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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Hi everyone, I mostly lurk around these forums but I'd love your help today. I am part of a group of online moms who all gave birth around the same time and I am a non-spanker in a sea of spankers.<br>
They are presenting me with situations they see as impossible to deal with without a spanking.<br>
Here's one.<br>
2 1/2 yr old little girl shares a room with her 8 month old baby brother. She continues to get up and play and be disruptive, mom can't put the baby to sleep until the oler child is asleep. The little girl gets warnings, and then eventually she gets a spanking after she wont go to sleep.<br>
Any ideas from the gentle discipline camp?
 

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A couple of ideas.... which are likely to be dismissed as 'too much trouble' but if you are going to try I will help if I can.<br><br>
My first thought is to rearrange the sleeping. If the baby is asleep put him down on mom and dad's bed for an hour til the toddler is asleep. At 8 months you can move most kids around all you want without waking them.<br><br>
OR<br><br>
Move the 8 month olds crib into parents room.<br><br>
OR<br><br>
Discuss with the toddler acceptable and unacceptable forms of entertainment while brother is sleeping. Looking at books, coloring... fine. Building blocks, running and jumping games.. whatever.. no good. Explain to her that this is simply a kindness that everyone extends to everyone else. That if Mommy is sleeping and Papa isn't he is quiet and doesn't disturb her.<br><br>
I suspect that you will get nowhere though. The trouble with trying to talk to spankers about things like this is that most of the best solutions involve really changing your mind set, acknowledging your child is a human being with preferences, rights and sense. As long as they are caught up in the power trip of 'you must do as I say' and forcing kids to do things they can never seem to escape the seduction of the ultimate method of force.<br><br>
I also suspect that in the example you site they are unwilling to discuss any answer that gives the toddler greater control over when her day ends and her sleep begins.
 

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I truly feel for you! Our best friends spank their children for everything. Instead of using it as a final punishment, they use as a learning tool. It is infuriating! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> Unfortunately,they only read info by pro spankers. They have hassled us about why we don't spank, and we have never defended or explained ourselves. Fortunately, I was given a link to a site called gentlemothering. It is a christian AP site that has plenty to read and discuss on how to deal with this delima. Maybe you could explain to them that maybe their way of parenting or punishing could be just as good as yours. But you have given their ideas thought and researched their beliefs, maybe they could do the same, and send them to this site. Hope it helps!
 

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I agree with Kama, too - there are so many other things these parents could do, but it really is about a mindset. Parents who choose to spank have a completely different view of children than we non-spankers do. Maybe that's a huge blanket statement, and I usually don't like making those, but really, I think it's pretty fair in this case.<br><br>
Parents who spank do not usually want to do anything "hard" to help their child learn appropriate behavior. They just want to control the kid. They also do not have the same respect for their children, because how could they? So why would they actually respect the child's need to play, or respect the fact that she just isn't tired when it's the baby's bedtime?<br><br>
You can try giving them some of the suggestions above, but don't be surprised if they are not interested and want a "quick fix" instead. It's like banging your head against the wall.
 

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I agree with all of the mamas. I think it is pretty difficult to convince someone not to spank - the only thing that will work is if they see the terror in their own children's eyes and that is a big "if".<br><br>
My best advice to you is to join another parenting group. I personally wouldn't be able to be around a group of women who spank, online or IRL. I would lose way too much sleep.
 

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I am new to this forum,but have been a member of this online community for 3 years. I just wanted to say that I think it is a good thing that the OP is trying to educate these women about not spanking. I disagree with most of you that there is no point in trying to change their minds. I am a former spanker in the process of learning to honor my instincts and be a more gentle parent. I will not lie and say I am proud of my former discipline techniques, but I will say that IMO SOME people who spank do so from lack of ideas for alternatives. And you are right that it is a different mind set (control vs. cooperation of/with kids), but I think many people have never seen gentle discipline in action. I think it's wonderful for non-spankers to share their wisdom with others. Even if only one of those mothers really HEARS you and takes your ideas to heart, you still have the potential to make a difference there.<br>
Blessings to all,<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">2 1/2 yr old little girl shares a room with her 8 month old baby brother. She continues to get up and play and be disruptive, mom can't put the baby to sleep until the oler child is asleep. The little girl gets warnings, and then eventually she gets a spanking after she wont go to sleep.</td>
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Too much is being expected from the toddler. She is being put to bed too early, and there is too much pressure for her to fall asleep. Nobody can just "go to sleep" on command like that. Its unreasonable. She needs to go to sleep when she is ready to sleep, not when it is convenient for the rest of the family. She is too young to self-regulate her play so that it is quiet... I'm sure she has *no idea* that she is playing too loudly. This is not a discipline issue. This is a scheduling/logistical issue. The family needs a new plan for bedtime that meets *everyone's* needs. Not just the baby's.<br><br>
- The baby could be put to sleep in the parent's bedroom and then moved.<br>
OR -<br>
- The little girl could stay up a little bit later with one parent while the other parent puts the aby to bed. She could be carried to bed when she is drousy so that she will fall asleep more quickly.<br><br>
This makes me so sad. This poor little girl probably has no idea how to make her parents happy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I am agreeing with everyone before me.<br><br>
This 2 1/2 year old girl is still a baby herself. She was displaced as the "baby" in that family at the tender age of 22 months.<br><br>
I have seen this type of scenario in real life many times before, the parents are so worried about their own comfort that they push a displaced toddlerhood into a grown up role that she isn't prepared to fill.<br><br>
There are many alternative approaches the most obvious one is to have the baby in with his parents (I would have my eight month old baby in my room and cannot imagine having such a young baby elsewhere.)<br><br>
The little girl might benefit from a more realistic (later?) bedtime or the parents might *gentle* the girl to sleep by reading to her and lying in bed with her until she falls asleep. A lot of work, I don't know these people but I know the *type* and they generally would rather knee-jerk spank instead of going through the extra effort to use alternatives.<br><br>
Sigh, it is worth the effort to try to persuade her to use alternatives but when you bang your head against the stone wall know it isn't necessarily anything about you.<br><br>
Debra Baker
 

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You are right Ligmom! And that is why I tried to make useful suggestions. I think part of my negativity came from the feeling that these other parents had sort of 'thrown down the gauntlet'... challenged spiritfreedom, you know? Sort of an "Oh sure, you don't spank but what if THIS happened..." attitude. Like gentle discipline is just laughable and has no real use. The funny thing is that it seems just the opposite to me.<br><br>
I see this all the time with my husband who is far more interested in dictating and controlling our daughter than I am. Situations that I know I could have resolved with everyone happy in short order turn into protracted tantrums because he takes an adversarial stance with her right off. In the situation described in the original post... I am just scratching my head thinking, "So the toddler has awoken the babe, who is now presumably crying or at least requiring attention. And spanking the toddler so she cries too is going to hasten the return of peace, quiet and sleep... exactly how????" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The situation, to my knowledge, is more of...baby can't be put in his room in their shared bedroom until the older girl is sleeping. Mom and dad go in several times and nicely ask her to stop playing. After several attempts of seeing her continue to refuse to lie down and go to sleep, she gets a spanking.<br><br>
I do appreciate all the help, and I wouldn't ask if I thought it would be like banging my head against a wall. I did IM this woman and ask her if she was open to gentle suggestions. The said she was and that her dh had recently said he wished he didn't have to spank so much.<br><br>
I have a relationship with these women and have since I was pregnant last fall, so I don't want to just leave. It's a community that I have come to rely on. It was just recently that we started a debate forum and the topic of spanking is being hashed out. I'm one of about 3 or 4 who disagrees with spanking, and we have successfully changed several women's minds in their discipline choices, so change IS possible..It's just hard work.<br><br>
Thanks again for helping out! See ya around!
 

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Spiritfreedom - I'm sorry if my earlier reply came off as harsh. I do very much admire you for what you are trying to do and I know that if we all tried hard enough, we could convince at least 1 person to stop spanking and that is better than convincing no one.<br><br>
My comment about finding a new online community more stems from my experience that when I meet someone who spanks (either online or IRL), it is not just the spanking that we don't agree on. It's the entire philosophy of child-rearing, the entire philosophy of how we treat others. I just cannot get along with someone well if we disagree on the spanking because it is not just about someone who spanks, it is about someone who has no clue how to discipline a child with love and would rather bend their will based on fear. I know that I probably came off as sounding very self-righteous and maybe I am in this respect....but I didn't mean to suggest that you shouldn't stay with these women that you obviously have known for a long time.<br><br>
I guess if the example you had given was more one of "a child runs into the street" - well, even though I still don't agree with it I can have more empathy for the mother's reaction since that would absolutely terrify me and I might do something irrational in that circumstance, too. But spanking because a child won't sleep? That sounds like a really extreme case.<br><br>
Anyway, this is my very long winded way of saying that I think what you're doing is really terrific and SHOULD be done.<br><br>
Peace!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I appreciate the support from you girls. I do hope to be a force for good, even in just one or two children's lives...helps to heal my own past as well.
 
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