Isn't this abusive?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I'm new here. Haven't had a chance to really look at the posts and stuff, so forgive me!

I have to vent. A family member chooses to "discipline" her 4 year-old by putting him in a cold shower, I believe with clothes on, and making him stand in it. She also has very strigent, involved rules for him that even I couldn't remember to follow if had to!!!

Grrr... The irony is that she and another family member recently reported us for "abuse" because we're vegetarian and because I gave my pre-teen a tiny sip of alcohol. (Nothing came of it, by the way. The case manager made it known she was appalled that she had to waste her time on us when there were other places she could be. I understand, I'm actually going to do my field placement as a child protective services worker!!)

Thanks for "listening!!"

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#2 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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Wow.

How incredibly sad. Yeah, I would say that that`s abusive. But, being a Norwegian living in Norway, I don`t know what is and is not considered abuse in your country.

Regardless, I think that was a terrible thing to do to a child. My heart breaks thinking about that poor little guy.

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#3 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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It would probably be considered abuse here in the US, but to get "action" on it, there would have to be a stronger case- more going on.


I feel so sorry for the little guy.
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#4 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 06:33 PM
 
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Man, that is just... MEAN. Yes, I find it abusive too. I'm sure it's accompanied by yelling and all kinds of bad stuff too.
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#5 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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It sure is abusive by my standards. Holy crap.

In my state you might be able to make a case for that based on humiliation/emotional/mental abuse, but it just depends. I am unsure how it would go in your state. As far as I am concerned, it's abusive plain and simple.

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#6 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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Pretty blatant abuse at that.
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#7 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 09:19 PM
 
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That's so cruel. Can you elaborate on the rules he has to follow? That sounds strange too.
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#8 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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I think it's mean and just weird. Wonder what sort of issues the kid will have when he's older regarding water or showers?

I believe the state I live in is pretty clear on what they'll consider abuse... and as this doesn't leave a mark, I don't think they'd consider it abusive. As it's a family member, I might try talking to them... or sharing a book with them. Another option would be to invite them to attend a GD parenting seminar with you.

One thing I've noticed is that some people really don't know what rules a child is developmentally able to follow... and to what regard (with reminders or not). If the child is a boy, I would recommend giving the Mom any of Michael Gurian's books. I have the book "The Good Son" and what I love about it is he'll tell you what is normal behavior based on age... and what rules they can and cannot reasonably follow.

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#9 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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Oh My Gosh.
:
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#10 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 10:59 PM
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Sounds abusive to me. That is horrible. 4 years old?? :
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#11 of 35 Old 08-14-2007, 11:44 PM
 
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To a 4 yo child??? Yes, in my books that is abusive, horrible and incredibly unkind behaviour. I cannot imagine anyone doing that in the name of 'discipline'.: :
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#12 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 12:00 AM
 
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That IS abusive, and disgusting. :

Poor baby.

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#13 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 12:08 AM
 
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I do consider that to be abusive. How sad.
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#14 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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Reminds me of some books I read a few years ago... The series was "A child called it" That poor child, If you have seen this happen with your own eyes (it wasn't clear to me in your post) Please call the authorities.
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#15 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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Yes.

I read somewhere about a religious cult doing that to members when they didn't do what they were told, but I don't recall which one.

awful.

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#16 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ströckwife View Post
Hi! I'm new here. Haven't had a chance to really look at the posts and stuff, so forgive me!

I have to vent. A family member chooses to "discipline" her 4 year-old by putting him in a cold shower, I believe with clothes on, and making him stand in it. She also has very strigent, involved rules for him that even I couldn't remember to follow if had to!!!

-C.
i've got to say....i read A LOT of posts here about what people think is abuse and come here to get insight, but this is hands down one of the most disturbing for me so far. it is SO wrong on so many levels imo. it's not just physical abuse, but it's SO controlling and extremely humiliating and shameful to a child.

WHY WHY WHY WHY would anyone do such a terrible thing to a sweet God given gift????? i mean - it's a child! i can't fathom it. literally. i am so sad for that sweetie.

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#17 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 12:58 AM
 
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: I would never do that to my child! Poor thing.

Mommy to Two
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#18 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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I think that is actually worse than spanking, because spanking is over quickly. It's often a an instictive reaction, and a reaction by a parent who doesn't have the tools to know what to do other than spank... Whereas doing this is kind of like pre-meditated abuse...really shows that you are unstable as a parent and this to me would be similar to physical torture, locking a kid in a room, tieing him up to his bed etc... I mean to put a kid in a shower and turn it on cold, you'd have to stand there and hold him in place correct? :

That is beyond "discipline" it is actually sick.

Unfortunately I doubt that it would ever stand up as abuse in any court of law.

In fact I have a friend whose children have been sexually abused by their dad, repeatedly..., and my friend was not able to keep him from having visitation or to bring him up on criminal charges, because there was no hard "proof" that he had abused them.
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#19 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 01:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Music-mommy View Post
I think that is actually worse than spanking, because spanking is over quickly. It's often a an instictive reaction, and a reaction by a parent who doesn't have the tools to know what to do other than spank... Whereas doing this is kind of like pre-meditated abuse...really shows that you are unstable as a parent and this to me would be similar to physical torture, locking a kid in a room, tieing him up to his bed etc... I mean to put a kid in a shower and turn it on cold, you'd have to stand there and hold him in place correct? :

yes - that's how i feel about it too. it's so incredibly disturbing to me.

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#20 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Music-mommy View Post
I mean to put a kid in a shower and turn it on cold, you'd have to stand there and hold him in place correct? :
Probably only the first few times, until his little spirit is crushed . That scenario is heartbreaking.

I think definition of child abuse should be, "If I did this to another adult, would they hit me across the head while calling me a 'freaking maniac'?" If the answer is yes, then it's abuse.

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#21 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AntoninBeGonin View Post
I think definition of child abuse should be, "If I did this to another adult, would they hit me across the head while calling me a 'freaking maniac'?" If the answer is yes, then it's abuse.
I love your definition.

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#22 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AntoninBeGonin View Post
I think definition of child abuse should be, "If I did this to another adult, would they hit me across the head while calling me a 'freaking maniac'?" If the answer is yes, then it's abuse.
Sounds good to me.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#23 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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Definitely abuse to me! I have a 4 year old and it breaks my hear to think of a child going through this.

What has to be going through someone's mind when they think up this type of "punishment"? People like to blame bullying and peer pressure for children having so many problems, but how about starting at the home. I can't imagine what a child feels like to know that they have no one to protect them. It makes me just want to cry.
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#24 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 04:03 PM
 
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I don't know what CPS would say, but there was a local case where I live last winter, where a mother was arrested and her child put in foster care because she punished him by making him stand outside in the cold, often naked or in his underwear, for set amounts of time.
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#25 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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Mean.

What strikes me about your story is that she called CPS on you for such flimsy reasons. I have to wonder if it was a pre-emptive strike.

Perhaps she figures you are going to call CPS on her so she is hoping to make it look like retaliation for a feud between the two of you instead of her being abusive.
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#26 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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I cannot fathom why any adult would think such a thing to ever be acceptable.
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#27 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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Am I the only one who wonders if this is how this Mom was "disciplined" as a child... or wonders if she could be in some sort of abusive relationship with her DH? I just find this so out-of-the-norm.... so unfathomable... that those things come to mind. I mean, we've all heard of parents who spank, but I have to say that this is the absolute first time I've heard of this form of discipline. Reminds me of a hazing-technique.

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#28 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 05:57 PM
 
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Yikes, IMO it's an abusive type of discipline but maybe this woman knows no better. I could never do that to my child. A shower is something they need to learn to do eventually in order to keep themselves clean. I would be afraid I would scar them for life and make them fear showers or have a complex when they are adults.

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#29 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 07:16 PM
 
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i just had a playdate and was telling my friend about what i read here regarding the cold shower. she told me her pastor's wife did the same thing to her kids when they would have an accident in their pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i was like WHAT? : that's so INSANE to me!!!! i can't believe this is practiced among more than one person! what is wrong with people! seriously. i'm so incredibly bothered by it.

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#30 of 35 Old 08-16-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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That is inhumane. I can't imagine where anyone would even think that up. To do to a child or any being at all.
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