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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH and I went to visit an old high school friend of his today. They had several friends over that we did not know. I was outside watching DS (2.5 yo) and letting DH play. There was a collection of kids playing in the yard - ages 3,4 and three 7-8 yr olds.

I was just standing there watching DS play up in the "treehouse" and the 4 yo boy tried to get in the pool without an adult present (I was not facing the pool and about 10 yds away - the other parents were inside or on the deck). His dad came roaring outside, yelling, threatening a spanking. The other kids came running up to the treehouse, trying to hide from this angry dad. They started talking about their own experiences with spanking. (Here's where I felt like Jane Goodall, I was observing, taking mental notes, and they were oblivious to my presence.)

Boy: We have a metal belt, I get hit with it 20 times.

Girl1: I usually just fake cry so they stop hitting me.

Girl2: How do you fake the tears. I can never fake it very good. So they don't stop.

OMG! I was so distraght listening to this. Not only is it horrible, but how "effective" is this discipline? These kids are talking about fake crying and all, is the so called "message" getting through?

Then later, my son and the 3 yo were battling over a toy. I was headed up there to intervene, because i have no doubt that my son might hit the boy (usually a push or gentle swat, but still unacceptable) and before I could intervene, this kid hauls off and smacks DS upside the face - hard! I heard it from under the treehouse. DS was screaming loudly. Ugh! And this is the brother of the kid who gets hit 20 times with a metal belt. When asked if he hit (I didn't see it, just heard it) he said no. So what could I do? I was the only parent on the darn scene.

All I can say is thank goodness these are not people we would see regularly. And thank goodness I can come back here for a nice dose of gentle parenting after a long day...

Jenn & Ben 2.5yo
 

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Jenn,

What a day... it would have really shook me up. Actually, just reading it got my adrenaline pumping. I admit, I get so wrapped up in our own (way too little) GD world, that sometimes I just plain forget (or can't bear to acknowledge) that parents feel ok with hurting and intimidating their own children. Especially given that spanking is still an extremely common and widely used form of "discipline."

What really struck me about the conversation between the kids is that the one girl continues to get hit because she can't "fake" tears. How hard has a child become when a severe lashing doesn't invoke tears?

Sad, truly distressing.
 

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That's a very sad story.

The other day at the park I heard several 8-9ish year olds talking about how they don't get any respect at home.
 

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OMG is right! I guess there's a reason why they are old friends.

I a horrified by parents that really hurt their kids. It makes me sick to my stomach.

When a child lies, and I know he is lying, and I've got five pretty dishonest step kids... I don't let them get away with thinking that they can lie and fool me. Even if I don't get to discipline them in any way (that time), I tell them that I know they are lying and exactly what I think of them for doing it. I would have said to that boy, "I know you are lying. I know you just hit my child in the face. I do not think that this situation warrants the kind of hitting that you done. I am very upset with you. I will tell your parent that I believe you are lying based on the evidence before me. I have no control over whether your parent understands that you lie or not. However, if you ever hit my child again you with have to deal with me." Or something similar.

I think it's a good thing for these kids to know that other adults can see the truth. And, it hopefully serves to protect your child from casual acting out in the future.
 

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Although lying is important to deal with, I also think it is important not to give children opportunities to lie.

Quote:
smacks DS upside the face - hard! I heard it from under the treehouse. DS was screaming loudly. Ugh! And this is the brother of the kid who gets hit 20 times with a metal belt. When asked if he hit (I didn't see it, just heard it) he said no
At that point it didn't matter who hit, there is no need to find someone to blame, Just state the problem "ds is hurt" or "You hurt ds" and hug him or ask how we could make him feel better or show them again what are appropriate things to do when someone has a toy you want.

I just feel so bad when I see kids getting in trouble for lying when they are asked questions that I think many people or kids (expecially ones who know that pain is going to come from the truth) would lie to if they thought they could get away with it. If you know the kid is laying then don't ask the question just move on to fixing the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In regards to the boy who hit DS...I was attendind to my son at the time. I ran up to the treehouse, and was holding DS and checking him out to see how hurt he was. The little boys brother was the one who asked "Did you hit him?" and the boy said No. I probably should have gotten involved more, but I just took the offending toy away from both of them and comfoted DS. The parents were nowhere close, and the boy was only 3. I think I did mutter something like "hitting isn't nice."

It's hard since my DS might have even thrown the first "punch" per say, since he is not very verbal and gets frustrated. But he usually just swats at kids, and I always intervene when I can. I just could not believe how hard this kid hit, for me to hear it like that. I just feel bad about what he gets at home.

Thanks for your validation, mommas. It was a difficult time.

Jenn & Ben
 

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Wow. It's frightening isn't it? My dad whipped us with objects and weapons like that. He had an inch thick paddle tennis paddle he'd whip me with 20 times for forgetting to take out the trash. Got to the point where he'd just wail on my butt and I refused to cry just to stick it to him. I haven't spoken to him in more than a decade and he's near the end of his life now - and I despise him. None of his beatings made any point.

Corporal punishment is always wrong, no matter what. Violence is wrong.

I'm glad people are turning to gentle discipline more and more. We need a revolution in this world.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mallory
Although lying is important to deal with, I also think it is important not to give children opportunities to lie.
I was gonna say that. It's a bad idea to give kids an invitation to lie.
 

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OMG that is horrible. My DD is 7 months old and DH and I have been trying to decide on how we weill discipline her in the future. I really don't want to spank and he doesn't either and hearing your story just confirms my doubts about spanking. Thanks a lot for sharing that story. I am sorry you had to witness that but at least you don't have to deal with it all the time!
 

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Your story made me teary, BensMom. Those kids in the tree house could have been my sisters and me. My parents really lit into us when we were small. Even as a child, I knew that my parents lost control and were hitting just to hit. Sort of like punching a pillow to let your frustration out, only it is your child. We found that not crying made it much, much worse, especially the older you got. They knew we were trying to manipulate them and their punishment. They were bound and determined to make it hurt to get through to you and make you cry, no matter what it took. It's as if it was a sick competition to see who would give in first, you to crying or my parents to exhaustion.

A few weekends ago,we watched the movie The Divine Secrets of Ya Ya Sisterhood and the scene where Ashley Judd's character loses it and starts chasing and whanging her kids with a belt was entirely too painful and I began to cry (like sob big time!). It reminded me of my Mom and her weapons of choice: the hairbrush, the spatula or my Dad's, the infamous belt. I was troubled the rest of the day and I still find recollections of the scene disturbing.

To this day, I have real trouble dealing with anger. Hitting a child only teaches him or her that violence is a way to deal with anger. I am so afraid of what could happen when DS is older and challenges me, as all toddlers will do. I have begun to read about positive discipline and visit some GD websites for help, but know that I will need classes and role playing in the future to help me deal. I just don't want my kid to be one of the ones discussing fake tears, belts and Mom in the same breath.
 
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