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To ask for help with smacking?

(271 Posts)
BeeLoverBe Thu 13-Jun-19 12:38:59

I've name changed for this as I'm clearly going to get flamed but need advice as I cant discuss this with anyone in RL.

Background is, I was smacked as a child and to be honest I dont think it did me any harm. Not abusively but when I did something really naughty I would get a smack on the bum or across the back of the legs.

I smacked my two children when they were toddlers, again not excessively but I did do it. My youngest is now 6 and she is extremely trying with her poor attitude in particular answering me back, acting up and saying horrible things to me.

Yesterday she screamed in my face and for the first time in ages I smacked her. It clearly took her by surprise as she looked shocked and then cried. I felt guilty afterwards and have mixed emotions about it. I have been at the end of my tether with her recently and her behaviour. I have tried the usual naughty step, confiscating things, reward charts etc and nothing works as she doesnt care. I've spoken to her teachers and they say shes not like it at school. So the smacking was me losing my temper out of exhausting all other avenues, which I know I shouldn't have done.

Yesterday she said something really horrible to me and I very nearly smacked her again but didnt. Hence why I'm here to ask for advice and help. It's a taboo subject that no one discusses is RL so in the event that I will get blamed for being an awful mother, I've come here to ask for help

EggWrap Thu 13-Jun-19 12:42:23

I always felt that smacking was more for the parent to 'vent their spleen' rather than actual discipline, and as such, is wrong.
Deal with your anger first. Then deal with children.
I do think it's wrong to hit.

Sunshineonleith12 Thu 13-Jun-19 12:45:42

What will you do when she's older and hits you back? I'd take the time now to think of other ways to deal with the next situation so you don't react by hitting her. Could she be sent to her room? Have you spoken about it since now things have calmed down? She needs to taught how deal with her emotions.

Confusedbeetle Thu 13-Jun-19 12:46:16

Smacking is never ok and is especially wrong when done in anger. It means you have lost control. It never works as a way of improving behaviour and it gives a message that hitting is ok if yoou are annoyed. There are so many better ways. Too many to go into. look online for Positive Parenting. Ask your HV if there are any courses available. Move away from the idea of punishmnent and instead have realistic expectations and boundaries and learn how to encourage the behaviour you want and discourage that you dont

BeeLoverBe Thu 13-Jun-19 12:47:21

I've tried all the sending to her room and everything else that the books etc advise. She doesnt care, she will say sorry then back to doing it again the next day.

Pinkyyy Thu 13-Jun-19 12:51:36

I see nothing wrong with it.

OnePotato2Potato Thu 13-Jun-19 12:57:56

I think this kind of playing up is to do with attention seeking. So make an effort to pick up on the good behaviour, really praise the positives (very hard at times but it’s more to do with your mind set, when I’m annoyed I can only see the bad and have to force myself to notice the good).

Don’t make a big deal out of poor behaviour, rather than shouting out threats calmly state the consequences and move on quickly.

But hang on in there, whatever her behaviour, keep calm. Tell yourself it isnt a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

mussolini9 Thu 13-Jun-19 12:59:31


I see nothing wrong with it.

Excellent. I'll be round to give you a few slaps later. Nothing wrong with me hitting you because I feel like it, is there?

Quartz2208 Thu 13-Jun-19 13:01:10

what actually is her poor behaviour and how and when does it manifest.

How do you react to the initial bit as well

it sounds as if you have gotten into a battle cycle with her that you need to break

Pinkyyy Thu 13-Jun-19 13:01:44

Are you crazy? @mussolini9 how is me giving a naughty child a snack, the same as you hitting a full grown adult? My kids know the score and are never cheeky as a result.

Pinkyyy Thu 13-Jun-19 13:01:59


codemonkey Thu 13-Jun-19 13:02:58

It's illegal in Scotland and in the process of being outlawed in Wales. I should imagine it's only a matter of time before it's illegal in England.

This is an aside really but I wonder if parents who use deliberate smacking to discipline their children will continue if it's against the law? Genuine question. They obviously see it as OK so will they carry on knowing that what they're doing is criminal?

OP, you obviously feel uncomfortable hence your question. I think there's probably plenty of evidence to suggest it's not particularly effective long-term, just upsetting (for everyone).

IME, smacking is about losing control. And that's not the position you'd hope to be in as a parent. So, count to ten, walk away, try to get someone else to intervene, etc. These are probably all better strategies in the moment. In the longer term, try a parenting course. Your child's behaviour will change if you change yours.

But if you use smacking whilst in full control of your temper because you think it's an effective and sensible way of disciplining your child, then I've no advice for you.

Always worth remembering too... animals have more protection in law (currently) than children. Go figure.

dinopops Thu 13-Jun-19 13:03:30

Because they are probably terrified of you pinky.

Magicpaintbrush Thu 13-Jun-19 13:03:32

She will learn from you that hitting is okay. Just saying.

bananasonfire Thu 13-Jun-19 13:04:13

Pinkyy would you consider it okay for a care home worker to smack an adult with learning difficulties or an old person with dementia?

DoneLikeAKipper Thu 13-Jun-19 13:05:00

I see nothing wrong with it.

Would you say that if she had hit another adult in anger or frustration? If I started a thread saying ‘AIBU, my husband got cross with me so I smacked him across the thigh until he learns how to not shout?’ would I not get my arse absolutely handed to me as being abusive? So why is it ok to hit a child when you can’t reasonably deal with their worst moments?

codemonkey Thu 13-Jun-19 13:05:59

Are you crazy? *@mussolini9 how is me giving a naughty child a snack, the same as you hitting a full grown adult?*

You're right. It's worse. Because they're smaller and weaker than you and they trust you implicitly not to hurt them.

Pinkyyy Thu 13-Jun-19 13:06:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

dinopops Thu 13-Jun-19 13:06:22

I was that kid and I was shit scared of my parents. Never trusted them as a result and I still don't now.

Now I'm an adult with my own children, I think that they just lacked the intelligence and were too lazy to discipline us appropriately.

pigsDOfly Thu 13-Jun-19 13:06:42

Agree with pp that she needs to be taught how to deal with her emotions. All smacking teaches is that I'm bigger than you and I can hurt you if you don't do as I say. And when I get frustrated I lash out, which it sounds as if she's doing when she gets frustrated. That's what you need to work on to change, for both of you.

At six she's old enough to have a conversation with, to learn the consequences of her actions and that you are not going to allow bad behaviour.

Remove privileges for a short time e.g. screen time, things like that, send her to her room to calm down, talk to her. Discipline needs to be consistent and fair.

When things are calm sit her down and talk to her. Help her understand that her behaviour isn't acceptable.

The fact that she's good at school shows that she does know how to behave.

Pinkyyy Thu 13-Jun-19 13:08:35

I also teach that hitting is okay for them too. If another child hits them, they can and do hit back.

DoneLikeAKipper Thu 13-Jun-19 13:09:31

how is me giving a naughty child a snack, the same as you hitting a full grown adult?

The only reason you hit your children is because you know they can’t hit you back. It’s you venting your anger, not a discipline method, and the children you brought into this world, the ones who look to you to be their protector and carer above all else in this world just see you as the person not to piss off unless they want to be physical harmed. At least they toe the line though, right? Who cares if they think less of you as a person, at least you knew you were the boss during their childhood.

DoingItForTheKids Thu 13-Jun-19 13:09:47

Buy and read the gentle discipline book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith. It explains, brilliantly, why punishment and rewards do not work.

Your child is acting up as she feels disconnected from you. Smacking her just makes that worse. Also, with smacking/ punishment/ rewards you have no where else to go. You either have to hit harder, take more away or give more as a reward.

As a friend said to me this week 'my mum used to smack me after for not obeying, after a while I just kept doing what I wanted as I knew she would smack me anyway so I just enjoyed breaking the rules'.

Also, why would your child show you any respect when you can't even respect her enough to not physically hit her?

Anothertempusername Thu 13-Jun-19 13:09:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

bamboowarrior Thu 13-Jun-19 13:10:17

Please don't smack.

Get urgent extra support with your parenting, your anger issues.

smacking children creates so much harm, hurt, loss of trust and bewilderment in a child, and screws up their relationships for years unless they work hard on themselves.

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