To Spank or Not to Spank

Um, yes. The dreaded topic of spanking. I guess I’m going there.

onesie_comparison-copy

Stella & Harvey @ 4 months old modeling a tongue-in-cheek gift from my blog friend, Shannon. This picture always makes me giggle!

Full disclaimer – I was raised in a non-spanking household, and I always swore I would never spank my own children. We were raised with a lot of talks from parents who disciplined by telling us they were “disappointed in [us] for choosing to disrespect/hurt/lie/etc,” and I tell ya, it was soul-crushing. That was my worst fear (to disappoint my parents). We talked a lot about love & respect in my house as a child. Spankings and groundings were not needed in order to parent me. My sisters do remember my Dad spanking my brother once (he is 9 years younger than me) and THEY were all more traumatized by it than he was, but I honestly don’t remember it (nor does he), so I have no idea if I was around at that point or gone doing teenager things.

At any rate, spanking. To me, hitting begets hitting. How do you tell a child not to hit and then hit him/her for hitting? Doesn’t make sense to me.

And then you have a child like Harvey. And after the 8 millionth time out or cool down or reasoning or yelling, it escalates one day to Why did you bite/hit/pull hair/push your sister for the 8 millionth time?! And then you swat his naked butt (he is always naked from the waist down – the kid hates clothes!) and feel partly relieved to have DONE something to snap him out of it and partly horrified that you hit your child and he just ran away from you crying and what kind of mother am I? FUCK.

Honestly, I know you’re not supposed to spank in anger. But DAMN, I don’t know what else to do with this kid.

I get that he is learning to handle big emotions – BUT – I’m not okay with him getting physically violent with his big sister or with the 7 month old who spends 3 days a week here. I know our Nanny is getting really frustrated (she’s spoken to my husband about it but not me, probably because she knows he was raised in a spanking household and I was not), but I’m just at my wits end.

So please, send help. How did you handle a “strong-willed” child? Do you have any resources for how to handle discipline with a 2 year old without spanking or me losing my cool? Thoughts on how you handle spanking protocol in your own home if that’s the route you’ve chosen for your family?

I’m solo parenting for the next 4 days and I’m freaking out here.

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31 comments

  1. Elizabeth · · Reply

    This is defiantly a really tough one & I’ll be checking back to read advice. I agree that I didn’t want to spank my children in anger but it happens sometimes. I feel like you can only explain so much to toddlers. I’ve spanked before in the heat of the moment and sometimes it’s necessary to break up the zone that they are in. As the kids get older the heart to heart talks work better.

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    1. Right? With Stella I could almost always reason with her, but Harvey just gets into full freak out mode and it’s like he needs something to snap him out of it! I’m so lost.

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      1. Girls are different, more mature and often less stubborn than the boys. I’m afraid I don’t have any advice since my boy is only 18 months old, but I’m interested to see what others will say. I hope you will get some good advice.

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  2. So we spank at our house but there’s a book called 1-2-3 Magic that helped. My son is strong willed, defiant, and just all around stinker! He’s made me do 7467716363838 things I swore I would never do as a parent! He’s 7 now and with my two younger ones I can have them all day and never get frustrated but he’s home for 20 minutes and I’m just done… I feel your pain! I hate doing things out of anger but sometimes I just end up yelling because I’m just at my wits end then I feel so bad later!

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    1. Thanks for the book recommendation – I will definitely check it out!

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  3. I don’t spank like my parents did, but I do spank. It sometimes takes a lot to get spanked here, and sometimes it takes little (like when I’m dressing Bryson and he’s kicking me… I’ll swat his thigh, not hard, to get him to stop). Matthew has had a few REAL spankings for horrible behavior he knows not to do (bit his brother once), but spanking here is usually a quick indicator to get it together or worse is coming (we haven’t established what’s worse besides soap in the mouth, and I hope we don’t have to). It definitely snaps them out of it and Brian, who refuses to spank, agrees that it’s the only thing that works sometimes.

    I hate doing it. I hate the look on Matthews face, the look of pure hurt, and it haunts me all day. Breaks my heart. But… Nothing else works sometimes, and I’m sick and tired of having to explain everything like I owe them an explanation. We did that early on and Matthew seems to think he has a say in everything.

    As you can see, I hate this topic and have guilt. I also have two crazy, physical, sometimes very naughty boys. 😉

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    1. Soap is our usual but none here in Tokyo where she has been a little fkn crazy

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  4. He wants attention. Mine does this as well. When my four year old cries, I grant permission to fight back. That usually stops my 2 year old from hurting him further.
    If he is acting out of control, I get on the floor and hold him. I can describe it like I’m the seat of a roller coaster and he is strapped in by my arms. I hold him gently and firmly and lovingly. He cries. Screams. Breaks finally. Then He gets it and needs to be held. I call this a reset and it works for us. But I don’t hit. Just my style. We call this the mommy time out.

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  5. I do spank but only for complete disobedience/defiance and warning C -“if you don’t stop ___ then you will get a spanking”- and usually that stops it. And if I do spank, I always follow up with a discussion with her once she’s calmed down about why I had to spank her. I’m not saying I know what I’m doing AT ALL but sometimes with a strong willed kid, it feels like my only option.

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  6. I literally just got off the phone talking to a girlfriend about the “guilt” related to this topic when this popped up in my email.

    As the mom of twins (almost 4 year olds) with one that is extremely strong willed, I have resorted to two thing I swore as a parent I wouldn’t do, spanking and counting to three and oddly enough they go hand and hand. I really, really don’t want to brake my childs will and I love that she is so determined but boy is it too much to handle at times. So if I get to three it’s a spanking no question and I don’t float around number two I just count straight to three and it has really helped, early on not so much, but now I honestly rarely get to three the second I start to count she knows it’s serious and tries to correct her behavior. I don’t count for every little thing otherwise I’m not sure it would work. I tried every thing with her giving options, giving an explanation hugging her to calm down and just nothing worked. Hang in there Momma I know it’s rough. It still breaks my heart and leaves me feeing awful every time.

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  7. sangela71 · · Reply

    Do a Google search for Janet Lansbury. Her website is full of excellent ways to handle just about every type of situation with a toddler without spanking.

    I’ve used her methods with my twin boys, who just turned 4, and they are effective most of the time

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  8. This is a hard one, Josey. I was raised in by parents who spanked (even though they admitted this never worked on me for correcting behavior) and I still struggle with aggression and low self-esteem from it. That said, I know the behavior you’re talking about. And there are many moments where I just need He-Beat to snap out of it.

    Sounds like you’ve tried time-outs and it’s not effective (though maybe as he grows it will?). One thought is have you identified his triggers? Usually He-Beay struggles most when tired and over stimulated. Hence we are working on communicating with him when we see the signs. He also losses small privileges (he’s too young for anything more long-term). We also find that rewarding for good behavior works. There’s an incentive.

    Regardless, I’m thinking of you as you guys work through this period. It’s hard all around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With Stella it was definitely easier to identify triggers, with Harv it’s just…all the time. *sigh* I feel badly saying that, and feel like I gave up trying to identify the triggers somehow, but the acting out and boundary pushing is SO incessant with him. It’s exhausting. Hence why I’m at the end of my rope.

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      1. It would be interesting to hear what Charlie, you nanny and the grandparents have to say. Grey pointed out so a LOT of body language that I was missing. Sometimes were so close to the situation that it helps to have a different set of eyes.

        But again, this isn’t easy and no two kids are the same. And I get where you’re coming from on this one. It’s HARD going through this type of emotional development. Climbing mountains was a lot easier (literally).

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  9. Tales of a Twin Mombie · · Reply

    We spank, but don’t spank hard and it’s not our number one go to. It’s pretty much our last resort and we warn them, if you don’t stop doing this you will get spanked. That’s usually effective before we have to spank them. I would say that we use time out much more than we spank, but I’m not against it within reason. I don’t believe in hard spanks or anything that I think would be traumatic for me or my boys, especially for my boys. It’s typically a tap on the hand and a firm, “NO!” They are more upset with the fact that we are upset with them, over anything else. Both of my twin boys are sensitive to that so it’s usually effective just saying no in a strong way, without smiling. But this is a hard one! I think whatever works for your family. I’ve read tons of parenting books, but I always go with what seems to work the best. Sometimes this means I have to try a few different things to find something that will work.

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  10. We don’t spank. I also wasn’t raised being spanked. Nor was my husband. We are trying to teach our kids that it is never okay to hit; I don’t know how we’d do that if we hit them, even if it were in a controlled manner. (I similarly struggle with teaching not to yell, even when angry, since I do it myself A LOT).

    I would highly recommend Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids and its sequel Peaceful Parents, Happy Siblings. The second is really wonderful, as it has all sorts of example situations and how to work through them. I’ve used the strategies a lot with my kids and I’ve seen real improvements (though we still struggle, a lot). This stuff is really hard. My son is have a hard time with his big feelings too (especially when his big sister messes with him, which she loves to do). I hope you find something that helps soon.

    One thing that I found worked wonders with my daughter, who has always been my more volatile child, was making sure she got 10-15 mins of “special time” with me every day, where we played what she wanted and she got my undivided attention for that short time. It’s really hard to make that time for my son, as he goes to bed after my daughter, but when I do I can really see the difference in how he handles situations where we say no to him. Maybe something like that would help Harvey?

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  11. Like how we help our kids sleep or how we feed them, the discipline discussion feels…uncomfortably controversial. So, I feel this intense need to preface with: I withhold any snap judgement for how other people choose to guide their kiddos along; I am totally not a perfect parent and I get it wrong a lot; and it’s obvious that we all love our kids tremendously.

    For us, we’ve chosen not to use spanking or hitting as a part of our discipline approach.There is, for me, a feeling of hypocrisy in using hitting as a tool to teach someone else not to hit. It doesn’t feel like a consistent message: “I’m going to teach you that it’s wrong to intentionally hurt someone by using your physical force by…intentionally hurting you using my physical force.” That feels like a confusing thing for my toddler to wrap her head around. That said, have I used my physical force on one of my kids? Ugh, yes. Did it feel like the dirtiest thing ever? Fucking yes. I went through serious car seat struggles with Auden, and after doing all of the gentle parenting stuff to no immediate effect, after sitting in a parking lot for 15-20 minutes doing All the Gentle Things, I strong-armed her into her seat, her fighting me the whole way. More than once. And each time I cried and felt like a terrible, terrible person. Did I just show her that this is how someone who loves her can treat her? Did I just show her that being bigger and stronger means I get to trample her bodily autonomy? (Obviously car seats are non-negotiable, it is a matter of safety, etc.) Anyway, the takeaway from that was that if it feels wrong to me, it probably is wrong for me. Right now she is spitting a lot when she is mad. She spits on her brother, she has spit at me. I am kind of at a loss because I want an immediate result. I want her to fucking stop when I say stop. It is infuriating when she doesn’t, and especially so when she is hurting someone else in the process. But, it takes time. Her job, right now, is about testing boundaries. It’s how she makes sense of her world. And my job is to set the limitations, ideally with empathy and consistency.

    One book that was really helpful for me with the toddler boundary pushing was Irene Van der Zande’s 1-2-3 The Toddler Years. (Not the same as 1,2,3 Magic). I found her suggestions for hitting and biting to be super helpful. http://www.amazon.com/The-Toddler-Years-Practical-Caregivers/dp/0940953250 It is based in the RIE approach, which is the same approach that Janet Lansbury writes about: http://www.janetlansbury.com/2012/09/biting-hitting-kicking-and-other-challenging-toddler-behavior/ Lansbury also has a book called No Bad Kids, but I found that it was really similar to Van der Zande’s and contained much of the stuff Lansbury already writes about on her blog.

    I second the reading recommendations for Laura Markham’s Peaceful Parenting books. I am currently reading the Happy Siblings sequel, too. She writes the Aha Parenting! blog. http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/should-I-spank-my-child

    A pair of other books I also liked are The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and its follow-up No Drama Discipline. Really, really interesting to learn how your kid’s brain is working and growing. It makes all the shitty behavior and impulsive bullshit make sense and feel less like they are doing it all to piss you off, which helps with the responding-with-empathy-even-though-I-totally-want-to-scream-in-your-face part.

    It is so, so hard. I raise my voice (okay, yell) way more than I am comfortable with. So, maybe I don’t spank my kids, but I do yell and exhaust my patience too quickly and lay in bed at night feeling like a shit parent who is surely fucking up my kids, beating myself up, feeling heavy guilt.

    There’s research (for what this is worth, obviously) that demonstrates that spanking is really only effective in the short-term. It serves to extinguish the behavior in that immediate moment, but does nothing to teach long-term self-regulation. I guess you could liken discipline to your healthy living and exercise approach–you could do things that give you a fast, but not enduring result, or you could do the things that take some time, building strength/a strong connection, that becomes the longstanding changes you want?

    Again, I try not judge how other people discipline their kids. Do what feels like a good fit for your and your child. We all have really, really bad days, and I would hate for you to see me on my hardest, most exasperating days. Every kid is different. What worked for Arlo hasn’t always worked for Audie. What works for my family might not work in someone else’s family. I don’t know, we give the best we can in any given moment. We learn, we move on. We need to grant ourselves a little more grace.

    Sorry for the long note, lady.

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    1. No apologies, thank you for the loving advice. I appreciate it, my friend. ❤

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    2. This whole discussion is amazing and filled with a lot of great information. Will also be checking out the book recommendations.

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  12. Following because today Molly got
    The biggest slap on the butt from me following one from her incredibly patient and calm father because FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY DO YOU MAKE IT SO HARD.

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  13. Wow, you really are struggling! I can only tell you about what we did to correct our kids but every kid is different. I don’t judge because of that.

    With our oldest the most difficult disciplining age was when he could not speak (clearly) yet and express what he wanted fully. Or we would just misunderstand which infuriated him even more. I too used the method of holding him firmly in my lap in a kind of hugging mode. It took some time for him to calm down, first making him more angry, but after a few minutes he would totally break down sobbing in a heartbreaking way. I think by doing this it definitely shower him it was okay to be angry and okay to cry because I was there for him either way. After the sobbing was over I would try to talk about it with him or asking him questions. I would always tell him I loved him when we exited hug-mode and asked for a real hug and kiss.

    I also did some stuff before we got to the hug- stage that scared or hurt my kid though. Once, I was so frustrated I went into another room and just screamed. It scared him, but he fell silent and asked me through the door if I was ok. It broke my heart and I explained to him that his ‘state’ made me feel helpless and like a bad mother and I was afraid of doing things I didn’t want to do and therefor needed to cool down. Never again did I resort to this.
    By putting my kid in time-out it appeared he would feel lost in stead of understood and helped. But sometimes it helped to either make him leave the room or me leaving the room and we could talk about it afterward.
    The last thing I really don’t want to do again is to burst out in tears myself- granted, I really couldn’t help it and it was real emotion which I totally think he should be able to see- but it made him confused and scared too.

    Anyway, I will be thinking of you the next couple of days because I totally feel for you!
    Just remember: behaviour like this is usually an emotion that kids at this age resort to to send a message they can’t vocalize. You asking for help is definitely the best thing you could have done for Harvey and yourself! Give yourself a pat in the back for that! Don’t feel like the worst mom ever- there are so many families that don’t ask for help and resort to other methods that will only make them feel worse…

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  14. I can so relate to this post. I was raised a non spanker and my husband was spanked. So he’s a big believer in it. But I am not. However I have found myself doing it against my better judgement. It is so hard.But most of the time when I am at the end of my tether it’s like I need the time out – I need time for me so that I can have more energy to deal with the situation.
    I wish you all the best and also subscribe to Laura Markham – her emails are very helpful.

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  15. I definitely feel like this depends on the kid! My oldest two (who are girls) hated time out and knowing that they had to sit there, usually time out stopped the behavior and that was that. With my son…he could care less. He won’t sit there, or if he does it doesn’t bother him and he will go right back to what he was doing. I got to the point where I say “if you keep spitting on me I’m going to spank your butt” and he sure did spit again so he got a smack on the bottom. It’s the most effective way to stop him from bad choices/dangerous things. I hope this helps. And honestly, I couldn’t even tell you the last time he was spanked. The threat of it is usually enough to stop him. He will be 3 in May.

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  16. I have 4 that are ages 2, 3.5, 5.5 and almost 7. I was raised with a really strict spanking police officer dad and a totally threatening but not follow through mom. I will say I respected my dad a lot more growing up and knew how to act.

    My husband (who the kids listen to better in general) has spanked the odd time after some very rough or “bad” behavior or unsafe behavior but he tries not to. He does follow through and I just feel the kids act better and respect him more.

    I do like Whole Brain Child, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen (I think by Adele Farber ?), Positive discipline. That said I find it doesn’t always work but us using a token jar and time outs in a crib or bedroom seem to help a little. I have 3 boys and 1 girl and the boys seem to be more aggressive in general and even my daughter has modeled after them!

    A lot of my kids preschool teachers and K teacher have said that positive marble jars and reenforcing GOOD behavior helps i.e., thank you so much for sharing that or thank you for being gentle.

    Every kid is so different and I am in the throes of it here also! Good luck!

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  17. I want to add to my comment because looking back on it now it feels harsh and laced with judgment. It wasn’t intended to be. I personally don’t understand spanking, but I absolutely do not judge. I have done, and continue to do, so many things as a parent that don’t feel right to me. I yell at my kids. Sometimes I scream at them. I grab them hard, out of frustration and desperation. I strong-armed them into their car seats, or their beds, or another room. I use my size, and strength, and authority, to force them to do things that they don’t want to do. Is that different than spanking? Not really. So no, I don’t judge.

    You know how much I have struggled with my daughter’s behavior over the years. It’s been the defining experience of motherhood for me. It has been so, so hard. So I think I understand how you feel. It is a really difficult place to be. I hate the idea that my comment wasn’t supportive, because I know that right now you need nothing but support.

    I’ve read so many books, and tried so many strategies. I can’t really say any of them made THE difference.

    I don’t know what to recommend. You get an idea, you try it. It might work here and there. Sometimes it doesn’t. You try something else. I have found the books and articles that make me feel differently about my kids and their behavior helps the most, because even if the strategy isn’t working, the understanding of how they are experiencing it helps ground me. I still make mistakes, a shit ton of them, every day, but I do think I’m moving in the right direction, maybe? I don’t know.

    Ugh. I hope you find something that feels right for you, because these struggles are so, so challenging. They really wear you down. I wish I could help more, and I’m sorry my first attempt fell so short of being supportive.

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  18. I’m so sorry.

    I struggled hard with Gracie for a long time.

    I never spanked her. McMister did once. It didn’t stop the behavior, even in the moment. I was terrified and couldn’t talk to him for days (that was more because he knew I didn’t want him to do it and did it anyway.)

    She probably spent the better part of a year in timeout. We had the pack ‘n’ play in the living room, a separate room from where we spent the vast majority of time, and I’d carry her in there and leave her for a few minutes. Eventually, she learned to climb out, but after I put her back in a few times, she’d give up and just sit there for a minute. Mostly, the act of taking her somewhere else and putting her somewhere (yes, often with more force than I’d like to admit) was enough of a break for me to calm down. ME calming down was way more of a factor for me than her. It sounds like you’re the calmer one in your situation; so, it might not help at all.

    Now, she gets sent to her room. About 75% of the time, she just says no. MOST of those times, I can make her go with angry words. Up until last summer, I still had to physically carry her to her room 25% of the time. Now, I wouldn’t be strong enough to do it if she wasn’t willing. I threaten to not let her watch her bedtime show the vast, vast majority of the time now.

    With Lyla, she still has a lot of timeouts in her room. Gracie’s were for aggressive behavior. Lyla’s are ALL from throwing fits. Screaming and sobbing and not listening is her M.O. She is SO SO SO emotional, and almost every single time, I think I’m ruining her by making her go to her room to chill the f*ck out on her own instead of her helping her through it, but my attempts to help her through it almost never work – at first. Once she’s gone to her room for a while, sobbed and screamed at her reflection in the mirror for a while, THEN I can go in and hug her and talk calmly with her (again because I’VE had the time to chill the f*ck out) and it works. She really does love to watch herself through fits in the mirror, and even though that’s never the reason for the fit, it ends up being part of the process for her.

    As for Poppy, I can only think it’s because she’s the youngest and is just seriously getting baby of the family treatment, but she’s only gone on timeout one time EVER. She’s so concerned with being around Lyla and Gracie that she hasn’t started acting out that much yet. She’d rather hang out and do whatever they’re doing. She had one 40-minute screaming tantrum the morning she went on that once-ever timeout, and I took her outside in the freezing cold for a walk to get her to chill. Then, today, she wouldn’t come back to the car after school drop-off, so I literally carried her back to the car kicking and screaming, but other than that, she hasn’t started the trouble yet.

    So, unnecessarily long story short, all my kids have been different. The older girls both “get in trouble” for very different behavior. I don’t spank, but YELL like nobody’s business. A commenter above expressed guilt and regret over going into another room and screaming; I was shocked reading that she felt badly about that. I do that all the time and feel great about it! LOL. Maybe her kids are younger than mine, but I think it’s actually GOOD for my kids to see how their bad behavior is affecting me. I want them to learn their actions have consequences, and a lot of the time, those consequences are making another person upset. Yelling AT them makes me feel guilty constantly, but going somewhere else to yell to myself and having them see/hear/know it is a good thing for me, not bad.

    All that to say, all kids are different, all moms are different, and we all have different ways of dealing with our struggles. None of them are wrong, and I’d venture to say none of them are “right.” So, try not to feel badly about that. I don’t have any advice really, just commiseration. As for Gracie’s aggression, she eventually grew out of it, as I’m sure Harvey will. I’m terrified Lyla will never grow out of her emotional mess, but hopefully, that’s just because I’m IN IT and can’t see out of it yet. As for Poppy, watch out: it’s coming 🙂

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  19. Also, the whole “don’t spank when you’re angry” thing is a crock of shit. Obv you’re angry if you feel the need to spank your kid. If you’ve waited long enough to calm down, it’s way too far past the incident to go back and spank them. They’re not going to have any idea why you’re spanking them. If you’re going to spank your kid, do it when it means something.

    I know you know this wasn’t directed at you, but at the creators of this “rule,” but I’m including it in the comment anyway for anyone reading this who thinks I’m yelling at you 🙂

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  20. Oh such a taboo topic. I get it. While I have not spanked H1 or H2 I have very firmly grabbed H1’s arm enough so that it freaked her THE.HELL.OUT. Like bad. And I spent the remainder of the day feeling AWFUL. What’s the best course of action for a kid, who doesn’t listen? Geez, if I knew I’d be a millionaire parenting expert.

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  21. This is a crazy topic. You can not spank your children in NZ it is a crime – yes it’s true.this has been openly discussed here due to this law being passed. There was very mixed opinions. I am not keen on spanking but at the same time I am not against a swat to change a situation. When Toby was getting out of hand he got put on the naughty steep this took some time to sort. I don’t use it much. If all was bad I put him in his bed and at the the crazy time shut the door. It gets a bit dark in there for about 10 seconds becuse he hates it and it calms him down immediately. I feel mean doing that and have only done it twice as he dislikes it so much. (there is also a night light on). It isn’t always the best to associate this with his room but he now knows to go to his room to calm down (hecs thr same age as Stella). But like you Toby actually mostly responds to my disappointment in his behaviour and i guess that isn’t goong to cut it with Harvey. Good luck I know it isn’t easy!

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  22. I want to come back and read all these responses later (I’m at work right now) but I wanted to pop in and say that I have spanked a handful of times too, usually D. C sounds like Stella in that I could always reason with her more and D is the one who is more prone to throwing tantrums. It’s usually in the heat of the moment that it happens, and like others have said, I feel absolutely terrible about it after the fact. I don’t spank hard though (I don’t think) but just the action of it I’m sure surprises them. JJ spanks a little more often than I do and I know he puts a little more behind it also. He usually does it on the butt with the cushion of the diaper, but now that D is potty training, I know he’s made a comment about the lack of cushion there now. All that to say, each situation and home is different. We do what we can in the moment and of course love our kids unconditionally.

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  23. I am overwhelmed by all of the really helpful, understanding, and non-judgemental comments you have gotten here. It’s really pretty amazing, that people have managed to have such an honest and respectful conversation about such a topic. I think it’s a testament to the fact that we’re all struggling with parenting and not being up to par in one way or another, whether it’s yelling or spanking or grabbing or whatever. It’s an incredibly tough subject and one that requires immense energy and patience on a never ending basis. Andy, like Harvey, is much more… devilish… than Sofia (or Stella). He also hits (sort of swats with his hand when he’s mad) us and bites Sofia or pulls her hair (when they’re wrestling or if he’s mad at her for a taken toy, etc.). I don’t know what to do about all of that, in all honesty, so I’ll be checking out all these book recommendations.

    We got a cool book for Sofia a few months back when she was being a little too physical with her classmates called No Hitting, Henry. It goes through a bunch of scenarios and the kid has to pick which is the right choice of action. Honestly Harvey is probably a little too young for that, but maybe if you read it with him and Stella and S could pick out the right choices? They certainly absorb everything. There’s a whole series called “You choose” and there are different ones about hitting, lying, etc. Some aren’t my cup of tea (like “don’t be sad…”) but the hitting one is good. Although, I think they’re a UK series so I don’t know availability there. There’s another book series I came across that’s something like, “Hands are not for Hitting.” They were too young for Sofia so maybe just right for Harvey? Although, to complicate matters, I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to have long involved discussions about hitting, etc., because it’s just giving the child more attention precisely because of that behavior (it’s never easy, is it?). We just added the book to the nightly rotation and left it at that.

    Wow, I started writing my comment thinking I wouldn’t have anything to say, but I guess I did!

    Like

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