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slapped the boy after 13 years of refraining!

(41 Posts)
marina46 Tue 25-Aug-09 11:50:41

Just wanted to know what others thought of the following:

On sunday my DH called DS (13 years) to the garden shed to tackle him about using his tools and losing them or not putting them back. I was close by hanging out the washing. It escalated into a row because DS denied all knowledge of where the missing tools were even though i too was sure that he had probably lent them to freinds. After being repeadedly asking DH hit DS across the face, not hard like a punch but like a slap, now having not used physical punishment ever on DS i was shocked but didnt say anything because us parents need to stick together even though i was cross/disappointed. DS still did not own up and DH slapped him again at which point i span round poining my finger in DH face and screamed "do it again, i f**king dare you". I then gave some smart arse remarks of congratulations to DH on losing his cool etc etc.

When i told my freind about it she said I was out of order!!!Now although i think i should not have done that in front of DS i did worry he would hit him again. and it was a split second decision to confront him there and then. We have a agreement not to use physical punishment and he went back on that without disucssion etc etc and over some missing tools!?! plus he wouldnt slap DD and if i did he wouldnt of agreed.

DS and DH seem to be fine now but i do wonder about lasting resentment or bad feeling. I still remember i one time my dad whalloped me. The problem is i suppose that i still feel annoyed with DH.

kittywise Tue 25-Aug-09 11:54:36

Now I do smack my children sometimes. I am not against smacking as such. I believe there is a time and place for it.

However, what your dh did was out of order.

Firstly it was across the face and secondly your ds is too old for that.
I would have reacted toosad

TheCrackFox Tue 25-Aug-09 11:54:39

I have no experience of teenagers. But your DH really shouldn't have slapped him. I think they both need to calm down and your Dh should say sorry to him.

preciouslillywhite Tue 25-Aug-09 11:58:05

I also think you should persuade your DS to fess up to the missing tools at the same time, otherwise he's just going to think "wahey!Dad's in trouble" etc.

QueenEagle Tue 25-Aug-09 12:01:26

DH is out of order - he lost it and when things have calmed down suitably, he needs to sit down with DS and apologise for that.

DS would be perfectly within his rights to report this to police and your DH would then have a criminal record. However, if possible sort this yourselves IF, big IF, this is a one-off out of character event.

You were not out of order IMO as you were concerned DH would hit DS again and were only protecting him in an instinctive way.

DH is wrong on so many levels - to be slapped across the face like this in whatever situation is humiliating and degrading for the person on the receiving end.

If it is possible without anyone losing their temper, you all need to sit down and DH really does need to be humble about this. If this genuinely is a one-off then you need to support both your DH and DS and then if possible you all need to draw a line under it and move on.

QueenEagle Tue 25-Aug-09 12:02:34

Oh and the issue over the missing tools has now become a secondary issue but still needs to be addressed.

NightShoe Tue 25-Aug-09 12:06:21

Your DH was wrong, nobody should be slapped in the face. You gave him the benefit of the doubt first time, but when he did it again then you had every right to intervene. When I was 13 my mum slapped me across the face with a hairbrush and I can still remember the sting and I remember my dad sticking up for me, which is exactly what he should have done.

preciouslillywhite Tue 25-Aug-09 12:08:00

I tell you what tho I know the dad's position is unjustifiable but faced with a boy giving you the Blank Face when you're trying to discuss something is infuriating. I slapped my son (11) in the car last year for being horrible to his sisters and then blanking me when I tried to talk to him about it. I ended up slapping his leg really hard from the passenger seat. Both of us were asTONished- never done it before or since.

I think this probably happens with bigger kids a lot more than people let on...

bigchris Tue 25-Aug-09 12:12:04

I too think you were right to intervenne - obviously it would have been better to call either dh or ds away to calm down

but the benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing

is your dh racked with guilt?

Uriel Tue 25-Aug-09 12:13:46

Hmm, the tools going missing sounds like the straw that broke the camel's back as far as your dh is concerned. How would you feel if it were your important/expensive/well-loved stuff going missing?

No advice re the slapping, but your ds needs a reality check about looking after other people's things - eg, new lock on the shed?

ScummyMummy Tue 25-Aug-09 12:14:02

Well done you. I think you did exactly the right thing. I would want to be stopped by someone who loved both of us if I was temporarily out of control and hurting my child. Slapping a kid round the face is completely out of order- once is bad enough, twice definitely not on at all and indicative of seriously failing to control anger. If you had not intervened you would have been tacitly condoning your husband's actions. Not surprised you are very upset with your husband- good luck sorting things out. Sounds like you are usually a strong supportive family who communicate well if you have more or less managed a gentle united front all these years, so hopefully your husband will be very sorry and you can all move on soon. Has he apologised to your son?

HerBeatitude Tue 25-Aug-09 12:14:59

How the hell do you know your DS has taken the tools?

This is out of order on so many levels:

1. The DS may not have taken the tools

2. The DH did something which is a criminal offence

3. The DH broke a parenting agreement without consultation

4. Your friend is an idiot. Parents don't back each other up in abuse, only in reasonable situations.

Your DH did the most fuckwitted thing he could have done, because if your DS really did take the tools, the fact that your DH hit him in the face, is so beyond the pale that it has become the issue, rather than the tools - not good management of the situation.

And yes, you were right to protect your DS, that's what you're for, you're his mother and you behaved like it. Good for you.

I think you and DH need to sit down and talk about this, because if you have had the agreement not to smack for all this time, then this is probably some alpha male stuff going on with your DS hitting puberty - it's primitive and it's instinctive and if your DH isn't aware of it, it can explode again and be an issue throughout your DS's teenagehood. To be avoided.

HerBeatitude Tue 25-Aug-09 12:21:04

Oh I remember my mother hitting me in the face when I was 15 or so and I have never, ever forgiven her. Mainly because she never acknowledged that she was wrong. So yes I think you're right to worry about bad feeling, but as someone else said, it sounds like you are a reasonable, functional family who can work it out.

marina46 Tue 25-Aug-09 13:14:37

thank you all for your messages.
DH and DS seems to be getting on fine i think its just me thats still raging.

i have threatended to smack DS in the past but never actually done it. the tools have become a secondary issue as far as im concerned and i will speak to DH about apologising to DS and hope this resolves and future resentment on DS's part, if any. and talk to DS about looking after things that we work really hard to buy.

i am sure this wont happen again but as a parent of a teenager who is pushing the boundaries DH has got to deal with it better.

and yes HerBeatitude i sense did a bit of alpha male dominance in the situation.

why dont teenagers come with a manual, it would be so much easier! lol.

You could try reading this, if you haven't already, it's fantastic.

One of the studies in it is actually a teenage boy who takes and subseqently looses his fathers tools!

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Tue 25-Aug-09 13:22:38

wildthings - that is exactly what i thought of!

op - you were completely right your dh should not have hit ds. have you talked about it?

Tortington Tue 25-Aug-09 13:32:01

no doubt your dh was in the wrong, was this a one off incident or has your teenage son been windind his dad up for some time before the volcano erupted. not that its an excuse of course.

one must remember this is all aplpha male shit - the teens jostle for position ithin the family and alpha male reminds him that he is number one. again not an excuse of course.

i always find it facinating what we lose our tempers over - we have no tools in this house despite previously having 3 males and untold bikes and skateboards and a car.

thas becuase they all 'go missing' the tool fairy fucks of with them

cant even find a pissing allen key or cross head screwdriver.

this doesn't pass without comment ..oh the comment ...mutter mutter under breath "pissin' kids takin' my stuff without asking" every chuffing time

and me - i say " darling if you wanted tools you could put your hands on, you should get a lock for the box"

has he ever got a lock for the box?


i liken this to putting chocolateon the table and getting annoyed when a 5 year old eats it - don't put it on the table then!

sure kids should do as they are told - but there are some common sense precautions that we need to make

i remember - as does ds2 chasing after him hitting him with the letters which had arrived in the morning post.

i can't remember what for - neither can he - but he tells all his friends i battered him with letters - cos its funny. He runs faster than me

Tortington Tue 25-Aug-09 13:33:38

oh and BTW i think you were completely utterly and absolutely in the right

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 25-Aug-09 13:52:12

Lol at being slapped round the head with a pile of letters. Very Sybil Fawlty grin

OP - you were in the right. Absolutely. There is something soo humiliating about being slapped around the face repeatedly. My gran gave me backhanders and even though the sting was bad, it was the feeling of being so defeated that was worse and what has stayed with me. You did your DP a favour, look at it that way, he could have whacked him harder the next time, and his relationship with his son may have been damaged.

GreensleevesFlouncedLikeAKnob Tue 25-Aug-09 13:55:01

being hit across the face by a bigger person is a horrible, humiliating experience

my mother whacked me across the face as hard as she could when I was about 8, because I "caused" a row between her and her friend hmm She then panicked that it might bruise and made me sit on a stool in the kitchen with a wet cloth on it hmmhmm

your dh has seriously f*cked up - he needs to apologise profusely to his son and admit that what he did was completely wrong, nothing at all to do with parenting or discipline - no different from lashing out in temper with a bloke in the pub.

And you did the right thing, btw. Backing him up would have been ludicrous.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 25-Aug-09 14:02:25

Oh greensleeves sad

I have read about your mother's behaviour on other threads. My gran was very similar in her behaviour. It really stays with you.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 25-Aug-09 14:02:25

Oh greensleeves sad

I have read about your mother's behaviour on other threads. My gran was very similar in her behaviour. It really stays with you.

ahundredtimes Tue 25-Aug-09 14:09:25

Agree with custy. Is male bull syndrome (I watched this three times with my dad and brothers - only it wasn't about tools but usually about the TV and then the TV remote control. Jeez. Like a rutting turf war it was)

Given that there are probably more head to heads to come, think you did absolutely the right thing by intervening. Better to stick up so ds knows it's not okay - and saw you say so - and so does dh. Though he knows that anyway.

Still need to address the tool issue. Both of you, side by side, united in your desire to find the tools, with ds.

kittywise Tue 25-Aug-09 15:01:43

I also remember my mother slapping me across the face when I was 3. She says to this day that she was too scared to look at me the next day incase my face was marked.
She thinks it was justified behaviour as I was having a temper rage!!sad

GreensleevesFlouncedLikeAKnob Tue 25-Aug-09 15:05:00


I'm against all smacking, as you well know,

but hitting a child across the face in temper isn't even smacking, it's just violence. Just the same as lamping somebody in the pub because you've lost your rag. The OP's dp should be really ashmaed of himself.

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