Kids pushing/hitting other kids, and parents spank, do you think there's a connection - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my SIL is visiting with her husband and twin 2-year old boys. My DD is 15 months. Today the boys repeatedly pushed and hit my daughter. DD was just watching what they were doing. She wasn't stealing a toy or anything to provoke them. My SIL says to her boys in stern voice, "no hitting." BUT, she spanks her children. Last time I saw her she spanked them several times a day. I think she's sending a mixed message and I want her to know it. We have never discussed my DH's and I's view on gentle discipline. I cringe every time I see her spank her kids. I have left the room before when she spanked, but I honestly don't think SIL put two-and-two together why I left the room. I hate seeing it! Please help me think of something I could say to her to let her know I think spanking is wrong and that she's sending her children mixed messages.
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#2 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 07:19 PM
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Well, I think it is fruitless and probably not a good idea to tell her spanking is wrong and that she is sending mixed messages. I think that she will probably just get angry and turn off anything you have to say because she will most likely feel defensive and embarrassed.

What I *would* do is, I would take myself and my child out of the room if she spanked -- and if she were in my home, I would say to her that I don't allow physical punishment in my home. That is within my rights and power. I don't have to allow hitting of any kind, by anyone to anyone, in my home. It isn't putting a judgment on it -- though she will most likely get that you think it is wrong -- you are not attacking her or calling her into question, you are letting her know what *your* boundaries are.


PS, I know of GD'ed kids who hit too so I don't think just kids who are spanked hit others. I think the emotional and mental consequences of being hit as a child affect people the most in adulthood -- when they can actually process that people who love you aren't supposed to hit and hurt you.
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#3 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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I was the one who used to spank around a bunch of people who didn't, and all of our kids (esp boys) went through hitting stages.

As much as you may hate seeing your sister do this, it's not the end of the world for your nieces and nephews because there are worse forms of parenting (like neglect). While I think gentle discipline is *better*, my parents spanked me and it didn't ruin me or seriously damage my self esteem. So, rather than getting embroiled in "hot" topics like this with those we love, I'd just ask her not to do it in front of you or your daughter because you feel strongly that "gentle discipline" is appropriate for your family. That may open a discussion that allows you to express your views if she asks you more about it- who knows? Just my 2 cents.
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#4 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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No, I don't think there's a connection. Kids grab, push, and hit, whether it's done to them or not.
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#5 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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My kids beat the snot out of each other and they aren't spanked.

I do agree that hitting kids for hitting sends a mixed message.

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#6 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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No, I don't think there's a connection. Kids grab, push, and hit, whether it's done to them or not.
:

Also, many small kids go through a biting phase, while I doubt many peope are biting their children as a means of discipline, kwim? I think the logic that a kid is only doing something aggressive because it's been done to them doesn't really hold up.
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#7 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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No, I don't think there's a connection. Kids grab, push, and hit, whether it's done to them or not.
ITA. The difference is - when a parent uses spanking to enforce their will, they are reinforcing the idea that using force is appropriate. A parent who uses methods that are gentle and respectful teaches that in every situation, there is a non-violent response. That even if you are frustrated or hurt or angry or confused, there is always another way to respond, and that we all have control of our own actions.

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#8 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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I don't know. We've never hit or otherwise punished our kid and she hits, and pushes. She has also taken to saying mean things, even though we don't speak that way to her. AND she says "If I'm bad and get in trouble I have to go to time out"?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! We've never done any sort of time out, it's something she heard from a friend. So, nah, I don't think it makes kids more likely to hit. I do think your sister should exhibit more self control than she is expecting her 2 year old to though...
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#9 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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I disagree that there isn't a connection. Kids who are punished do interact differently than kids who are not. Kids who are treated with respect, guided, and taught treat friends and siblings differently than kids who are hit, yelled at, have items taken away, etc. Or at least that is true of my kids and all the kids I know.

I have 4 kids. A few of them went through a hitting stage when they were young and preverbal. That is pretty developmentally appropriate. But now they can play with some kids (namely the kids who are parented like they are) for HOURS at a time with not a single fight, argument, or disagreement. When we (or our friends, and I have polled them all ) play with kids who are punished and spanked there is almost always fights, disagreements, toy stealing, subtle bullying (with the older ones especially) and just general difficulties. The difference is HUGE.

Now, I realize this is anecdotal and all, but it has been proven to be true (with no exceptions I can think of at the moment) with the dozens and dozens of kids we have played with in many different circumstances in the past 7 years.

Just my experience and all that


 

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#10 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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hmm..my kids don't hit/push/bite other kids. They do whack each other pretty good too often, though.

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#11 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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I disagree that there isn't a connection. Kids who are punished do interact differently than kids who are not. Kids who are treated with respect, guided, and taught treat friends and siblings differently than kids who are hit, yelled at, have items taken away, etc. Or at least that is true of my kids and all the kids I know.
Yeah, IMO, a lot of kids who aren't punished have no manners or boundaries.

Punishment and discipline do NOT always equal spanking or yelling. And punishment and discipline are not always disrespectful.
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#12 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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Punishment and discipline do NOT always equal spanking or yelling. And punishment and discipline are not always disrespectful.
Punishment and discipline are NOT the same thing. One can discipline their child while never punishing. Spanking and yelling are only one form of punishment and IMO punishment never works and is always disrespectful. GENTLE forms of discipline seem to be pretty successful in my circle though.


 

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#13 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 09:08 AM
 
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But, with 2 year olds, which is what the post is about, I have always seen fights- they still have trouble sharing, no matter how they are parented. Maybe this was a refelection that the playgroup I attended was mostly all first children? Not much sharing experience.
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#14 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I think there can be a connection although I also think its normal for kids to go through hitting, biting, pushing phases.
But one time, we were at a kid's indoor play area and there was a child there who was about 5 years old. My son was just standing and looking around (he was only about 15 months) and he came up to him and punched him in the face. I'm talking closed fist and enough to push him over. I do think that he was experiencing some kind of violence in his life to be unprovoked and react that strongly to a small baby. His parent never came up after the incident and we left within a few minutes.
It definitely sends the message though that violence is completely warranted if you have a good enough reason. And especially that it is ok for older people to hit younger people.
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#15 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 11:47 AM
 
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If you want studies and such, check out the websites Nospank and Neverhitachild.

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#16 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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I disagree that there isn't a connection. Kids who are punished do interact differently than kids who are not. Kids who are treated with respect, guided, and taught treat friends and siblings differently than kids who are hit, yelled at, have items taken away, etc. Or at least that is true of my kids and all the kids I know.

I have 4 kids. A few of them went through a hitting stage when they were young and preverbal. That is pretty developmentally appropriate. But now they can play with some kids (namely the kids who are parented like they are) for HOURS at a time with not a single fight, argument, or disagreement. When we (or our friends, and I have polled them all ) play with kids who are punished and spanked there is almost always fights, disagreements, toy stealing, subtle bullying (with the older ones especially) and just general difficulties. The difference is HUGE.

Now, I realize this is anecdotal and all, but it has been proven to be true (with no exceptions I can think of at the moment) with the dozens and dozens of kids we have played with in many different circumstances in the past 7 years.

Just my experience and all that

Hi there. I don't think there is a connection either, because we do not hit or yell and all of a sudden, my almost 3-yr old daughter has been hitting me, my mom and our neighbor's little boy (who is a year younger than my daughter). I guess it's just that each child is different and they are acting on their own emotions??

I don't mean to take over this thread, but I was logging on today to ask what to do in this situation?? I have never punished Dd at all, because I've never had to. I also do not believe in time-out. So any advice on how to discipline her when I see her hitting others would be great.

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#17 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 12:06 PM
 
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But, with 2 year olds, which is what the post is about, I have always seen fights- they still have trouble sharing, no matter how they are parented. Maybe this was a refelection that the playgroup I attended was mostly all first children? Not much sharing experience.
Momma_unlimited, I completely agree with you - that first child thing... that is what I am experiencing now with not sharing and then all of a sudden she's hitting when she feels like it.

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#18 of 20 Old 08-30-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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There probably is a connection, but this is also normal behavior for two year olds to some extent and I have seen many posts on this site asking for help with children this age and older who also behave in this way. I think that some of it definitely can come from what is modeled, but some of it can also come from the behavior being reinforced by the child getting what they wanted from aggressive behavior. Talking to her about finding out what her children want to come as an effect of their behavior rather than the actual behavior may be a more comfortable conversation than talking to her about her parenting choices. They could want anything from the toy to any type of attention they can get and addressing the root cause of a problem as well as the actual problem is a very effective way of cutting down on negative behavior.
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#19 of 20 Old 08-31-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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I think there's a connection, but that most 2 year olds will hit (as will most younger toddlers) even if they are never spanked or punished physically.

However, IME, kids who are spanked or have their hands slapped tend to do it differently than those who aren't... more long term, and more aimed toward younger children, and more when they think no one is looking. Especially in the third and fourth years. And there tends to be a generally more defensive attitude from them when they think they've done something wrong--they don't seem to trust that they will be allowed to explain the situation as it actually happened and seem to jump straight to trying to save themselves from being punished. But I think that's true for most kids who receive punitive discipline.

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#20 of 20 Old 09-01-2008, 01:44 AM
 
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we don't spank or otherwise hit our kids, and we have had problems with older DS doing this with others.
So, perhaps sometimes, but not always.
In 15 month olds, this behavior is pretty normal, unfortunately.
I don't necessarily think that spanking will cure it, however.
My BIL / SIL's kids (step family to my husband) have used corporal punishment and their kids have been pretty subdued from an early age. Sweet kids, but emotionally subdued. They behave, but I suspect there's a price they'll be paying long term.
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