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Those of you who never smack their children - tell me your tips for keeping it together

(89 Posts)
Whirliwig72 Fri 13-Jul-12 13:38:11

Ok so I'm laying myself open here so be gentle please. I never intended to smack my children but I since the arrival of ds2 I find myself lashing out on a regular basis at ds1 when he hurts or bullies the little one. I'm totally aware that I'm being a ridiculous hypocrite saying 'don't you dare hit your brother' while simultaneously snaking him on the bum but my reaction when it happens is so split second it feels like before I can think it through I've done it. We do 1 2 3 magic but it hasn't solved the problem. The issue I think is not so much ds1's behaviour but my anger management issues. I want to stop smacking but I'm terrified of asking for help in RL as its so taboo and I don't know what kind of reaction I'd get.

wanttomakeadifference Sun 15-Jul-12 13:35:33

Thank you for the apology families, I'm perhaps bring over-sensitive as it is a subject that touches a nerve.

DC are not angelic, but perhaps not as trying as some. I'm not budda like either grin.

I have a mother who regularly lost her rag and smacked. In my case the childhood memories this left me with have made me militantly anti-smacking (for my own family, I'm not judging others). When I get cross, angry, hurt etc. smacking honestly doesn't cross my mind.

I should admit that DC are only 3 & 5. I've done many of the things that I said I never would since having DC- but I'm pretty confident I won't add smacking to the list grin.

fortyeighthourdancemarathon Sun 15-Jul-12 13:39:57

Something I've noticed is that on the few occasions that I have smacked ds, his behaviour in the days after has been worse, and he has hit me a few times. I don't agree with smacking anyway, but like the op I have sometimes lost my rag and lashed out, but I have now realised that it doesn't even work!

bbface Sun 15-Jul-12 13:49:48

Toby, your post made me chuckle!

us4downhere Sun 15-Jul-12 22:08:45

Thank you for this post OP - I could have written it, except my 2 are older and, I am ashamed to say, I still smack them more often than I should.

I am going to try some of the tips here - I love the holding my arms one.

My boys are great kids really, it's me that has the problem.

omri Mon 01-Oct-12 11:37:26

can i re-open this thread?
My 13 month old has started getting extremely "adventurous". I want to know how do you teach him a lesson (i.e. trying to pull the television down is very bold)!!!

My mom tells me you can’t reason with a 1 year old and that a smack on the hand or the bum is the only way to teach him.
I was smacked as a child (extremely rare occasions) but i dont want to smack my child.

But how on earth do you teach a 13 month old to get away from the tv (he tries to pull it down on top of him every time i turn my back)?!
We have cordoned off all the danger zones in our apartment (all open plan) so he cant get in the kitchen and we keep all the bathroom doors closed but he sees it all as an obstacle course to get to the things he knows he shouldnt. the tv has a big table in front of it and 6 chairs around it (i can’t afford any more safety gates – they’re bloody expensive!) but he now is like a little monkey climbing up on the chairs or moving them out so he can get to the tv to pull it over...

It was annoying yesterday mom was over and my LO just kept on trying to pull the tv down and i kept having to take him away with a firm NO and i know mom was just sitting there biting her tongue as she wanted me to give him a smack!!

I don’t think the 13 month old would understand the concept of a naughty step. What else is there??

confusedperson Mon 01-Oct-12 13:18:49

13 months old is definitely too little for naughty step. I would say you look into his eyes and say "No you do not do that" and then remove from the situation.

omri Mon 01-Oct-12 14:09:14

ok thanks - hadnt really focussed on the eye contact thing but will try that.

after a month of saying NO firmly to banging the remote controls on the coffee table (which is now forever badly marked) i think he has finally stopped that which gives me some hope that he will eventually try to stop pulling the tv down if we are consistent...

cloudhands Tue 02-Oct-12 11:55:52


good on you for being honest, and admitting you need help, you're right, violence does breed violence,

this article has some great explanations, as to why children are aggressive and how to stop it.

Helping children with aggression

as you say yourself, you need to learn some ways to deal with your anger so you don't lash out in that split second. Anger management, parenting classes, (there are some on the same website as the above link, which have great emotional support for parents,) meditation would also be great as it can help you to 'watch' your thoughts and feelings more closely, so that if you notice yourself getting angry, and feeling like hitting, you can take a time out yourself, sit down, and breathe. although this is easier said than done when your kids are fighting and you need to intervene,

I also recommend a book called, 'when your kids push your buttons,' which explains, how when our kids make us angry, it has roots in our own childhood and how we were treated.

bbface Tue 02-Oct-12 15:00:10

I imagine how good I will feel in the evening if I do not smack. That usually brings me back from the edge, as I hate hate hate feeling guilty at 9pm whilst relaxing with DH when I am recalling losing my temper earlier on in the day.

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 08:27:43

omri, ime you can't teach a 13mo a lesson which means he will never misbehave that way again: you have to be prepared to keep saying no over a period of months and in the meantime watch them constantly/not leave them unsupervised in an area where they can get into trouble.

WHen mine were that age, we had one room that was childproof and gated off so they could be left to play there without too much hassle.

In your case- do the remote controls have to be left on the coffee table? Could they perhaps be put on a high shelf?

The best way to avoid stress ime is to tell yourself that you are not failing because your child doesn't instantly change: "child-rearing is work in progress" used to be my mantra.

lailahappy Wed 03-Oct-12 12:15:35

Is it too late to turn the clock back and change the way i react with my DC,and most inportantly will forget about it.I do smack quiet often and it became like a circle and habit now,i am on my own bringing up the DC.And the guilte is killing me right now,and iam in tears at this moment that i am wring to u dear MM.Please any idea??????????

omri Thu 04-Oct-12 13:44:23

lailahappy - of course you can change your ways any time you want! how old is your dc? i think children do need discipline and they will test the boundaries and it is important to teach them what is acceptable behaviour or not. I am sure your dc will react to whatever discipline you impose, whether it is naughty step, change of tone in voice when explaining no xx is wrong, sending to room until they apologise etc whatever is age appropriate for your dc.
dont be so hard on yourself smile
let me know how you get on.

Thingiebob Sun 07-Oct-12 10:24:53

I don't smack as a rule. It's not something I am comfortable with but I have plenty of friends who do smack. I think it is common but people don't want to admit it.

I am a bit in the fence as I was smacked as a child but I don't really remember it. What I do recall is the times when my mother totally lost it and beat me. It happened a few times and is my reason for not using smacks as discipline in case it escalates.

Thingiebob Sun 07-Oct-12 10:38:04


Distraction, removing child away from the area, and repetitive but firm NO are the methods I used. At that age, they simply don't understand so you need to teach them. Everytime you say no and move them away is another step closer to them understanding in the future,

I think trying to stop them at this stage is futile. You have to accept this is what your child will do for some time and just manage the situation.

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