Mothering Forum banner

DS threw a rock at DD - DH spanked again

1199 Views 19 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  mamaduck
Oh mamas, I don't know what to do anymore. Just when I thought things were better, it got worse.

DH was outside with the kids and for some reason DS threw a huge rock in DD's face. He missed her eye by a tiny bit.

DH lost it and spanked him. DS came screaming into the house and DH came after him holding DD. Once I got them all calmed down, DH told me what happened.

When I tried to talk to DH about spanking he said too bad. That he was tired of telling DS over and over and over again. He said he should know by now (4.5) to not throw rocks. I agree but spanking isn't going to teach anything. DH just doesn't get it and disciplines through temper. I can't take it. We talked for half an hour and DH really doesn't get it.

I don't know what to do. DH used to be a pacifist. He never used to hit. And he refuses to listen or learn anymore.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
My inclination is that if he cannot be around the kids without hitting them, then he can't be around the kids at all. But that certainly puts a lot on your shoulders.

He's really loosing it, isn't he? And you know, if my big kid threw a rock at my little kid, I would loose it to some extent too. His protective instinct kicked in.

4.5 is a really little boy though. Its really soon to expect perfect behavior out of him. I imagine if your DH thought it through, he'd realize that your son is worth more effort over the long haul. More emotional effort than is required by spanking, I mean.

I have a feeling that this is a really bad move on your dh's part -- and that your kid's behavior is going to get worse because of it. I hate to think it will take that to show him that he's wrong.
even people who advocate spanking (which I certainly do NOT - but I know people who do) say you should never spank out of anger, losing your temper.

can you start there? tell him if he feels like DS needs a spanking to tell him "you are going to get a spanking in X hours" when he has calmed down. hopefully by then he will realize that it is not the route he wants to take when he is calm.
His protective instinct kicked in.
Where was his protective instinct for the babe he hit?

I really hope you guys can go to councelling soon. This is getting bad. And it's terrible that DH can't see that his actions will cause so much more strife than is already there.

I'm so sorry.
See less See more
Wanted to add that I can't imagine telling a child he will be spanked - even if it won't be happening. What might a 4 year old feel for those threatening hours?
what do you think he felt for the hours after he was spanked??

I'm not advocating spanking at ALL. but at least a cool down period *might* save the kid from a spanking. also he is likely not to be hit as many times or as hard if the parent has calmed down. I have seen some angry parents just WAIL on their kids
See less See more
No doubt a cool-down time can be helpful. As I recall, though, this was discussed before, and apparently isn't helping him.

I would never advocate cooling down by threatening the child with the action I'm trying to prevent.

I know exactly what a child thinks and feels in the hours after he is spanked - and "wailed on".
In my opinion, your dh needs to find a way to vent. I have been through a lot with my dh. He was raised in an atmosphere that was a far cry from AP. I think most of us have. We raise our children the best we can, and although I do not advocate spanking either, I do understand what page your dh is on. I don't think he is doing it because he doesn't care about you or the kids. I think he is searching for something that has an instant gratification. He believes that instilling a degree of fear in your ds will cause him to think twice before he does something. What he needs to realize is, any form of punnishment rarely has that affect. I read once that discipline should be directly linked to the action. Like, he was outside and threw a rock, so I would bring him in, and explain that he is not allowed to play outside for a while because his behavior was inappropriate and unfriendly. And mean it. Reconciliation is also a good tool. He should apologize to his sis specifically for throwing a rock. The important thing for your dh to remember is he very well may do it again. And your dh should also understand that unless he himself apologizes for spanking him, he is uprooting the very principles that you guys are trying to teach. But again, from my experience, it sounds like your dh needs a healthy place to vent. I have found in my fam (although we don't spank) when tempers start flaring, it usually has nothing to do with what's going on here. It's that someone is frustruated about something, and for whatever reason, they've been holding it in until they burst. What he could do to vent is a personal dh usually goes for a nice brisk walk, until he's ready to calmly and respectfully communicate. It took my dh a while to understand his anger. We all have it. If your dh is willing to make things work, he will have to be willing to accept the ideals you have about raising a family, spanking free. You in turn, need to be able to accept that your hubby has a hot temper, and figure out what you can do to help diffuse the situation. Just remember, you and your dh love each other, and you both love your children. Parenting and marriage is a two way street, and all needs must be fulfilled.
See less See more

Originally Posted by mamaduck
My inclination is that if he cannot be around the kids without hitting them, then he can't be around the kids at all. But that certainly puts a lot on your shoulders.
That's my inclincation, as well. And I think I'd tell him as much. Not with malice, just with honesty. Something like, "I don't feel like ds' is safe with you since you've decided it's okay to hit him. I feel like it's my job to protect him and, so, I don't feel comfortable leaving him alone with you."

I'm so sorry. I can only imagine how difficult this is for you and your son. He's so little... and these years are so crucial in their development. Having a father who hits him is not going to make it any easier for him to grow into a thoughtful, considerate, healthy human. Will your husband go to counseling?
Thich Nhat Hahn (whose name I am probably misspelling) has a really good book on Anger (as well as book on tape/CD) that teaches some techniques to deal with Anger. We all have our own anger to deal with...and issues. This might help. You guys could listen to it together...and then work on the exercises.

Another suggestion would be to somehow try to validate the fear your DH was feeling when he saw your DD almost get hit.... validate it... by saying "I know how scary it must be to see DD almost get hurt." "That she could have lost her vision" ( DH is an ophthalmologist and always going on about kids he sees in the ER). BUT then say, "But you and I both know that hitting him won't solve the problem." Perhaps you guys can work on some role plays on what some acceptable responses can be?? Practicing them may make your husband more likely to use them. Also consider other techniques that he could use that may be more instant gratification than normal GD methods... so like if he is going to lose it completely... put both DS and himself on a timeout. Telling a kid to go to his room is still instant gratification
but not violent.
See less See more
hitting is never the answer and there is no real reason for a grown person to hit a child. but i look at all that you and your family have been through in such a short amount of time and i can't help but think of how much stress everyone is under.

i am sorry that this is happening to you all now. i definitely think your DH needs a way to vent.

we'll talk!

It sounds like it's a reaction rather than a philosophy which means that the two of you can work through it.

Hang in there--you've gotten some awesome suggestions here.
See less See more
If you were my friend IRL and I knew your DH was continuing with spanking - and especially spanking when he "loses it" I would offer you a choice of coming to stay w/ me until you could find a lawyer & a place to go or of calling Department of Children & Families. I know this sounds harsh. I posted on your first thread about your DH spanking too. This sounds like it is escalating & based on what you have said, I don't see how it will improve without intervention. If you love your Dh and your child you will not wait for this to get worse.

I know what I'm suggesting is not easy - especially if you are in love with your husband. But your first responsibility is to protect your child.
See less See more

I have a lot of empathy for both you and your dh. It's hard to parent, period. It's harder when there's stress (did you say in a previous thread that you've moved recently?) and when a child's behavior becomes very stressful for a parent. None of this makes spanking okay, but understanding is always a good place to start in addressing a problem.

In your shoes, I would share information regarding normal behavior and development in a child this age (Your Four Year Old is a great book, as an example). Then I would come up with a plan to address the behavior, in a way that is clear and consistent and that will be appealing to dh even if it is not exactly the way I would address it myself. The Secret of Parenting is a book that I think sometimes people who think of spanking or are new to GD find very helpful, and it's outlines clear and specific responses to behaviors. I would not ask dh to read it, but would read it and come up with a plan firm and clear enough for him (ideally with his input, but exluding spanking) that I am willing to follow also and let him know that this is what I expect to try and that we have to give it time to work. I would let him know, clearly, that I understand his concerns and take them seriously, that I empathize with how frustrated he is, and that I too want to find a way to make our home more peaceful. I would tell him that I do expect him to respect my beliefs about spanking, just as I respect his need for a more peaceful atmosphere in our home, and that I am willing to work hard with him to address the behaviors in a firm way but without spanking. IME, people are much more open to my point of view when I am able to understand and empathize with them (which means not criticizing them or trying to convince them that my way is better, but letting them know I understand and respect where they are coming from and at the same time letting them know what is unacceptable to me and what I am willing and not willing to do-yk?). I would step in and gently take over any time I saw him becoming too frustrated to continue addressing a situation in a gentle manner-not in an "I know better than you" manner, but in an "hey, let me give you a break" friendly kind of way.

Your dh isn't a bad guy. He's a frustrated guy who is concerned about his kids and trying to do what's right by them-IME people who spank aren't necessarily convinced that spanking in itself is good or right, but they don't know any other way to teach their kids or haven't seen anything else working in the way they expect. Counseling isn't a bad idea. It might help all of you enormously. If he's willing. I think the main thing is to find a way to keep working with him on this. Not so much lecturing him, but really communicating and working together.
See less See more
Oh, mama. I know just how you feel. My DH hasn't spanked my DS but he has done a lot of parenting things that I just don't agree with.

In this situation, I think I might find a way to diplomatically point out that since your DH is hitting your DS out of anger, he is teaching DS that it's OK to hit someone when you're angry and that's a way to handle your problems.

And, I think it would be definitely OK to tell him that you're starting to fear what he does when he's angry. Angry people don't have complete control over their actions.

Maybe you can compromise by finding a middle ground - some punitive actions that you may not agree with, but if you can get him to agree not to use physical retribution, it might be worth it.

I'll be thinking of you, mama.
I'm going to say it again, this man NEEDS immediate anger management counseling. Not couples, not family, but individual anger management help. NOW.

He is using violence to "teach" non-violence, and he's either going to make your son submit to his will (break his spirit), or your son will learn the lesson that violence is OK, neither one being a very attractive idea, IMO.

Anger management.
I'm SO happy I stumbled across this post!! I just joined the commune, and this topic adresses a serious need for our family too!

You and I sound like we're in a similar situation. My DH is a great guy, and loves our children, but TOTALLY expects them to "know better" so he gets very angry at them and lashes out physicaly, (and emotionaly). I tell him that the way he reacts is completely inapropriate, and he's gotten to the point where we can at least HAVE that conversation without him growing angrier. I totally agree with mollyeilis about anger management~ I've been seeking a way to for my DH to get some help.
It's just NOT RIGHT, we must protect our babies at ALL COSTS!

Can someone walk me through how to get counselling for DH? I told him he needs to go. He does or I will leave him. I love him more than any man I have every loved but I told him his continuing anger problems will be the deal breaker in this marriage.

Anyway, I am new to the US and to this whole health insurance thing. How does it work to find a counsellor for him? We have health insurance through his job. Do I just call counsellors in the network and try to get him an appointment?
The best first step would be to call your insurance people. There should be a number on your insurance card. Ask them if he needs a referral from a primary care physician to see a counselor and what types of counselors are covered under the plan. Some insurance plans have a separate network for counseling services (for example, Blue Cross Blue Shield contracts with Magellan in some places for psychiatric/counseling services), so you'll want to find that out, too.

So, call the insurance plan - Does he need a referral? If so, make an appointment with his doctor. If no, find out what your network is for counselors and start calling. If you have any AP/GD friends around, you may want to ask for personal referrals, too, to make sure that you find someone who is actually going to see spanking as an anger management issue and not an effective, valid discipline technique. If not, you can speak directly with the counselors (sometimes they even answer their own phones) and question them before making an appointment.

Good for you for taking a stand and doing what's best for your family. I know all of this must be very painful for you.
See less See more
Maybe you'd like to share this with your DH:

I was just reflecting on a public spanking my kids witnessed when they were about 2 and 6 yo. The little one kept repeating (for hours afterwards,) "Daddy's are not for hitting. Daddy's are not for hitting." Waved his finger in *his* Daddy's face and asked, "Daddy's are not for hitting?" Until DH got down on his level and swore up and down that he'd never hit him.

Daddy's are SUCH big strong powerful men in their little boy's eyes. Little boys want to grow up and be just like them. Its really important to think about how he wants his son to solve problems and do his best to model that.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.