Christina - posted on 04/29/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )
My 3-year old daughter, Elayne, has been picking up the kittens by their front legs. When she started doing this we would tell her to put the cat down. When she still did it, or didn't put the kitten down, we would give her a swat on the butt or send her to time out. When she started throwing the kittens - yes, she has been caught throwing baby cats like they are toys - we would give her a few firm spanks and she would get a time out. She stopped throwing them but would still pick them up by their front legs, or by only one leg, or occasionally by their heads. She received the same punishment (a few spanks and time out/sent to her room) but she would still do it again!
Today I caught her holding a kitten by it's front legs, jumping up and down, and swinging the kitten so it was being tossed around like a string. I yelled at her to put the kitten down, and she immediately dropped it and said she was sorry, like she usually does, but I thought she had broken the kittens legs or back, because it sure looked like something was broken, the way it was flopping around! I spanked her, not a few firm swats but a real spanking, and sent her to her room, where I told her she would stay for the rest of the afternoon and all night. Like always, she stopped crying after a minute, and tried to come out of her room saying she was sorry, but I know from previous experience that she isn't really sorry and she will do it again. So I am holding firm to keeping her in her room all night, except to brush her teeth and go potty later.
But I am not sure it will be enough. This general technique hasn't worked before; she knows she is doing something wrong, but she doesn't stop doing it - she just doesn't do it if she knows I am watching. We have told her that kittens aren't toys, but she insists that they are (she gets a swat and a time out every time she says that, but it hasn't stopped her).
I hated spanking my daughter like I had to today - I thought I was going to throw up. But there is no way I am going to let her get away with hurting kittens! By the way, I checked and nothing is broken on any of the kittens. We will be getting rid of the kittens as soon as they are old enough to leave their mother, but in the mean time - do you have any suggestions for a new improved disciplinary action, in case the all-evening-and-night solitary confinement with a red bottom doesn't work?
I am seriously concerned about my daughter. I do not want her growing up to have any homicidal tenancies!