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To have smacked my child

(159 Posts)
Temporarilyc Mon 27-Apr-20 00:22:30

I've name changed for this because I'm ashamed of myself and will make no excuses for my behaviour. I suppose I'm looking for somebody to tell me I'm not the terrible person I believe I am but am prepared to be told otherwise.

On Saturday I smacked my three year old on the arm, it didn't leave a mark but it was hard enough that it made him cry and shocked him.

I have always been very "anti smacking" yet lost control of myself in the heat of the moment.

The reason it happened (but not an excuse) is because he was lashing out and bit his one year old sibling on the arm hard enough to leave deep teeth marks which are still visible today. I was exhausted and frustrated and lost control.

He has forgotten all about it but the guilt is eating me up.

I want to go and get him out of bed and bring him in with me just so I can hold him, love him and make amends for what I've done. (I won't because he's sleeping, but the urge is strong)

I haven't told DH because I'm a hypocrite, when discussing discipline pre children I made a blanket rule that we would never use physical punishment. DH thinks there is nothing wrong with a tap on the hand whereas I disagreed so made him promise never to do that.

Am I the scum of the earth or is this something you've done too in the heat of the moment?

I hate myself.

OP’s posts: |
Kasabian23 Mon 27-Apr-20 00:23:23

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

Temporarilyc Mon 27-Apr-20 00:25:57

Believe me I know

OP’s posts: |
WhatWouldYouDoWhatWouldJesusDo Mon 27-Apr-20 00:27:19

Meh. I think smacking a child who's having a good chew on a babies arm is more reactionary than's instinctive. It's not as tho you planned it a week in advance and gave him a good beating 🙄

I mean it's not ideal. And don't make a habit of it but I tend to save my wrath for actual child abusers, not someone who's tapped their kid on the arm. 💁🏻‍♀️

TyneTeas Mon 27-Apr-20 00:27:28

Here is a link to a good free resource that you can access straight away from the NSPCC about Positive Parenting

"Balancing the various demands parents have to cope with isn't easy and all parents can come under pressure or stress from time to time.

"This guide shares practical advice and tips for positive parenting techniques that work well for children - from babies to teenagers. These techniques encourage better behaviour and help parents find out what works for them and their child."

Good luck, recognising something needs to change is a good start

ScarfLadysBag Mon 27-Apr-20 00:27:42

You're not the scum of the earth. If you were, you wouldn't feel like you do about it. You know it wasn't a good thing to happen so I don't think you need a MN pile on (but you'll probably get one anyway).

minipie Mon 27-Apr-20 00:28:05

Nobody’s going to say on here that they have smacked their child OP.

The good thing is you aren’t trying to justify or minimise it. Remember how awful you feel right now and resolve never to do it again. Good luck.

Kasabian23 Mon 27-Apr-20 00:28:34

Oh well, what's done is done. Maybe just remember in future how you felt when you did this and control yourself a bit better next time. It's not the end of the world.

HeyDuggeesCakeBadge Mon 27-Apr-20 00:29:35

OP you know it isn't great, you lost control but you aren't a terrible person or a terrible mother. You learn from your mistakes and try not to do them again. Please be kind to yourself and look for some good coping strategies - everyone is pushed to the limit at the moment, so forgive yourself.

ScarfLadysBag Mon 27-Apr-20 00:29:40

Also it sounds like it was perhaps a reactionary reflex to get him to stop hurting his sibling? I don't think I could get worked up about that kind of intervention if it was because he was in danger of causing serious damage to another child.

Temporarilyc Mon 27-Apr-20 00:30:57

I've never felt guilt like it so I know I would never do it again. I needed to get it out and talk about it because it's eating me up.

I was never smacked as a child and vowed to never do it to my own. It was an isolated incident which has never happened before but I really hate myself for it.

OP’s posts: |
2kids2cats1me Mon 27-Apr-20 00:31:18

No it’s not ideal, but the moment you were also protecting your 1 year old. What’s done is done and you are not a terrible person. Hopefully your 3yo will know now not to bite and no harm done.

Temporarilyc Mon 27-Apr-20 00:32:41

It was reactionary yes, though the biting has been a regular occurrence as of late which we are trying to curb but I've not been compelled to respond in that way until this last time. I've shocked myself.

OP’s posts: |
Unchartedsea Mon 27-Apr-20 00:33:40

You are human. You are not alone. You are not disgusting. We need space to admit our mistakes. If we were able to be open I believe it would be easier to avoid negative cycles of behaviour recurring.
I think you should move on. Continue being the great mum that you are. You know you made a mistake (we all do) but the guilt and shame you feel now can have a more negative impact on your relationship dynamic than just moving on. This was a one off for you and let’s keep it in perspective.
Real parents aren’t perfect and perfect parents aren’t real!
Good luck and be kind to yourself.

ifoundthebread Mon 27-Apr-20 00:34:03

The fact you can identify what happened and where you went wrong proves your not a terrible person. Yes, your reaction in the situation wasn't ideal but it was a reaction to stop your younger child being hurt. You should have spoke to your child after all had calmed down and apologised for your actions and explained how you were feeling. Kids need to see us parents are only human, with feelings and can make mistakes.

Annamaria14 Mon 27-Apr-20 00:36:21

Its okay - one off to protect a sibling

Ruralretreating Mon 27-Apr-20 00:36:50

You are not terrible, it happens occasionally. Learn from it and move on

EveryFlightBeginsWithAFall Mon 27-Apr-20 00:37:08

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

Whichoneofyoudidthat Mon 27-Apr-20 00:38:18

I’ll put my hand up minipie!

Still feel guilty years later.. they’re teens now. I’ve relived it a hundred times, thinking how I should have behaved. But it’s done and they are great kids and we all make mistakes and my good parenting has waaaay outweighed my bad.

You’ll laugh about it one day (the biting, not your reaction). My son left a similar bite mark on his sister’s FACE.

Temporarilyc Mon 27-Apr-20 00:38:26

I apologised immediately afterwards and said that I was wrong to smack and reiterated that it's never ok to hit somebody. I said I was frightened he was hurting the baby and I reacted in a way that adults shouldn't and that I'm sorry.

He moved past it quickly and we had a cuddle, he doesn't appear to be frightened of me and is his usual self today.

I think my guilt is stronger than his reaction was, not that it makes it any less terrible.

OP’s posts: |
disconnecteddrifter Mon 27-Apr-20 00:38:56

I smacked my child once before. Not gonna like I feel guilty about it now and again but it stopped her doing something harmful for good. She was about 3 too. It was more of a tap on the arm and a one off and it worked. I understand why people are shocked and disgusted because had I dont it a second time or harder that would be abuse. Dont beat yourself up and dont do it again

Kasabian23 Mon 27-Apr-20 00:41:01

@EveryFlightBeginsWithAFall wow nosy much? Extra marital affairs are in no way the same as physically assaulting defenceless children. And even then I said in a reply later that it's no big deal if she learns from it so I don't know why you are throwing shade at me like that confused

Lipz Mon 27-Apr-20 00:41:12

You know what you did was wrong. You feel guilt which is actually a sign of a caring parent. If you felt no remorse and continued to hit your child then that is scum of the earth.

It can be hard to make a child see what they did was wrong, sometimes words don't cut it. But we as parents have to find the right words and punishment that works on their own child. We do really need to not go down the smacking road.

If you feel under pressure, immediately put your child in a safe space, leave the room and scream into a pillow or count up until you feel calm. If you feel you are going to smack, repeatedly pinch the back of your own hand until this feeling passes.

It's not nice to hit, you already know this and all it really teaches them is to hit when angry. You can and will find a way to cope with things your child does. Tomorrow explain to him that you were wrong to hit him, you are sorry and give him a kiss and a hug and maybe a small treat.

EveryFlightBeginsWithAFall Mon 27-Apr-20 00:43:38

Throwing shades 🤣 are you 12. You stand need calling anyone disgusting love

compassunreliable Mon 27-Apr-20 00:44:32

Do you hit your husband "in the heat of the moment"?

Would you be ok with him hitting you "in the heat of the moment"?

Would you brush it off?

You manage not to "lose control" around people big enough to hit you back or call the police, so what enables you to control yourself in those situations?

Hitting a child to teach them not to physically hurt others? How does that work? "I'm allowed to hit you because I'm bigger and more powerful than you, but you mustn't hit or bite or hurt other people (not even if they're smaller than you)" .

You're making excuses. If you keep doing that it will happen again because you won't have changed anything.

Use your guilt to power change. How will you respond next time you notice you're losing control? How will you interrupt yourself and calm yourself down?

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