How can I "carefully" help make my friends understand that spanking is hurtful?

Discussion in 'Gentle guidance' started by Shanka, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Shanka

    Shanka New Member

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    Well, today my heart broke for my little 2 year old buddy. This little guy is spends a lot of time here and his mom is a good friend of mine. Today he was very pleased with himself because he used the toilet and didn't once pee his pants. I told him I was proud of him and all of a sudden, out of the blue, he said "Mommy sometimes hurts me when I pee my pants" I will never forget that look on his face. The poor sweetie. I hugged him and asked him a little more. He told me that he gets spankings. I asked him why and he said that sometimes his pee comes out by mistake. (my heart is hurting so badly at this point) He then goes on to say that if he hits his sister (1 yr old) He gets a spanking then as well. What really bothered me what how he described these spankings. He said "Mommy hurts me. Sometimes the hurt is small, sometimes it is big." He then went on to say "Mommy doesn't like me and mommy thinks I am bad" My heart aches for this child... he is only 28 months old.
    Now, the problem is that his mom is a good friend of mine. I originally met her in the ER with Asia and we because friends as she helped me through a terrible medical procedure with Asia. I am the Guardian for her 2 kids if something happens to her or her partner. I want to say something but don't know how to approach it. I just keep seeing this little boy's face when he said "Mommy hurts me". I know the hurting is in the form of spankings, given because she lacks the skills to come up with an alternative. This child is VERY articulate and can speak very well about this. How do I handle this?
  2. Sunflower_Momma

    Sunflower_Momma "Christian"

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    :hug:

    What an incredibly tough situation.

    Could you give her the Sear's Discipline book and say something along the lines of, "hey, I just got this book and think it is so great that I'm giving it to all my friends because it's helped me so much."

    I don't know. Just pulling something out of the air.
  3. ~MamaCharly~

    ~MamaCharly~ Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a tough one.

    I'll also put on my flame proof suit for this one too. I do think 28 months is way too young to be getting spankings, and that spankings are NOT appropriate for potty accidents and especially not for hitting, duh.
    I don't think you telling your friend that spanking is "hurtful" will do any good because if she is not morally opposed to spanking she will either be offended by your comments or very upset at you for speaking up. I think that maybe if it could be explained to her that the way she is disciplining for those incidents may not be the most effective way of preventing a re-occurance.
    It sounds to me like she is hitting out of anger or frustration and not really "spanking".
    Honestly, unless you think the child is in danger I don't think I would say anything. If you do feel he is being abused by all means speak up, but I don't think there is much you could do other than maybe bringing up in conversation how you handle those incedences yourself. kwim?
  4. heythereheather

    heythereheather A reading family

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    I think I would tell the mom exactly what he said, how he phrased it. I would mention that most kids his age aren't quite that verbal, and so "we" often assume that spanking at that age is OK. However, it's clear from his words that spanking as discipline isn't getting through. If her goal is to make him afraid of her and to hurt him, then it's working. But since she's a good friend of yours, I'm guessing that's not her goal, and it would be a shock to hear his little words.

    You could try something like--"I know toddler behavior can be frustrating! I've been through it a few times, and over time I've found some strategies that really seem to work. Would you like me to tell you about them? I could also find a book for you to read if you prefer."

    Or Rebecca's route-without bringing up anything about her son. THat would work if she feels conflicted with what she's doing with him. If she doens't, though, and she thinks everything is working great, she might just shelve the book.

    :hug: How tough!
  5. LuLu

    LuLu Active Member

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    Print this or email it to her. I sent it to a spanking friend of mine and she didn't take offense, she's even said that she's going to stop spanking him.

    SPANKING
  6. mamatanya

    mamatanya the bead lady

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    I agree about telling her what he says. I know that I have recently run up against some things with my 5 that have triggered my irrational response and I really had to think about why I was getting so upset. Just thinking through something else to do when the trigger behaviors happened has helped me to react differently.
  7. CoffeeCup

    CoffeeCup aka leosmama20

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    Well, my parents were spankers. My mom commented to me once about spanking dd, and I said "you know mom, I read somewhere that when a parent spanks, it is really their form of having a temper tantrum." That pretty much shut her up.

    That is a great article above!
  8. ~MamaCharly~

    ~MamaCharly~ Moderator Staff Member

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    I like #6 on that one, it's answered some questions for me that I had been wondering about.
  9. Shanka

    Shanka New Member

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    You guys are just full of great ideas! Here is what I will do.. this mom is a local mom but she is on my msn. What I am going to do it on my msn I will list one of Dr. Sears facts about spanking. I will rotate his wise words and that way she will read what I have to say and not think it is directed at her. She knows I have a number of people on my msn and she knows that I like helping parents in general. Wish me luck on this!
  10. Christi

    Christi Perpetually NAK'ing

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    Good luck!!! You're a great friend. :hug:
  11. TraceyH

    TraceyH Following the Son!

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    (hugs) and a prayer that your words are heard
  12. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    Okay, my only fear in this type of situation is if you ever did tell the mom that the son told you she spanks- do you think she would spank him more for telling you about it? I like your way of sending a message to everyone so she won't know that he said anything...that's really sad.
  13. snugbug

    snugbug Watching my baby grow

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    If you are concerned about abuse then thats a whole nuther ball of wax (and if she would spank a 2yr old for 'telling' then thats a bit scary) so that aside....

    I think you should just be up front and out there with your friend.

    ' Hey Suzie, I'm really concerned about little Jimmy. He told me the other day that 'you hurt him', now I know you would never intentially hurt him but kids have such a blunt way of saying things- especially little Jimmy since he's so verbal at such a young age. Still I wanted to talk to you for two reasons because I love your family. I'm worried that whatever style of disciple you are using isn't sending the message you want to Jimmy- he said xyz and that helps me to understand that he has fear and hurt instead of respect and trust which is soooo important for his foundation. I knew you'd want to know since sometimes open up like he did the other day unexpectedly and I know I'd want to know if my kids said anything personal like that to you so I could parent them better. Also I'm worried that he could tell others in his blunt way that you 'hurt' him and they wouldn't know you as well as I do to trust you and feel comfortable talking to you. I'm sure you can figure this all out on your own but here's some information thats been helpful to me in the past and really helped me get the message across that I wanted which is I love you but what you are doing is not ok, like hitting a sibling and such.'

    Now my definition of 'spanking' may be different than others definitions but I do not feel it should not be in my parental toolbox in all circumstances. But like with everything there are checks and balances and if she's a gung-ho spanker she still sounds like she could use some help finding those checks and balances so that the right message comes through. I was spanked as a child as was my dh and neither of us harbor ill feelings toward our parents. Our childhoods were very loving- we had boundries that we tested but also respected and we both have very open relationships with our parents as adults. There is a big difference though between how/when my parents spanked me and how my best friend or mom's alcoholic parents spanked them. Alcohol aside just the raging, frustrated, and flustered parent response is never good. I've seen AP mom's respond in gentle AP ways that were completely useless and bordering harmful- when done in frustration and flustered moments.

    I'm blah blah blahing- main point here is as a friend in love be honest. You love the family and want to share something important with her just as you would want her to share important things with you if it was on her heart. It goes beyond your personal beliefs in that if you don't talk to her directly it could be 'risky' because her kid could talk to someone else about this issue and it could be blown out of porportion. It is only to her benefit and the childs benefit for her to grow her parenting toolbox- whether than means abandoning spanking or finding some needed balance and other tools to use in its place when needed.

    Hope that helps,
    Sarah
  14. elfmaker

    elfmaker mama to boys

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    tell her what you have told us.......then tell her this......

    "if someone hit you would it make you want to comply with their demands/wishes?" ..............if the answer is 'yes'..."would that be because you understood suddenly their point of veiw? or because you wanted the hitting to stop?" "Do you want your kids to only do as you say because they are afraid to be hit?"

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