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Explaining to a three year old why some kids are spanked?


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  • 1 Post By alittlelost
  • 1 Post By ohnicole

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  #1  
February 11th, 2013, 11:37 PM
KiwiMommy's Avatar Ashlynn's Mama
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 3,779
My friend, her husband and their 4 year old and 11 month old are here for a bit because of the snow storm. They had no power. So yesterday afternoon Ashlynn and their 4 year old were fighting and acting out, screaming and just driving each other and us crazy! Well my friends husband had enough and went into Ashlynn's room. I thought he was going to talk to them, then heard him spank their daughter. Ash came running out, eyes as wide as saucers yelling "MOMMY MOMMY!" and I invited her onto the chair with me for snuggles. I had no words, as it's not my child and not my rules. My friend does not spank, but her husband does I guess? I wasn't aware of this to be honest and have never seen/heard it happen. Their daughter was unphased by it, but Ash was a bit shaken.
How do you explain to a 3 year old about these things? All I did at the time was comfort her and explain to my friend that Ash was a little upset and scared about seeing that. We don't spank. DF did ONCE very lightly (Ash had decided to "help" me do laundry and dumped a bunch of powder detergent on my washer) and I chewed him out so badly that he doesn't even think about it. He has told me he thinks it does good, but knows my point of view and knows I do not allow any physical violence. He's really good about it now too!
Their daughter does act up a lot more than Ash, although when they are together they seem to egg each other on so I can't say how their daughter acts when Ash is not around. Ash gets pretty wild around her and they fight like sisters!
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Kailey(21) Cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, extended RF'ing, slightly crazy mommy to Ashlynn (3 1/2 * 1/28/10) and Matthew (13 months * 6/20/12)


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  #2  
February 12th, 2013, 09:50 AM
miamor
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i feel bad that she had to witness that. she must have been freaked out, poor girl

i have no idea how you explain something like that :\
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  #3  
February 12th, 2013, 10:51 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,861
First, I would tell my friend they either need to stop hitting their kid in my house or stay somewhere else, because I am raising my kids that in my house the rule is NO hitting and that rule applies to everyone. Not my child, not my rules, sure . . . but MY HOUSE, My Rules, for sure also.

Second, you are wise to talk to your kid about this, because a lot of kids who are spanked spank other kids when playing house. At least that's how it was when I was growing up. It's totally normal for kids who are spanked to do that, as well as spank their stuffed animals when playing house with their toys.

Third, I would explain to my kids that in some cultures and places, hitting children is legal, but that that doesn't make it okay and that I hope they will never intentionally hurt anyone because there is never an excuse to do so. I would explain to my kids that it's also becoming increasingly illegal around the world--some countries have banned spanking, and that it's never okay for an adult to hit another adult so it's important for all people to leave to solve problems without violence. But I'd explain to my kids that no one deserves that but that there is nothing I can do about it, unless the parents ask for my advice and support, but that the best thing she can do is be a good friend to her friend and hopefully her friend will grow up to realize she doesn't deserve to be treated that way. I wish someone had told me that growing up...

(On a side note, even the state of Deleware in the US has put a ban on spanking.)

It's definitely a hard topic when it comes to friends. My friends I am lucky do not spank their kids, which works out well. I've noticed a huge difference when my daughter plays with kids who are spanked versus kids who are not, and what it comes down to (as my kids get older and the effects of spanking take effect on those kids) is that my kids don't like playing with those kids and are naturally drawn to children from non-spanking families, so we've been lucky in that sense. but as they get older, then might want to be friends with children from spanked families, and that would be okay with me. But I can't say I'd be very close to the parents and I can say for sure that they would not be allowed to hit their kids in my house.
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  #4  
February 13th, 2013, 09:01 AM
ohnicole's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Wow, that is a tough one to explain! I'm so sorry your daughter had to see that, it must have been so confusing and scary for her.

If it was Eleanor, I would probably try to lighten up the situation a little but still make sure she knows that hitting is not okay and that no one would ever try to hit her. Maybe something like, "It must have felt confusing when you saw her daddy spank her. Some mommies and daddies have a silly idea that they can help their kids learn by spanking them when they aren't following the rules. Her daddy wasn't trying to hurt her, he loves her very much. He just doesn't understand that hitting isn't a good way to learn because hitting makes people feel sad. Your mommy and daddy would never hit you- we like to teach you things by talking with you, and showing you good ways to do things, and helping you take a break to calm down when you need one. And we love it when you help your friends follow the rules by showing them how to play nicely."

I don't know if there is a right way to handle it, but I wouldn't want Eleanor to be frightened of this friends parents or scared in future situations where spanking may occur. I would just want her to know that there are better ways to teach things and that mommy and daddy will never hit.
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  #5  
February 13th, 2013, 09:07 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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great suggestions, nicole <3 You're such a great mum!
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  #6  
February 13th, 2013, 09:42 AM
KiwiMommy's Avatar Ashlynn's Mama
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New England
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Thanks girls! I didn't know they spanked because usually it is just my friend and I with our kiddos and she doesn't spank. They also did some CIO, which I didn't know they did either. I think tension was just high because they had been without power and didn't sleep that well the night before. I don't really know.
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