DD is really upset.

I have to admit, I would not be spending much time with a friend who hits her kids. I am just so completely not OK with that, unless they were making serious efforts to change their methods. If my kid & hers were close, I'd continue inviting just the daughter over so the kids could still play. I've been exposed to enough violence in my life that I just simply won't choose to be around someone acting like that. You can call it discipline but in my mind it's abuse.

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