Help: My Husband's Harsh Discipline Causes Our Son to Lose Control of Bladder
Need some advice here. We have a wonderful 3 year old son. He's a very active kid, very dexterous and curious. He requires alot of attention as do all kids. Tonight my husband came home from work and they were watching some TV. My son got bored and behaved badly by hitting my husband. The first time dad did nothing, next time he yelled and the third time he screamed and hit our son back. I don't believe in hitting your kids.
My son got so upset that he peed his pants - lost control of his bladder. This has happened b/f when my husband lost his temper over our son's toddler ways.
Husband promised not to do it again -- but he did. Need help with this. Can't bear to tell anyone.
I feel he is abusive and blames me for not disciplining our son often enough. I had put him in time out 2xs today prior to my husband coming home and this incidient taking place. Then he blamed me for it happening saying that we were supposed to leave to go out with friends by 5:30 when this was all happening.
That is SCARY. Does he get violent often? Have both of you ever discussed how to discipline your child? Because you have to be consistent. Also, he should have told your son to stop it the very first time, not ignored it ... The child probably thought that it was OK to continue.
Honestly, you need to share this with someone. You can't let him continue to brutalize a child. What he did was brutal. If he thinks that your disciplining of y our child is not working then perhaps if HE applied it rather than going nuclear you'd have a chance for it to work.
It might also help if he spent time with his son, playing, talking, whatever ... rather than just vegging out in front of the goggle box. The child wanted attention, that's all.
Reading this brings tears to my eyes. I just can't imagine standing there watching my husband do something like that to my child. I love my husband, but I would die for my child. What your husband is doing is a double dose of abuse... verbal and physical.
I can't give you anymore advice than what's been given already by previous posters, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE protect your child from this violence. It's just not fair to him and it'll only get worse.
when you say he hit him back...what do you mean? Was it an open handed swat on the bottom, or did he HIT your son? If he hit him, GET OUT. I do not suggest waiting around while the two of you take classes.... if he is abusive it only takes one day, one moment for it to get WAY out of hand and your child to suffere severe consequences. Take that baby and go to stay elsewhere...be it with family, a shelter, a hotel, or whatever you have to do. If you want to work on things or take classes, do it with your child at a safe distance.
totally agree here. Define "hit" here. If it was a swat on the bottom that's one thing but open handed HIT you do need to get out as much as I hate suggesting that to any mom. Spanking is one thing - one swat for something significant, but hitting for a 3 year old acting like a 3 year old does is not ok.
If you do stay, please make sure your child is safe and get some help. I am so sorry you are having to go through this.
For about a week after this situation, I forbade my husband from disciplining our son. I reached out to a local parenting program and got us into a group. That has helped, just brining it into light.
Moving forward we agreed that we must be on the same page and i basically manage the discipline b/c he for some reason can't remember what he agrees on. Then when he does remember he says he doesn't know how to implement.
It's a process of change. I'm praying that it works.
I'm sorry for your situation and I'm glad that you sought help. My husband was raised being spanked with wooden spoons...his parents only did it a few times and then I think it was mostly used as a scare tactic. I, on the other hand, can't remember ever even being spanked. So, when we had our kids, my mom-in-law tries to tell me that I should do this to discipline my kids as well...that you don't actually have to hit them hard, but that it is more affective than using your hand. I told her and my husband the same thing I tell my kids--that it's not okay to hit. How can I punish my children for hitting by hitting them? What do they learn? That it's okay for me and not okay for them? If my children hit, I stop them immediately and look them in the eye and tell them that it is not okay to put your hands on anybody and that we DO NOT hit in this family. I'm lucky that my husband respects how I feel and we make sure that we're on the same page. I'm not completely against spanking or anything--we have swatted their butts before (with our hands) but rarely....I've found it's more devestating to my kids to just make them sit by themselves for a time-out.
I would love it if we could detach the word "discipline" from "hitting" and "spanking" (i.e., "you need to discipline your child" usually means "you need to spank"). Discipline is MUCH more than that and, as you guys have already commented, sometimes does not involve spanking at all.
If you really want to change the situation, not feel so worried and get more enjoyment out of your family life, there are some things you will have to face up to.
1. Your son is naughty: he hit his Dad when he came home tired after a day at work and repeated it twice. At three he's old enough to know that's not allowed.
2. Both of you handled the situation badly - not just your husband. You let your hubby down in this situation by blaming him and not addressing the real issue. A supportive partner shouldn't ever let a child abuse the other parent without taking action.
3.There is absolutely no better environment for creating a brat than a household where no agreement has been reached on a workable system for the child's and indeed your own behavior. Your child knows this and is already playing you off one against the other like 2 out of tune violins.
For this type of behavior we found that if the other partner immediately expresses disapproval when a child is naughty to one parent, it achieves 3 objectives:
1. the assaulted parent feels much better immediately and doesn't get so mad;
2. the child realizes you two are on the same side if he's naughty. You might have to insist on a "Sorry" but if he's bright he may surprise you and come out with it unprompted.
3. Then you can praise him and show him that all is well. It is really important for children to know that they can be forgiven because everyone is naughty at times and wishes they could put things right but so many don't know how to do it, and this is why things can get worse and worse and worse. it doesn't need to be this way.
Here's what you have to do:
1. Stop blaming yourselves as bad parents - that's actually a cop out. It's no use wailing that time out was served 2x that day - it only works for the immediate offense in a 3 year old.
2. Realize that plenty of kids have had a swipe now and then, let's face it. In some countries this is the norm, though it's not our method of choice here. However it is NOT the end of the world if a loving home exists and your husband is basically a good man who loves his son. Show me a perfect home and a perfect parent if you can!
Be careful before you take some of the advice from other bloggers as what sounds like a not very unusual family situation. Your aim is to make things better, not worse!
3. Get real. Your child is only three: there are many challenges to come in the years ahead. He loves you both and clearly wants his Dad's attention as he was prepared to risk being barked at to get it. Ok, he got a slap - that's not ideal, - and it's a pity he peed himself, but maybe he was dying to go anyway. He might have peed on purpose.
4. Set some rules for the time of day when Dad staggers home and for when you are having a well earned rest too.
Dad needs to understand the child's need for attention, son needs to understand Dad's need for a sit down. Can't they watch something they're both interested in at this time, so there's less of a competition for attention? Dad - record the programs you really want to watch and savor them when son is tucked up in bed or out.
5. Get son's views on what would be the best way to welcome Dad home to make sure Dad wants to spend time with him. Youll be surprised.
It IS difficult to bring up children. We all want at the end grown up kids who still love us, want to be around us and approve of our methods. The good news is that imperfect parents bring up successful and loving families all round the world and you can too.
Failed parents are those who give up, blame each other constantly so that the child's home is unhappy, and deprive the child of one parent or another.
I really recommend you both read "Have a new kid by Friday" by Kevin Leeman. No smacking or raised voices involved. If you do it right, the method works and the book is funny. Parents need a good laugh.
We have 2 grown boys and they have turned out well and love us
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