"I would spank you if you were my child!" - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-25-2008, 02:58 AM
 
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so I got to wondering, but only skimmed over the last several posts since they seemed uh, mean. Here's the scenario as I took it in:
four year old kid hits, and has been hitting at home, much to the dismay of mom who does not model hitting.
four year old regularly plays with other children who, per their mother, are spanked. four year old observes this---perhaps frequently--and subsequently hits at their house too.....wonder where he learned it after all?
hmmmmmm.......
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:05 AM
 
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OP~ I'm so glad you're working things out with your friend. You are right when you said we dont really know the whole story. I'm sure you have a history with her and know her better than we can understand on the internet


I also wanted to add that I was the perfect parent before I had children (notice I said children and not child. I was pretty perfect when I had one.....a little less than perfect when I had two and then became very humble after the third.
We all have different parenting styles. We all have children with different personalities and quirks.
While I agree that hitting is NOT ok....it DOES happen. Once again....these are CHILDREN we are talking about. They are still learning social behavior. They are still learning to control their emotions.
To anyone that has a child that doesnt it or babysits children that never hit......count yourself very lucky!
My oldest (as I said earlier) never hit. I thought parents of children who were aggresive were not parented well. I figured the parents must be doing something wrong.
As I've traveled down the parenting road a little further, I've come to realize that all the perfect parenting in the world is not necessarily going to "fix" every challenge a child faces instantly! We are working on not hitting with my four year old. He has challenges. He is unable to regulate himself. His first reaction is to hit or throw something. My other children didnt do this and we parented them all exactly the same. It's not something my ds4 has "fixed" yet. He cant fix it...yet.

Again, I feel the need to reiterate that we dont condone hitting.....we make it perfectly clear that hitting is always inappropriate.....but I wouldnt act as if a child commited a crime if a four year old hit one of my children.......
Maybe I'm getting old....but if I had a dime for every time one of my kids has been on the receiving end of a hit or a push from another child (parks, church, friends, play yards, etc), I'd be pretty rich.

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
I don't think it's acceptable to subject other children to being hit while he figures out a better way to deal with his anger...

It is possible to stop the hitting by doing something drastic - like a time-out, or going home EVERY time - and then come up with better ways to deal with anger/frustration second.

I think that it's horrible that the OP is letting her new baby be hit "swiped at" on a regular basis while her son "figures it out". That's not parenting - that's ridiculous.

The OPs son needs to learn right now, that he can't hit other people. Deal with that first - and then move on.
Kessed~ respectfully, you have one child. The advice that you gave here is very black and white. It sounds great in theory but it may not be realistic.

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Old 05-25-2008, 03:27 AM
 
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Kessed~ respectfully, you have one child. The advice that you gave here is very black and white. It sounds great in theory but it may not be realistic.
I agree. I thought I had it all figured out before DS2 was born, and then I discovered that it is *hard* to help your kids navigate their sibling relationship. You have to walk a fine line between protecting the younger one and not making the older one resent his/her younger sibling (more than perhaps he/she already does). When the baby is invading his brother's space, it's up to us to teach the older child how to handle those situations-- but it's a learning process that takes time. For a preschooler, learning not to hit is important, but from what I've seen it's much harder to refrain from hitting when it's your own sibling who is constantly in your face, in your stuff, and getting into everything that you (as a young child) value. My very sweet gentle DS1 is struggling with learning the boundaries with his "rough and tumble" baby brother. In the OP's case, her younger DC is *newly* mobile so this is a new experience for her older child and it will take time to learn how to always keep those impluses in check (and I have memories of hitting and kicking my younger brother (2 years younger) when I was even 10 years old, so obviously it took me a long time, too!).

I agree with a pp who pointed out that the hitting incident at the friend's house should be considered separately from the sibling conflicts, other than that perhaps her DS is more easily triggered lately because of dealing with the sibling stress at home. The OP's DS does not sound like a "hitter" to me; this was a one time event (outside the home) in response to being hit by the younger child. I think this incident (and the whole discussion) has been really overblown, but I just wanted to point out some of the sibling difficulties since we're in the midst of it here ourselves.

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Old 05-25-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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Great posts mykdsmomy!

Jennifer- mom to Nicholas (11), Ella (10), Andrew (8) and Anna Sophia (6)
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:16 AM
 
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I must say that if I saw another child hit my baby I'd probably be pretty pissed off. I don't believe in spanking but i don't think the phrase "i would spank you if you were my child." is really that bad. The way she reacted afterwards is pretty childish though. If anything, saying that to your son really just made him appreciate a momma like you even more!
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lanamommyphd07 View Post
so I got to wondering, but only skimmed over the last several posts since they seemed uh, mean. Here's the scenario as I took it in:
four year old kid hits, and has been hitting at home, much to the dismay of mom who does not model hitting.
four year old regularly plays with other children who, per their mother, are spanked. four year old observes this---perhaps frequently--and subsequently hits at their house too.....wonder where he learned it after all?
hmmmmmm.......
haha..... yeah that is a VERY good point...
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
No one threatened to hit the child!!!!!!!!!!

The OP's friend indicated to the boy how seriously she took having her baby hit - by telling him how she'd react if he was her son. The OP's son probably knows that his friend gets spanked for really serious things. And so - she let him know how seriously she took this.

According to the OP - the mother never said she'd hit him the next time or anything like that.
True, true But spanking isn't o.k., and I don't think what she said to the OP's child was o.k. either. But, she was reacting to an upsetting situation, and she didn't hit him. It's forgivable in my books, but, my child would'nt be staying there without me anymore.

Kessed, a lot of four year olds go through hitting phases. They are unpleasant and very stressful. There is no quick fix all of the time, and sometimes things happen too quickly to intervene. Some children hit for attention, and that is even more difficult to correct, because the more you respond negatively and harshly, the more the child will continue to do it.

The OP is handling her sons behaviour in a manner that will see long term results, and she is obviously concerned about her son's behaviour, so please give her a break
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:54 AM
 
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GD doesn't mean "no discipline"... And that's what you're advocating. If your child is still hitting - at least weeks after he started - then you aren't doing anything about it.
Honestly, Kessed, you are speaking from a place of no experience. You have one child who is 18 months old. You have great theories of how you would nip this behavior in the bud if your child were to start, but in reality, if you were faced with a child who started hitting and didn't stop right away, you really have no clue what you would do. And I hope your child is not like that because I can tell you (and the OP has told us) that it's no picnic. It sucks to have a child who is hitting, or in my case pushing, a younger sibling over and over again. For months. For years. No. Matter. What. You. Do. It sucks.

And you know what, Kessed? Not all bad behavior is due to parenting, discipline, or lack thereof, as you wholeheartedly believe right now. Of course that's what you believe. You have one 18 month old child. You have it easy, mama. And I do hope that it continues that way for you.

But some children cannot control their impulses. And it has nothing to do with parenting. My oldest pushes. He's done it for about 3 years, and he cannot control it. He has to push. I recently discovered that he has sensory processing issues. (Good god, there's a reason why he pushes! What a relief . . . and poor boy for getting into trouble for something he couldn't control.) There are physical "exercises" I can do now with him to fulfill his sensory needs so he will no longer have the need to push. But his pushing--which has been years of frustration, lots of discipline, big reactions, small reactions, every tactic we could think of, and from the start a very clear message that pushing is not okay, not ever okay, and times of incredible rage at his behavior--has nothing to do with my parenting. You, from your point of view on this thread, would undoubtedly condemn me as a terrible parent who obviously is not concerned that my child is hurting other children because this behavior lasted more that a couple of weeks. You would assume that I have done nothing about it. And you would be entirely wrong. As you are about the OP.

You have great ideals, Kessed, ideals that we all share that hitting is not okay no matter what, but you are out of the realm of your knowledge and experience here. Some children cannot control their impulses. Some learn to control it quite quickly. Some take a long time. Some can't do it at all. Each child develops at his or her own rate. You can't speed that up, no matter how much you dislike or disapprove of any behavior.

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Old 05-25-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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I hear people saying, "I simply wouldn't allow it" not realizing that it isn't that simple. You can not allow things and express anger when they happen, and they can still happen. This is life with kids. At that point, you have the choice to punish or to work on what's causing the behavior. I don't think punishment works. That doesn't mean I don't believe punishment works but I'd use it in some cases anyway. I simply don't believe it works.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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I agree! I can't believe how mean this thread has gotten! OP, I just wanted to say that I love the idea of the poster you are making with your DS-- what a nice, positive project to work on with him!
I love the idea too! I might use it too.

Soybeansmama- I am so happy that you and your friend are working through this. It is hard with such different parenting styles but sometimes the friendships that challenge us the most are the ones that allow us to grow more together. and good luck with the hitting.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:47 AM
 
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I also wanted to add that I was the perfect parent before I had children (notice I said children and not child. I was pretty perfect when I had one.....a little less than perfect when I had two and then became very humble after the third.
We all have different parenting styles. We all have children with different personalities and quirks.
While I agree that hitting is NOT ok....it DOES happen. Once again....these are CHILDREN we are talking about. They are still learning social behavior. They are still learning to control their emotions.
To anyone that has a child that doesnt it or babysits children that never hit......count yourself very lucky!
My oldest (as I said earlier) never hit. I thought parents of children who were aggresive were not parented well. I figured the parents must be doing something wrong.
As I've traveled down the parenting road a little further, I've come to realize that all the perfect parenting in the world is not necessarily going to "fix" every challenge a child faces instantly! We are working on not hitting with my four year old. He has challenges. He is unable to regulate himself. His first reaction is to hit or throw something. My other children didnt do this and we parented them all exactly the same. It's not something my ds4 has "fixed" yet. He cant fix it...yet.

Again, I feel the need to reiterate that we dont condone hitting.....we make it perfectly clear that hitting is always inappropriate.....but I wouldnt act as if a child commited a crime if a four year old hit one of my children.......
Maybe I'm getting old....but if I had a dime for every time one of my kids has been on the receiving end of a hit or a push from another child (parks, church, friends, play yards, etc), I'd be pretty rich.
I totally agree with this and other posts like jen's.
I recall being really upset when big kids were "mean" to my baby. Now I've been on the other side. I have felt really really awful when my older son has done something like this, and I always apologize and deal with it. But I also get upset when the other parent acts like we are a horrible parent of child- even as I'm apologizing and talking and dealing with it. To me it is just very insensitive and well, clueless.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:47 AM
 
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I think that telling a child that you would spank him if he were your child is an incredibly mean-spirited borderline abusive thing to say. Could I tell one of my children's friends "If you were my child I'd drive you to a gas station in Kansas and leave you there?" Goodness, I hope not!

This thread has become very judgmental. Come on, help a mama out! OP has asked several posters several times for specific suggestions (how to "immediately put a stop to it," what "big guns" are, etc.) and these same posters have come back and just keep regurgitating their vitriolic discourse, while offering nothing in the way of support or any information that is of value to any mother who may have the same issues with their 4yo.

Several posters have pointed out (myself included) that no one is saying that hitting is okay, only to be responded to with "hitting is not OK!" Seriously, people, read the replies before typing a response. We're adults here and we should be able to support a mother without resorting to copious amounts of capital letters and exclamation points.

We are not supposed to be judging OP here, and OP doesn't not have to live up to anyone's expectation in "how seriously" she takes the incident, how remorseful she is, if she is *really* working on it, whether it's a problem or a "phase." So don't act like she needs to appease you, when such demands are standing in the way of actually finding a remedy for the situtation.

For myself, the OP clearly sees this as a problem (but wait, determining that means that you actually have to *read* her posts, which seems to be too much trouble for many) and that's why she posted it here.

We know hitting is wrong, the child knows hitting is wrong, we know that this is a serious issue, we know it's not okay...so let's move on and actually offer support and advice.

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Old 05-25-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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Kessed, this is just an aweful thing to say. Of course I am not letting my child be hit...Sawyer hasn't actually made contact with his brothers body in a few weeks because I am always there to stop it or redirect it or remove one of them from the situation.

It really shocks me that there is such a tone here.

This is a Gentle Discipline forum not a "say what ever kind of mean crap you want because you're never going to meet these people in real life" forum.

Go hug a tree or pet a kitten or get your love tank filled however you need to...You seem to be feeling a bit snarkalicious.
: ::rot flmao

Bolding is mine obviously... OP I'm so sorry that this thread got so mean. I also didn't want to make you feel more isolated and different. I really want you to get along with your friend, and to peacefully work through this with your DS, and I hope this is all just blown out of porportion due to online miscommunication.


Snarkalicious.... I have got to write that down and remember that one! that's awesome.

Hang in there- This too shall Pass

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Old 05-25-2008, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks....

I am soory too. Not for me, but for other mamas who may be dealing with the same thing and feeling the deep shame and hopelessness that I have felt. I have a thick skin when it comes to online, cyber-weeny attacks because these aren't the people that I have to worry about in the real world. No one can ever see the real picture, so I understand what I am getting into when I post here...another new, hopeless feeling mama may not. That makes me sad that a mom desperate for help may be too ashamed to come here and subject herself to this. There really is some good advice I have gotten here. I know that its been said here before, but for a gentle discipline forum, there sure is a lot of non gentle things being spewed. :
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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Jessica;

I really thought the idea with the hand mural was great. It's a kinetic and visual way to explore/absorb the concept of no hitting.

Has DS changed his behavior since the mural? Or made any progress?

Sounds to me like you are working very hard on this issue. I hope your work bears fruit soon.

V

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Old 05-25-2008, 12:39 PM
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OP- I think you were right to feel upset about your friend's reaction, and I think she was right to feel upset about her child being hit. I do NOT think it was ok to say she would spank your son if she was her child. And perhaps he HAS seen her swat her children while he's there. Who knows.

I worked in child care for 6 years, and a few of those were in preschool classrooms. That means 4 year olds. Lo and behold, there was hitting. There was hitting, pushing, slapping, hair pulling, throwing, and all sorts of other behaviors we did not condone. But you know what? The ones with the great solutions were the ones not working with the 4 year olds. It always seems to be you can find great solutions when you aren't actually involved in a situation.

A poster and long term project talking about POSITIVE things you do with your hands, coupled with immediate discipline when hitting DOES happen is a GREAT idea! IT DOES WORK. No, hitting is never ok. We can all agree with that. But it happens. It is not an instant fix, ever. A child may react to your forceful way with not hitting anymore, but more than likely it is out of fear of your response, not because they "got it" that hitting is wrong.

Again, OP, I think you are handling it well, and I am so glad you talked it out with your friend. I'm happy to hear you are working it out and not letting parenting differences ruin your relationship. Mommy friendships are so important.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks

we haven't finished yet, but even in what we have done so far, I see him thinking more when he is angered by his brother. He calls to me to come grab him before he physically touches him...I prefer that over grabbing his hands or yanking things away from him. I chose to to a project like this because when I was pregnant with Atticus, we did some birth art together and talked about his feelings about having a baby coming to us. We painted a huge mural with swirly colors and glitter. he also got to paint my belly mask. I think it was helpful for him to work through some things while using his hands in this way. On a side note...he accidently painted the shape of a blue angel in the birth poster and I believe that she was there at my homebirth when Atticus came out with no pulse and not breathing. My dear Sawyer has been through some stuff in the last year...
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some children hit for attention, and that is even more difficult to correct, because the more you respond negatively and harshly, the more the child will continue to do it.

ZIPWORTH
Thanks for pointing this out. My son DOES NOT respond well to negative and harsh reactions. Seriousness and compassion seem to be better tactics for us...
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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Several posters have pointed out (myself included) that no one is saying that hitting is okay, only to be responded to with "hitting is not OK!" Seriously, people, read the replies before typing a response. We're adults here and we should be able to support a mother without resorting to copious amounts of capital letters and exclamation points.
Great post. I found the lack of sensitivity and insinuations of bad parenting in some posts disturbing. If it were that easy to have such control over a child's behavior, why would there be thousands of parenting books out on the market?

Children are not blank slates who respond the same way under the same circumstances. If you believe this, I can't imagine you have spent much time with a variety of children. It's SO not fair to judge another parent so harshly!! Sounds to me like the OP is seriously working hard to discipline (in the true meaning of TEACH) her child in a healthy and intelligent way.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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I think the part that was irksome was that the OP was criticizing this other mother for responding to hitting with indignation and anger - which many of us are arguing is one of the best ways to demonstrate to children that hitting is wrong. They see that hitting is serious business, and that it won't be tolerated.

It's easy to appreciate that not all children will respond to similar methods. But this seemed like a case in which the OP had not ever tried this approach, the other mother did, chances are it probably would have worked, and yet OP then undermined the entire thing by being mad at the other mom.

When dd was hit by her 3 yo friend, I responded with rigid discipline and expectations for that child. And it worked. She knows she cannot come to our house and hit. If her mother had attacked me for my way of handling it, and then consistently failed to deal with the problem herself - without even trying methods that had worked well for countless other children - then my solution would have been for that child to not return to our home.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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I think the part that was irksome was that the OP was criticizing this other mother for responding to hitting with indignation and anger - which many of us are arguing is one of the best ways to demonstrate to children that hitting is wrong. They see that hitting is serious business, and that it won't be tolerated.
EXACTLY.

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Old 05-25-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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I am glad you and your friend are trying to work this out. I think it sets a good example for our kids that friends can disagree but still be friends and find some common ground. It also sounds like he plays with his friend often and it would be sad for him to lose his friend.

I am sorry this thread got ugly and I am glad you sound like it has not hurt you and you can handle it, but I have to admit to being someone who feels that 4 and a half is old enough to have the impulse control not to hit. I guess reading the thread it felt like alot of people were saying that it is totally normal behavior and I would disagree. It is not unheard of, but I have worked at one preschool and been involved in my DD coop preschool and can only think of 2 kids who were still hitting when someone got in their space at that age, so I don't think it is the norm either. It just sounds like this has been going on for a long time, is it why you pulled him out of preschool? Were his teachers helpful with any advise for you? I hear the attitude on here to that they can't help it and I would disagree again unless there is some special need. I wonder if the parents who believe that their child cannot control their impulse to hit pass this believe on to their kids so that the kids think they are not in control of their actions when their emotions get big.

A boy in my older DD's kindergarten class recently pushed my 10 month old down and it really pissed me off. My first reaction after consoling my baby was to think WTF?, because I do think a five year old can control the hitting impulse.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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I think the part that was irksome was that the OP was criticizing this other mother for responding to hitting with indignation and anger - which many of us are arguing is one of the best ways to demonstrate to children that hitting is wrong. They see that hitting is serious business, and that it won't be tolerated.

It's easy to appreciate that not all children will respond to similar methods. But this seemed like a case in which the OP had not ever tried this approach, the other mother did, chances are it probably would have worked, and yet OP then undermined the entire thing by being mad at the other mom.

When dd was hit by her 3 yo friend, I responded with rigid discipline and expectations for that child. And it worked. She knows she cannot come to our house and hit. If her mother had attacked me for my way of handling it, and then consistently failed to deal with the problem herself - without even trying methods that had worked well for countless other children - then my solution would have been for that child to not return to our home.
Your idea of "rigid discipline" is punishment. Other parents have given you reasons why we don't agree with punishment. Punishment might at least keep the behavior from happening when you can see it for a while, but it is not a solution to impulse control, control of anger, lack of empathy, or any other cause of hitting, and therefore is not a long-term or real solution. If the mom had simply expressed anger and sent him home, that would have been fine, but to talk about spanking (which, yes, is an implied threat if not an implicit one) is wrong. And to verbally attack the mom afterward for what is within the realm of normal behavior for a 4-year-old afterward because she doesn't spank is also wrong.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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To each his own, but responding with indignation and anger is different from yelling at a 4yo until he is broken.

It's strange that we're expecting a higher level of impulse-control from a 4yo than we are from a mother who lacked the impulse-control to refrain from verbally assailing said 4yo. It makes me wonder if impulse-control really exists at all for anyone, or if we just justify behavior by calling different names as we age (such as "mama bear" instinct).

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Old 05-25-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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Your idea of "rigid discipline" is punishment..
You have an odd sense of what constitutes punishment. If dd hit me in the head with something heavy and I responded with cries of pain, would you consider that punishment also? If not, I'm not sure why the natural response of anger and indignation to being hit that we all experience should be considered punishment.

In any case, it's as I said before. Kids know what is what. This girl figured out that she can't hit at my house and still hang around here, so she just stopped. Even though she had this intractible 'hitting problem' that no one could seem to break.

Imagine that.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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I think the part that was irksome was that the OP was criticizing this other mother for responding to hitting with indignation and anger - which many of us are arguing is one of the best ways to demonstrate to children that hitting is wrong. They see that hitting is serious business, and that it won't be tolerated.

It's easy to appreciate that not all children will respond to similar methods. But this seemed like a case in which the OP had not ever tried this approach, the other mother did, chances are it probably would have worked, and yet OP then undermined the entire thing by being mad at the other mom.

When dd was hit by her 3 yo friend, I responded with rigid discipline and expectations for that child. And it worked. She knows she cannot come to our house and hit. If her mother had attacked me for my way of handling it, and then consistently failed to deal with the problem herself - without even trying methods that had worked well for countless other children - then my solution would have been for that child to not return to our home.
A lot of things are going to work for others that are not going to work for the parent. And just because they work in the moment, does not mean it is the best way to handle it. Actually, I think your idea of telling a child that repeatedly hits your kids, they are not going to be allowed to play anymore is much more reasonable.

Reacting strongly to your own child with an "I'm not going to tolerate this" approach can really backfire. Children will often do what upsets their parent most as a way to gain attention or get a reaction.

I think it is unfair to criticize OP for being upset with another parent for treating her child in a way she would never dream of. Mama Bear came out of the other mom, and it came out of OP too.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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It's strange that we're expecting a higher level of impulse-control from a 4yo than we are from a mother..
No we're not. This mother never hauled off and smacked this kid, the way the four year did with her toddler.

If she had, this thread would have gone very, very differently, I assure you.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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Impulsiveness usually manifests in children in a physical nature, and verbally for adults. This woman did far more damage with her impulsive words that the child did. So as long as we don't hit we're allowed to haul off and yell at a 4yo child who isn't yours? As long as we don't hit?

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Old 05-25-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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I don't think it's acceptable to subject other children to being hit while he figures out a better way to deal with his anger...

It is possible to stop the hitting by doing something drastic - like a time-out, or going home EVERY time - and then come up with better ways to deal with anger/frustration second.

I think that it's horrible that the OP is letting her new baby be hit "swiped at" on a regular basis while her son "figures it out". That's not parenting - that's ridiculous.

The OPs son needs to learn right now, that he can't hit other people. Deal with that first - and then move on.
The little kid is four years old. It's not like he could seriously injure his sibling. I have a 3.5 year old and a 1.5 year old and they both sometimes swipe at each other. If one of them gets hurt then I take care of that one. If neither are hurt I work with them on why hitting is not acceptable and give them ideas and alternatives. My son very rarely, like not even 2ce a month, hits at his little sister. Right now we're working on him getting my attention if something is happening rather than going after his sister himself. I prefer to be proactive by teaching my kids what to do in a situation rather than going directly into a punishment.

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