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This will cause a hoo ha !

(161 Posts)
NanKate Thu 18-Aug-16 21:26:48

We have our two wonderful GSs and their mum staying with us for a week. We have had a fabulous time but at times they go completely over the top with their behaviour. The eldest 5 year old said to his mum 'how many warnings are you giving us this time?'.

Because they are no real deterrents against their misdemeanours, other then the usual naughty step, removal of privileges, sent to bedroom, etc they run riot. I know boys can be full on but at times I feel they need a short sharp light smack on the bottom, but of course in this day an age this is a complete no no.

My mum in the 1950s occasionally smacked my hand and I learned quickly to behave myself.

Does anyone else feel tempted for a quick bit of a non violent reprimand or can you manage to keep the peace in a different way ?

Jalima Tue 23-Aug-16 09:46:57

That was my intention too, SueDonim and I tried because I was brought up without being smacked.
When I say I once or twice I mean that literally.

SueDonim Mon 22-Aug-16 22:04:54

I haven't forgotten being smacked in childhood and I know plenty of others the same, who've tried to raise their children without resorting to physical punishment.

Jalima Mon 22-Aug-16 20:40:43

'as being a very patient mother' !!

Jalima Mon 22-Aug-16 20:39:40

My two whilst entirely different in character were always "good" children, and their school always remarked on it. My two GSs are the same and according to the school show a high level of maturity.

WW My DD was never 'easy'! and I confess to anyone reading that I did smack her once or twice and was known to shout on occasion (well, more than one occasion). However, she was (and is) generous to a fault, empathatic (confronted the bullies at school on behalf of someone else), brave, fearless, and showed a high level of maturity from an early age. But never easy, and not always 'good'!
However, she does remember me as a very patient mother confused
ps the others are great as well, but never 'easy' and not always 'good'!
Although they may have squabbled at home, the schools always remarked on how united they were and how they always stuck up for each other against bullies.
Can't ask for more.

Elegran Mon 22-Aug-16 20:31:31

I am in complete agreement. You can theorise too hard. That is why mothers can get so uptight about how to raise children. For every piece of "expert advice" there are ten other pieces of completely conflicting "evidence". Writing child-care books is a major industry.

If you keep in mind the kind of child you have been blessed with, and how you hope they will grow up, remember that they are individual people not clones of you, and then follow your instincts, you have done your best.

thatbags Mon 22-Aug-16 19:55:58

Which last sentence of mine is not a criticism of your offering, elegran, just a general remark, as I'm sure you understand.

thatbags Mon 22-Aug-16 19:55:17

That is a very good approach to have, elegran, and in theory it's what I always tried to do. However, when DD1, aged two, bit me hard on the nipple through my clothes when I was conversing with my father, my 'animal instincts' of self-protection took over and I pushed her off my lap while uttering a sharp sharp screech of pain.

I regret nothing of what I did on that occasion. I didn't regret it then and I don't now, thirty-odd years later. It was a natural reaction. Children can (and she did!) learn very quickly from such natural and automatic reactions. It wasn't a punishment; it was a simple reaction. She understood and was not in the least traumatised.

One can theorise too much about proper child-rearing I think.

Elegran Mon 22-Aug-16 19:38:59

I have noticed something some people do when very small children do something that, though it is not "naughty" in a child that age, is going to be considered naughty when they are a bit older.

They laugh at the child and cuddle him/her and generally behave so that it seems it was very clever and funny and they approve. Now, they are not going to approve when a child a couple of years older pinches their face until it hurts, or grabs something that they value and dashes it to the ground, or unexpectedly does something potentially dangerous, so at some point they are going to have to stop rewarding them for doing it and start discouraging it, and the sooner the better.

If he/she is doing something you don't want them to, say something in a disaproving voice, almost anything, it doesn't necessarily always have to be "No!" as it is the voice that will register at first. At the same time, firmly remove them bodily from the temptation to continue, decisively enough to make them pay attention, and plonk them down out of sight, if possible, of the scene of the crime. If you are cuddling them and they do that tiny but very painful pinch, put them down as you speak. Don't let it become fun, where you try to move your face out of reach and they follow it to catch you and do it again.

What you are trying to do is to connect the "bad" behaviour with being spoken to sternly, and connect being spoken to sternly with being suddenly and unpleasantly removed from the jolly cuddle or the fascinating danger.

Then be loving again and start the distraction part to give them something new and interesting - which will seem much nicer after that abrupt move and that cross voice that the previous action produced.

If returning to the cuddle just gets you another pinch - repeat the prescription. It could take quite a few repeats with a determined child, but you have the advantage of knowing the end result you want to achieve!

whitewave Mon 22-Aug-16 19:19:21

I do take some peoples points about the child's character.
My two whilst entirely different in character were always "good" children, and their school always remarked on it. My two GSs are the same and according to the school show a high level of maturity. They always get given newcomers to mentor. My eldest GS was reported by his work experience placement as have a high level of maturity and integrity. So I as well as my DD are probably lucky,with easy children which helps I guess.

TriciaF Mon 22-Aug-16 19:00:13

Exactly Elegran. As in a thread about positive songs Accentuate the Positive
Eliminate the negative.
A sense of humour helps too.

Elegran Mon 22-Aug-16 17:38:15

Consistency and not getting too worked up helps to get the message through that something is not allowed. Not always possible easy when you are tired, but to be aimed for.

If you say that a certain punishment will follow if the "sin" is repeated, then you must go through with it, just as you must go through with it if you say that a treat will follow some good behaviour. Don't say you will do something unless you are prepared to carry it out. We have all heard parents threaten all sorts of retribution that never happens. I even heard "I'll bloody kill you!" once - well there is no way THAT is going to happen (or is there?sad)

I have also heard "If you do that again, Mummy won't love you any more." What?!?!?! First, it is about the worst threat she could make, and the fear of it happening could damage a child's close relationships for life. Second, it isn't even true, Mummy might be very cross and won't like the child very much for a while, but she can't switch off love just like that.

The other ploy is to look out for the first good thing that the child does after getting a row for something, and be sure to give them due praise for it (and of course for any other good things). When they have been little so-and-sos you often feel in a bad mood with them for some time afterwards, and don't always notice that they are in fact quite nice most of the time. A child who feels good about him/herself is more likely to behave well than one who feels that they are always in trouble so they might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 22-Aug-16 16:59:47

I think the naughty step is more cruel than a slap on the wrist. Five minutes there must seem a lonely eternity to a small child. A slap is soon forgotten. (But hopefully not the misdeed)

SueDonim Mon 22-Aug-16 16:56:20

If a child is trying to stick something into a socket, for eg, you first remove them from danger and then explain why. After that, you distract them by offering something more interesting to do.

My son and his wife seem to able to manage their very inquisitive 2yo without resorting to smacking by using this method.

Lisalou Mon 22-Aug-16 14:54:22

Just to add another detail into the mix, i never thought distraction tactics were wise. If a child is doing something wrong, they should know it is wrong and that it is unacceptable. How does anyone learn that no is no? If you just distract them from it by showing them an alternative, there is no reason they wont just go back and do it again.

Lilyflower Mon 22-Aug-16 10:09:21

Just an additional story on this topic...

I once taught with a woman who often publicly stated that smacking was 'NEVER' justified. She was vociferous and preachy about it.

This same woman used a variety of disciplinary tactics to keep perfect order in her class (ranging from personal detentions, to shrieking to relentless wearing down - and I once saw a child flying across a corridor from her as if pushed though I never actually saw her push him as she was out of my sightline). More than once a child had to be removed from her class as they were so terrified of her. I 'took over' a child who had nightmares after she turned her attention to him.

I think we need to remember how very far some children can go in being 'naughty' and to consider the effects of the alternatives which are necessary to contain the indiscipline and the child if we ban the odd, small smack. I have no doubt a small smack would be long forgotten after some of the psychologically intimidating tactics used to replace it were still wreaking havoc on a child's peace of mind.

Lilyflower Mon 22-Aug-16 09:57:50

I was occasionally smacked when I went over the top as a child. It didn't happen often as I was rarely very naughty since I couldn't see the point of it and was a bit of an approval seeker. What I do know though is that it did no lasting harm and I hold no grudge against my poor parents for being driven to the edge by life and children.

I also think that a smack on the back of the legs is better than a child walking in front of a car or putting his finger in a socket or near a fire or cooker.

Children know what is meant for their own good as opposed to what benefits the adult only. Also, when they are older they can put adults' actions into context and take account of the motivation and judge accordingly.

Thus, I don't think the odd smack does any real harm. Sometimes an irrational and out of control child needs a 'full stop'.

Having said that, the current 'wisdom' is that smacking is completely unacceptable so I wouldn't dream of doing it under any circumstances. The issue of smacking has gone into the drawer of issues on which I hold a contrary opinion to the majority but on which I am too cowardly to defend my corner.

thatbags Sun 21-Aug-16 17:24:23

Probably, in practice, our disciplining methods with our children were/are very similar.

thatbags Sun 21-Aug-16 17:18:31

What I have said is that I don't think an occasional smack is always or automatically wrong. That doesn't mean anything more than what it says. It doesn't imply that I approve of smacking. You seem to think it does. It's a comment on a principle that you and I seem to disagree on. That is all.

thatbags Sun 21-Aug-16 17:14:18

You seem to be misinterpreting my posts, ww. I have not advocated slapping anywhere. Neither did the three people to whom I addressed my last post in the posts I was replying to. Losing one's rag means getting cross. That's all. Even you seem to admit that you were sometimes "mad". Do stop over-reacting to my posts.

Lozzamas Sun 21-Aug-16 15:33:01

I did smack my DS when he was about 3 - and misbehaving in a shop. There are no naughty steps or rooms to go to in the outside world. So as not to invoke the wrath of the P.C. Brigade my husband hoiked him up on his shoulder and we headed for the lift, buggy in tow. Once the lift door shut - my husband whacked him short and sharp across his bottom. By the time we reached the ground floor his normal compliant self had been restored. I cannot abide parents that use "ignore" tactics in public... Why should everyone else put up with your unruly children because you will not discipline them?? If you have other reasoning tactics in the public world ... Well done, but all I've ever witnessed is an endless round of " I have told you already... Please don't do that... " or " Right you're in trouble when we get home" or totally ignoring bad behaviour. None of which has resulted in the bad behaviour ceasing - our short sharp smack stopped it there and then! I believe in occasional only when necessary smacks- as I said previously I was only smacked once, I have only smacked once or twice myself. My husband however comes from a family where Mama used to smack them with a spoon - almost daily - I call that child abuse, but different ethniticity and culture and all 7 of her children adored her and pare such gentle social adults, those still in the old country smack their children and grandchildren quite liberally, they have no "Snow flakes" they still have a culture of seen but never heard. Their kids have a lot of license and fun but they overstep the mark and anyone in the community who feels it warranted will whack them... With the parents thanks. We would say less enlittened they tell me it's why UK have so many thugs, and behave so entitled they think our younger generation are unruly and what they call "American", their expression not mine.... But I can say their kids are a delight to be with and very respectful to their elders.

Skweek1 Sun 21-Aug-16 09:41:02

I was spanked once or twice when I was a kid and it never did me any harm. Once lost my cool with my DDs when they had bickered all day and gave them a slap on the hand, but overall you're damned whichever way you go. How often in supermarkets do you see screeching tots and hear the ubiquitous "why doesn't that woman give those brats the hiding they damn well deserve?" If she did, of course, it would be "That revolting woman being so violent towards that poor innocent child". Can't see any solution.

janeayressister Sun 21-Aug-16 09:23:11

Whoever received a smack and then said' that was good can you do that again? I wouldn't dream of hitting/ smacking my GCs as it is WRONG.

It is no where near similar to peer to peer retaliation.

If the boot was on the other imagine you are old and frail ( I am heading there myself) and you behave in an annoying way and you now your much bigger and stronger GC hit you? Would you like that?
Children are all boisterous, but they are badly behaved because of their training. My DCs are not hit, they have crazy moments but they do as they are told because their Mother and Father are consistent, and mean what they say. Smacking is a loss of control.

whitewave Sun 21-Aug-16 07:51:05

You talk thatbags as if children of non- slappers grow up not knowing the boundaries etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. But they have grown up without knowing the sting of a slap and a parent out of control in some cases. My children knew precisely when I was mad as does my DDs children.

In many of the cases cited above when physical punishment was deemed necesszry, it seemed the situation had been allowed to get out of hand by the parent and then the child suffered as a result.
I say to these parents get a grip, you as an intelligent and responsible adult should remain one step ahead and read the situation. Avoidance tactics are so much easier in the long run.

thatbags Sun 21-Aug-16 07:36:04

phoenix, pollengran, lisalou, wonderful! Some real people at last! grin. Sorry if I' e missed anyone out. I didn't look further back, I was just pleased to see some reality.

I'm another who isn't sweet and charming and endlessly patient, just like most people in a the big bad world out there whom my kids are going to have to deal with and not annoy too much if they don't want an unpleasant reaction.

Minibags says she knows where she stands when I lose my rag. She also knows that it's over quickly, that she is not only unharmed but she has usually learned something useful, such as that figuratively 'pushing boundaries' non-stop is not a good strategy if you want to get along with folk.

Lisalou Sun 21-Aug-16 06:48:34

I have been known to cut off the internet. He was NOT happy bunny, but he finally did his chores! (Lazy boy)!