To think my ds dies not need a 'bloody good hiding'

(179 Posts)
mamasmissionimpossible Sat 05-Jan-13 21:24:04

So I'm staying at parents as we are having our home redecorated before a move.

My ds is 7. He came home from a party today and was being aggressive (hiting the walls)and calling me names. my parents overhear all this.

I want to discipline without smacking as I just don't see it as a useful method if discipline. My father doesn't agree and says if ds did this behaviour with him in charge he would give him ' a bloody good hiding'. I feel so upset he could do that and know it wouldn't work long term. Df thinks he will be a delinquent teen with the behaviour he us showing.

After ds calmed down. He apologised to me (without prompting) and I explained why his behaviour was unacceptable.

Just looking for reassurance from mn that I don't need to use physical discipline to get him to behave.

I found out after the event that he hadn't had any tea at the party, which often has a negative effect on his behaviour.

whois Sat 05-Jan-13 21:26:09

YANBU but from your DFs point of view your DS was being a right little shit and damaging their house which does get people's blood boiling.

SirBoobAlot Sat 05-Jan-13 21:27:49

No child ever needs to be hit. Ever. Regardless of what they are doing.

TBH I'd be looking to stay somewhere else if that is the attitude your DS is going to be exposed to whilst you are staying.

Never understand why we think we can teach children not to hit by hitting them.

TidyDancer Sat 05-Jan-13 21:29:09

YANBU wrt the hitting. No child should be hit and your reasoning for this is good.

That said, being aggressive and calling you names, even after a party where he will naturally be hyped, is clearly not acceptable.

Do you find you have an issue with how you do discipline him, or is this a one off?

PoppyWearer Sat 05-Jan-13 21:31:28

YANBU but it's probably a generational thing. My own DDad used to say "that child needs a good hiding" about other young children when I was a teenager. (He wouldn't dream of it now he's a grandfather though).

pictish Sat 05-Jan-13 21:31:41

Tbh, not having dinner doesn't excuse his behaviour, which sounds pretty bad.

However...a hiding would solve nothing.

Your dad was probably pissed off at seeing him act up though. Thumping walls and calling his mum names is unacceptable.

lovelyladuree Sat 05-Jan-13 21:32:18

Are you really asking if physically abusing a child is ok? Only bullying, evil parents hit or smack their children. Hope I made that clear for you?

McNewPants2013 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:34:26

There is no need to hit a child.

123caughtaflea Sat 05-Jan-13 21:34:34

My mother said something similar to my son at Christmas. I don't think she'll say it again - not if she wants to be allowed in my house ever again anyway.

deleted203 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:41:38

If (aged 7) you had shouted abuse at your mother and hit the walls would your dad have smacked you as a child? Because mine sure as hell would have done. Which is why I didn't behave like that. If this is the case, surely you can see why DF says 'he needs a bloody good hiding'. Agree with Poppy that it's a generational thing. And to be honest, we didn't carry on like that, and we didn't get away with the appalling behaviour that some kids do nowadays. So perhaps it was a 'useful method of discipline'.

I wouldn't dream of telling anyone else how they should discipline their children, but smacking seems to be such an emotive area nowadays with everyone saying, 'OMG it is TOTALLY wrong and it only teaches children that violence is the answer to problems'. On the other hand I never witnessed any of my generation shouting 'Fuck off' to adults whilst at primary school. (Not saying your child does - but plenty do).

mamasmissionimpossible Sat 05-Jan-13 21:44:25

Sowornoit - what U said is almost exactly what my df said. I still don't agree I should smack him, but I shouldn't accept his bad behaviour.

pictish Sat 05-Jan-13 21:49:47

Fair point sowornout.

It's not quite that simple I'm sure, but there is bound to be an element of truth in what you say.

If I had behaved like the OP's boy my mother would've given me the wooden spoon.

She was neither evil or a bully.

apostropheuse Sat 05-Jan-13 21:52:09

You shouldn't smack him or let anyone else smack him. It's never necessary.
My brothers and I are all in our fifties, we were never smacked and strangely enough none of us are violent, all of us have "good" jobs and none of us have ever been in any kind of trouble, been arrested etc. You absolutely CAN parent without violence.

However, having said all of that, it does sound as though your son is beginning to get out of control and you're perhaps making excuses for his behaviour - e.g. the thing about him not eating and then acting up. You need to consistently discipline him and get it sorted before he gets much older or you may have a delinquent teen on your hands.

sarahtigh Sat 05-Jan-13 21:55:39

there is no need to smack DS but when he is damaging other people's property it is important that he is disciplined and seen to be disciplined, he needed to apologize to his grandad as well as you

what form of discipline did you actually use?

otherwise it looks like you think it is OK for him to behave like that your DF was probably appalled at listening to your DS abusing you with nasty names and you not reacting, maybe he is just thinking if you do not nip that in the bud when he is 14 he will be ( physically) pushing you around

at 7 he is old enough not to damage property and scream if hungry

when DF said a " good hiding" what did he mean? a beating or a smack, did he just smack you occasionally or what?

BridgetJonesPants Sat 05-Jan-13 21:58:21

My DF smacked me & DB's when we were little (all now in our 40's), and whilst it wasn't nice it don't think it dones us any harm, mentally or physically.

My DD is now 8, and whilst she can be very challenging as all DC can, I would never dream of smacking or hitting her. I just couldn't do it.

I think its mainly a generation thing, 40+ years ago, smacking was acceptable, just as teachers giving kids the belt was also acceptable. Thankfully we've moved on since then!

catgirl1976geesealaying Sat 05-Jan-13 21:59:40

Only bullying, evil parents hit or smack their children

That's about 95% of parents from the 70s back "evil" then hmm

quanticovirginia Sat 05-Jan-13 22:06:59

I have two boys (now 12 and 8) and have never smacked either of them. I have used other punishments (different methods for different children) such as naughty step or withdrawl of treats.

It's not clear from your post what you actually did???? Waiting for him to 'calm down' and then telling him why his behaviour is 'unacceptable' seems very ineffectual. Does a 7 year old really need to have it explained to him why hitting walls and calling people names is wrong??? I can understand your father getting frustrated if there were no punishments or sanctions???

deleted203 Sat 05-Jan-13 22:10:36

Ooooh. Golly. I was holding my breath there, actually thinking everyone was going to be screaming abuse at me and they didn't.

I would like to think we all have different parenting approaches and I really hate the idea that 'only bullying, evil parents smack their children'. I'm not saying that you or anyone else should smack your child - your discipline decisions are your own. But I do think that people who claim that a sharp swat on the backside is 'abuse' are as unreasonable as the ones who claim that people who never smack their children all have kids that are foul mouthed and feral.

Is it not possible for us to accept that there are many ways of bringing up children rather than one that is absolutely the ONLY way?

Startail Sat 05-Jan-13 22:22:56

I do, smack, but at 7 with a child who's not used to it, it will cause resentment and confusion.

I'm old enough to find not smacking very disobedient, limit testing toddlers weird.

The knots people tie themselves in to avoid smacking amaze me.

Your DFather means no harm if not smacking seems to be making parenting insanely complicated to me, to my parents generation it is incomprehensible.

Modern children are to them loud, cheeky and very naughty.

Listening to the back chat the primary HT will take, I have to agree.

DearPrudence Sat 05-Jan-13 22:26:34

No, he doesn't need a good hiding. Yes, it's possible to discipline without smacking.

I don't see any discipline being described in your OP, though.

jessjessjess Sat 05-Jan-13 22:27:11

No to smacking but that doesn't mean no to discipline...

mamasmissionimpossible Sat 05-Jan-13 22:38:11

He did get disciplined as he missed out on his bedtime story. I will make him apologise for hitting the wall tomorrow to his grandfather. I will have to be more firm, I agree. However, I will not hit him no matter what.

My df is of an older generation where a'clip round the ear' was the norm. I'm often told 'never did me any harm'. We always appear to disagree on discipline methods.

I was smacked as a child, very rarely. I still don't agree with it and think it did harm me and the trust between me and my parents.

I'm surprised at some of these responses, as I thought mn was really anti smacking

whois Sat 05-Jan-13 22:44:59

MN does seem to be very anti smacking, but that doesn't mean people can't accept that times and parenting techniques were different 20, 30 years ago. Which is when your DF obtained his ideas on acceptable discipline methods. He didn't actually hit your DS so chill out over his words.

Also people are generally pretty pro discipline, your DS loss of his bedtime story is a bit of a week punishment tbh.

deleted203 Sat 05-Jan-13 22:48:23

I'm surprised, too, as I also though mn was rabidly anti-smacking. But I'm relieved, actually. Startail - how brave you are for the confession! I smack too, although I can't remember the last time I did so. (Most of DCs are now teens). However, DS2 (7) isn't too old for a quick clout should it ever be necessary. Can't remember smacking him since he was a toddler - but I reserve the right to do so - and I can't imagine how I could have ever 'reasoned' with a small child who was behaving very badly. I'm also old enough to think it doesn't do them any harm.

mama if you were smacked only rarely as a child, surely it was when your behaviour had really overstepped the bounds? Why do you think it stopped you trusting your parents? (I'm not criticising - just interested). My parents smacked me too - and it was always on occasions when I knew I'd deserved it and simply felt then (and now) that it served me right for behaving in a way that I knew would get me a whallop on the backside.

xkittyx Sat 05-Jan-13 22:48:51

OP you and your son sound like Rosie and Hugo from "The Slap"

WorraLiberty Sat 05-Jan-13 22:51:10

I agree it's a generational thing.

It must be quite frustrating for older generations to sit by and hear parents saying things like, "You're going on the naughty step when you get home" (maybe a couple of hours later) or "You'll miss your bedtime story tonight" when the bad behaviour is happening then and there.

If they used to nip it in the bud straight away with a swift smack on the back of the legs, (as my parents did) I can see why they find it frustrating.

That's not to say I advocate smacking now as times have changed, but it was certainly effective for me and my siblings when we were being little fuckers.

Greensleeves Sat 05-Jan-13 22:52:29

I'll be the MNer you were expecting then

I think smacking children is bullying, weak, cowardly behaviour. Unimaginative, lazy parenting and makes me think the parent concerned is either horrible or a bit thick (or both).

If my father had said what yours did, I would have told him that he was to keep his unreconstructed dinosaur attitudes to himself, and if he ever laid so much as a finger on one of my children he would be out of their lives quicker than Concorde.

If you can't manage without hitting somebody who is smaller than you then you are a pathetic specimen, and I feel sorry for you and sorrier for your kids.

deleted203 Sat 05-Jan-13 22:56:12

Ah..there's the one. Intolerant, bigoted and always right wink.

TidyDancer Sat 05-Jan-13 22:58:26

I am surprised anyone has admitted to smacking tbh. sad

Greensleeves Sat 05-Jan-13 23:00:15

Yep, intolerant. Of badly behaved adults who can't keep their hands to themselves and whose mothers didn't teach them not to solve their problems with violence.

catgirl1976geesealaying Sat 05-Jan-13 23:02:13

I was occasionally smacked

I really don't think if affected my relationship with my mother at all

TheSecondComing Sat 05-Jan-13 23:02:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

waltermittymistletoe Sat 05-Jan-13 23:03:54

I don't like smacking. I was smacked. I still trust my parents, I get that it was a generational thing.

In saying that your son's behaviour was awful and the fact that you say he had no tea makes you sound like one of those horrible parents who think of ridiculous excuses instead of acknowledging how naughty their little angels are!

I'm not sure a lack of bedtime story would be enough to appease a grandfather who has to witness his grandson be a total brat in his home! Sorry.

WorraLiberty Sat 05-Jan-13 23:05:49

It's interesting to see how intolerant some people are of past generations.

For example, parents were actually advised on how to smack their children by professional people.

Teachers were taught how to administer the cane correctly in schools.

This is how life was back then. It didn't necessarily make them horrible people...they were actually following guidelines on how to discipline.

BelleoftheFall Sat 05-Jan-13 23:05:57

I'm close to my parents but I remember very clearly the times they lost their temper and smacked me. We discussed it once and the number of incidences we remembered were around the same. I found it unsettling that the memories stayed so firmly despite how young I was...yanbu.

minouminou Sat 05-Jan-13 23:08:22

Have to say (I was rarely smacked as a child), my WORST punishment was to lose my bedtime story.
It cast a massive dark cloud over my day.
When I was older, I used to get half an hour to read before lights out.....I used to feel sick if I knew I'd lost it.

It may be a big punishment for the OP's DS. I would actually have preferred a swift clout!
I think my mum had me pegged.....

spoonsspoonsspoons Sat 05-Jan-13 23:09:31

On the 2 against 1 thing. I am a middle child, I was never the 1.

Posterofapombear Sat 05-Jan-13 23:11:14

OP you really need to sort better discipline than this now. He will be bigger than you sooner than you think and then it will be too late.

What he did was not acceptable at all especially in someone else's home.

I don't recommend smacking but he need some boundaries that are far less wet or you are going to find yourself in heaps of trouble.

spoonsspoonsspoons Sat 05-Jan-13 23:11:36

oops wrong thread

waltermittymistletoe Sat 05-Jan-13 23:12:52

grin @ spoons!

AGiddyKipperInOneHand Sat 05-Jan-13 23:15:10

It's your parenting, and your choice. Your father was not in charge, and just as well, as hitting him would have been a ridiculous and childish response. I have smacked my children (well done for being so determined not to, I wish I had had your resolve).

It is possible for someone to be agitated if they skip a meal, and look at it this way - your DS hit a wall, not another person, so he showed a degree of control there!

Now you know not eating can have this affect on him, you can help by packing a few healthy biscuits or other snacks for him when he's out.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 05-Jan-13 23:15:23

I also agree with sowornout. Times have changed. My parents could often be heard remarking "he needs a smack" about out of control children. They weren't bullies or evil, they simply did what most parents did in the seventies. I only got smacked once but I can clearly remember thinking that I deserved it, and it made me keep a check on my behaviour afterwards. I didn't resent my parents or lose trust or anything. We were/are very close.

I haven't smacked my own children and I don't intend to. I use the naughty step, removal of toys and treats etc an awful lot though. And sometimes when it's water off a duck's back I'm left wondering if seventies parenting didn't have something in it.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 05-Jan-13 23:20:04

You're nbu to not want to smack your child. That is your decision as a parent.

I was occasionally smacked (short sharp smack,never out of anger) by my parents as a child.. By age 5 they realised taking my books away from me was a far more effective punishment than anything else. After age 7 they realised making me go out to play when all I wanted to do was read was,in it's turn,far more effective. I am,as far as I know, a fairly well rounded adult.

With your father, it may well be a case of a different generational attitude. Regardless of how you do it,your DS was most definitely in need of discipline of some kind regarding the incident in question. You don't have to parent your child as your parents would though.

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Sat 05-Jan-13 23:30:34

how did your parents react when your ds apologised?

WorraLiberty Sat 05-Jan-13 23:33:22

He didn't apologise, AreYou

The OP says she'll make him do it tomorrow for some reason.

WilsonFrickett Sat 05-Jan-13 23:38:20

Of course YANBU for not hitting your child. But you really need to think about the discipline methods you use. Part of disciplining is making sure that the injured party 'sees' that discipline has happened, and that amends have been made - I don't think cutting his bedtime story really qualifies.

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Sat 05-Jan-13 23:39:07

Hang on,so the op ds was being aggressive,disrespectful and brattish in someone else's house and he hasnt apologised? Op what did you do when this behaviour started? Missed meal or not at 7 your D's should know better.

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Sat 05-Jan-13 23:40:39

A missed bedtime story is not,IMO sufficient for abusive behaviour.

seeker Sat 05-Jan-13 23:44:52

I don't believe in smacking. At all. Ever.

But being aggressive, hitting walls and calling you names needs more than missing a bedtime story. Does he behave like this often?

alreadytaken Sat 05-Jan-13 23:48:02

I can't understand why no-one has pointed out that your df saying that boy needs a good hiding doesn't necessarily mean he'd give him one. It was a common expression when I was young but very few children had more than a quick slap. Children did get proper discipline, though. It was made quite clear that you wouldn't be allowed to behave like a brat and if you tried you might be on bread and water for a time, be locked in your room or something similar. Withdrawing a bedtime story is inadequate.

One of my nieces adopted the same wishy-washy attitude as you with her son and is now paying the price. No-one likes the boy, he's unhappy and they are now having to introduce much stricter discipline.

I don't smack, but I can see where your dad's coming from - he was hitting the walls and calling you names. That's really bad behaviour, and from your dad's reaction it doesn't sound like its the first time your son's been out of order in their house.

It sounds to me - ànd probably your dad - that your making excuses for it, rather than stamping down in it. Sorry - probably not what you want to hear.

Dominodonkey Sat 05-Jan-13 23:54:09

YY So worn out

I agree with the other posters though. Fine if you don't want to smack but your child was very badly behaved. Is this a common occurrence? If so I can totally understand your DFs point. And did he apologise to your father? It wasn't your property he was hitting.

3smellysocks Sun 06-Jan-13 00:05:28

What does being violent to a child teach that child? The child learns that violence is acceptable if someone has a point to make.

If a child is dealt with calmly and fairly and in a reflective manner, what will that child learn? To reflect upon whats right and wrong and resolve issues in a peaceful manner.

I was smacked as a child and it was a road to nowhere. Very destructive long term to the relationships in my family.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 06-Jan-13 00:11:51

catgirl I am with you there. As I said it was used very occasionally,never out of anger etc. My Mum and I have a wonderful relationship. I feel lucky in having a close family generally speaking.

WorraLiberty Sun 06-Jan-13 00:17:16

I was smacked as a child and it didn't make me violent at all.

In fact, I didn't link a smack from my parents when I was very naughty with violence anyway. To me a smack was a parental punishment and violence was something quite different.

It was a short, sharp shock that stopped brattish or dangerous behaviour right then and there in its tracks.

Again...not that I'm advocating it as times have changed, but really it was what it was and it worked for me, my siblings and many many other kids I knew.

Dominodonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 00:27:08

"It was a short, sharp shock that stopped brattish or dangerous behaviour right then and there in its tracks.
Again...not that I'm advocating it as times have changed, but really it was what it was and it worked for me, my siblings and many many other kids I knew."

Don't want to derail the thread and turn it into a smacking v non smacking but you accept that it worked and that it caused you no harm whatsoever, so why wouldn't you advocate it? (at least as an option)

Most people agree that children's behaviour is far worse now than when smacking was common place so iIreally don't get why even people who say it didn't harm them don't want to say it's ok.

And those saying it promotes violence tbh that is only ok for those who do not punish at all as all punishments promote something e.g confiscation - stealing, naughty step - ostracisation etc

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 06-Jan-13 00:36:21

I was smacked as a young child and don't link it with violence.

Being punched in the face by an ex friend I link to violence.

I think a child learns violent aggressive behaviour is acceptable if it goes unpunished. don't smack him if you don't want to but you need to put some form of Discipline in place.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 06-Jan-13 00:47:16

My mother was a smacker, short term it amused me intensely because it was a very clear sign to me even at about 6 that she had lost control of herself and the suituation.

It never ever stopped any bad behaviour, and often for my own amusement it created more. As a teenager I would weigh up the fun from doing something I shouldn't with the punishment, more often than not the fun won. Mainly because I knew several things

1. Nobody would actually kill me
2. Her hand hurt long before my arse did,
3. Her hand would hurt for longer
4. It was highly amusing watching her lose it

Long term it resulted in a complete lack of respect for her that took years to resolve, I love her dearly but to this day she has never been in the company of my dc's with out a third party and never will.

Taking reading time away from me would have seriously made me think about not doing the bad not allowed thing.

FobblyWoof Sun 06-Jan-13 00:50:33

I'm of the no smacking camp. I can, however, understand why you DF said that.

Again, it's a generational thing and that was his generations form of discipline.

Your son calling you names is not acceptable, for whatever reason (and TBH, and I really don't mean this in a nasty way, but not eating is an bad excuse at best). That's not considering the fact he was hitting the walls.

I'm not criticising your parenting, as you said in your OP you are doing it the way you choose, but it does sound like you could be firmer with him, too. Perhaps that what your DF was trying to say in his own way?

Himalaya Sun 06-Jan-13 01:23:38

OP -

It is horrible being stuck between your parents and your children, trying to discipline them consistently, fairly and for their own good and at the same time aware that you have an audience who is judging you.

FWIW I don't agree with reaction of some posters here that your child had a melt down at someone else's house means they are a 'brat', poorly parented or likely to turn into a juvenile delinquent. That's the thing with melt downs, they happen at the worst times, and things like not having enough to eat and being uncomfortable in someone else's house do make a difference. For you to be aware of that as a parent is not "making excuses" IMO.

Did your DS damage the wall or just kick up a fuss? It would make a difference to the consequences.

How long are you staying? Not sure what to offer in the way of advice, but I think it is worth being more than usually conscientious about bedtimes, wind downs, snacks etc... to make sure your son isn't overtired and/or hungry so tempers don't get frazzled while you are staying away.

louisianablue2000 Sun 06-Jan-13 01:28:37

Personally I think a 7 year old hitting an inanimate object when he's angry and tired is actually behaving relatively maturely. Far better than hitting his Mum or a sibling or another child at the party. Same with name calling, parents are the 'safe place' where kids can sometimes let off unacceptable steam, you can see it as children leave nurseries and schools, after a day of behaving perfectly for a teacher they go to the other extreme with their parents. A tired or hungry child is never going to be the best behaved and I don't think the OP is making silly excuses. She did say she discussed the child's behaviour with him when he calmed down (shouting at him at the time would have achieved nothing) and he apologised off his own bat which is a good sign. As he gets older he will get better at controlling negative emotions because the OP is modelling good behaviour herself BY NOT HITTING HIM. On the other hand I agree with PPs that an apology to his GF for hitting the walls is required and any damage needs to be repaired, if possible getting the child to help.

Is it worth pointing out that if she lived in Scotland it would be illegal to hit her child, in the same way it is illegal for a man to hit his wife. Presumably no-one on here thinks that is acceptable, but in the past it was. I wonder why our views on domestic violence have changed but not our views on violence towards children?

People have always claimed things were better in a mythical past but it's just not true. FWIW I'm in my 40s and can remember people at school telling teachers to fuck off AND I know that they had the kind of parents that hit them (when they weren't neglecting them), whereas there were other children who had gentle parents and who were very well behaved.

Dominodonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 01:36:50

Can you really Louisiana? You must have gone to a rough school. At no point in my school career did I ever hear anyone swear at a teacher as yet as a teacher I have heard numerous children swear at staff at a range of different schools.

And comparing wives and children is hardly relevant.
A husband is not responsible for the behaviour of his wife but it is a parents job to discipline their child. (whether through smacking or another means) - or do you think a man should now put his wife on the naughty step instead?

Musomathsci Sun 06-Jan-13 02:06:01

How do you think missing out on a bedtime story some hours after an outbreak of bad behaviour will impact on your 7 year old DS's future behaviour? Is he going to think twice before kicking off next time? He needs to know that if he does it again, something really undesirable (to him) will happen with immediate effect (confiscation of a favourite toy? time out? removal from the party or whatever).

That said, I totally relate to the hungry = raging thing. I still have emergency snacks when picking up DC3 after a long event or when he might have had a meal that he didn't fancy!

ComposHat Sun 06-Jan-13 03:29:14

Damaging someone else's house? Calling you names? and being aggressive? Would you have ever acted like that at his age? Would you have expected to get away with it?

Your son's behaviour was out of control and the sanction you imposed was too little and removed from the incident to be in any way reasonable.

It needed an instant response and a sharp reminder that their behaviour is out of line and will have a consequence. I would say a tap on the bottom or the back of the legs and then being sent to an upstairs room for an hour or so wouldn't have done him any harm whatsoever.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 06-Jan-13 03:47:52

And OP whilst you might not want to smack your son it might be an idea to instill some sense of discipline. On no planet is his behaviour acceptable. You are focussing on the wrong issue here.

BlueyDragon Sun 06-Jan-13 03:50:39

Out of interest, what would those saying the OP didn't impose a sufficient sanction have done? I've seen ComposHat's suggestion and the no books/stories line, but what other options do people use?

sarahtigh Sun 06-Jan-13 07:32:06

in scotland it is only illegal to smack child under 3 OP's DS is 7 so perfectly legal though not a good idea generally

I was smacked occasionally as a child and I did not see it as violence, normally justified, I do not intend using smacking as punishment DD generally has to sit on stairs if out of order or TV switched off ( if on)

you said you were smacked sometimes and never given a "good hiding" so you do know that your DF did not mean it literally I think he meant more like

" DD you really need to get a grip on disciplining your son as otherwise he might be an out of control brat, and it hurts me to hear a small child calling my DD names and even more when she seems to accept it"

Lueji Sun 06-Jan-13 07:56:22

I don't smack, but don't feel that strongly against it either and see where it can be used effectively.
However, a bloody good hiding is not smacking.
Smacking can be short and to the point, whereas a bloody good hiding sounds right there with physical abuse.

I don't condone such behaviour at home either. Any hitting and any name calling is confronted right there and then, with immediate punishment if necessary.

And, yes, I'd also worry about the future if your child behaves like that, even if he hadn't had tea yet.
It was different from being grumpy.
It was abusive towards you.

How did you calm him down?

Lueji Sun 06-Jan-13 07:58:53

Also, I don't agree with missing the bed time story.

It was done well after the event, and it's a perfect time for bonding, as well as to develop his love for books.

IsItMeOr Sun 06-Jan-13 08:55:57

I wouldn't find that behaviour acceptable in my 3.10yo DS. While I might note for my own future reference that I needed to help him be more sensible about eating regularly, that wouldn't stop me disciplining.

Losing a bedtime story is both a bit wet and also potentially counterproductive, as that's good parent-child bonding time.

My DS loves TV, and so the most powerful censure we have is that he will lose his next session of TV (he's usually limited to half an hour in the morning and another in the afternoon). Or in my parent's house, we can say that we'll be going home if he doesn't improve his behaviour. I appreciate that last one is no help to you at mo!

Maybe say to him that if he can't behave well after the next party (or similar treat) that he goes to, then he won't be going to the next one. And remind him just before he goes to the next treat thing. It works fairly reliably with my challenging DS, and your 7yo should be better able to remember than he can.

Good luck!

diddl Sun 06-Jan-13 09:04:55

Can´t believe you had to tell a 7yr old why it was unnacceptable tbh.

I thought most toddlers knew that.

Mapal Sun 06-Jan-13 09:05:43

Yanbu, no need to.smack. but you need tougher methods of discipline I think.

Also, you mention he hadn't eaten and that this often links in with bad behavior.
One thing to note is that low blood sugar can cause out of character aggressive behaviour - could it be possible he has a slight blood sugar balancing issue? Diabetics when hypoglycemic (low sugar) can get extremely aggressive and abusive. Might be worth making sure he has regular snacks? Just a thought.

diddl Sun 06-Jan-13 09:09:35

I agree with getting blood sugar checked also.

Sounds an extreme reaction to being hungry-rather than just asking for something when he gets in.

GateGipsy Sun 06-Jan-13 09:10:38

I am in my mid 40s, my parents had SIX children, and did not believe in smacking. Discipline can be swift, fast, and not use violence. We never stepped out of line, or back chatted as children. My mother could use a tone of voice that would strip trees of their leaves. I haven't mastered that. I use the other family discipline techniqute. You're left sitting on the sofa with no TV, books, etc. Very efective.

None of the six of us went off the rails growing up, but I did see a lot of my (especially male) peers with anger issues in their teens that none of my siblings had. Was this due to the smacking/no smacking? Sure none of those friends went off the rails with drugs, alcohol or crime either. But I'm really glad I didn't have to go through the emotional shit they did (and I'm pretty sure they didn't even notice it really - probably just put it down to being teenagers).

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 06-Jan-13 09:19:56

Middle ground then, no hitting or smacking, but a consequence somewhat more significant to him than not having a bed time story. hmm
He's 7, your discipline strategies need to grow with him and what might have been a significant consequence to poor behaviour when he was three might not have the same impact now.
And always feed him something solid and slow-burning before he goes out to an activity, so that he's topping up rather than relying on party food for his main sustenance.
How long will you be at your parents? How long have you been there? Where is your son's father? What is yor son like at school, where they don't hit but do have a behaviour policy?
It's your parents and their home he's disrespecting and damaging, and you seem to be there waving your hands and saying ' Oh dear, no story for you tonight, look, Mummy has her sad face on'
Which is fine if it was your home he was disrupting, and only you having to deal with it. But it isn't.
Which would piss me off too.

HollyBerryBush Sun 06-Jan-13 09:24:48

Sockreturningpixie you were actually abusive to your mother because it was 'fun'? Are you one of those who likes to push other peoples buttons now? Are you still an abuser?

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 06-Jan-13 09:30:05

I was hit as a child, with implements as well as hands and by both parents.
Sometimes defiance at those in absolute power over you is all you have. You laugh whilst they are hammering you to show that they haven't won.
You retain control over a situation and mock them when they can't, even when it leads to more abuse.

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 06-Jan-13 09:32:29

Someone asked upthread what people would do in this situation.i have no idea because (and im not being smug) my children would never behave like that. They know that that behaviour is unacceptable. My 'angry voice' is enough to halt them before they get anywhere near that point. If I was asked how they learned this I would guess that consistency and a stubborn to the point of arsiness belief thst if I've said 'no' it will never ever change to a yes.

Overdecorated Sun 06-Jan-13 09:42:12

Missed his bedtime story??? Good grief op! I think you need to work on ensuring your consequences are proportionate to the behaviour. I also disagree with smacking (but don't judge others who choose this as a form of discipline) but you must have other effective methods in place. He is 7 for heaven's sake not 2!

insanityscratching Sun 06-Jan-13 09:46:05

No your ds didn't need a good hiding but he did need discipline there and then for totally unacceptable behaviour. I don't smack and never have had but I would be more than a little hmm to have a child of 7 behave in that way in my home and their parent just remove a bedtime story tbh. IME discipline works best when the consequences are instantaneous rather than drawn out and had your df seen that he would probably felt less offended and in need to comment too.

pictish Sun 06-Jan-13 09:49:15

Same here cother.

We have 3 kids and none of them have ever called me names or thumped the walls to convey aggression.

In answer to 'what would you have done' I'd have to say that I don't know, because I can't imagine allowing any behaviour that would lead up to that point, in the first place. I can't picture our kids behaving like that.

The fact the OP is keen to write it off as hunger is quite worrying. What else does he get away with in the name of making excuses for him?

What the OP describes is, to my mind, very poor behaviour.

spanky2 Sun 06-Jan-13 10:09:33

He was probably upset that you someone was being so nasty to his child . It doesn't matter how old you are he might have been upset for you.

seeker Sun 06-Jan-13 10:14:39

My mother used to get very mother tigerishly protective of her children if their children were horrible to them. I still remember the faces of my nieces and nephews when a 5 foot nothing octogenarian laid into them when they were being unpleasant to my brother!

PessaryPam Sun 06-Jan-13 10:35:42

I was smacked and I loved and trusted my parents. I smacked my children very rarely and we have a good relationship. I suppose we should all be in jail.

Twattybollocks Sun 06-Jan-13 10:42:03

Honestly? Your child needs some serious discipline! Not a good hiding I hasten to add, but if either of my two were behavin like that anywhere, the fact that someone had suggested a smacked bum would be the least of my concerns. The wording and suggested method may have been wrong, but the sentiment was bang on!

PessaryPam Sun 06-Jan-13 10:43:00

YY HollyBerryBush I thought that too, and then felt immensely sorry for her mother.

complexnumber Sun 06-Jan-13 11:05:48

"What does being violent to a child teach that child? The child learns that violence is acceptable if someone has a point to make." 3smellysocks

I don't think you can argue with the logical structure of these statements. But there is a very big premise that is being assumed.

That is a child learns according to some set of logical rules.

There are plenty of posters on here who were smacked and yet who claim they did not learn that violence was acceptable. So maybe that
premise is false.

I have not smacked my children, I couldn't. But I think it is maybe a bit smug to dismiss thouse who do as being 'a bit thick', bullies, evil or a lot of the other terms that have been thown out. Where is the evidence for this?

I was smacked as a child and agree with others that it did me no harm. I don't smack my children and have had words with my father on an occasion when he mentioned smacking DS1.

However I will confess to having referred to a child (and adults) under my breath as "needing a slap" sad, I didn't mean that I would smack him or that I thought his parents should smack him, it is more an ill thought out response to poor behaviour and my (unreasonable and inappropriate I realise now) version of "that child needs to be disciplined and their behaviour is inappropriate". I guess what I am trying to say is that perhaps your DF did not intend to smack your DS but was more using a turn of phrase that to him meant your DS needed disciplining.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 06-Jan-13 13:13:48

Sockreturningpixie you were actually abusive to your mother because it was 'fun'? Are you one of those who likes to push other peoples buttons now? Are you still an abuser?

How is watching my mother lose it and being amused by her doing so abusive?

Or is a naughty 6 year old also now abusive?

Are you one of those people who has no idea what abuse actually is?

I would think that the child who spends about 12 years almost from birth on the at risk register, or the child who at 6 has had to learn that no matter how hard or how often they get hit they wouldn't actually be killed so it probably doesn't matter to much and chooses amusement as a coping stragity,the child who has to watch her brothers and sisters get treated well whilst she is treated appallingly. Is the one who was abused.

By the time I was about 8 I was claiming responsibility for my siblings wrong doings because it was harder for me to accept the slight risk that they may start getting treated like I was,than it was for me to deal with another punishment because by that age I considered myself tough enough to not be phased by it.

It only really started becoming hard to deal with when as a older teenager I was having my clothes and knickers removed in public to be smacked so then I just left home because I found out that at 16 as long as you are in a safe place nobody can force you to go back so I went to my grandfather.

I have never either abused or knowingly hurt another living creature in any way in my entire life, but I have spent about a decade having therapy to deal with what my mother did to me and learning that I never need to accept abusive relationships. So take your accusations about me being an abuser and fuck off with them. At least my mother had an excuse for acting like a cunt.

jessjessjess Sun 06-Jan-13 15:00:03

Personally I think it's pointless to demand people justify why they think being smacked was ok but wouldn't use it, or admit it must have harmed them really. Some good parents smack. Some shitty parents don't. It depends hugely on the wider context. My dad occasionally hit me as a small child and things got a bit more physical when I was a teenager. That was abusive because it was never calm or logical and part of a wider atmosphere of dysfunction. My best friend was smacked on the bum more often but by kind, loving parents. I am in therapy now. She is not.

As to what to do in that situation: you have to emphasise boundaries, not make excuses. Personally I believe that any mitigating circumstances (being hungry or whatever) should be acknowledged with regret but do not negate the need for consequences. Which need to ha

jessjessjess Sun 06-Jan-13 15:07:27

Sorry, hit post too which on my phone. Was going to say they need to happen then and not be a joke.

I think in this situation you shouldn't be waiting for him to calm down. You calm him down yourself with 'the voice' (if you don't have one, time to work on it) and you don't just explain why the behaviour is wrong, you explain that it is not acceptable. If he is hungry, he needs to say so. If he is angry, he needs to say so in a better way.

As to punishment, depends on the individual child, but he should be apologising to everyone as well.

sock I think it was perfectly clear from your post that it was your mother who was abusive not you, I thought it sounded like some of what you said was a coping mechanism, I think it is especially telling that you said your mother has never and will never be left alone with your dc.

How anyone could take what you said and turn it around to you being abusive I don't know.

Hope your ok

MewlingQuim Sun 06-Jan-13 16:53:16

Im not anti-smacking but I just don't think it works as a method of discipline so I won't use it.

But not smacking shouldn't mean no discipline at all, and no bedtime story and an apology the day after the bad behaviour is not disciplining. There needs to be some sort of consequence at the time.

thebody Sun 06-Jan-13 17:02:21

If any if my 4 aged 7 had punched the walls and called me names then yes they would have probably revived a smack. But then I would think I had failed allready as they would never have thought this behaviour acceptable at 4.!!! We don't do stroppy aggressive children.

However you need to sort out some kind if discipline as a 7 year old calling you makes and punching the walls while you excuse this as hunger is ridiculous.

If you don't get a grip of him now he will get a grip of you when he's a teenager.

I have mixed feelings on this.

On the one hand it is obviously not the best way to deal with things.

On the other I was smacked as a child. Rarely. The threat of it was enough to discourage me from misbehaving (most of the time). And I adore my parents. I don't think I was harmed by it, and despite not liking it, I don't blame my parents for it.

Like my parents I will do everything I can to avoid it with DS, having it as a last resort. Tbh if DS is anything like I was then just counting down from 3 should work.

I think it needs to be taken case by case in all honesty.

There's no way on earth you could ever describe my parents as abusers despite the smacking.

Depends really on how your DF was with you as a child? Was he abusive to you? Or was he fair?

realcoalfire Sun 06-Jan-13 17:09:31

I have never punished any of my 4 DC (eldest now 18).I have found my children generally want to be good.I talk to them once they have calmed down .They are always genuinely sorry afterwards (as your son was).He just needs to find a better way to communicate his anger!

jamdonut Sun 06-Jan-13 17:17:48

I was smacked (bottom or legs), very rarely as a child. I knew I had overstepped the mark if that happened. I respected and loved my parents.

I smacked my own children (My older two) again, very rarely. We have a good relationship. By the time my 3rd child was born it was already being very frowned upon, and I have not smacked him. The relationship is no different to my older two.

I am a teaching assistant, now, and obviously understand and use ways of disciplining children ,without physical punishment.

However, I do believe that there are times, when a child is small and displaying totally dangerous or over-the-top behaviour,that a smack on the behind or legs ( and I don't mean a severe beating,just one smack), from a parent , is not wrong. As long as it is talked through and explained why it happened, afterwards, just like any other punishment.

Shallishanti Sun 06-Jan-13 17:32:33

Several posters have commented that, as they were smacked as children, they thought carefully about their behaviour as, if they were 'naughty' they might get smacked. But this surely isn't the aim of raising children- that they will avoid some behaviours because they will result in a smack. Instead, surely, we want our children to grow up wanting to be kind, responsible people who want to avoid pain/damage to other living beings or property or the environment generally.
Smacking a child because he has 'hit a wall' or been abusive to his mother really doesn't help him understand why you shouldn't hit walls or swear at people, does it?
Which doesn't mean there should be no consequences of bad behaviour, but the consequences should be constructive in some way. Not always easy to think of them. But ideally they should happen as soon as possible, especially with a young child.

Floggingmolly Sun 06-Jan-13 17:39:37

Of course he doesn't deserve a good hiding, but his behaviour does warrant a little more than missing his bedtime story, I would have thought.
Do you usually use this as a sanction? (because it's obviously not working)

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 06-Jan-13 17:39:38


I'm fine now. My mother suffered from some type of pregnancy associated psychosis that unfortunately due to the type of family I come from went untreated for a long long time.

after I left home it sort of blew everything up in the air and she was forced into treatment and several other medical issues were discovered.

Back then unfortunately money really did talk when it came to child protection and sw just paid lip service.apparently going to a posh boarding school and living in a posh house is enough to not get you taken into care even if you ask to be taken.

I love her very much as do my children but to this day she still outright believes she did nothing wrong and it was just perfectly acceptable smacking and i was a dreadful child and she's very believable, but it is telling indeed that its not just my kids who arnt left unsupervised with her its all her gc's. and weirdly even though she wouldn't admit anything its very obvious she over compensates now with how she interacts with me.

She's very old I'm old, life's to short not to learn from other people's mistakes or to let them hold you back.

LittleBoSqueak Sun 06-Jan-13 17:46:23

sock- i still don't understand why as a child you laughed at her distress/loss of control.......... To me it says something about your character.

Shallishanti Sun 06-Jan-13 17:51:33

to me it says that a powerless child uses any means they have to cope with abusive behaviour sad

LittleBoSqueak Sun 06-Jan-13 17:58:57

thankyou shall that helps me understand it.

It's a bit like laughing at the bully in the school playground, you don't want to show them how much they've hurt you.

I think someone taking the blame for their siblings to stop them getting hurt shows alot more about your character than a young child laughing at their parent smacking them.

She sounds like my friends mum, she also suffered with her mh but from the outside they seemed like the perfect family. My friend spent most of her teens in an inpatient mh unit due to her upbringing. Her mum also never has her dc on her own, although their relationship is better now

LittleBoSqueak Sun 06-Jan-13 18:16:59

Thankyou moomin.

What do you do if you don't smack your child and you are consistent but the bad behaviour carries on?

JaquelineHyde Sun 06-Jan-13 18:44:29

I would really like the OP to come back and talk us through what she actually did do at the time her son was throwing this violent, abusive tantrum because so far all I have heard is that it happened and then he came and apologised to her when he felt like it and then he lost his bedtime story.

Was there any intervention or was he just left to damage your Dad's property until he felt calm? What kind of abuse was he throwing at you, was any of that challenged?

I think if I had a guest in my house who allowed their child to damage my property, throw abuse around and have no consequences, not even an immediate apology then I would consider asking them to leave.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 06-Jan-13 18:59:13

Little Bo.

As a baby and young child I did not know my mother was ill,i did not know that she viewed me as the cause of her illness, all I knew was that for the first 16 years of my life she acted as tho she hated me all at the same time as being a perfect mother to my brothers and sisters.

I very quickly learnt that I could not possibly gain her approval or love my eldest brother tells me I stopped even trying to please her at about 4,

When I was very little she would stop if I cried or just crumpled so I became an expert at doing both, but by the time I was about 5/6 she resented me because I cried or went limp and that would enrage her further.

I can't say exactly when or exactly why but I decided to just choose not to let her know she hurt me to just act like it didnt, so I laughed at her and said stupid things like " is that the best you can do" or " that didnt hurt" even if it did.

Its hard to get your head round it but at the time she was not showing distress she was being violently abusive and to me as a child she appeared to get some satisfaction from the suituation so I decided to remove that.

It actually helped me a great deal to deal with what was going on mainly because I never again had to see the look on her face when she knew she had really hurt me and because it made me feel like I was in control of what was happening.

I now work with a woman who used to work as a guidance /pastoral care person at one of the schools( day school after I stopped boarding) I went to, we once got very very drunk and talked about me as a teenager she remembered me turning up with my face black and blue and telling her " don't fret its ok it happened because I was being a complete shit" she told me that she would never forget that 15 yo who thought she was so strong and tough that having her face smashed in didnt warrent any fuss or fretting. So I guess that back then it did help me cope.

waltermittymistletoe Sun 06-Jan-13 19:13:41

I don't think OP will be back.

In my experience, people who think skipping a meal is a reason for his sort of behaviour are the type of people who don't like criticism of their little angels!

Parker231 Sun 06-Jan-13 19:41:24

What right has any adult to smack a child - if an adult can't control themselves, how can we expect children to learn good behaviour.

LittleBoSqueak Sun 06-Jan-13 20:16:10


my dd does the laughing at me, saying stuff when i am trying to talk/discipline her, not trying to please me or gain my approval and I just don't understand why she doesnt care.

It makes me so cross!!! But i have learnt to try to ignore but it is so hard not to retaliate verbally!!! I try to keep in mind what someone said here that what you say to a child becomes there internal voice.

Your post frightened me i guess. I love my dd but she makes parenting so difficult.

Thankyou for trying to explain things to me. I really appreciate it.

ComposHat Sun 06-Jan-13 20:28:29

What right has any adult to smack a child - if an adult can't control themselves, how can we expect children to learn good behaviour

As a previous poster has stated, a parent has a right and responsibility to discipline their children. A tap on the leg or bottom doesn't imply a loss of control on the part of the parent. Hitting out at a child in anger is a different kettle of fish and is wrong.

The comparison between the way you would treat an adult and a child is a bogus one. Does taking a child's toy away from them encourage them to steal? Does sending them to their room teach them to practice false imprisonment?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 06-Jan-13 20:41:01

How old is she littlebo?

Ah little she sounds like ds1, he's nearly 18 now but has always been strong willed and always wanted to have the last word.

It's frustrating and drives you mad I just stopped engaging. It was a case of right you've done so and so your punishment will be whatever I'm not talking to you about it. It caused tantrums in the begining but he did learn after I while that I wasn't going to argue with him.

Ds2 is far easier to discipline and parent but he has a totally different personality. He's 10 and I can say to him right your rooms a mess go tidy it please, he may huff and puff about it but will go and do it. If I'd said the same thing to ds1 at that age ge would have refused and tried to start a row.

With him it was a case of right your rooms a mess, I want it tidying by tomorrow night, which worked better. He's always wanted to do things in his time so giving him longer to do them works well. He has a bit of choice when he gets things done, but it's still on my time scale so I'm still the one in control, if that makes sense!

Obviously that only works in situations where things don't have to be done this minute, but it made him feel like he had a bit of control and imput into situations.

Parker231 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:50:10

What does a tap on the leg or bottom achieve ? What does the child learn from that ? My DT's are 16 now but have never been smacked and they aren't angels but have turned out as responsible, usually well behaved and certainly know what is right and wrong.

seeker Sun 06-Jan-13 21:16:40

God, the word "tap" makes me shiver. If it's really a "tap" it won't hurt at all and therefore won't have any impact at alll - which means it's a particularly sinister euphemism.

Have we had the "running out into the road" and "putting their fingers into electric sockets "thing yet? Funny how only smackers children do thwt.

LittleBoSqueak Sun 06-Jan-13 21:26:51

Sock - she's yr 8. She's had an awful time with her other parent, she's damaged i know that. But my god she brings me to my knees!! Its kind of like I understand this on an intellectual level but the reality of parenting her is so hard! I know I have made lots of mistakes because I just don't know how to parent HER. When I have sought for help in the past i get the advice for a standard child e.g reward charts etc. In the face of my dd this advice is laughable!

Moomin- Yes i have another child whose soooooo much easier to parent but they watch their sister and copy. I hate how this changes the sibling.

I have hijacked this thread (but its good to 'talk' to people who understand). Its beyond most peoples experience and therefore understanding.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 06-Jan-13 23:12:13

Have you tried just stating what's not acceptable saying what needs to be done to put it right then completely disengaging with any tantrums act like you can't hear them and go about your day.

Only re engage when she has stopped or starts being civil.

If you do this its important that every episode of bad behaviour is separate from a previous episode even if they are half an hour apart and that you do engage as soon as she's as near to civil as you can reasonably expect. And take an opportunity to discus that you will not feed negative attention seeking behaviour but you will feed positive behaviour.

theplodder Mon 07-Jan-13 00:36:48

I would smack to be honest. Part of the reason why children are so badly behaved nowadays is insufficient discipline and boundary testing. When i was young i was dealt with by a smack. The threat of it made me behave, particularly when out in public. Today you see so many brats carrying on and the parents refuse to discipline. I find it very odd.

SirBoobAlot Mon 07-Jan-13 00:50:37

Yes because being threatened is a fantastic way to encourage you to behave hmm

If it was a DH saying to a DW "Behave in the way I want or I'll smack you", it would be classified as abuse.

Why the hell is it seen as acceptable to say to someone smaller than you, who you are supposed to love unconditionally, and who believes you will take care for them, "If you don't do what I want you to do, I will hurt you, and often humiliate you by doing it in public as well"?

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 07-Jan-13 01:10:43

I simply don't understand why anyone would intentionally cause a child physical pain.

I genuinely don't get it. How could you hurt a small child and actually think you we're doing a good thing?

My xh was given the belt once. His father caught him taking money from his mother's purse so he immediately marched him upstairs ordered him to drop his trousers and gave him a good few lashes.

Xh thinks he deserved it. He sees nothing wrong with it at all.

What his father didn't ever find out, because he didn't actually talk to his son, was that he was stealing to try to pay off the bullies who were making his life a misery and beating him to a pulp every day for his dinner money.

A good parent is respected by their children not feared by them.

Parker231 Mon 07-Jan-13 01:23:02

Why does discipline needs to be in the form of physically hurting a child ?

ComposHat Mon 07-Jan-13 01:45:34

If it was a DH saying to a DW "Behave in the way I want or I'll smack you", it would be classified as abuse.

The comparison with a spouse is bogus and deliberately emotive. An adult is legally and morally responsible for raising their child and providing a framework of discipline. Many forms of sanction imposed on a child would be equally abusive of a spouse. 'Behave in the way I want or I will confine you to a single room of the house' or 'Behave in the way I want or I will take the computer/phone/car keys off you' would both be classified as abuse of a spouse.

Parent who smacks child and wife-beater is an absurd comparison and an insult to victims of domestic violence.

babyboomersrock Mon 07-Jan-13 02:07:53

I grew up in the 50s, when children were belted at school, so that the fear of the belt hung over us all the time. For those of you who believe that the lack of physical punishment is why we have such indiscipline among children now I'd ask why it was the same children who were beaten on a daily basis? If it had worked, either as a punishment or a deterrant, why did they persist in their "bad behaviour"?

I did not smack my four. It just means you've lost control and while it may stop one bit of bad behaviour temporarily, it doesn't deal with the main purpose of parenting, which (imo) is to help your children develop into mature people capable of understanding that other people, and their property, deserve consideration.

Your little boy sounds angry or upset to a worrying degree, OP - if this is unusual for him, I'd be getting to the bottom of it, and if it's "normal", it needs correcting. I am pretty laid back about most things but with my young children, I was most definitely in charge and they knew it.

In your situation, OP, I'd have stopped him the moment he was rude to me. The moment he as much as looked at me, in fact, because I'm sure you knew what he was about to do. I would have restrained him physically from hitting the walls and removed him from the room. Once out of that room, I'd have warned him quietly and calmly a) that there was to be a fitting punishment and b) that he was to go straight back and apologise to his GPs. I do not like what your father said, but I can only think that he was utterly frustrated to see you allow a 7-year-old to speak to you in that way.

To be honest, mine would have been embarrassed at 7 to be caught behaving like that - it sounds like toddler behaviour. I really think you need to set firm boundaries now.

cory Mon 07-Jan-13 08:07:08

Am I reading a different OP from the rest? I understood that the boy was aggressive after he came home from a party (so not in somebody else's home), that the aggression took the form of hitting the walls (no indication of any damage being done) and that the parents only overheard this because they were in the OP's home at the time when he was having a meltdown.

Everybody else seems to think that he damaged property and was out of control when staying with his grandfather or at the party. Did I miss a post?

When ds was angry and upset I used to actively encourage him to hit a pillow. If there had been a good reason for him not to hit the wall, I would have physically restrained him at the time.

My db was very well behaved but did occasionally have meltdowns in the privacy of his own home. Which is why my mum hated having her MIL to stay: she'd walk from the other end of the house specifically to poke her oar in.

Rosa Mon 07-Jan-13 08:31:39

If I was a guest in somebody elses house and my child started hitting the walls I would have restrained him in some way . imagine if a picture fell down and smashed on him or anything...some walls are thin he could have put his fist through it. He should have apologised to his GP's and also had more of a punishment ..I don't believe in ruling providing disipline to a child via feviolence - I was raised with the odd smacked bottom when I was very naughty and It taught me not to do it again.

SirBoobAlot Mon 07-Jan-13 08:35:21

Having been 'disciplined' by my parents, and hit by an ex partner, I felt exactly the same. It caused me to feel exactly the same, in the moment, and every moment after. And also caused me to feel like I deserved it when my ex partner hit me... Because I had been smacked as a child.

The only difference is we have told ourselves that hitting another adult is wrong, but we have the biological right over our children to hit them when we think they 'need' it.

Think about it.

No one deserves to be hit. No one deserves to live anxiously thinking if they upset that certain person in their life, they will be physically punished for it. No one deserves to have their self respect crushed, to feel that dread every time they slip up.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 07-Jan-13 08:37:07

The op says that at the moment her parents place is home

waltermittymistletoe Mon 07-Jan-13 10:13:55

I think people need to stop being hysterical here.

Whether you agree with it or not, smacking is NOT beating, abusing or bullying a child if used correctly as a method.

This deliberately emotive posts are ridiculous. It doesn't mean you've lost control if you haven't lost control while you're smacking does it?!

My sister smacks as a form of discipline. I've seen it. She has NEVER lost her temper and NEVER hit hard enough to cause pain let alone leave bruising. It's not for me personally but just because she parents differently doesn't mean she's wrong and I'm right.

The comparisons to or implied accusations of child abuse are ridiculous and make a mockery of the real abuse that children suffer daily.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 07-Jan-13 10:18:29

So if she hasn't lost her temper why would she smack? What's the point?

strumpetpumpkin Mon 07-Jan-13 10:28:49

if my children had acted like that. I would be bloody ashamed. I wouldnt be averse to giving a short slap on the bum for it either.
If you dont agree with smacking, then find another method of discipline or your little prince is going to give you hell in a few years and he will be bigger than you then

waltermittymistletoe Mon 07-Jan-13 10:56:04

What's the point? Well, the same point as every other discipline method I would imagine.

Punishment of bad behaviour is not a new idea. It doesn't mean you don't love your children or that you want to abuse them.

You were abused by your mother sock and I'm so sorry that you went through that but there is no comparison between that and smacking as a method.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 07-Jan-13 12:33:31

But why would you hit a child?

I genuinely can see no logical reason.

Why would anyone purposely cause a child pain?

There are a million ways to teach a child good behaviour. I don't believe hurting them is a legitimate one.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 07-Jan-13 12:50:42

But punishment of bad behaviour does not just mean smacking, it means punishment

Smacking is these days considered a out dated wrong practice by most people ( or perhaps that should read most people won't admit to thinking its ok even if they do)

If you phoned the nspcc for information and advice regarding disapline and asked about smacking they would surgest you chose a different method as would 99% of other child related professionals you would be hard pushed to justify it successfully to anybody in that field these days

Shallishanti Mon 07-Jan-13 13:30:47

I get SO fed up hearing about how so many kids are badly behaved these days due to no smacking. My Dcs are now all in their late teens/20s and we did not smack or otherwise use physical punishment. They never ran in the road or did those other dangerous things- if I thought they weren't safe I made sure they were till they were old enough to be sensible, hence, near traffic+small child=handholding/reins, they were supervised closely near open fires/deep water etc etc I never had any trouble saying to them, I know you want to do X (undesirable thing) but I'm your mother and know more than you because I'm older, so, sorry if you don't like it but you can't do/have it. Lets do something else instead.
While I do wish they were tidier, they are all responsible, mature, respectful and empathic young adults.
It's really not the case that not smacking=breakdown of society

waltermittymistletoe Mon 07-Jan-13 15:51:59

I think staunch anti-smackers think smacking = abuse. That's not always the case. I don't do it but I don't necessarily think the people who do are abusers.

It depends. If someone has lost their temper and lashed out it's one thing but as a method of discipline the intention is not to cause pain. And I don't think it does cause pain when used as a method.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 07-Jan-13 16:37:43

The intention of a smack when used as a punishment method is NOT to cause pain????

Now I don't 'get' that I can just about see that some people claim it is to shock but how would it shock if it didnt also case pain surely its the pain that's shocking?

If its not painful then its just touching another person so not a smack at all.

waltermittymistletoe Mon 07-Jan-13 17:17:03

Well that's my understanding of it so I could be wrong!

You could argue that the naughty step teaches children that they're not "good enough" to sit with the family!

No punishment is ideal. The nature of them is not ideal! So you find the one you're comfortable with I guess.

Smacking without pain is, I would imagine, a way of associating the naughty action with the punishment so: if you say "John you do NOT call mummy names" along with a tap on the bottom, John thinks smack=punishment for calling names. I'm probably not making sense! But that's my take fwiw!

SirBoobAlot Mon 07-Jan-13 19:03:19

No, the association it builds is "I am bigger than you, therefore I have the right to physically hurt you if I disagree with you. Because I am the adult, you have to respect me, I don't have to respect you".

Would you slap a friend if something they did make you angry? No, because you would have no friends.

If you hit another adult because something they did disrespected you, then you would be accused of assault.

Hurting another human being is not okay. Hurting a child, because you think they deserve it, makes you a bully, and if you are only capable of parenting via fear, then you should really reconsider your relationship with your children.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 07-Jan-13 21:31:32

Applauds ^^

waltermittymistletoe Mon 07-Jan-13 21:56:40

We're discussing two different things here though. As I said upthread, there is smacking because of temper/loss of control/bullying and then there is smacking when you are perfectly in control and are using it as a form of discipline.

Again, as I said, it's not for me. But I don't think every parent who utilises it is an aggressive, bullying abuser!

SirBoobAlot Mon 07-Jan-13 22:03:38

Oh, so as long as you only hit your child when it is calculated, that's okay?

Nope, not seeing that.

Actually, I almost think that is more concerning. Because if you are calm whilst you are doing it, then you are so utterly convinced that it is okay to hurt your child.

waltermittymistletoe Mon 07-Jan-13 22:13:41

<bangs head off desk>

As I also said upthread, from what I've read/been told/seen smacking as a method doesn't hurt!

steppemum Mon 07-Jan-13 22:15:37

sorry haven't read whole thread, but you could be describing my ds.

This would be typical, home from exciting activity, very hungry, unreasonable behaviour including agression towards walls/cushions etc and saying unacceptable things to me.

He never gets away with it, we always deal with it. usually timeout to calm down (in his room) food, and then talk and consequence.

You did the right thing. I am not anti smacking per say, but with ds we realised early on that if we smacked it increased his aggression, and if we want him to be less agresive, we have to demostrate behaviour which involves discipline and anger management etc without resort to smacking

The hardest thing is that other people pass comment like your df. You have made a conscious choice not to smack, remind yourself of the reasons and then stick to it, even if df has a fit. You may need to explain to df what you have done in terms of consequences, so he understands ds isn't getting away with it.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 07-Jan-13 22:48:17

Problem being is that those who do smack very rarely understand or accept that anything else is actual punishment.

Its often smacking or nothing so even if you do use other methods and explain them, in there eyes it not a smack so its the child getting away with it.

louisianablue2000 Mon 07-Jan-13 22:57:35

Dominodonkey I didn't go to a rough school, I went to a very good rural school where the majority of children were from stable homes so the odd one who wasn't stood out like a sore thumb. And it was literally one out of a school of two hundred and everyone knew what the family was like. I'm sure there are lots of reasons why there either is or appears to be more badly behaved children. To pick an example that is blame free, I know a teacher who specialises in SNs and she says the increase in very early premature babies surviving means there are more children with behavioural problems coming into schools. Plus of course more children with SNs are taught in mainstream schools where once they were put into specialist schools. Obviously not every premature baby or SNs child has behavioural problems but some will do however well they are parented.

Like a PP said smacking is not condoned by any childcare experts anymore. Personally I find the concept of 'perfectly in control' smacking quite disturbing. I think generally suboptimal parenting is associated with a child pushing our buttons so much we lose perspective (one of the reasons the naughty step is recommended is to give the parent as well as the child a chance to calm down and think about the best way to proceed). Claiming you calmly chose to smack is a sign that, at best, you don't have many tools in your parenting backpack, at worst could suggest you are so emotionally damaged you can't see the harm you are doing. The trouble with the word 'smacking' is that it can mean everything from good-enough parents using an outmoded discipline technique rarely to straightforward abuse.

And for those who claim only smacking can prevent a child misbehaving in public. My sister said the most effective punishment my Mum ever dished out was when they were at a restaurant with some members of our extended family and my sister was so badly behaved my Mum said if she didn't stop they would have to leave the restaurant. DSis carried on misbehaving so Mum apologised to her cousin and took my sister home. No other punishment was used, she didn't even shout, the shame (and I suspect missing out on pudding!) was enough.

steppemum Mon 07-Jan-13 22:58:38

sorry sock, but that is somewhat sweeping statement. People who use smacking as a form of discipline are perfectly capable of seeing other forms of discipline and using other forms of discipline. Most of the families I know who choose to smack do it occasionally or rarely and use many other things as well. They are not some strange other breed.

Whether the ops df will understand it is another issue. It may depend on how she explains it, or if the alternative discipline is seen to be effective, or if her ds has apologised in an appropriate way.

SirBoobAlot Mon 07-Jan-13 23:00:29

"As I also said upthread, from what I've read/been told/seen smacking as a method doesn't hurt!"

Riiiight. Well nice to know that you are sure about what you are defending in that case.

As someone who was smacked, it did hurt, and the affect it had on my self esteem and mental state long term has been even more detrimental.

My parents smacking me taught me that it was okay for people to hit me when they thought I was wrong, which kept me in an abusive relationship. It taught me that I didn't deserve to feel safe. It taught me not to trust my parents, and not to respect them, because they didn't respect me. It definitely contributed towards the serious, permanent mental health condition I have to deal with every single day - because my parents thought that I should be punished for being an average child.

So yes. I'd say it's bloody hurtful, actually.

Not smacking a child, to me, is about respecting them as a human being. I don't feel I have the right to hit any part of my children's bodies for any reason. It's their body and their basic right not to expect anyone to inflict pain upon them for whatever perceived justification.

Nobody's child is perfect and very few children in the grand scheme of things grow into delinquent adults. But surely if there is a pain free way of teaching your child the right way and wrong way of how to behave within society then you would take the more peaceful/less aggressive way? Because a child loses control for a few minutes does not equate the need for a loud, aggressive or OTT response from the parent. Likewise, it doesn't mean the child is 'bad'.

On this thread the OP's child has been referred to as 'a right little shit' and 'a brat'. I find the attitude of name calling children by adults quite disturbing. We are meant to be their teachers, their mentors as they grow. How can the argument of smacking have any distinction from physical abuse when some adults are calling children derogatory names too?

Kayano Mon 07-Jan-13 23:35:38

I was smacked twice in my life.

both times were in Church ironically

- just mad me hate church

but on the whole I was a very well behaved child, loved my mother and father and they loved me. I'm so close to them it is unreal

to be honest I would hope I never had a child behave like that. I mean, he is 7 not 4! If I did I think I would.smack in extreme circumstances And if other methods clearly hadn't worked. Missing a bed time story hours later is going to do nothing in the long run.

Dominodonkey Mon 07-Jan-13 23:36:39

louisiana You have proved my point really. You first argued that there was lots of bad behaviour in the past and then said it was so rare for a child to be that rude that everyone knew the family had problems. Now it is an everyday occurrence from children from all sorts of backgrounds (many middle class and comfortable)

The thing about early births is very interesting.

I am not saying more bad behaviour is a direct result of not smacking exactly more of a general lack of discipline.

Those who think smacking is so cruel and bullying - I still can't reconcile the idea that most of you (I know, not all) think its fine to ostracise a child, take their possessions, confine them to their room, make them forfeit much longed for activities but the idea of a smack sends you into meltdown.

SanityClause Mon 07-Jan-13 23:53:05

The last time my mother hit me, I was 15 years old, and she slapped me across the face.

I have no doubt that I had been a real bitch, and made her very angry, as 15 yo girls are wont to do.

The thing is, she had become so used to using violence as a punishment, she didn't stop to consider that it was stopping our relationship from progressing to a more mature level. She treated me like a child, and I accordingly acted like one.

I remember telling her that if she ever did it again, I'd hit her back. She never did. So basically, I had learnt from her that violence works. She could make me do what she wanted by hitting me, and now I was old enough, I could stop her with threats of violence.

Thanks, mum, great relationship!

(I don't smack my children, BTW.)

Dominodonkey Mon 07-Jan-13 23:57:44

sanity "she slapped me across the face."

How awful for you, not sure how this is relevant though. No one has suggested that slapping a child across the face is ok.

SirBoobAlot Mon 07-Jan-13 23:59:41

How is it not relevant? The area of the body that is hit really shouldn't be the priority. The hitting is the issues.

Dominodonkey Tue 08-Jan-13 00:01:50

Sir boobalot I think my sentence clearly explains why it is not relevant actually.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 08-Jan-13 00:28:20

As I said earlier in the thread,I was smacked on occasion as a child. It hasn't affected my relationship with my parents,nor do I hit people who annoy me.

There are posters here who have obviously been horribly affected by being smacked,but they don't speak for everyone who had the odd smack as a child.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 08-Jan-13 11:35:26

In RL the last person who I had a conversation with about smacking who said it did me no harm so what's wrong with it, is a aggressive selfish bigoted convicted violent offender who has absolutely no idea why he is not allowed to see any of his children without professional supervision or why agencies who work with him always send two staff members instead of one.

There are an awful lot of adults in the world just like him.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 08-Jan-13 11:40:49

Yes. I'm not one of them, thanks though Sockreturningpixie hmm

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 08-Jan-13 11:48:26

God no that wasn't aimed at you at all just violent types why say that.

Anonymumous Tue 08-Jan-13 12:27:33

Sockreturningpixie, I'm sure there are also plenty of aggressive, selfish, bigoted, convicted, violent offenders out there who weren't smacked as children. What possible evidence can you have to prove that your acquaintance's behaviour is all down to being smacked as a child?

Yes, I do smack my children on occasion. It doesn't have to hurt - my four-year-old is so thunderstruck by the very idea of being smacked that you only have to tap his hand lightly for him to become inconsolable. It is the message it gives them that is so important, not the level of pain you mete out. They instantly understand that they have gone beyond the bounds of ordinary misbehaviour and have done something totally unacceptable.

And of course we use other lesser punishments as well when necessary - usually the naughty step, or loss of pocket money or privileges. But that doesn't mean that smacking isn't a useful disciplinary tool at times, even if it's just the threat of it. Is it really all that different from threatening them with the naughty step? (Given that my eldest son would probably find a quick smack less traumatic than eight whole, tedious, terrible minutes on the dreaded naughty step...)

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 08-Jan-13 16:43:49

I'm sure there are anon, but in that particular instance regarding that particular person I'm not sure I need to have actual evidence that his parents violent parenting and lack of consideration for him had a large contributing effect on his ability to grow up and be decent.

I'm wondering exactly what evidence the nspcc and every respected parenting program in the uk as well as all the other child related or parenting support services use to base there theory that smacking should not be a recommended disapline method. Surely given that they discourage it often actively then I reckon the evidence is out there.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 08-Jan-13 16:45:27

Oh my second from last post is supposed to say who say that not why say that.

BartletForTeamGB Tue 08-Jan-13 16:53:31

"In RL the last person who I had a conversation with about smacking who said it did me no harm so what's wrong with it, is a aggressive selfish bigoted convicted violent offender who has absolutely no idea why he is not allowed to see any of his children without professional supervision or why agencies who work with him always send two staff members instead of one...I'm not sure I need to have actual evidence that his parents violent parenting and lack of consideration for him had a large contributing effect on his ability to grow up and be decent."

What nonsense! I was smacked as a child as a punishment and witnessed a lot of domestic violence, some directed at us. My husband comes from a very happy home and was smacked sometimes as a child. I would go as far to say that we would qualify, should the Daily Mail ever write an article about us, as 'pillars of the community'!

I don't have a problem with smacking used sparingly and appropriately.

"I'm wondering exactly what evidence the nspcc and every respected parenting program in the uk as well as all the other child related or parenting support services use to base there theory that smacking should not be a recommended disapline method. Surely given that they discourage it often actively then I reckon the evidence is out there."

That is a very naive view! The evidence must be there?! is a little out of date (2000) but I have to make dinner and don't have time for a proper literature review of the evidence or lack of it, but there is no evidence that occasional smacking in a non-abusive household is harmful.

Hullygully Tue 08-Jan-13 16:54:34



RandallPinkFloyd Tue 08-Jan-13 17:10:14

But why would you want to hit a child?

It's a simple question yet nobody's answered it. There's been lots of talk about it "not doing any harm" and it being "good discipline" but no answer fom the parent's point of view.

In a simple sentence, why would you intentionally cause a child pain?

SirBoobAlot Tue 08-Jan-13 17:12:22

I'd argue that anyone who says "I was smacked, it hasn't done me any harm", and thinks it is perfectly acceptable to hurt a child isn't as fine as they would like to convince themselves they are.

Ephiny Tue 08-Jan-13 17:12:22

I think it's up to parents whether they choose to smack or not, so YANBU if you don't want to (though I can see your dad's point of view, and probably would have thought the same thing myself, though I wouldn't have said it out loud). But you're not doing him any favours by being so soft on bad behaviour.

If he behaves like that at school, I doubt they'll excuse it by saying he must have been 'hungry' hmm.

SirBoobAlot Tue 08-Jan-13 17:15:53

And as for the ''It has obviously affected you, but I am fine"... You smack your child. You think you are fine.

But how do you know your child will react like you to it?

You don't. If you smack your child, you run the risk of it having the affect on them it had on me, and on many others. Violence in the family home, to whatever degree, is a key trigger for numerous mental health issues.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 08-Jan-13 17:42:16


If its such nonsense would you like to deal with him next time?

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 08-Jan-13 17:44:26

Oh okay Sockreturningpixie , I was horrified that you might think that of me! Because that's not me at all!

Though as I have said,I was occasionally smacked as a child,I really can't say whether I would smack a child of my own (don't yet have any).I think attitudes have changed a lot in the years even since I was a young child (early 1990's).

cory Tue 08-Jan-13 17:51:19

Not sure about the "children are so badly behaved because of lack of smacking".

I grew up in Sweden where smacking was already considered outdated in the 60s (and banned in the 90s) and I do not have the impression that the problems with badly behaved children was in any way worse there than in the UK at the same time: my mother (a teacher) used to read with horror articles about misbehaviour in British schools.

Otoh both Swedish and British parents and teachers complain bitterly about worsening of behaviour in the last 20 years or so. Looks like it wasn't the smacking thing that was to blame, then...

In my own experience the worst behaved children I have known have not been the ones that have not been smacked but the ones that have lived in a constant atmosphere of shouting and smacking.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 08-Jan-13 17:52:37

Not at all alis, but I can totally understand why you thought I did, I should have said that this thread reminded me of a conversation I had with him.

BartletForTeamGB Tue 08-Jan-13 18:14:32


If its such nonsense would you like to deal with him next time?"

It is nonsense that you can claim that all his problems are due to being smacked as child! That has nothing to do with how you deal with him and is just a straw man argument from you.

I sometimes used smacking as one of the discipline tools available to me. I also used time outs, removal so certain toys or privileges, stern talkings-to, and lines amongst others.

People have asked why anyone would WANT to hit a child - I would say that I didn't want to do it, but did it because it worked. I believe that a single smack that is painful for an instant, acts as a short, sharp shock that stops certain behaviour in its tracks.

My boys are now 15, 17 and 19, and are reasonably well-behaved, law abiding members of society, and we are a close, affectionate, loving family. None of the boys, who are all articulate and well able to express themselves to us, have ever expressed any resentment or ill feeling towards either dh or I for smacking them when they were little.

So - that makes me an evil, lazy, out of control bully.

Regarding the OP - if the OP does not want to smack, that is her decision, and her parents should respect that. But bad behaviour of the type described in the OP does need to be dealt with swiftly and firmly at the time - and I don't think losing the bedtime story was a sufficient consequence for the boy's actions.

In the OP's place, I would first have got hold of the boy and stopped him from kicking the walls, and would have told him clearly and firmly that his behaviour was unacceptable and if it didn't stop, he'd be in 'time out', and then I would have followed through on that if he didn't calm down.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 08-Jan-13 19:49:48

Tbh I don't think any of us can judge whether the op's consequences were sufficient or not. We don't know her son so we have no idea how much he values his bedtime story.

The was a poster earlier who said that to lose her bedtime story would be the worst punishment she could imagine. Much worse than a time-out or hitting her.

It may not be something that would have meant anything to you or to your children but that doesn't mean it wasn't appropriate for someone else.

That is a fair point, Randall, but it does sound as if there was no immediate action from the OP, or immediate consequences for her ds, and I do think that, at that age, and in those circumstances, something immediate was needed - to stop the behaviour, to show the OP's father that the OP wa dealing with what the boy was doing, and to give the boy a warning and a chance to calm down.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 08-Jan-13 22:18:45

Absolutely, I'm playing devil's advocate I know but maybe he was told of the consequence straight away. Maybe it was "stop that right now, that is absolutely unacceptable, no story for you tonight" or something along those lines.

Maybe it was completely woolly and ineffectual and he doesn't give two hoots about a story.

I don't know, none of us do, I will never agree that she should have hit him though.

bickie Tue 08-Jan-13 22:47:23

I was smacked occasionally by my dm - and she is the loveliest mum in the world - she just used it to discipline. But i do still feel guilty if i hear a spoon drawer rattling as i think - here comes the wooden spoon! I wasn't at all against giving my dc a light smack on the bottom if they had lost control. It doesn't hurt - it signals to them they have gone too far. They were well behaved on the whole so not a lot of need for it. It works to get the message across and I don't believe for a minute is damaging. But I can understand why others decide not to do it. But I do hate un-disciplined children - and there are a lot of them around.

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