how to tell others not to discipline my child.. - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-26-2005, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure exactly what GD is...but I would like some advice. I live with several other people (my mother's roomies) and my sister (22 not a mother herself) comes over almost every weekday. My son is 8.5 months old and pulls up now and cruises (my clever boy! ) and naturally tends to get into stuff. I have a pretty laidback approach. I allow him stuff that isnt important (Junk mail...shoes...etc) and when he gets things that ARE important i pry whatever it is out of his hands remove the item from his reach and say something like "there! NOW you can play" in a cheery voice.

my sister has an eagle eye and whenever he comes CLOSE to something SHE thinks he shouldnt' have (anything other than a baby toy) she pries it out of his hand SMACKS him and yells at him to "stay out of stuff" THEN she tells ME i'm a horrible mother because i dont teach him he can't play with certain things. One memorable occasion i was irate because I had brought our tv remote out of our room for him to play with since he likes remotes...she pried it out of his hand slapped him hard on the hand and then just started calling him all kinds of names. The very fact that i live with other people and dont keep an eagle eye on my son (he needs to know that he's not a bug to be watched every second...plus i keep a close enough eye on him) means that EVERYONE in the house thinks they have to discipline him and no matter what *I* the childs mother says they insist on punishing him in ways i feel is useless and demoralizing. we are not moving for another 2-3 months and i was wondering if anyone had any polite ways for me to get across to people that although I am *only* 21 Caleb is MY son and he will be disciplined by me and no one else..and CERTAINLY not in ways i have said several times i dont agree with.

thanx for reading sorry its so long

Jami (25) Roland (27) & Caleb (5), Jacob (3.5) , Kaitlyn (2)
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Old 11-26-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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Well, here's what I'd do. I would make it abundantly clear that it was absolutely unacceptable for anyone else to reprimand or hit my child, no matter their relationship. I would print out articles on child development, research discipline, come up with a clear plan and educate my family and roommates on my choices, discuss my expectations with my sister, etc. But before I did any of that, I would draw my line in the sand, and let all the other adults who feel they need to supervise that child that there is no crossing it.

I can imagine that you are in a tough situation, but, the way I see it, your son's in an even tougher one. And you're the only one he has to stick up for him.

Also, maybe you can avoid the situation as much as possible? Go to the library, for walks, etc? Keep him in a sling when you're in the common areas?

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Old 11-26-2005, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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right now i'm doing what i can to minimize his contact with people that think they have to parent him...we stay in our room most of the time and i take him with me to the bathroom etc. he HATES the sling which makes me sad but i try to basically keep him *attached* to me. I guess in a couple of months we'll be in our own place and it won't be so stressful. sad that I am paranoid to let my son play with his aunt because I am afraid he will do something she considers *wrong* and hit him. He's not even 9 months old...its amazing what some people expect from a tiny baby!

Jami (25) Roland (27) & Caleb (5), Jacob (3.5) , Kaitlyn (2)
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Old 11-26-2005, 05:30 PM
 
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If it were me, I wouldn't even be polite about it! I would outright let it be KNOWN that I find that totally unacceptable! Do NOT hit my child!
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Old 11-26-2005, 05:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebsMama05
right now i'm doing what i can to minimize his contact with people that think they have to parent him...we stay in our room most of the time and i take him with me to the bathroom etc. he HATES the sling which makes me sad but i try to basically keep him *attached* to me. I guess in a couple of months we'll be in our own place and it won't be so stressful. sad that I am paranoid to let my son play with his aunt because I am afraid he will do something she considers *wrong* and hit him. He's not even 9 months old...its amazing what some people expect from a tiny baby!
Yes, I agree. I'm guessing your sister doesn't have kids? There are some great articles out there about child development, and almost everyone agrees that it is inappropriate to "discipline" a baby this age. I mean everyone, from Parents magazine to the AAP to Dr. Phil. So maybe you could ask her to read some of this and ask her to just use distraction.

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Old 11-26-2005, 05:32 PM
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I tell people that the law says that if you hit another person, that person can press charges. Under no circumstances is anyone allowed to hit my child and if they do, I have no problem calling the police.

I have no problem with other people keeping my child safe, but I do have a HUGE problem with ADULTS hitting BABIES.
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Old 11-26-2005, 05:32 PM
 
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Sorry, I just re-read your post and saw that you said your sister doesn't have kids.

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Old 11-26-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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I would be crystal clear that no one is to ever, ever hit my child. I would just explain that it's very important that your child be gently guided and not spoken to harshly.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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Old 11-26-2005, 05:40 PM
 
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I would be positively furious if someone hit/smacked/spanked my ds. *I* would probably threaten to press charges, then refuse to associate with that person (at least for a while, depending on the relationship). Everyone knows we DO NOT hit our child (or punish at all, for that matter).
But, seeing as how that's probably not an option for you...hmmm... First, I'd have a rational, calm conversation about how you are disciplining him (ie, redirection, explanations, giving information), and why you feel that is the best method at his age. Explain why you do not want anyone yelling or smacking him. Then give your sis and the others some things they *can* do. "If he touches something you don't want him to touch, tell him 'that's not for you' and take it from him" period. Tell them to explain stuff to him, and it WILL sink in
I agree with getting articles on age appropriate expectations, and discipline theories. You can get some good stuff here http://www.naturalchild.com. "People aren't for hitting, and kids are people too"

Good luck

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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Old 11-26-2005, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brinda
If it were me, I wouldn't even be polite about it! I would outright let it be KNOWN that I find that totally unacceptable! Do NOT hit my child!

Yep YOU are the mama and you have that right! You are doing a great job following your mama heart for your son, and you can, and should, assert your beliefs when they are undermined.

for you guys!

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Old 11-26-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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sorry..i know this is a knee-jerk reaction, but if someone slapped one of my sons, i would walk up to them and smack them and then tell them "you can't hit kids! its just not right".
i know...i probably violated some rule re: advocating violence, but when it comes to my kids, i believe in "an eye for an eye". lol!
my blood is boiling just reading your story.
i assume you can't move out on our own. but, if you have to live there, i would sit everyone down and tell them in no uncertain terms that hitting your child is entirely unacceptable. is your mom on your side? do you have any supporters in the house?
also, when my kids were little, i just didn't put things on surface areas where the kids could get them. if people dont want their stuff played with by a baby then THEY should move it high up so the baby can't get to it. that is the RESPONSIBLE thing to do...not hitting a child. oy!!!! i have to calm down now...sorry!
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Old 11-26-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aisraeltax
sorry..i know this is a knee-jerk reaction, but if someone slapped one of my sons, i would walk up to them and smack them and then tell them "you can't hit kids! its just not right".
i know...i probably violated some rule re: advocating violence, but when it comes to my kids, i believe in "an eye for an eye". lol!
my blood is boiling just reading your story.
I totally agree. Not the best thing for your child to see, but I don't think I could resist smacking someone who smacked my child.
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Old 11-26-2005, 06:20 PM
 
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I don't let other people discipline my kids, but I also don't let my kids disrespect other peoples stuff.
Quote:
I allow him stuff that isnt important
If it is your stuff it is nobody else's business, but if you're letting him run amok then it is your responsibility to keep him out of other peoples stuff.
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Old 11-26-2005, 06:49 PM
 
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I have the same problem, but mine is worse because I live with my mom. She constatnly tries to reprimand my kids and even has referred to them as hers! (Indirectly in some way or another.) Just Thanksgiving, she did this, - and she does it BEFORE I can even open my mouth!- and I had to reprimand her for it. She hits the kids, yells at them, and we constantly are having arguments about it. No advice since the only thing anyone ever tells me is "move out" and we can't do that right now.
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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To the moms whose relatives hit their children:

You don't have to convince your relatives that your discipline choices are correct. You don't have to defend your discipline choices, your approach or your *no hitting* rule. In fact, it would be better if you didn't. Just tell them "absolutely no hitting my child". Period. End.of.discussion.

Since you are in other people's spaces, you do need to agree on standards of behavior. Sit down and tell them that enforcing those rules is going to be your domain, but involve them in what the rules are.
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Old 11-26-2005, 08:05 PM
 
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I believe many of us decry the loss of community wherein adults might all contribute to the raising of all children. That said, I would attempt to enroll your roomies into forms of disciplining or whatever that you approve of. I'd be sure to go after the form of discipline not the person - those rommies could be powerful allies in raising your son.

"As adults, we must ask more of our children than they know how to ask of themselves. What can we do to foster their open-hearted hopefulness, engage their need to collaborate, be an incentive to utilize their natural competency and compassion...show them ways they can connect, reach out, weave themselves into the web of relationships that is called community." ~ Dawna Markova
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Old 11-27-2005, 12:57 AM
 
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Even though other peoples things are unimportant they are still other peoples things. You need to teach him to respect other peoples things. He grabs XYZ's shoes gentlely take them away and give him his or yours to play with. Gentlely saying "Those are XYZ's. Lets put them back and get ours to play with."

My mil use to let my nephews play with "Junk mail" until they shredded up my check. I will admit it looked like junk, but it wasn't. Plus junk mail might have inks and harmful chemicals on it. We came up with a solution to the problem. My mil got the mail by default each day. She would put it in a spot and if it wasn't looked through and thrown away it was free for my nephews to play with. I really would suggest you do this because sometimes people do want and need that junk mail.

I would encourage you to get him a pretend remote. Toddlers can get remotes apart, they drop them and break, this creates a chocking hazord. AA and AAA's can get lodged in your child's throat. If you have a toy one you can make it easier to do this isn't yours but this is. Replacing an item is much easier than saying "Now you can play."


Quote:
The very fact that i live with other people and dont keep an eagle eye on my son (he needs to know that he's not a bug to be watched every second...plus i keep a close enough eye on him) means that EVERYONE in the house thinks they have to discipline him and no matter what *I* the childs mother says they insist on punishing him in ways i feel is useless and demoralizing.
I find this statement very bothersome. It isn't age appropriate at all. Your 8.5 month old needs your eagle eye to help guide him through this world. At this age he is so much more likely to get hurt by everyday things.

I have lived with other people that I didn’t agree with disciple with. This meant I needed to be have eagle eyes and step up for my son much quicker than I cared for. I had to be watching for someone trying to yank something out of his hand and stepping up and saying “I gave him that to play with.”
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Old 11-27-2005, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by beccaboomom
I don't let other people discipline my kids, but I also don't let my kids disrespect other peoples stuff. If it is your stuff it is nobody else's business, but if you're letting him run amok then it is your responsibility to keep him out of other peoples stuff.
things that are mine or that we had agreed that he could play with. we have a pair of his shoes that are too small he loves and my mom keeps a pile of her junk mail he can play with. stuff that really *isnt* important. my sister does not live here although she is here a lot. she's 10 months older than me and she's always felt *superior* about everything because of that.

Jami (25) Roland (27) & Caleb (5), Jacob (3.5) , Kaitlyn (2)
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Old 11-27-2005, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
I find this statement very bothersome. It isn't age appropriate at all. Your 8.5 month old needs your eagle eye to help guide him through this world. At this age he is so much more likely to get hurt by everyday things.
perhaps our definition of eagle eye is simply different. i dont stand over him staring at him every second but i do keep a pretty close eye on him...i mark where he is every 5-10 seconds or so. he is not at the point where he can come CLOSE to getting ANYTHING apart and when he is playing with anything that is NOT an approved baby toy i always watch him more closely. the subject of the post was that other people think they can try to discipline my child and although i appreciate your concern i did gloss over a lot of other things that wasnt quite what i was asking advice on.

Jami (25) Roland (27) & Caleb (5), Jacob (3.5) , Kaitlyn (2)
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:20 AM
 
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Reading through this thread I just keep thinking over and over that this little one is under a year old....he doesn't need to be disciplined. He isn't being naughty, he is just exploring and learning. If I was you I would set a clear boundary regarding absolutely no hitting or yelling!
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:46 AM
 
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Woah! I would do everything in my power to move. If that's not possible, then I would tell my mother that my sister is not welcome in that house if she ever touches or corrects my child again... in any fashion. That goes double for the other people who live there.

Good luck, I hope you can find another living situation. Basically, one of the trials of motherhood is having to be a b_tch to protect our kids sometimes. I always wanted to be liked, etc., but that went out the first time I had to talk to my MIL about some behavior on her part that I felt was harmful to my dd. Boy, did MIL freak out about that -- called my dh and my BIL at work to call me and tell me me to back off, etc. So expect people to freak out.

But your job has to be to stand by your son, regardless of how other people feel about it. You can start out nice, but be ready for them to freak and be ready to stand by your son and know you are doing the right thing.
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cumulus
I believe many of us decry the loss of community wherein adults might all contribute to the raising of all children.
Sorry, but I don't decry that sort of loss of community at all. A neighbor of mine brought that subject up, saying that it was appropriate for us to discipline each other's children because we are a community. Even though this neighbor is wonderful, AP, and would probably do a better job than I would, I explained as tactfully as possible that I didn't feel that is appropriate. I think it is hard enough for kids to have to be corrected by parents, and to add others is not fair. Especially, in our case, when the mama was always right there. It is obviously different when the mama is gone and someone else is caring for the kids, but if everyone is standing in the front yard together and there is something objectionable going on, let the mother deal with it, without the interference from others.
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Old 11-27-2005, 03:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by surf mama
Reading through this thread I just keep thinking over and over that this little one is under a year old....he doesn't need to be disciplined. He isn't being naughty, he is just exploring and learning. If I was you I would set a clear boundary regarding absolutely no hitting or yelling!

This child like any other needs dicipline. It just doesn't need punishment (ie hitting and spanking). At that age you dicipline by redirection.
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Old 11-27-2005, 04:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by surf mama
Reading through this thread I just keep thinking over and over that this little one is under a year old....he doesn't need to be disciplined. He isn't being naughty, he is just exploring and learning. If I was you I would set a clear boundary regarding absolutely no hitting or yelling!
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Brinda
If it were me, I wouldn't even be polite about it! I would outright let it be KNOWN that I find that totally unacceptable! Do NOT hit my child!
Yeah, I wouldn't be too worried about the polite part. Plus, I think it is a far less damaging experience for your son if he hears you stand up for him and confirm that it is wrong.
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:53 AM
 
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This is a very difficult situation. You live with these people and are dependent on them. I get the feeling they're not going to listen to you. You need to tell them they must stop. If it seems they won't listen to reason, and if you can't afford to move out, I"m wondering if you can go to a women's shelter. I mean, in my mind, your baby is being abused! You have to stop it or get out.
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Old 11-27-2005, 12:01 PM
 
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Oh mama, I'm so sorry you are in this situation. Could you and your mother agree on some things that it's OK for your DS to have? I don't have any good advice, just wanted to let you know I really emphathize with your situation. Some people just think it's their right and privilege to boss around little ones, which I think is incredibly ugly. We have a few extended family members who are constantly saying NO and raising their voices with our DS, although no one has hit him. I would lose my mind if that ever happened. But I do understand that your situation is harder because you're dependent on your mother for housing right now. I hope you get through this and can make some changes for your baby's sake and your own!! Be well and good luck. Marian
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:25 PM
 
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Caleb'smomma-- I'm so disturbed by your OP. Your sister is presuming an inappropriate role with your child. Under no circumstances should ANYONE be hitting a 9 month old baby, but it is BIZARRE to assume you can do it to someone else's. I would have NEVER presumed to hit any of my sisters' children, ever. The great thing about being a mom is the strength it can give you. This is your time to step out of the little sister role she's lorded over you. If you don't do it now, it will only get harder. Moving away will be a big help, but your sister needs to understand her place relative to you and your child, period. You will grow through this experience of standing up to her, even if it is hard. You always have to make the choice that is right for your child, and never compromise your child's rights for someone else's feelings (it'll be a huge regret later). I just can't stand the image of a happy, exploring little boy getting painfully slapped for nothing. Unfortunately, this does mean under the circumstances you do have to be an eagle eye while you continue to live at your mom's--good thing that's only temporary but your eye is really on your sister. I would intervene physically (i.e., push her away) if she looked like she was ever about to do it again.
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
This child like any other needs dicipline. It just doesn't need punishment (ie hitting and spanking). At that age you dicipline by redirection.
No child needs that sort of punishment.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brinda
If it were me, I wouldn't even be polite about it! I would outright let it be KNOWN that I find that totally unacceptable! Do NOT hit my child!
I second that! No one hits my children. No one. I have had to throw down with family before so I know how hard it can be. But I would do it again in an instant. No one hits my child.

I think the issue for me wouldn't be someone else diciplining as in providing guidence, as I let all kinds of people do that, at a play group I am pleased when another mother steps into a sharing crisis and helps to help the two kids share/take turns...but hitting is not dicipline and frankly she is just out of line.

I wonder if what I did with my family would work with you? I simply made eye contact (and it wasn't simple to do but the actions were simple) and quietly said something like in your case "If you would like him to not touch your item please ask me to help you but don't ever strike my child again" and hold eye contact and no matter what she says just keep eye contact and that quite seriouse voice and repeat "nevertheless I expect you to NEVER hit my child again" If it wasn't her thing I would say "I allow him to play with that but don't ever hit my child again".

Get good at saying "I appreciate that you feel differently, nevertheless I am the mother. You may raise your children your way and I will raise mine my way"

The quite serious voice with eyecontact and allowing the ackward silance to spool out I find says more than yelling ever can.
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