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Question
Posted by: Me | 2008/06/03

Husband smacks 18month old on the thighs

My husband started wrapping our son lightly over the fingers since he was about 10months old, when he started exploring by trying to put his fingers in plugs or pulling vases off tables. I didnt agree with it then and even asked what will happen when he is older and lighly wrapping over the knuckles will have no effect. My concerns have materialised because it has now graduated to smacking on the bum or thighs. I do not agree with this, have told him that there are other ways to disciplne a child like talking or time out, but it went into a helluva argument about me spoiling our son and not allowing him to discipline his child. I find myself also wrapping our child over the knuckles lately because talking to him has lost its effectiveness, I believe its because of the hitting which my husband started. If I just talk or say no boy that is wrong when my son does something wrong, my husband looks at me and tells me its because I dont hit him that he is becoming naughty.
How do I get my husband to stop and try anything else. He used to be punished very badly when he was a child. His dad was very physical with them, bordering on abusive. I dont want the same for my son. This issue is causing a lot of tension in our home and our marriage

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

A baby is exploring, not being deliberately naughty, and physical punishment is not only consider Wrong by many people, but even if it were to be considered Right, it doesn't work and isn't of use. I'd guess that your husband got smacked a lot when he was a child ? He needs to recognize, for a start, that no discipline works unless BOTH parents agree on and operate by, the same rules. I think several readers make a sensible point, that while HITTING a child is wrong ( and unhelpful, too ) tapping --- a firm pat on the nappy or the bottom, as a punctuation mark and not an assault, can be acceptable. Of course beating children is wrong ---beating anyone is wrong. I agree with Ness on the distinction between a smack and a beating.
But more effective is the approach demonstrated so often on DSTV in the Nanny and Little Angels programs, how simple behavioural techniques, with time out on the Naughty Spot, and rewards with starts on a chart adding up to real rewards, WORKS and surprisingly rapidly, in bringing about good behaviour --- and then behaving well is something a child does of their own accord, and not only out of fear ( which they might then choose not to do if there's no smacker around ).
BUT again, all this should apply to a child being really naughty and generall older than a mere 18 months.
NOT giving a child a reasonable, consistent and fairly enforced code of conduct, is, for me, also child abuse.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Paula | 2008/06/04

O GOD PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just get lives.

Tapping over the fingers is NOT smacking.

A tap on the thighs helps open the ears, it is NOT attacking the child, or ABUSING or PHYSICAL ASSAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!

A tap on the hands, thighs, nappy has never killed anyone. It simply teaches the child, oops, mommy or daddy are now angry, I must not do that.

Reply to Paula
Posted by: Just Me | 2008/06/04

Interesting debate!
John...you're living in the clouds fellow. Discipline is absolutely necessary in the raising of kids. Beating them..ahhh, now thats a different story!
I do believe that Me's husband probably to back off if he's actually smacking the kid hard, and rather use a combination of light 'smacks', and 'timeout' tactics.
Let me tell you something. I have neighbours who have raised their 5 and 7 year old so far with 'now please don't do that' tactics. They treat the kids like equals...you've got to see these monsters! Remember 'Denis the Menace'!!!!
Good Luck my friend...you haven't a clue.
And to 'Me'...if he doesn't stop the 'hard' smacking, then speak to HIS parents, Tell her you want to take the matter further. There's a good chance his Mother will sort this out for you!

Reply to Just Me
Posted by: apples | 2008/06/03

My son is 15 months old, I have never smacked or punished him, I am fascinated with every move he makes, if he does something that will be dangerous for him, I say 'NO" and move him away from the danger, he understands that, he also follows simle instructions like "bring your shoes", "say bye bye", etc, I hug and kiss him as much as I can, I cant wait to see him when I'm at work, and he's my third child, All I can say to you is love your baby. My first born is as a result a very well behaved 16 yr old, who hardly ever needs to be disciplined. my 9 yr old daughter is her teachers best behaved pupil.

Reply to apples
Posted by: John | 2008/06/03

Hiya Ness

Yep, I do not have toddlers and I have not been favoured with raising a kid from birth. So maybe I am ignorant about what it does entail.

Oddly enough, I was thoroughly disciplined by my own father, who did not brook any nonsense. The difference though, is that I was old enough to understand that I was doing wrong, that I did do wrong and what the punishment was for. 10 months old, even 18 months, seems a little to early to be receiving hidings/beatings/slaps/klaps/whichever-euphemism-sounds-reassuring
but, like I said, maybe I lack the necessary perspective.

Reply to John
Posted by: Me | 2008/06/03

Im shattered by WHAT's response. And I have to say there is truth in it, whether he/she has a child or not, they are right. I will go home tonight and tell my husband that I want him to stop smacking our son in any way shape or form, because he is just too young for this to happen. God forgive me, I havent abused my son nor does my husband, but I just feel so terrible that it happened and for watching my husband do it to our son. I would still like to hear Cybershrink's response though

Reply to Me
Posted by: WHAT | 2008/06/03

So, as soon as he turns 2 I suppose the belt beatings will start. How old are you and your husband? You sound so bloody childish and stupid, ignorant! The child is LEARNING - Get that L E A R N I N G??? You two should look this up. Start smacking a 10 month old baby?? WTF?? Maybe everytime you two idiots make a mistake someone should take a hosepipe and smack you! How in the hell can anyone smack a baby??? CAN THE BABY TALK? ASK QUESTIONS? KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG? How did you two idiots learn? I agree with John. You two don't have a clue!!!

Reply to WHAT
Posted by: TP | 2008/06/03

Me-pls refrain ur hubby from doing that,its better if its done by a mother.Father does not really feel the pain we feel when coming to kids,I would rather discipline my kids on my own.....

Reply to TP
Posted by: Me | 2008/06/03

Wow, you guys! What mixed responses. To John, you really hit a nerve for a moment there, but I do have to agree with everyone who says you probably dont have children, because believe me, you dont ever plan to even raise your voice for your child, (I didnt)until you actually become a parent and you find that you need to and HAVE to exercise some kind of authority to let them know there are boundaries. Thats why this is so hard for me, I dont want to even give my child a little smack, but if I dont do anything, he thinks he can go haywire and throw his tantrums, and I dont want to raise an ill disciplined child. My husband does however need to find althernative ways to smacking, I think. But it will be interesting to hear what Cybershrink's advice will be on this one.

For what its worth, my son cries even harder when we use my prefered ,method of discpline, which is time out than he does when he gets a smack on the thigh. So the point is really finding the most effective way of discipline.

Reply to Me
Posted by: almost mad | 2008/06/03

i agree with the soft tapping of the nappy. I do that to my nephew, he finds it funny. A stern (not angry) voice "saying (his name) no my baby". When i say his name and no together i normally get a good reaction. Im only not sure whether your husband recognises the appropriate times to take action and whn to leave the little guy to explore. His his thighs is just not nice!

Reply to almost mad
Posted by: sadi | 2008/06/03

John you obviously dont have any kids. My "kids" are now 21 and 24 and both of them got hidings growing up. When they did something wrong, they were taken one side asked if they knew what they had done wrong, explained to them again, gave them a hiding with a wooden spoon (never ever with a flat hand or anywhere else but on their bum) then let them say sorry, hug them and tell them you love them. Discipline is a vital part of a childs upbringing. I got the two worse hidings ever when I was in matric and I deserved them!!!!! It is because of a lack of corporal correction that the youth have NO RESPECT for anybody else or property.
I would hate to be a teacher today trying to teach these hooligans we have in our schools.

Reply to sadi
Posted by: Ness | 2008/06/03

John hiya sweets. Hope all is well your side. I have not heard from you guys in ages!!

I think you should retreat through the back door on this one. Sorry but there is a vast difference between beating and smacking a child. I used to smack Emma hands when she was naughty and trust me nothing gets threw a pampers other than a bit of a fright which sorts it out. I know some people who have never smacked their kids and I feel very sorry for them because frankly no one can stand being around them.

Sorry but we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Reply to Ness
Posted by: Oh Yeah! | 2008/06/03

I guess John doesnt have any kids or if he has his wife brought them up - usuallly the ones who know the least that shout the most!

Reply to Oh Yeah!
Posted by: John | 2008/06/03

Wow. No wonder we have such a violent society if we see nothing wring in beating babies.

You are obviously unaware of the legislation that prohibits physical assault and attacks on children. And I have excellent for you child beaters - it is possible to raise a child with discipline without resorting to physical violence. Really. Inflicting pain on a helpless baby who looks to you for protection is not necessary at all.

And Vanessa, yes, with your attitude I can see that you support child beating. Yes, you wear it well. Tut, tut - temper, temper.

Reply to John
Posted by: Anon 2 | 2008/06/03

When I was a kid, my parents also gave me a good few slaps from time to time to discipline me. It was always well deserved by me, and only after talking a fews times did not do the trick.

Today I am 30 years old, with a masters degree, a highly paying job and all in all I am a well adapted, well-behaved young woman, without any resentment towards my parents and without fear for them. I fact, I love them very much and I think they were the best parents.

In my opinion ... nothing wrong with getting a bit physical when needed. There is a difference between abuse and discipline. You will know when you have crossed the line.

Reply to Anon 2
Posted by: Zola | 2008/06/03

John, I don't think she is "silently co-operating". She is trying to make it stop, that is why she made the post - not to be bashed...

Reply to Zola
Posted by: Hi there | 2008/06/03

I found what worked best was the Mr Spoon - we had a wooden spoon which would come out when my son wouldnt listen, then we would count to 3 and if he still didnt listen then Mr Spoon would tap him on the padded bottom [more noise than anything else]. It didnt take long before he understood and we seldom had to count to 3 or use Mr Spoon! What I must say is that if you threaten him with Mr Spoon and he still doesnt behave after counting to 3 then you MUST 'smack' him. If you dont he will realise you are just making empty threats and he can get away with it. Mr Spoon even used to accompany us when we went shopping!

Reply to Hi there
Posted by: Anon | 2008/06/03

John I don't think you have any children a child needs to be disciplined, I don't thing what her husband is doing is wrong. If more people disciplined their children our world would not be what it is to-day. I just saw in the paper to-day about a 8 years old child sexually abusing other children at school well he was never disciplined.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Vanessa | 2008/06/03

O shut up John!!!
Hi ME, dont listen to John's melodramatic statement, perhaps smacking on the nappy as apposed to the thighs, this just gives them more of a fright because of the sound. My daughter got smacked on her nappy and it worked like a charm.
good luck.

Reply to Vanessa
Posted by: John | 2008/06/03

I've always felt the deepest sadness when reading in the press about toddlers and babies that are abused by their parents. I've also felt irrational rage that two adults can systematically physically abuse a child to the point of death. In your case you may not be killing your child but I wish I knew who you were so that I could report to the appropriate authorities for what you and your husband are doing to that baby. It's criminal and you should be locked up - you for your silent co-operation and him for extreme cruelty. People should be made to write IQ exams before being allowed to have children. How stupid, stupid, stupid can you be to hit a child that can barely speak or understand what he is hearing? How hard your heart is. How cruel beyond description you are to inflict pain on your child. Shame on you.

Reply to John
Posted by: Me | 2008/06/03

Thats what I tried telling him, but he doesnt get it!

Reply to Me
Posted by: almost mad | 2008/06/03

he is a baby!!! your husband needs to understand that the baby is gona be naughty because he is discovering new things and he needs to explore. Thats part of their growing up. he doesnt always understand that he is being a "bad" baby.

Reply to almost mad

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