Posted by Christy on September 08, 2003 at 10:37:39:
In Reply to: Re: Controversial question regarding spanking posted by Mels on September 06, 2003 at 13:14:49:
: Hi...by the time my first DS was seven years old, I had spanked him three times. I know this because he was having behavior problems and the teacher asked if he was spanked in the home, and I thought about it and counted three times. Well, let me tell you...even three times in seven years landed me in hot water. I got that "Oh, so THAT'S where he got it" look. The most tragic part was that I did it following him being physical with me. He would hit and hit and hit me, and even throw things at me, and at one point (I remember this one time, not sure about the other two times) he had punched me w/his fist in the side of the head, and I sat him down HARD on his butt and barked at him, "DON'T DO THAT!" and pulled his hands down away from me hard. So I don't know if that technically constitutes a spanking, but it was pretty physical.
: I hated it. I didn't want to be physical with him. He was totally uncontrollable as a little guy. He started a phase where he refused to get dressed before school. I had to work & was always in a panic. I'd get one sock on and he'd laugh at me and pull it off. After probably a good year of this, when he was about four-ish, I started leaning over him so he couldn't get his hands down to his legs to take off the clothes I had just put on. I'd lean over him and guess what he remembers from his childhood. Is it all the trips to the local zoo? Is it all the walks? All the ice cream? Christmas? Hallowe'en? Reading books each and every night? Singing songs? Me being a den mother after hours, having worked an 8-hour day and driven my step son 1.5 hours to see his "real" mother, twice a week? NAH. He remembers how "Mom used to sit on him".
: Listen, I know how frustrating it is. Please believe me...I know. Because there are two children in your household, you probably feel like they're "always" acting out. But in reality, it's just that one starts & the other stops & on & on, probably (just what I've observed from having had 2 children while I was married to my first DH). That's probably what your doc means by it being normal. It feels like *each* is constantly acting out, but really, one starts something & later the other follows suit.
: Time-Out is a great idea for at least getting them calm. It took a whole lot of time-outs to get my DS to get the picture, but it's worth it. Be consistent. ALWAYS, ALWAYS (even if you're exhausted...& believe me, I know you are) give the consequence for the same action. Always! Give them the amount of minutes in time-out as their age. So if one is 3 years old, he gets 3 minutes. At 4, he gets 4 minutes. If he gets up from the chair, he starts OVER again at the full amount of time.
: If you have to do this 50 times the first time, then do it 50 times. Start it on a weekend or some time when you don't have to be at a certain place at a certain time, so that you have "all the time in the world" (in their estimation) to keep doing this over & over.
: Another thing I did with Joey that made him behave very well in public was that if he acted out, we left wherever we were. Please don't think I'm a horrible mommy, but we even left a birthday party once. He struck at a child and I told him that if we struck again, we were leaving the party. He struck again, I apologized to the child and mother & calmly took my screaming son out the door, and home. Boy, was he p*ssed! But later it showed...I could take him anywhere...out to eat...anywhere. I kept it reasonable...he didn't have to sit like a silent soldier. But he did have to use a reasonable tone, he had to be reasonably polite, etc.
: Good luck...DON'T hit...it never, ever works for either of you and you will live with the guilt hanging over you forever & ever. Trust me, my son is 17 and I still think about sitting him down & yanking his arms down to his sides that one time and it still kills me...the look in his eyes. :( Try to hang in there. You're doing very well. You're not "failing" as you said. You're just being a Mom!