washed her mouth out with soap!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-23-2007, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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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???
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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I'd tell him to call poison control and list off all the things that is IN soap.

That's disgusting!
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:05 PM
 
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What would *I* do? Honestly? Never leave him with her again, unless you can get through to him & are 100% sure he won't do that again. Not ok...

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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That's terrible I'd put some soap in his drink and see how much he likes it.
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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That is abusive on so many levels. Honestly I would be telling him to a) apologize to her and b) if he ever did anything of the sort ever again that he would be hearing from my lawyer.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:52 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Nobody here is saying that spitting should be ignored- we're saying that putting soap in her mouth is NOT the right way to teach her not to spit again.

I would look right in the child's eyes and say "do NOT spit on me. It's not nice."

Then I'd try to figure out what the underlying problem is (child hungry? bored? overtired? needs attention?) and meet the child's needs.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 12-23-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:06 PM
 
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What would *I* do? Honestly? Never leave him with her again, unless you can get through to him & are 100% sure he won't do that again. Not ok...
ITA

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That is abusive on so many levels. Honestly I would be telling him to a) apologize to her and b) if he ever did anything of the sort ever again that he would be hearing from my lawyer.
( I wish the smilie wasn't smiling here)

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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.
It certainly isn't GD, which is what Mothering is here to discuss, support and advocate.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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When you are both calm, I would ask him what he wanted to teach her by washing out her mouth with soap. Ask him if he thought she learned the lesson he wanted. Chances are that what she learned is that dh can be a bully and do nasty things to her and she probably does not understand why. She certainly is not going to learn to be polite and not spit by having her mouth washed out. So, have him brainstorm with you what he wants her to learn and how she can go about learning that every day. What can you do together to help her learn to be polite and handle her problems respectfully. Also, if wants her to be nice to him he has to learn not to go after her in anger. Going after her in anger is just going to teach her to do the same. Don't fight over this. Just ask him calmly and rationally how to truly teach her to be a good person and come up with a game plan to handle mishaps in a more kind manner in the future.


Because, this is clearly a man who needs to rethink his methods. You reap what you sow. So, what does he want to sow? The main point of GD is to teach our kids to be kind, respectful people without harming them. Discipline requires teaching. Both your dh and your dd need to be taught some lessons here.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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If he is ranting and raving over you wanting to parent differently I'd be taking a good long look at the type of parenting he was raised with. Because if he is soaping his kids, then one can be pretty certain it was authoritarian and not gentle. How does he feel about the parenting he recieved as a child? What is his relationship with his parents like? How does he feel about his childhood ?

The answers will tell you a few things about how to handle this situation.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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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.

Shoving a bar of soap into a 3 yr. old's mouth is VERY abusive. And if my husband was ignorant enough to think this was ok he would cease being my husband. Period.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:39 PM
 
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i think you should go home and tell your hubby that he needs to find a better way to handle the situation should it arise again. he may not like the way you decipline but soap?? who does that anymore??? you have to make him understand that thier are better ways to teach a child and give him other options.
i hope your hubby can jump on board with GD, or at the least be more gentle. keeping your child from him is not a good option a child needs time with dad too.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:44 PM
 
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i think you should go home and tell your hubby that he needs to find a better way to handle the situation should it arise again. he may not like the way you decipline but soap?? who does that anymore??? you have to make him understand that thier are better ways to teach a child and give him other options.
i hope your hubby can jump on board with GD, or at the least be more gentle. keeping your child from him is not a good option a child needs time with dad too.
Then dad should work on his "parenting" and be a little more responsible & less childish. It's up to him.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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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.
Sheesh, it is to me, and hopefully to everyone on here. I vividly remember having my mouth washed out with soap for talking back, and it was horrible. It's disgusting.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:56 PM
 
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we made that mistake with ds when he was about 3. I think he was cussing and we thought we were supposed to put an end to it.

Afterwards, we were more exausted than he was and feeling like totally the worlds worst parents.

It SUCKED.

For all involved.

It WAS abuse. I did it. I know it was abuse.

Did your dh think it sucked or was he in favor of his strategy?
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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Sheesh, it is to me, and hopefully to everyone on here. I vividly remember having my mouth washed out with soap for talking back, and it was horrible. It's disgusting.
Noone ever did it to me BUT I remember being little and curious & once in the tub I took a BITE of a bar of soap. I will NEVER forget the taste. If you haven't ever had soap in your mouth you won't understand, it's WORSE than what you imagine. And it STAYS a LONG time.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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i think you should go home and tell your hubby that he needs to find a better way to handle the situation should it arise again. he may not like the way you decipline but soap?? who does that anymore??? you have to make him understand that thier are better ways to teach a child and give him other options.
i hope your hubby can jump on board with GD, or at the least be more gentle. keeping your child from him is not a good option a child needs time with dad too.
:

My DH and I had different ideas about parenting too, and he used to get frustrated when I would tell him how I thought it should be. I think it's important to talk to him, find out specifically what it is you do that he doesn't like, voice your concerns about his methods, and then try to find a middle, common approach that you are both happy about and agree with. Once DH and I talked this out, we were able to provide a more united front and consistent method our children, and we and they are better for it. Hang in there mama!
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:08 PM
 
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Having common ground is great as long as it's GD. Common ground can not come at the expense of our kids well being. Especially if a parent has not come to terms with their own childhood, which is often the reason they promote authoritarian parenting and abusive discipline like soaping.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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Having common ground is great as long as it's GD. Common ground can not come at the expense of our kids well being. Especially if a parent has not come to terms with their own childhood, which is often the reason they promote authoritarian parenting and abusive discipline like soaping.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:21 PM
 
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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 agree that what your husband did was completely unacceptable and that it's imperative that he learn methods of discipline that are not abusive. I don't think that threatening to divorce him is going to get you there. IME, fathers (and mothers, of course) cannot approach a situation rationally when someone is threatening to take their child away.

At the very least, let him know that this could poison your daughter. Then try using some GD on him. You can be firm in asserting your boundaries and also be respectful - just as you would do with your child.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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Forcing a child to ingest soap can be life-threatening if the child reacts to any ingredients, and it is quite possible that she will be somewhat sick just from the taste. It is abusive, dangerous and there should be no compromise on this particular issue.

Do unto children as you would have them do unto you ::
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:25 PM
 
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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 agree that what your husband did was completely unacceptable and that it's imperative that he learn methods of discipline that are not abusive. I don't think that threatening to divorce him is going to get you there. IME, fathers (and mothers, of course) cannot approach a situation rationally when someone is threatening to take their child away.

At the very least, let him know that this could poison your daughter. Then try using some GD on him. You can be firm in asserting your boundaries and also be respectful - just as you would do with your child.
Allow me to clarify my position then...

I would work VERY hard to make him understand. If, in the end, he flattly refused to change & intended to continue the abuse he would be gone. My child will not live like that.

And re: the rest of your post. I hit my oldest child once too. The look of horror in his precious face was more than enough to convince me I was a jerk & never to do it again. :

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Old 12-23-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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Forcing a child to ingest soap can be life-threatening if the child reacts to any ingredients, and it is quite possible that she will be somewhat sick just from the taste. It is abusive, dangerous and there should be no compromise on this particular issue.
:

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Old 12-23-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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I would work VERY hard to make him understand. If, in the end, he flattly refused to change & intended to continue the abuse he would be gone. My child will not live like that.
That I absolutely agree with.

And right back to you. I bawled like a baby when it happened. Seeing the look on his face was like a blow to the stomach. So horrifying. I don't know how people can ever think it's acceptable to make their children feel like that.
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Old 12-24-2007, 01:40 AM
 
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That I absolutely agree with.

And right back to you. I bawled like a baby when it happened. Seeing the look on his face was like a blow to the stomach. So horrifying. I don't know how people can ever think it's acceptable to make their children feel like that.
Nor do I.

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Old 12-24-2007, 02:06 AM
 
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Actually, according to the CPS manuals in many states, that is clearly stated to be abusive and may be grounds for removal. Perhaps that tidbit will help your husband to curb his tantrums.
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Old 12-24-2007, 02:59 AM
 
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Actually, according to the CPS manuals in many states, that is clearly stated to be abusive and may be grounds for removal. Perhaps that tidbit will help your husband to curb his tantrums.
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Old 12-24-2007, 03:11 AM
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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???

Eh....

She'll live.


What would I do?

I would calmly (calmly) have a discussion with my hubby and let him know what I expected. I would also talk to him about his expectations. We would work it out.... No biggie.....

Your hubby was probably stressed. He had a bad day. People make mistakes......

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds17
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:27 AM
 
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Well, yes people make mistakes, but it took a long time to make that one. It would have had to have happened, he'd have had to react, decide to wash the kid's mouth out, drag said kid to the bathroom, hold them down and do it. I can understand slapping out of reaction but not so much with the drawn out stuff.

I had my mouth washed out several times and it sucked. Honestly in hindsight it was very intrusive, almost in a rapelike way. Being held down, struggling and having something crammed in my mouth. I guess it was meant to be analagous to "cleaning" my "dirty" mouth (I still curse like a sailor, thank ya kindly), but it just seems mean. And for spitting, I particularly don't get how it was a "fitting" punishment. I guess it was meant to inflict discomfort in the offending area.

I don't imagine that he was being intentionally abusive, but it does qualify as abuse in my book. Sometimes people fall back on the old standards of discipline (which unfortunately this one qualifies as) without thinking them through.
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