Another spanking question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 05-05-2003, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
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hi y' really helped me back last summer when i was so wracked with pain and confusion. i didn't want to spank my son and i was doing it, and hated myself for it. i've stopped! yay for me! and i do feel so much better for it. i manage to find other ways. it's been hard but worth it, and i've only slipped up a couple of times, and when i did i apologized for it. that was back in the beginning and it's so much better now!
not the point of this message though....i wonder if there is ever a time when y'all justify spanking, for instance in extreme danger? i have moved to a mountainous area and live on a hillside where my street is a short, blind-curved street on each end. i mean it's like 5 houses long, yet frequently cars come careening around the corners at maybe 30 or 40 mph!! my driveway is a slight incline down to the street, and twice my 2y3mo old son has run down into the street so fast i could not catch him, although i was standing right next to him! i've had friends (who are into gentle discipline as a rule) suggest spanking him briefly for doing this so he associates the street with pain. i'm not ready to resort to this.
i need other suggestions.
i can't keep him altogether out of the driveway. when we are in the front yard i try to say "here are your boundaries, you can go to here and here and here" and if i see him go toward the driveway i say "far enough!" but he really really gets into testing or ignoring me so i have to get up and go physically get him (which i am way over).
i can't fence the yard in front (i'm renting).
i am fencing the backyard soon which will help.
how can i get him to listen to me? how can i impress the grave danger of the street? i'm truly thinking i'd rather hit him ONLY for this one infraction than to have him hit by a car. i'd die if he were hit by a car.
can anyone help?

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#2 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 04:22 AM
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A lot of non-spanking parents say they will consider spanking if and when their kid runs into the street. I never remember running into the street when I was a kid, and was never told that I had. I live on a busy street as well, where the speed limit is 25 and everyone drives 55, and cops hide behind bushes to catch them, and I don't see any kids running toward the street. I always wondered if that was just something every kid tries at least once, or if it's really only every parent's fear.

My dd has run in that direction but she's only 17 mo, so she's too young to know what she's doing. I remember riding my bike in the street when I was 7, old enough to know better, and a truck grazed my back wheel. All the neighbors saw and they yelled at me and told my mom. I do remember my brother trying to jump out of his 2-story window in the middle of the night when he was 3. That seems unusual.

I'm not sure if spanking is really necessary in any situation. I've never spanked, and can't say I never would but I sure hope I don't. What I do when I feel dd's behavior needs to be stopped immediately is grab her shoulders. It doesn't hurt, but it is a sudden move that forces her to look at me and stop what she is doing. She knows I am upset and that I'm serious about her stopping whatever she's doing.

Of course, she is still kind of small. It may not work for your son.
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#3 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 07:58 AM
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First I want to say good for you for no longer spanking!

As for running into the street, I've had that issue with my youngest ds when he was around 2. I would just tell him when we went outside that we could play for as long as he liked, but if he went into the street we would go in immediately - no warnings/no second chances on this one b/c it's sooo important. And so after one or two times of him running towards the street and me catching him and bringing him inside the house for the day he realized it wasn't worth it.

Also I know some companies make little outside gate type things for the driveway that is not permenant, you may want to get one of those until you're sure your toddler will not dart into the street just for safety. I don't think it would completely prevent the child from getting into the street, but it would do two things - be a visual reminder not to go into the street and would slow him down so you could catch him if he tried to go into the street. Here is a link for what I'm talking about:
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#4 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 09:49 AM
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I also wanted to congratulate you for stopping the spanking!! Great for you!

I would not hit for any reason. I would just take him into the house.

Also, you might want to buy some pylons (I think one step ahead may have them) that you can put in the street to warn drivers that there are kids outside playing. They also sell them at large toystore chains like Toys R Us. I put them in the middle of the street and they work very well.

Good luck!
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#5 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by mercyn
" but he really really gets into testing or ignoring me so i have to get up and go physically get him (which i am way over).

I do not understand what you mean by this! YES you must go physically get him. THIS is what one does instead of spanking. Yes it is hard to do, but so what. THIS is what keeps your child safe NOT SPANKING!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#6 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 11:42 AM
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I don't usually post in this forum cos my son is still a baby... not many discipline issues with a 7mo... but I just remembered reading an article at Dr Sears' website on this issue, so I went and looked it up.

Basically, the article says that if you let your toddler see your (very real) fear of them running into the street, that will make more of an impression on them than spanking. I'm not speaking from personal experience, though, and can't vouch for it.
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#7 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 12:33 PM
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I agree that letting your toddler see your fear is very effective.

My 20 month old dd is...spirited! She will always do the opposite of what you ask. I was very worried about the street for this reason. One day she did run out into the street and I started crying (I was pretty freaked). I had told her about the big cars and big owies before that, but never with shear panic in my voice. Now she points to the street and says "cars- big owies" and hasn't tried running out at all.
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#8 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 01:05 PM
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I don't think running into the street warrants a spanking for the same reason I don't think spanking is a "discipline tool" - it doesn't TEACH anything.

I agree with dotcommama - supervise him REALLY closely and bring him inside immediately any time he steps over the line of the driveway, and tell him why he came inside. And that driveway barrier sounds like a good idea, too - I've seen that in catalogs. You can also put one of these in the street:
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#9 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 01:26 PM
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The spanking might relieve your fear/anxiety for the moment, but it won't teach your little one anything. I remember reading in the Positive Discipline book about how they asked ppl who spanked their kids for running in the street whether or not they'd let them play unsupervised by a stree after that...the answer was "no." The point is that little kids often need to be taught the same lesson over and over...spanking doesn't help. I think the idea of allowing your fear to show is a good one. IMO, it demonstrates concern for the child rather than anger. KWIM? It seems that would make a bigger impact in the long run.
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#10 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you for the suggestions so far, and the food for thought.
i think i will get one of those driveway barriers AND the sign, but it doesn't look like the barrier is wide enough....i wonder how i can widen son will check it out on all sides at first cause it will be a new baby toy (or he will think so!), and i know when i was a young and impetuous new driver, those "watch for children" signs didn't impress me at all, but i can try it. do you think i should put that "be alert" sandwich board RIGHT IN the street? hmm.
anyway, i HAVE tried the "stark naked fear" look, and telling him "big owies'', and it didn't do jack. he was amused by the "fear look" and if it's an owie he goes right for it even more. he is just starting to understand that butcher knives are not for babies. i'm telling you, he is a hard-head!!
i must clarify....he did not run TOWARDS the street, he ran right into it. and was halfway across before i could blink!!! and if there had been a car careening around that corner he would have been history, no lie. there would not have been any second chances.
but i will try all the suggestions so far and keep you posted. and i will welcome any more that you have! i will try it all before i resort to hitting. i really don't want to go back there.

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#11 of 14 Old 05-06-2003, 08:46 PM
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I'm sorry, I have not read all the other replies,hope I am not repeating!

Good for you(and your son) that you stopped spanking!!!!!

With my dd, I used a "super version of you scared the cra* out of me reaction!" that means, I SCREAMED as she darted toward the street, ran to her, started BAWLING, and firmly grabbed her and speaking in a half yell half shaken voice, said(something like...) " NO STREET!!!! DDs FEET STAY IN THE GRASS!!!" A few times of this, and she didn't push it...

But! I never really gave her many chances either! Wasn't worth it for me!

With ds-it is really different-he has tried many times to run into the parking lot at the park,into thew streeat at our house! He seems amused that I act upset. Frankly, I am AMAZED at his speed and determination!!!!

It truly is my goal to get to the end of the day with him alive and well!

Our driveway is steep,our street semi-busy....I will NOT take him out front unless I am prepared to chase him...I mean COME ON!!! I need to pull dandelions,etc out front, but I can't trust that he will play nicely while mommy works,etc....SO THE WORK DOESN'T GET DONE!! So what? They are little for such a short kids are more important than my yard!!!

It takes more work, and sacrifice, but this too shall pass!

OOOOOHHHHHH!!!! I almost forgot this!!! WE never let dss feet touch any street ever! WE always make it a big deal-the street is sacred,etc...only for big kids and cars,etc... just last night, we were out for dinner,after, when it came time to cross the street, we picked up ds(as always) to cross....we never let the feet touch the forbidden area!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!KWIM?????

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#12 of 14 Old 05-09-2003, 04:49 PM
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I have a dangerous driveway and two small boys who luckily are very interested in pretend games involving the police.

We bought a set of safety cones (actually soccer goal markers from KMart). I let the boys decide where (within reason) they are going to put the cones and then they put them out in a line. This is our barrier and the kids stay behind the line very well.

Obviously I watch them carefully but this gives us all a clear indicator of where is "ok" and also gives the boys an investment in the decision.

In our situation we frequently have people turning around in our driveway and this keeps them out of our "space" as well.
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#13 of 14 Old 05-12-2003, 02:21 AM
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i liked mamapoppins' post. my dd also thinks my show of fear is super funny. i also think that two and a half is a bit early for me to freak her out with the scary realities of the world- she doesnt need to see my intense fear, i simply keep her safe. if we are near traffic, i hold her hand or carry her no matter what, sometimes she protest, but not often anymore because she has learned that this is non-debatable. anything i might need two hands for is not as important as keeping her alive. i think this approach is pretty appropriate for her age/personality until she is older.
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#14 of 14 Old 05-16-2003, 09:20 AM
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Hey Pamela! It's Emily from the OBX. Here is something I once heard of someone doing about the street issue (I think I heard it here on MDC in fact). She bought a watermelon and ran over it to illustrate how dangerous cars can be. I do not really have any other advice, but am glad you made the move safely

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