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husband smacks kids and I don't agree

(14 Posts)
kiltb Wed 18-May-05 15:40:03

My husband occasionally smacks our children (5,4,3).
I am not massively against smacking but have decided never to do it to my children mainly because I hate it when my husband smacks them as he only ever does it when angry and is "losing it". He also shouts at them a lot . I think it is both ineffective and cruel.

I have tried to talk to him about it but , surpsise , surprise, he gets angry at ME and sulks for days.

He thinks I am too soft on the children and they will turn out little brats if I am not more firm with them (I don't agree)
Has anyone else had a problem with their marriage regards different views on disciplining children?
How can I resolve it?

morocco Wed 18-May-05 15:59:25

hello kiltb and welcome to mumsnet
sorry to hear you are having such probems - it sounds very difficult for you

Gwenick Wed 18-May-05 16:03:45

We're in a similar, but exactly the same positon - we both have different views on discipline so after many rows when DS1 was about 2yrs old (and needing lots of discipline) we came to a 'compromise'.

Mainly - if one of the children are being naughty for me then I discipline them in my way and he stays out of it - except for giving 'support' - ie not pandering to them when they run for daddy LOL. And vice versa - so I don't try and intervene when he's disciplining them. Some could argue that only serves to confuse the children, but it works for us - the boys know that mummy and daddy have the same (or pretty similar ) boundaries for them, but they get punished in different ways depending on why they misbehave for......

Seems to be working so far

aloha Wed 18-May-05 16:06:07

Before we even got married I told dh that smacking was total no-no and I wouldn't allow my children to be hit by anyone! I know that's not helpful (and he isn't a smacker anyway) but one of the huge advantages about marrying later and marrying someone who is a father, is that you can have these discussions from the off.
Can you make him watch Little Angels/House of Tiny Tearaways etc etc and see how other methods are effective.
To be honest I'd probably end up divorced if my dh didn't stop hitting my kids!

Gwenick Wed 18-May-05 16:07:49

oooops should read similar but not exactly the same situation (ie we both allow smackin )

aloha Wed 18-May-05 16:08:51

Um, sorry that last comment probably was really unhelpful. Maybe stick with the Little Angels idea instead.
And maybe chat about how he was brought up and about empathising with the kids instead?

kiltb Wed 18-May-05 16:45:46

no ALoha it was helpful,
The thing is we did discuss it at length before having kids! Our view was that children need mostly love and hugs but also firm boundaries.(not that anyone could disagree with that!)and we were both not completely anti smacking and thought it had a place in the scheme of things.

It's me who has changed my mind!I have smacked my two elder kids a couple of times a long time ago but have decided not to do it again.

It is not so much his smacking but his anger that concerns me. He gets so wound up by what I think is harmless childish behaviour and gets angry at the kids which of course winds them up.

Smacking your child in a fit of rage is surely regarded by just about everyone as a bad thing? (including those who do think it is ok to smack sometimes)

Gwenick Wed 18-May-05 16:48:10

Smacking your child in a fit of rage is surely regarded by just about everyone as a bad thing?

Definitely agree with that one - I smack DS1 more than DH does (and not just because I'm with him more LOL) but I ALWAYS give him a warning before giving on to him so he has at LEAST one chance to stop/do what I've told him to do.

kiltb Wed 18-May-05 16:52:41

have shown him the little angels stuff and he sort of agrees. I think he has real problems managing his anger but of course can't tell him that.
Gwenick that is kind of what we do already but more and more I feel terrible standing back watching him , saying nothing.

Have even though about divorce!but he would still see the kids, only without me there.

Gwenick Wed 18-May-05 16:54:22

If I'm feeling like that - I walk out of the room, go outside have a cigarette (he doens't know what and I know it's a terrible habit!), have a coffee, hoover upstairs - anywhere where I can't 'hear' what's going on..........

Has to be said I think there's been occasions when DH has gone 'to do something' and I suspect it's because he doens't want to stand and watch me disciplining them in 'my' way.

Lonelymum Wed 18-May-05 17:10:35

I sympathise kiltb as my dh and I are similar to you and your dh in that my dh is much more inclined to smack the children than I am. I hate it when he smacks them, and have been horrified at the force with which he has hit them at times - even dh has admitted he didn't mean to hit that hard. I also agree with you that he hits them more when he has lost his temper and lost control of himself. I can't pretend to have never smacked my children, but I try to reserve it for when they have really pushed the boundaries too far or when they are in imminent danger. I know a lot of people would say it was unnecessary even then, but we are all different. I find as the children get older, I smack them less as the options for alternative punishments increase. My eldest is nearly nine and I hope I won't need to smack him ever again. But dh continues smacking regardless of alternatives, it seems to me.

What to do? Well, I told my dh I didn't like what he was doing and gave him alternative punishment ideas, which fortunately he was quite open to. He still smacks unnecessarily, but the number of instances has reduced.

Do your children ever hit each other? We have a 2 yo who occasionally smacks his older siblings. Dh and I both dislike that and I found it quite effective to tell dh that the little one was only copying the behaviour he had seen his father commit. That made dh think a bit!

morocco Wed 18-May-05 23:00:54

although he smacks them in rage, I guess you don't mean he really whacks them? I don't smack my children myself (well, have done it once or twice but in principle no) but I'd argue it was better to do it in a temper than in a calculated way. I think this is the line Christopher Green takes (did he write toddler taming?) too - how clever of him to copy me!
just a thought
I'm sorry I don't have any ideas at all for how to solve the dilemma you are in

Fran1 Thu 19-May-05 00:22:11

I realise how awkward this is when you disagree on things. And its bearable when smacking is done, as others have said, with advanced warning etc.
But to use it only when angry - i agree with you both ineffective and very very cruel to your children.
Can you try talking to him about it somewhere more public where he won't just shout at you and sulk? Like in a restaurant. Bring up the subject, explain you don't like what he's doing and that it is actually child abuse. Ask him if he will spend time educating himself on better discipline techniques and as you say also his own anger management.
Hopefully he will have no choice but to listen to you as he won't want to cause a scene, and it may make him think.

If he was really sees no wrong in what hes doing i would personally question if i wanted to stay with him.

kiltb Thu 19-May-05 22:27:26

morocco, no not hard whacks but in a way if it is small kids it is all relative.
Had a calm talk with dh and he has agreed no more smacking EVER.No arguments or sulks!
I am so happy about this
Thank you all

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