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Is it acceptable to smack a 9 year old?

(55 Posts)
Tillytoes14 Wed 10-Jun-15 21:13:09

Hi, do you think it's ever acceptable to smack a 9 year old child. My husband has told me tonight that he feels our son needs a good smack. My husband struggles with managing our son when he answers back, or sometimes when he has been rude, he has an issue with how our son eats at the table too, sometimes he uses his fingers instead of his knife and fork and tonight he flipped and said he would put all of our sons dinner in the bin, if he used his fingers again during dinner time. To be honest I'm completely shocked with how irrational my husband has reacted to this behaviour. My husband has also told me I'm too soft and that by sending him to his room to reflect when he is rude, etc, isn't big enough a punishment, although it works fairly well. I do think my husband has a power struggle and when he feels our son has pushed the boundaries, he feels powerless and loses control. He was also hit a lot as a child. I don't however agree with smacking, or any sort of physical punishment for a child, I think you can teach a child respect without using force. This evening it has caused a big atmosphere between us because it has become apparent we have very different parenting styles/views. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

TRexingInAsda Wed 10-Jun-15 21:16:32

Different methods of discipline work for different people, but I don't think it's a good idea, or fair, to introduce smacking as a punishment having not done it for 9 years. I think it will make more problems than it solves.

onepieceoflollipop Wed 10-Jun-15 21:16:39

I am anti-smacking anyway, I think that some adults need to work on managing their own anger rather than taking it out on a child. Is it usual for your husband to 'lose control'?
Imoif you can get to 9 years without hitting, then why start now? Has he hit your child in the past?

Wolfiefan Wed 10-Jun-15 21:18:03

Would your DH attend a parenting course?
You need to be consistent and agree on your parenting approach. Smacking a child who will quite probably soon be your size (or any child) can't be it.
I can understand the desire to throttle children but that's anger not discipline/parenting. As the grown up you need to stay calm and have a clear and fair consequence for bad behaviour.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 10-Jun-15 21:21:06

No not a good idea.

Choose which battles to fight with your son and be consistent and present a united front. Your son at nine should NOT be eating with his fingers

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Jun-15 21:35:08

I think your dh has a point, obviously not the smacking though.
maybe he is trying to tell you that your/his approach to date hasn't worked.
sometimes it doesn't and some kids can be stubborn and not give in whatever the punishment.
I have one like this and it's hard.
whilst I sometimes feel i could knock her to the other side of the room, and back, I never would. Maybe your dh just said it and doesn't mean it.
Both me and dh have said in the past that any one of our children at a certain time needed a good hiding, we never would.
Ask your dh if smacking a child works why do some people keep doing it?
You do both need to be together in terms of punishment, to back each other up and i know this is sometimes harder than it sounds. A united front will make your child putty in your hands, he'll know exactly where he stands and the consequences of less than perfect behaviour grin
Talk to your dh and ok you might both need to compromise a bit but in my book, smacking is an inefficient way to discipline children.

AyMamita Wed 10-Jun-15 21:35:12

Your NINE year old son eats with his fingers and you were shocked that your husband got angry? I agree with the posters who have said 9 is too old to introduce smacking but you do sound a bit soft...

tribpot Wed 10-Jun-15 21:39:27

How will your DH feel when your son is (quite soon) big enough to smack him back? Certainly not a punishment I would be introducing at this stage given your son is more than old enough to reason that violence is an acceptable answer to a problem.

Tillytoes14 Wed 10-Jun-15 21:40:42

My husband has never smacked our son, our son has recently become quite rude to us lately and also he has started name-calling, which is mainly something he does to me, not his dad, sometimes his younger brother. When he name calls he is sent to bed ten minutes earlier and to his bedroom, any rude behaviour and he is sent to his bedroom to reflect on his behaviour, we have written rules on our fridge. One of the boys in his class swears often at the park after school and I have heard words muttered between a few of the boys, so I think my son is testing some of these words at home, he however has never sworn at home. Our son doesn't eat all of his dinner with his fingers, he just sometimes picks cheese of the pizza with his fingers, but will mostly use his knife and fork. I understand he shouldn't be picking at his food, but there are ways to discourage him from doing so without throwing his whole dinner in the bin. My husband wouldn't attend a parenting course, he doesn't understand why things always have to be dealt with my way.

Softfriend Wed 10-Jun-15 21:40:52

Sometimes I eat with my fingers. Does your DH want to hit me?

Both issues do need resolving. IMO smacking achieves nothing. Parenting through fear rarely gets results. Do consider a parenting course.

Softfriend Wed 10-Jun-15 21:42:33

Picking cheese off pizza. Complete overreaction! Maybe its an angry management course it needs!

gamerchick Wed 10-Jun-15 21:45:17

You eat pizza with a knife and fork?

claraschu Wed 10-Jun-15 21:45:41

Using force will never get someone to respect you; it is humiliating and frightening. Being kind, wise, reasonable, confident, and thoughtful will win respect from your children.

claraschu Wed 10-Jun-15 21:47:51

Just read your latest post about the pizza: I think it is horrible to get angry at a child for something like this.

Tillytoes14 Wed 10-Jun-15 21:47:53

I wouldn't say I need to go on a parenting course, I'm not a perfect parent no, but I do have rules and boundaries with my son. He knows when he has crossed the line and will listen and in turn apologise for rude/inappropriate behaviour. It's the difference in parenting between me and my husband, which is more the problem.

gamerchick Wed 10-Jun-15 21:48:14

Mind if someone was watching me eat and pick fault I would probably swear and chuck it at them.

You can't start smacking at 9 and for eating habits. It's bizarre.

Fleecyleesy Wed 10-Jun-15 21:48:52

It sounds like your dh is very strict and you are very laid back.

It would only be ok to smack a 9yo about once a year for a very serious incident. Not as a general discipline strategy and certainly not for table manners etc. But likewise sending a 9yo to his room will not result in him considering what was wrong, it will result in him chilling out.

I still sometimes put my 9yo on the naughty step for 5-10 mins if I want him to think about what he did wrong/why etc. I do it rarely as usually you should be able to reason with a child of this age. Other sanctions include screen time ban for a specified length of time.

NickyEds Wed 10-Jun-15 21:49:00

Hi, do you think it's ever acceptable to smack a 9 year old child.

Is it acceptable to smack a 29 year old? A 79 year old? he would only ever teach your son to either 1. Hit people who don't do what he wants or 2. Be afraid that his Dad will hit him if he finds something he does out of order or frustrating. Neither of which are acceptable. You don't hit people because they have poor table manners. It sounds like he's trying out your boundries so tighten them up, be consistent and sanction when he over steps the mark.

Wolfiefan Wed 10-Jun-15 21:50:07

I suggested your DH attend a parenting course. You should decide together what approach to take.
Um. My kids always eat pizza with (clean) hands.

Tillytoes14 Wed 10-Jun-15 21:50:36

gamer chick-No we don't, to clarify he used his knife and fork whilst eating say his chips and beans, but he will eat pizza with his hands, he sometimes picks cheese off whilst he's eating, so basically my husband doesn't agree with him playing with his food!

Tillytoes14 Wed 10-Jun-15 21:53:18

My husband hasn't suggested smacking our child for picking food with his hands, he has said he needs to be told if he does it again, his food will go in the bin.

The smacking part is for the rude behaviour, such as answering back, testing boundaries etc.

Softfriend Wed 10-Jun-15 21:54:32


Have a look at this book? If you Google you can get some excerpts. It looks at positive praise, ignore , distract when to sanction etc. It might be a way to open up discussions if you are parenting differently?

tribpot Wed 10-Jun-15 21:54:36

christ and he thinks the answer is to hit him for eating part of his pizza (which he would eat with his hands anyway) whilst also eating his chips? What the fuck?

gamerchick Wed 10-Jun-15 21:59:17

But taking the cheese off is the best bit .. Pizza is a free for all as long as you eat with your mouth shut
No wonder he's being rude if he's being scrutinised like that. Why try to make mealtimes stressful for him?

Tell him to let him be or he can eat by himself if he wants.

Tillytoes14 Wed 10-Jun-15 21:59:43

Tribpot-Read my post again, I didn't say my husband would hit out son for picking food, only for the rude/inappropriate behaviour.

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