washed her mouth out with soap!! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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Gentle Discipline > washed her mouth out with soap!!
Genesis's Avatar Genesis 05:06 PM 12-24-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by StayAtHomeMama21 View Post
Are you kidding me? PUH-LEEZE she spit at him. She needs to learn you don't spit at anyone, most importantly the people that gave you the gift of life.

Granted, no I wouldn't have used soap, this is hardly child abuse.
Actually, it IS abusive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by peacelovingmama View Post
Of course spitting is not acceptable StayAtHome. But bullying, humiliating and potentially harming a child's health are much MORE unacceptable in my view. After all, the child is still learning acceptable behavior. An adult should know better than to bully a vulnerable person like this. There are many ways to teach and guide a child without resorting to degradation and violation of the child's body.

OP, I would have a serious heart-to-heart with DH and involve a counselor if need be. If you cannot agree on a resolution, personally, I would not leave my child in the care of someone who would resort to methods like this. Best wishes.
:



Poor kid.

Hesperia's Avatar Hesperia 05:25 PM 12-24-2007
So many great answers, but I couldn't read through it all, I was getting too upset.

I keep thinking of this awesome bib, it says "SPIT HAPPENS" in bold colours. It happens. Children don't yet understand how harsh it is to spit in someones face, they haven't seen movies, or had it happen to them. Like the first time a child pees on the floor on purpose, you get annoyed, explain, have a huge hug, and they wont do it again (hopefully), but if you yelled at them, forced them to clean it while crying (or something else horrible like this) they might continue out of fear, anger, confusion, etc.

Spit happens. It's okay to be mad, but putting a child in harms way over something that could be used for leaning is scary. I just think in heated moments like this while the DH is holding his DD down to force it into her mouth, maybe sitting on the toilet, she could wiggle and hit her head or something. Not that the soap isn't bad enough, because trust me i KNOW it is, but if he is that mad, he could lose control.

Okay.

If this was my DP, I would have him put DD to sleep (if this works in your family), make sure they got lots of time together in the bath, playing, reading etc before bed (I'd be watching the WHOLE thing), have loads of snuggles and let the appologies come out naturally. When DC was alseep, I'd have a huge talk about what happened prior to the spitting that made her lash out, and how he could have handled it, reminding him, no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistake, but we CHOOSE which mistake we make.

If he has a history of violent bouts (has he ever lost it on you??) I'd get him to agree to seeing a family therapist, or on his own, depeding on his past.

I would also mention, that walking away is a MUCH safer way to handle the situation, calm down for a minute. This is a very 'real' concequence for a child too, they don't like it, they don't get a reaction, they will probably be upset and get that spitting isn't okay without words and abuse.

Okay, I'm very upset. I hope that came out alright. Hugs to everyone.

And, soaping a childs mouth is very very much child abuse. :
tashaharney's Avatar tashaharney 08:46 PM 12-24-2007
why would you use soap in the mouth as a punishment for spitting? it just makes you need to spit more, because you can't swallow that stuff.

sounds like punishing hitting by hitting, or yelling at your kid to stop yelling.
rmzbm's Avatar rmzbm 08:59 PM 12-24-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by tashaharney View Post
sounds like punishing hitting by hitting, or yelling at your kid to stop yelling.
Excellent point!
donttrustthesystem's Avatar donttrustthesystem 09:25 PM 12-24-2007
I'm thinking if it were me I'd go for some couple's therapy but make sure the therapist was good...we just tried a therapist and he totally did not get cosleeping and thought I had excessive anxiety because I "couldn't let go" and put her in a crib. (dd is 12 months)

what I'm saying is that not all therapists are good but it could help your husband get to the bottom of his issues if you could find a good one. Ormaybe would he read Unconditional Parenting or is he unwilling to do that?

If it were me I would protect her by not leaving her with him but honestly I also agree with the person who said she would leave him. That's just my threshold for what I'm willing to tolerate.

I do feel like that kind of thing is permanently damaging to the childs growing psyche. Also, I've been there (as a kid)
Equuskia's Avatar Equuskia 09:29 PM 12-24-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by StayAtHomeMama21 View Post
Are you kidding me? PUH-LEEZE she spit at him. She needs to learn you don't spit at anyone, most importantly the people that gave you the gift of life.

Granted, no I wouldn't have used soap, this is hardly child abuse.
Gosh! You are absolutely right! Since I gave life to my daughter, I have the absolute right to make sure she respects me at all times, and if that means I gotta crack the belt or get the soap, by golly I will! Cuz I gave her the gift of life!




rmzbm's Avatar rmzbm 09:33 PM 12-24-2007
...and on the flip side...

Why GIVE the gift of life and then abuse said life?

Just sayin.'
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 12:01 AM 12-25-2007
that
gargirl's Avatar gargirl 12:13 AM 12-25-2007
For what its worth; to the mamas that feel washing out a child's mouth with soap is in some way or any way ok; think about how hard YOU would fight if someone tried to do that very thing to you.

How would it feel? To have that control over your body, your mouth taken away by force? To have something no one in their right mind would ever want forced beteen their jaws forced between yours... just because someone bigger than you wanted to "teach you something?" If you would not do it to your spouse, your friend or your employer... REALLY think about whether it is TRULY right to do to your helpless and dependent child.

Reading this thread, seeing how many mamas reject this abuse for what it is, is healing for me in its small way. The hurting little girl in me may never be truly whole, but she smiles when I read about mamas who would never treat their babies the way I (and she) was treated. Thank you so much for your words and your stand.
marybethorama's Avatar marybethorama 02:16 PM 12-25-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
I've been immersed in and practicing GD since my son was first born. My son spit in my face once when he was about 3. I smacked him on the leg. Hard. It was so awful I can hardly stand to think about it. It's the one time in his 7 years that I've hit him (or even come close to hitting him). I say this only to point out that spitting in someone's face is such a personal affront that it can drive even GD people to lash out with pure, gut reaction. .
I've known other very gentle parents who have had similar gut reactions. One time because a child bit his mom's finger right on the knuckle and drew blood (ouch). She lashed out and hit him before she knew what she was doing. Of course she felt terrible and she never hit him again.

But there's a huge difference between lashing out in a gut reaction and doing something abusive
cuddleluvinma's Avatar cuddleluvinma 10:36 PM 12-25-2007
It is abusive.

I still suggest counseling. I do agree, though, that the wrong counselor could just make things worse. Isn't there a way to interview a counselor to see what beliefs they have before seeing them? I would think so.

...and shouldn't you be obligated to teach the best things to this life that you have created? Wouldn't you feel it is your responsibility to teach that child (by example) to be loving, kind, respectful, etc.?:
Datura's Avatar Datura 11:17 PM 12-25-2007
Any update on how the post-incident discussion went? How are you holding out, OP? How is your kidnik? Your DH?
Mom2Joseph's Avatar Mom2Joseph 11:39 PM 12-25-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by StayAtHomeMama21 View Post
Are you kidding me? PUH-LEEZE she spit at him. She needs to learn you don't spit at anyone, most importantly the people that gave you the gift of life.

Granted, no I wouldn't have used soap, this is hardly child abuse.
I haven't even read the rest of the responses - but HELL YES THIS IS ABUSE IN MY BOOK.

can't even tell you what I would do....

Let's just say this, it wouldn't happen twice, and if it did he wouldn't be left alone with our kids again.
mistymama's Avatar mistymama 11:29 AM 12-26-2007
Oh Mama, I'm so sorry. I can't honestly say what I would do .. probably freak out and never leave my child alone with him again. That's just awful.

I'd find it hard to love/be with someone who is able to harm our child like that. Sure, spitting is wrong and she needs to learn that .. but SOAP? That's abuse. Plain and simple. Whoever said earlier in this thread it's not abusive is hanging out in the WRONG place. And I could not disagree any more, it IS abusive.

OP, I would sit down and have a heart to hear with your DH. He does not have to do things exactly like you do, it's ok to parent differently or with your own style .. but the line needs to be drawn at how she is treated. What will he do next time she spits? Or if she repeats a cuss word? He needs tools and skills to deal with her, and also obviously needs some clear boundries drawn for what is abusive.

I wish you the very best.
leafylady's Avatar leafylady 12:38 PM 12-26-2007
That your husband called to tell you and presumably to pick a fight about the discipline is also disturbing. It might be useful for the two of you to take a parenting class together. Most parenting classes run by family resources are not going to recommend spanking and certainly not soap-in-the-mouth.

Explain to your husband that if you two take a parenting class together, it will help you to agree on a consistent discipline method. Hopefully he'll learn more constructive strategies as well.
BunnySlippers's Avatar BunnySlippers 01:23 PM 12-26-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal View Post
I'm at work right now and called DH-he told me he just washed out 3year old dd's mouth with soap because she spit at him-she was happy all day-I'm not sure what happened to make her do that-I hung up on DH because he started ranting and raving about me alaways trying to get him to parent differently-I think this manner of disciplining is so wrong !!I have one more hour to go here at work -and I'm so upset!!What would you do???
(I have not read past page one yet)

In Ontario putting soap in a childs mouth IS abuse, against the law kind of abuse.
I would get him to call poison control and seriously re-think my relationship to him.

Spitting is not a big deal, little kids do stuff like that. In my house spitters are given the choice of spitting in the toilet, garbage or outside. No big deal.
leafylady's Avatar leafylady 02:12 PM 12-26-2007
My additional thought is that at this point, he wants to argue. By going to a parenting class, you are letting a more objective individual guide you, which might eliminate some of the fighting between you two.
cal's Avatar cal 11:26 AM 12-27-2007
thanks everyone.
We have talked
but not as much as I would have liked because of Christmas and relatives-but I am off of work and school and home for the next two weeks - so we have made a promise to set aside some time REALLY talk ( I am also gathering a booklist together of parenting books he must read).
I am reluctant to seek counseling because honestly I don't know any that aren't still in the freud dark ages about parenting around here!!
DH is very remorseful and has told me stories of this being done to him as well as other horrible"punishments" he thinks he lost sense of himself and resorted to what he knew because of how he was raised...(not that this is an excuse but we did need to recognize where this was coming from-and I know the cycle can be broken because I too was raised that way )
My first 2 children (now 16 and 14)(from a different father) were raised totally with gentle discipline- so this happening to my youngest was a huge shock to me-
LilyGrace's Avatar LilyGrace 12:13 PM 12-27-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal View Post
DH is very remorseful and has told me stories of this being done to him as well as other horrible"punishments" he thinks he lost sense of himself and resorted to what he knew because of how he was raised...(not that this is an excuse but we did need to recognize where this was coming from-and I know the cycle can be broken because I too was raised that way )
It sounds like things are starting to look up. That's a good sign.

Cal, one thing that helped me during the toddler years was making a cheat sheet. Just a few general ideas on a piece of paper that worked consistently and respectfully. Anytime I got overwhelmed, I could look at the sheet and find something better to do.

Maybe something like that would work for your dh?
auntiehallie's Avatar auntiehallie 02:45 PM 12-27-2007
oh cal, i'm so sorry. i would have been furious if it were me! and calling you at work, where you are helpless to do anything... ohhh... what a horrible day.

what would i do, you asked. welll...

i sympathize with the folks who say, 'i'd divorce him - that would be the end' because it is a truly huge violation. but i can't say it's the only path, because i can forgive someone for almost anything - once.

once.

and because we are nearly all of us damaged goods with our own shit to work through, and his showing remorse is a good sign.

i think, when you do have time to talk with him - and this is just what i would do - is frame the situation again, with him on the outside: how would he feel if he saw someone *else* doing that to his kid.

or, someone doing that to *you*. or how would he want *you* to react, if you saw someone doing such a thing to *him*. because i hope he'd want you to come at him with all guns blazing. if my sweetie let someone do anything like that to me, or hell, even to the cat - and said, well - that's what you get for spitting on someone! i. would. explode. and i really don't think his sympathy-generator is that broken, or you wouldn't have married him in the first place. he lost it. big and far and wide. there's no way you could excuse such behavior looking at it as a spectator.

so when you get that degree of separation, it's clear that this shouldn't happen. it brings the wounded child out and puts him in a place where he can see he has a road to choose here: the one his dad (or whoever) trod before him, and the one that instead improves upon what he was raised with.

rise above.

i have hope that you and he can work this out between you as a parenting issue. he needs to apologize, sincerely, to his daughter. and explain (in age-appropriate terms) that he's learning to be a better dad than he had, that he was hurt like that too as a kid (because it's true, and because kids have enormous capacity for compassion when approached honestly, even following abuse), that he made a huge mistake, and he would like her forgiveness, and that he is really very sorry. which he had better be.

but you can - if you can rise above, so can he. that's why you are together, is to improve on what was and to help each other become the people and parents you aspire to be. make it happen.

and i'm so sorry. my heart aches for you.
mrsdocmartin's Avatar mrsdocmartin 02:50 PM 12-27-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by StayAtHomeMama21 View Post
Are you kidding me? PUH-LEEZE she spit at him. She needs to learn you don't spit at anyone, most importantly the people that gave you the gift of life.

Granted, no I wouldn't have used soap, this is hardly child abuse.
Sorry, but to me it is most definitely abusive and I would be sure my H knew I'd leave with my son if he ever considered doing anything of the sort again.
EvansMomma's Avatar EvansMomma 07:04 PM 12-27-2007
This wouldn't fly in our house.
I'd be willing to sit and talk together and work through it, find some better alternatives - on the condition that he apologized to our child for what he did. I would work towards a solution - but I would only do that once. If the same sort of thing happened again, he'd be gone.

And where I live, soap in the mouth is abusive. I wouldn't hesitate to contest his rights to visitation until he's proven that he's making steps to improving himself.
Breeder's Avatar Breeder 07:42 PM 12-27-2007
Cal- I suggest getting him a copy of 'Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children'. It's a quick read and has a lot of info on the development of children. One thing that has always made GD easy for me is knowing how doing something like your DH did would negatively impact my child's development.

I'm so sorry you had to deal with this.

I'm glad to hear your H is feeling remorse for what he did. It's the first small step to making things better for your family.
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