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I am a firm believer in gentle discipline and will never, ever use corporal punishment. However, I'm curious how you guys handle when you see others who do use this type of punishment when you may have a chance to intervene.<br><br>
So here is the situation: it involves a family at our church where the mom thinks that spanking/hitting her child (who is only TWO years old, and barely two at that) is the only way to discipline. After church one evening, her daughter pushed my daughter while playing, and her mom immediately grabbed her and hit her, hard, on side towards her bottom. I was instantly horrified. The girl was overly tired at the time, and clearly just needed to be hugged and put to bed. I grabbed my DD and walked right out of the room wishing I could erase DD's vision of watching a mom strike her own child. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"><br><br>
So now I'm at a loss for what to do. How do you help someone find gentle discipline resources? How do you let others know that their *is* a better way?
 

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Our dd is three and has not witnessed another child being hit....yet. I don't look forward to the day that it happens. I have thought about this situation and how I would handle it. I think what I would do is explain to my own child that it is sad to see a person being harmed by another and that in our family, we don't hurt each other. I would say this loud enough for the hitting parent to hear then I would leave with my child. I imagine that I would continue talking to my child about it and follow her lead in answering her questions.<br><br>
It saddens me deeply that parents feel that hitting is the answer.<br><br>
I just heard an interview on National Public Radio with Dr.Brazelton, the author of several books on children. He took a question from a caller where he was asked if he thought there was ever a situation where spanking a child was called for....he hesitated a bit and said "No". I was glad to hear him say that.<br><br>
As far as how to address this with the woman who struck her child.....I think it would depend on how well I knew her. If she were someone who would read a book, I might get her one. If she were someone I thought I could talk to, I might try to take her out for coffee and talk to her about her frustration, and how she feels about her kid "acting out" and try to talk to her about her own fear of loss of control that causes her to lash out and get a quick fix on the behavior. I'd try to explain how she can stop the behavior in the moment but at the cost of trust and the imparting of fear. I don't want to parent from fear and I don't want to instill fear in my child. Would she be open to that sort of talk?
 

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I am a very outspoken and honest person and I catch myself a lot opening up my mouth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: . I hear a mom that I talk to on the phone screaming and yelling at her 18m old and her 2m old. She says that being gentle with him has never worked and she doesn't see how my daughter listens when I am calm and gentle...I am sorry but after 20min of screaming I have to let her go cuz I can't stand it and I have a MAJOR headache by that time...so I feel for her poor kids. Finally I said something to her and she tooks complete offense (who wouldn't)...she told me she wanted to change and I gave her tips and she started doing some of the things I suggested but when she gets so frustrated she goes back to her old ways. I really wish we could record these parents and then make them watch the videos later and see the impact it had on their kids..I think it would make them sick <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> ..who wants to be screamed at and spanked and ignored just because they wanted a bowl of grapes before dinner?!!<br><br>
Mandi
 

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that being overtly critical of a parent in front of their child can possible do some harm. the hitting parent might get even more abusive, for all i know.<br><br>
on the other hand, a well spoken comment can help an abused child realise that there are alternative to punishment. but again, what a young child can do to change his or her situation? there are too many factors involved.<br><br>
my dd witnessed a friend being put into time out. i described the situation to her: L did something that her mommy did not approve of, and her mommy wants her to sit in the corner, and L is upset and mad about it.<br><br>
i struggle a lot with this issue. to comment or not to comment. and HOW to comment so that i do not cause any further harm to the child.
 

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In situations like this my priority is always to explain the situation to ds. He has seen other children spanked & spoken to in ways that make him sad <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> , we talk about it there and then and the other parent can listen to us or not as they choose! One friend has been really inspired and no longer spanks or shames. I never directly challenged her but ds and I spoke about the situation how her dc was feeling and what we would do.
 

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I wish I was as courageous as you all...<br>
I witness a lot of spanking and my dc too, unfortunately, but I am afraid to offend my guests because this is so mainstream here, so I say nothing, I feel horrible, I hope my kids somehow do not notice, I try to justify myself saying that if I talk about it my kids will pay even more attention to this, often I see this coming and I grab my dc and move them another place so they do not look .....<br>
If I have an opportunity, when dc sleep, I will try to discuss the matter with the mom, privately and without offence...<br>
I only talk about this openly in our house, when we are just the four of us... I say how I will never hit them and neither will DH ... I say we only talk with words....
 

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If DD notices the child crying I will usually say something about the child needing a hug or a cuddle time and being sad. If she doesn't I don't say anything unless I know the person well and then I will tell them I don't appreciate that action in front of my child. You could also try saying something about how you understand that all kids hit so she doesn't need to feel the need to hit her child on your account.<br>
There is not a lot you could do other than that because if you don't know her well it will cause a defensive fight and if you do know her well modeling appropriate interaction and her seeing how well it works is going to be better than an argument.<br>
You could ask your church to offer some GD classes if they are open to it. Maybe present them with evidence about the harmful affects of hitting and the AAP statement about hitting. If they don't go for it maybe they would let you start a GD parenting group and use their facilities. This would be a good influence and support group for parents who would otherwise spank.
 

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I handle it by modeling better ways with my own kids. The family we are moving in with is punitive, but they have already become far less so. Their mother is one of my best friends, and now that she's out of the abusive marriage {emotionally abusive that is} and allowed to talk to me again, she has been copying alot of my parenting skills and my discipline measures. Her live-in is of a highly punitive mindset though, and he's just starting to pay attention. What doesn't help is that her ex and her parents let the kids run absolutley wild for the majority of their lives, and they rebel at anything that resembles authority. So it's a whole 'nother long process to get them used to having and following rules, and accepting responsiblity for their actions, etc.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I think what I would do is explain to my own child that it is sad to see a person being harmed by another and that in our family, we don't hurt each other. I would say this loud enough for the hitting parent to hear then I would leave with my child.</div>
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I agree and have done this. You have to keep in mind that some people really think this is the only way or they will end up with a 'spoiled brat'. And others think it is the right way for other reasons. I also have brought up that the rods mentioned in the bible were used to draw in the sand to teach if their reason is that.
 

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I would probably say something like "she's just tired and needs some cuddles and bedtime" and "I am sure she won't hit again, will you Katie, sometimes it's hard to be nice when you are tired and crabby" letting her know there were other options, but not directly speaking against the other parent. While I don't think hitting is right, I also don't appreciate it when other parents tell me how to raise my child, so I doubt that parent would appreciate it as well. We are speaking about one spank, not an abusive situation, just not the best way to discipline the child.
 

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First, spanking is the norm here. So, out and about, we see it a lot. I always talk to the girls about it and how they feel about it and what could have been done differently, etc. Usually I do this away from the person doing the hitting. It does no good to get into it with strangers about something I am in the minority here in believing. I have ended friendships with those who make it obvious they do not care how I feel about spanking and continue to do it in our presence. I have left in the middle of playdates and have asked people to leave my home.<br><br>
The hardest situation for me is when we are at community get-togethers. One mom, head of the pool committee that year, spanked her daughter with her shoe for sliding down the pool slide the wrong way. The girl had been doing this for hours (well probably 2 hours) without the mother paying attention. The mother finally responded to the pleadings to look and ordered the 5 year old girl out of the pool and proceeded to hit her with her shoe. I was speechless and very glad both my girls were engaged in things and had their attention elsewhere. I wanted to walk but to the lady and say - What the heck are you doing? You are abusing your child.
 

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Unfortunately I see inappropriate discipline every time I go to the grocery store or community event. I haven't felt comfortable saying anything to a complete stranger, but if it was a friend I would try to help them seek options. I haven't seen anything at our local play group luckily because I wouldn't want us to go if dd was going to be around that. I would speak up right away if it happened in my own home during a visit, but haven't said anything while at IL's homes who do spank. They already don't approve of our parenting style so it would just cause a big argument. I talk to dd about not hitting at home and I would love it if she would say "hands are not for hitting, they are for hugging" if she saw someone being spanked.
 

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I thought I would be a "firm parent/ strict, etc", including spanking as my way to inforce my words. It really didn't take long for me to feel like a complete idiot and change my ways. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why I thought spanking would "work". Finally I decided that: it's all I knew, had been taught, modeled......IGNORANCE. I am a sahm, thankfully and greatfully. (even though a working parent make the same effort) I feel it is my role to know all I can about raising happy and healthy kids/adults, mostly because I am here for them all the time, it's just part of managing the home, making the best one I can, ya know....I can reflect and research and get creative with my guidance for my kids. It is very hard to admit that it is always a loss of control on MY part when I feel the urge to hit (plain and simple, it is hitting) I am a recovering spanker! I hate how it make me feel, how the child behaves (when paying attention, it is obvious that their confidence had taken a strike)<br><br>
SO, my point is.....Perhaps they are like I once was. Ignorant. *with all respect*<br><br>
I still have to deal with my dh's habit (so it seems) to hit. Figure that one out! I have to explain to my own children why their dad thinks hitting will help them listen to him. Of course we (kids and I) disagree and think of alternative solutions, speaking calmly and reassuring that Dad loves them. If he only knew what an a$$ he looks like and how hurtful these tactics are. I do tell him, but it doesn't matter if I am blue in the face, nagging doesn't convince. I have to work EXTRA well to make sure I model the parental guidance I want him to learn/ give a try.<br><br>
Since I am unlearning the practice of spanking.....I vow to always follow up a public episode of a spanking with...I am sorry you had to see that child be hurt by his/her parent. Hitting does not help, words help, etc.... I am a smarty pants and have been known to say something like "Wow, did you know you could be put in jail for hitting a dog.....and that person is hitting their child, doesn't make sense to me....!"<br><br>
Jeesh, I have to rant now, Kids can talk. Even a baby can tell you what's up. All parents have to do is pay attention and be loving! urgh!<br><br>
Lori
 
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