"I would spank you if you were my child!" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so angry right now...aggghhhh

My son goes across the street to play with his friend on wednesday evenings while I teach class at the house (I am a CBE) This is a family that we have known since they moved in 6 years ago. Our kids have grown up together (now 4 and 5) and are extremely close friends. Her mom and I are good friends despite our very different parenting ideas. After last night, I am seriously pondering how I have been so tolerant.

My ds has been going through a bit of a hitting phase. Usually its a swat at his little brothers hand for grabbing his toys or something. We are working with him everyday about finding another way to communicate his anger. It's like a knee jerk reaction for him and he really does feel bad afterwards. Anyway, his friend has a younger sister (18 months) and while they were playing in the room together she hit him excitedly and he hit back. The way her mom explained it she ran in there because the baby was crying and layed into my ds about how mean he was and that if he were her child she would have given him a good spanking. WTF?? I will never understand why some parents feel like threatening violent behavior with violence is an effective way of handling things...

Anyway, this whole scenerio was explained to me by the mama, my friend, when I went to pick him up. I was disturbed at the way she seemed to almost be bragging about how he just let her yell while he had his head down and how it was because "he had respect for her" I am so sad and angry by all of this my stomach hurts. I am sad that I have a non spanked child that hits, too, but we are working hard to change things every day...

The thing that really bothers me about this friendship is that she knows my views about certain things and she talk about those thing often I think to get a reaction from me. We have had heated discussions about this before and other things like circing (she thinks uncirced penises are "ugly" ) and extended breastfeeding (she weaned at 4 months) I am really starting to feel that we have soooo many conflicting ideas that its hard for me to justify keeping a friendship. The sad thing is our kids adore eachother. It would surely be traumatic for the both of them to not be able to play with eachother anymore.

Thanks for reading...
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#2 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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What did you say to her about her yelling and threatening your child?

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I will never understand why some parents feel like threatening violent behavior with violence is an effective way of handling things...
ITA

Did you tell her that?
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#3 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have said that to her in the past when we were talking about spanking in general. Last night, I just said that it sounded like watching my son was too stressful for her. I plan on having a real talk with her about it today when I am not so angry. BTW, she was so irked by the incident, that she had to have a couple of glasses of wine to calm down. I understand being mama bear about your child being hit, BTDT, but holy crap, talk about no coping skills...
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#4 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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I understand how she could flip out and say something innapropriate to him.

BUT, to have a "See? I knew my parenting was better than yours" attitude about it later bugs me.

I don't expect her to agree with you. But, I do expect her to respect your choices, especially since she KNOWS you have thought this through, and studied it, and you are not just "winging it".

It also bugs me that he had his head down while she yelled at him. I know she was angry, but seeing his head down like that should have pulled at her heart just a little.

I still do not think I could end the friendship. I might find someone else to watch him when you need to work. But, best friends are extremely important to them, and they deserve to play together. In my opinion ending the friendship over this is unfair to the boys.
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#5 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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I think that I would definitely stop the babysitting. Some people have a huge power trip thing when they are "in charge" of your kid. It sounds like the kids really enjoy each other so I would let them play at your house.

My ds went through a horrible hitting phase. It was so hard to listen to all the "experts" in my life tell me to hit him. I held fast that no child ever needs to be hit but those were some dark days. Now at almost five ds doesn't hit. While not exactly gentle, he has an amazing sense of empathy and fairness that never would have developed with the harsh punishments that people were recommending. Now all of these "experts" have seen my ds come out on the other side and even if they don't admit it, ds is a walking contradiction to their beliefs and that speaks louder than any conversation I could of had.
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#6 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 02:27 PM
 
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If you need a glass or two of wine to calm down over an issue like that, I'd question leaving my son with her. Tough call, seeing as there's a nice friendship going on. Otherwise for me it would be a high fence and your side/my side, that's it. If you need to speak to ME about my girls hitting which I had to do with my teen years ago that's fine but if anyone said that to my young twin girls, I'd be seeing red for days!!

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#7 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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BTW, she was so irked by the incident, that she had to have a couple of glasses of wine to calm down.
Uhhh... she didn't do this while she was the person in charge of your child, I hope? Or while she was the only adult home with her own children, for that matter?
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#8 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 02:36 PM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't end the friendship, but I wouldn't have her babysit anymore either.

Edited to add that I have one neighbor friend who has a daughter who is friends with my daughter whom I've told to just send my daughter home if she needs to rather than handling anything herself. That's worked for us, but it wouldn't work if she were babysitting, obviously, because she wouldn't be able to send her home.
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#9 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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I think you should find someone else who doesn't have children to watch yours until your son gets out of the hitting phase. Having your small child hit by your friends much older child is not something that tends to make a friendship last whether the behavior is normal for that age or not.
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#10 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Your poor son.

I'd rather not have a friend, than have a friend like that.

That being said, can't the kids just play together without you having anything to do with the mom. My mom never buddied up to the other moms in our neighborhood when I was a kid.

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#11 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot to mention that her husband was there also...soberly.

I have just sent her an email about how I feel about things. I told her we would be making other arrangments for Sawyer on Wednesdays so that they could have a relaxing evening as a family. I explained that I understand the mamabear rearing her ugly head when things like this happen. In fact, her daughter was the first child to hit my son when he was a baby (she was about 18 months...far from 4) I explained that I appreciate our differences, but that my son needs to be treated differently. I can't promise that my DS won't ever hit her DD. I feel like it's important to avoid the situation in the first place.

I feel so brave right now...I am sure that will fade a bit when we speak.

I am not ready to end the friendship, but I feel like we need to get to the bottom of some things...like the gloating about what an awesome and effective parent she is. I think she just feels helpless and weak IMO. I feel sensitive to that. Why else we she speak to often about the spanking, etc unless it was a cry for help? I can't walk away from her now...

Anyway thanks for letting me talk this out.
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#12 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your poor son.

I'd rather not have a friend, than have a friend like that.

That being said, can't the kids just play together without you having anything to do with the mom. My mom never buddied up to the other moms in our neighborhood when I was a kid.
Our friendship has been important in the past...we have a few years invested. It would be impossible to just make a clean break while our children just played together...
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#13 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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I think you are wise to end the babysitting relationship, because its hard to see that going well at the moment. But I also think the children's friendship can continue, you just need to be there too.

Honestly, I think you should congratulate her for NOT hitting your son. Assuming she spanks, I'm sure this was really hard for her to control. I confess that the only time I hit my son was when he had hit and kicked his little sister and the mama bear was just too much to hold, so I understand what she must have been feeling. But knowing that this might happen again and next time she might not be able to control herself definitely means not having her babysit for a while.

As long as you can each respect the other's position, or at least that the other person has thought about their position and made a different choice, I think its possible to be friends with someone who has a different outlook on parenting. But it doesn't sound like that is true here -- it sounds like she has little respect for your approach.

Beyond that though, I think its entirely possible for the children to remain friends as long as you can both agree on some groundrules about playdates.
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#14 of 194 Old 05-22-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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FWIW I think she over reacted. Our friend's son (4) got upset with my ds (2.5) and hit him, we explained it was not ok but didn't get angry. My ds poked my friend's baby in the eye (deliberately) and she was really understanding. Me less so! When you have children you need to accept that this time they are the victim, another time they are the one doing the harm. It's the way kids are. How you deal with your own child is up to you but to behave in this way, and to go against the known parenting style/desires of your friend is out of order IMHO.

Sounds like you handled it really well, you are a very caring friend.
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#15 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies...

SOOOOO, she just wrote back about what a "spineless, holier than thou" person I am and that I have hurt her deeply with my "condesecending, passive-aggresive" email...:::con fused:


I so don't know where to go from here.

How does someone go from ice-woman to completely butt-hurt?

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#16 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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I think you go in person (tomorrow) and say you want to be friends with her, you want your kids to continue to be friends, but you don't want her to babysit anymore because you don't agree with how she deals with issues. Say you want to agree to disagree, but that her watching your kid is going to continue to cause problems and hurt the friendships. It will just get worse if you continue via email (BTDT).

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#17 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that I need to talk to her in person. The only reason I even emailed is because we both have 2 little ones and meeting up can be chaos. I needed to have the peace and quiet of typing it out. I think my intent was lost in my typed words. I need to speak to her...
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#18 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 01:59 AM
 
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just quick jumping in here......I would email her back with a quick little "I dont think my words came across the way I meant them" and then tell her you really want to talk to her about this tomorrow.
I think that way, you've somewhat taken her off the defense and you can rationally talk about it tomorrow. Also, I think it will be a bit of an ice breaker rather than just having to "confront" her tomorrow without first acknowledging the email. (does that make sense?)

FWIW.....she sounds a little like some friends I have had in the past. I dont have those friends in my life anymore because we just didnt see eye to eye. One of them actually did spank my dd (two at the time) and I was LIVID. I actually walked in right after it happened and she thought I had seen it so she confessed but then added that my dd "deserved" it. That was the last time she babysat and pretty much the end of our friendship.....

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#19 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 02:11 AM
 
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I guess I have a little different perspective. There's no way I'd let a four and a half year old back into my house after he hit my 18 month old baby. My dd's four and we have lots and lots of friends in that age group playing at our house. There isn't a one of them that doesn't understand something as basic as not to hit a baby.

I think your son needed a dose of reality. People don't like to be hit. If you hit people, it generates an angry response and - chances are - you're going to get spoken to with angry tone, pitch, gestures, or even going to get hit back in some circumstances (eg other children on a playground, for instance).

Left well enough alone, I think he might have learned a valuable lesson here. Chances are, he never would have hit that baby again. Not because he was afraid this mom would spank him, I don't think. But simply because he recognized the magnitude of his wrong doing by the intensity of her reaction. He felt bad. He ought to have felt bad.
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#20 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 02:14 AM
 
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Sorry, I know it isn't what you want to hear...but she sounds immature and petty. Personally I wouldn't bother with her.

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#21 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sad....

I don't have a lot of close friends. Maybe this is just the push I need to seek other mamas out.

Blessed, I understand what you are saying and that is one of the reasons why I told her I wanted to make other arrangments for Wed. Again, I can't guaranty that my DS won't have mean hands again at her house. It sickens me that we are going through this with him.

I am the mom that feeds my child very healthy and we have extensive tooth decay...

I am the mom that parents gently and I have the seemingly uncompassionate baby hitter...

I gets really discouraging at times. I get tired of hearing things like "well, just imagine how bad his teeth would have been if you weren't careful" and "just imagine how much meaner of a child he would be if you spanked and yelled and shamed"

I'm sorry. I just get really jealous of moms that don't try hard at all and don't have the issues that we have had.

I will go eat my worms now.
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#22 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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#23 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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I'm sorry this is so hard. It doesn't seem fair .

When dd learned not to hit, I felt like it happened because it startled her to see normally gentle, steady mama angry at her. She learned that hitting was serious, and garnered a big response - much bigger than she wanted to deal with. I didn't (and never have) spanked or used a time out. But I showed her how angry it made me when she hit me.

I remember holding her in my arms and she swung back and popped me in the face while I was looking the other direction. I reacted very instinctually. I grabbed her kind of tightly, glared into her face and said "Don't you HIT me!!" It completely took her off guard and she was very upset. But it made a huge impression, and aside from some half hearted swiping when frustrated, she never really hit again.

I had the impression that this encounter with her friend was like that for your son. And maybe it's something that he's not had previously.

I think it's okay to show our kids our displeasure when their behavior steps outside of what's acceptable. I sort of think they need that, actually.
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#24 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 10:06 PM
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I think it's okay to show our kids our displeasure when their behavior steps outside of what's acceptable. I sort of think they need that, actually.
I agree completely with this.

But didn't the friend of the OP suggest to the child she was thinking about hitting him? I think that's on a totally different plane than "You did something really awful and because of that I am very upset"
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#25 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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"Well, thank goodness he's NOT your child!" and find another sitter for those nights.

I wouldn't leave my child in that woman's care ever again. Playing together at our house? Fine. At the park where I can supervise? Fine. Alone with her? Never again.
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#26 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know how to bypass the impulse to hit...especially when he is being hit. Yeah, she was 18 months, but in that moment it becomes a knee-jerk reaction for him. When my nipple is bitten by my 9 month old I have had to stop my hand in mid smack because it just comes out of me. I am 32 and have impulse control, he is 4 and does not. We need help...

We haven't spoken yet. I feel like this is her way of "punishing me." She won't return calls, etc. Meanwhile, her husband keeps coming out of the house and glaring in my direction while I play outside with the kids. This is so lame...
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#27 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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We haven't spoken yet. I feel like this is her way of "punishing me." She won't return calls, etc. Meanwhile, her husband keeps coming out of the house and glaring in my direction while I play outside with the kids. This is so lame...

that is lame

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#28 of 194 Old 05-23-2008, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yah, high school was fun, but I don't want to go back there...
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#29 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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I think you should find someone else who doesn't have children to watch yours until your son gets out of the hitting phase. Having your small child hit by your friends much older child is not something that tends to make a friendship last whether the behavior is normal for that age or not.
I kind of agree with this. Her daughter is a baby and he hit her. I understand he is little and doesn't really understand either but I would probably over react about that too. She shouldn't have bragged about it later though. I think if she made a mistake like that she should have come to you apologetically instead of bragging. Did you give her a sort of discipline that you wanted her to use in situations like that? I have been a nanny before and I had a biter so I am seeing both sides of this. I told the mom of the child I was keeping that if she didn't want me keeping her DD until my DD got out of her biting phase (She was only 16 months old so there was no reasoning with that) that I understood. She still let me keep her though and my DD grew out of it pretty quickly. It is sad to lose friends so I hope this is something that can be worked out. Good luck!
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#30 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He has never done this to her before. this was an isolated incident. the hitting phase we are dealing with right now is usually when his younger brother goes after his toys. we haven't had a chance to discuss the "what ifs" of this scenerio but we have been around eachother for the last 4 years. we have a pretty clear idea about how the other person would like to handle things.
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