I spanked my 5yo

Katherine - posted on 12/31/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I know better.
I did it out of anger. She never listens to me :( I just don't know what to do anymore.
The saddest part is that my concentration is in behavior modification.
I give her time outs, she thinks it's funny. I swore I would never do this.
Any help?

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JuLeah - posted on 01/01/2011

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Welcome to the human race.
Your education is in behavior mod, so you know the ABC's and you know all behavior has a function. Start there.
As one who writes behavior plans, I am sure phrases like always and never send up red flags for you "He always throws fits. He never listens ...."
The behavior you don't want is being rewarded somehow or it would phase out. The behavior you do want is not being rewarded or it would increase.
Try to step back and look with objectivity - think of this situation as one you were hired to write a plan for - keep an ABC sheet for a time so you can see the patterns clearly ..... good luck

Jess - posted on 01/03/2011

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My head is buzzing with all different things, so lets see how I go at writing them down logically. Im sure you feel pretty bad about the whole situation too, so please don't think I'm having a go at you in any of my advise because I'm not. Ava bite me really hard a little while ago and I kind of smacked her without meaning to. I cried for hours !!! I understand how you feel.

Firstly I would go back and talk to your daughter about the incident, ask her if she remembers when she was doing xyz and you got frustrated and you spanked her. And then apologise, "Mummy, wanted to tell you that I'm very sorry that I spanked you, I shouldn't have done that, it wasn't right. Mummy is going to work really hard to make sure that never happens again".

That might sound like a strange thing to do, but I think its important for our kids to learn that we make mistakes and that we respect them in the same way we want them to respect us. After time out we ask for an apology so its only fair to give one back when we have done wrong.

And then in the future when you give her time outs and she laughs think of it as her way of trying to convince you not to punish her, it even works for crying children. Their way of saying, no mummy don't teach me right from wrong, no mummy please don't teach me how to share and play nicely etc. Because really, she is laughing in an attempt to make you think time out isn't working and let her off. Same way kids cry and scream and fight to get out of time out, just a different strategy. Great comparison is when spanked children say "that didn't hurt" !

I have a saying that I live by "Failure is the only way to start again, but this time more wisely". Next time your daughter is laughing at time out, think back to this incident and how you feel and use it as motivation to continue on with positive parenting.

Kate - posted on 01/03/2011

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we had a lot of trouble with ours not listening at about the same age, so I created a star chart with the only behaviour she got stars for was "good listening" - it worked a treat!
We created a shopping list - with rewards on it that she REALLY wanted, and every time she listening and did what we asked she got a star. So when she put her dirty clothes in the clothes laundry like I asked I said "great listening, give yourself a star!" The praise alone was great for her, but the added reinforcement of the star - means we have a nearly 9 year old who - for the most part - follows a request easily.
Incidentally I found an Iphone app called iReward Chart - there's a Lite version which only has space for 1 child - but it's exactly the way I set up our chart.

There is also a good program called 123 Magic - which uses time out - maybe another way of building on the strategy you have already started.

but don't beat yourself up - you are only human - I suggest you sit down with her - apologise and say something like "I'm sorry, mummy was angry - but I don't like smacking, so I'm not going to do it again. We are going to have a new plan, because I need you to listen to me, so here's what we will do."
Don't over explain - just keep it simple, and right to the point. and if you find yourself getting frustrated again... take yourself to time out before you react to her. If you give yourself time out you are role modeling good behaviour and incidentally - still giving her time out, cause you have taken away what she wants most - your attention!

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April - posted on 01/04/2011

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i use 123 magic without timeout. I just say "If you don't lay down for your diaper change, then I will have to help you". He hates to be helped with anything...so that is always my consequence for whatever it is that he is not doing.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2011

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i get like this too with my 25month old. i promise myself i will never hit him for all the reasons why it is not the best way to discipline and then in the heat of the moment i find myself wanting to strangle him! how dare he not listen to me! it is so tiering trying to be peftect every time that sometimes i think maybe i wouldnt get so fired up if i didnt say that i would never spank again and if it was just a way of life, sometimes i think that then it would just remain at a single spank in a controlled manner.

i dont know what else you can do when time out doesnt work. take away his toys? daniel doesnt particulallry care about any of his toys, is not attached to anyone of them, it just wouldnt work. tell him he cant watch his favorite show on tv? it would hurt me more than it would him.

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awww, {{{{{{{{{{{{cyber hug}}}}}}}}}}}}

I have read and researched a ton about discipline, parenting, and the like, so I can think of a thousand perfect ways to handle almost any situation.....until the actual situation arises.
For what ever reason, in the heat of the moment, my brain freezes and and I KNOW I know what to do, but all I can think is "I'm gonna teach you, you little MONSTER!!!!"

Obviously, I don't say that out loud, but right then, when he is laughing at my attempt to discipline, or asking 50 million questions to put off doing something, I just don't know what to do.
Something that helped me in the beginning (I am a former spanker, but it might help you too, if you get the same feeling of helplessness) is to make a list of common situations and ways to deal with them. I put it on the fridge, and one in my purse and I looked at it often. When my son acted up, depending on the offence, I would reference my list--even if the thing he was doing was not on it yet, it gave me a minute to cool off and think objectively about how to handle it.

Also,Sometimes the answer is so simple, like I had an issue with my 6 year old and non-stop questions (he was trying to postpone doing what I asked him to) and one of the ladies on here said to reply "put on your coat, then we'll talk about it." It was SO SIMPLE (It is working too btw, so Thank You!!!) I could not believe I hadn't thought of it. So I added it to my list. The point being, Sometimes, we just need a fresh perspective :)

April - posted on 01/03/2011

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In my experience, i have only had great success with behavior mod. when my students were on autism spectrum. I've never had success with typical children (but that's just my experience). I've usually had to find some other way that was specific to the child...something that worked with their personality.

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If she doesn't obey time out rules then start to take away her toys everytime she moves. When she finally gives in to time out and does her full five minutes without moving, then get an apology, make sure she understands why, and thank her for her apology. Do not give the toys back until she starts being cooperative. When she helps tidy up, she can have a toy back, but she has to earn them.

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