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Disciplining without smacking

(28 Posts)
anchovies Fri 17-Jun-05 20:33:18

Know this is a bit of a serious one for a friday night but have been thinking about it for a while!

I am certain that I don't ever want to smack my children as I know that I would purely be doing it out of temper. Cannot ever imagine a situation where I would calmly think "I think a smack would help him learn not to do that".

However I have got a horrible temper and have already removed ds from situations being rougher than I would have liked.

Just wondering what you all think and what you do? Is it inevitable that I will lose my temper at some point or do people have successful ways of ensuring that they never lose their temper?

Enid Fri 17-Jun-05 20:34:53

I lose my temper sometimes but I shout, never smack. Probably no better really

crapmum Fri 17-Jun-05 20:40:45

Will be reading this with interest. I'm at a loss at the moment, feeling like a big bloody failure.

hatstand Fri 17-Jun-05 20:40:59

I've lost my temper and I hate doing it. Sometimes I just walk out of the room on them, slamming the door, sometimes I have put dd on the step a bit roughly. It's a really unpleasant thing to do, but I feel very confident that that is the limit to which I can get pushed. ie I know there is nothing she could do that would make me smack her. When I do feel the child-rage welling up, the best thing to do is leave the room and take a lot of deep breaths

NotQuiteCockney Fri 17-Jun-05 20:44:59

I've lost my temper, quite a few times, but never smacked. I've moved DS1 about more roughly than I should have, and shouted, neither of which is great, but I've not smacked, thank goodness. The tricky thing is, when he was younger, DS1 would laugh if I got angry. Which just makes me furious. So I found quite quickly, I couldn't afford to get angry, as it didn't help at all!

Like you, I thought I would sometime end up losing my temper and smacking my kids. So far, this has not happened. I haven't even resorted to swearing at him or using very bad language (e.g. calling him stupid).

I think what has stopped me is just knowing that losing my temper doesn't help. Once in a while, a show of quiet anger can make him realise I'm serious about something, but shouting and so on never helps, it just makes things worse.

If your temper seems out of control to you, sometimes, you could take this opportunity to look into anger management courses, I think GPs offer them. It certainly couldn't hurt.

HappyHuggy Fri 17-Jun-05 21:03:08

I smack

hercules Fri 17-Jun-05 21:04:30

Deep breaths and remove yourself from the situation. Lots of distractions and know what you will do instead.

sobernow Fri 17-Jun-05 21:12:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 17-Jun-05 21:24:50

sobernow, it doesn't sound like they're scared of you, they just clearly want your respect.

And calmly saying you're disappointed isn't anywhere near as fun (for them) as you getting angry.

moonunit Fri 17-Jun-05 21:25:55

I have never smacked my ds, 3.6 yrs and very rarely shout, if i feel myself losing it i put my personal stereo on and listen to some music full blast. If he is screaming and being noisy i say something to him in a very quite voice so he has to stop to hear what i'm saying and he starts whispering back to me.

tabitha Fri 17-Jun-05 21:37:36

I have smacked before but it has always been when I have lost my temper rather than because I thought that it was the right way to deal with a situation. Imo it has done absolutely no good at all in sorting out whatever behavioural issue it was that needed resolved and only left me feeling guilty and angry with myself. I have also shouted and screamed at them which was almost as bad.
To be fair, I mostly smacked dd1 - haven't smacked my younger children nearly as much - and I think (hope?) that I have improved now. I do still lose my temper but try to distance myself from the child/situation before I do. I think that's the answer, ie to get yourself away from your children until you can regain your composure and discipline them in a more appropriate and effectiive way.
Easier said than done though when you're hot tempered I'm afraid, but it can be done.

QueenEagle Fri 17-Jun-05 21:40:29

I smack too. Not ashamed to admit it. Only as a very last resort. Never in anger.

anchovies Fri 17-Jun-05 21:48:20

QE do you mind me asking a last resort to what?

HappyHuggy Fri 17-Jun-05 21:49:27

i smack my boys when theyre naughty. Im not ashamed of it either.

mummylonglegs Fri 17-Jun-05 21:49:34

Message deleted

JoolsToo Fri 17-Jun-05 21:51:56

I lost my temper and I smacked - that is, smacked not beat the living daylights out of. I'm not proud of the fact but I'm not ashamed either.

29, 30 and 32 now and all still love their mummy ds2 coming to stay for a couple of days on Monday

aloha Fri 17-Jun-05 22:13:23

I have lost my temper and it makes me feel sad and ashamed. I have never hit my son and never will.
I recently had a talk with dh because I felt we were telling him off far too much, bought a book by a parenting coach as a basis for discussion, and we both resolved simply to stop telling him off as far we humanly could, and the results have been amazing. 100% improvement in behaviour - honestly. If I feel myself getting short tempered, I try to do something loving towards him to defuse it.
My anger is always more about me than him, if I'm honest. For example, I'm hopeless with time and get stressed because I'm always late and tend to take it out on him. I find the more self-aware I am, the better I'm able to control myself.

crapmum Fri 17-Jun-05 22:16:10

I'd be interested to know what the book was Aloha. I definitely feel like I tell my kids off too much and I need to find a better way of dealing with things, because at the moment, they take no notice of me.

QueenEagle Fri 17-Jun-05 22:17:54

Any of mine would get a smack if they had been repeatedly told not to do something and they had had fair warning to stop. Sometimes dh and me have smacked as a shock tactic and because we sledom do it, it works.

aloha Fri 17-Jun-05 22:19:59

It's the 7 Day Parent Coach by Lorraine Thomas. It helped us make the decision to change our approach radically, and it has worked for us. We don't feel angry then guilty all the time and ds's behaviour has really improved.

Spongebob Fri 17-Jun-05 22:27:05

I smacked my DS once....on the advice of my Grandmother........He kicks the s**t out of me when Im changing him.....but I'd never do it again, it broke my heart when I saw the shock on his face!!

Ladymuck Fri 17-Jun-05 22:59:11

Well, I'm fairly sure that I haven't mastered the "never losing my temper" bit. And whilst it never justifies it, I do make a point of apologising to the children as soon as possible, so they understand that adults sometimes step over the line too, and in the same way that they need to apologise, there are times when so do I.

Having been raised in a smacking household I have been quite interested in some of the literature that is available these days, as Aloha has referred to earlier. I can't quite remember the name of the tome that we've chosen but it is something on the lines of "discipling your strong willed child", but has loads of exercises to help you develop positive parenting techniques. Of course they do actually require more time and commitment by the parents (unless or until they come naturally I hope).

AnotherHelen Sat 18-Jun-05 10:43:56

I would love to know what the solution is to 'correct discipline' i have a right temper and my ds1 who is 5 has witnessed me loose the plot once or twice - he is great but have had serious problems with his behavior at home and at school! i was always put over someones knee and had my bum smacked! - HARD!! - i would certainly NEVER consider this but i have to say i have always respected my parents and their authority - which is more than i can say for alot of kids around now!! whats the answer? i havent got it in me to smack my children like that but talking or even shouting at them sometimes just doesnt seem to work with them, i have smacked my ds1 on his hand once or twice and he seemed to respect that far more than anything else! its hard to know whats best! xxx

Lonelymum Sat 18-Jun-05 11:16:16

I have a temper - I think I am best described as volatile - and shouting is a pretty normal state of affairs in our household as it was in my childhood household. I don't think there is much wrong with shouting per se. Some of us are more voluable than others, and more emotional than others. I am also very patient at times and pride myself on having heart to hearts with my children on an individual basis - I would hate them to feel they couldn't talk to me about anything.

I try very hard not to smack - it gets easier as they get older as I find other sanctions have a meaning that they just don't when the child is younger. I would like to never smack my children again, but I know I will shout at them loads of times in just the next week because that is who I am.

aloha Sat 18-Jun-05 19:49:01

But you can change if you want to. I just don't believe we are prisoners of ourselves. People change what they do and how the behave every day.
I told ds that I would try very hard not to shout at him any more and he said he was glad because it frightened him and it frightened baby (his baby sister).

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