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Husband potched 5 year old for hitting
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keym




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 11:50 am
dancingqueen wrote:
Hitting my kids is just not something that occurs to me and in fact feels very wrong to me. And I agree that calling it a “potch” makes it sound adorable.

I also like mommy201 and keyms posts.

And just saying, I’m not blaming op, since she had a medical emergency. But I’ve always been a little skeptical that leaving kids for long periods is really so a-ok for them.


Agree about the leaving kids, even at Bubby.
But now is not the time or place to hash it out, because it doesn't seem voluntary.
Medical emergency is exactly that. Emergency.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 11:58 am
keym wrote:
I hear.
But what I'm saying is more elementary than that. Ignore rather than escalate. OP doesn't potch, but she's still escalating punishments with increasingly more defiant behavior. By the end, the kid had time out, felt deprived of cuddles, had to pay for floss, lost a toy......
The continuing to escalate punishment with the child's increasing naughtiness leading to more punishments tells me that OP is locked in a power struggle with a 5 year old.
So stop the struggle. Forget about other parenting techniques for now and just stay calm and ignore the increasing naughtiness.

Don't let "perfect" be the enemy of "good enough".


Agree in this case. OP is describing a power struggle with her child. And he's coming from a place of pain.

I think OP might find "the Explosive Child" helpful. He discusses avoiding power struggles. It's been a long time since I read it, but I know I found it helpful.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 2:27 pm
All this advice is really invaluable; I really appreciate you all taking the time to help me out!

So this particular incident happened to include a component of him wanting/needing more connection with me, but what about the many other incidents that all end up the same as this, but begin from something like him wanting a candy and I say no, or refusing to wash his hands after he uses the bathroom, or him hurting a sibling? (which then deteriorates into him calling me stupid and kicking me and me putting him in his room, etc.)

I can easily replace his initial request (of wanting more snuggles) with a number of other things that do set him off and the rest of the scenario I described looks exactly the same, but the original trigger is a behavioral issue not related to a deep emotional need.

And the part about validating and empathizing... I definitely do that (I didn't go into as much detail in the original incident, but I did say a few times "I know you feel like he is getting more snuggles than you. You feel like it's unfair.") and I don't see any effect in him. It just seems to make him more upset "You snuggled him longer!! You need to snuggle me more!"

I also have to add in that with that particular snuggling incident, you'd think what's the big deal - just snuggle him for an extra few minutes. This is a kid that turns bedtime into the longest ordeal - before snuggles we had 15 minutes of reading. After snuggles, he insists that I stay in his room (can be an hour long) until he falls asleep ("because he's scared") and by the time he is finally asleep, I feel like I've been through the wringer. So I really need to be firm about boundaries at bedtime.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 2:32 pm
It doesn't matter what the request is for. Once he has this feeling of incompleteness inside of him, it translates, in 5 year old language, into wanting to get his way. Whether it's a candy, or the toy his sibling is playing with right now that he ignored a minute ago, or more time with you.

The thing to do is focus on giving him alot of validation that you love him and care for him. Even if you can't meet every single request he makes. Eventually, you hope to fill that hole inside of him, reassuring him that you love him and he can cope with whatever immediate little lack he feels.

Positive reinforcement when you do notice him foregoing something is also valuable. Lots of compliments and building him.

It does sound like he has some sort of anxiety. I wouldn't rule out therapy if this continues.
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 2:38 pm
I am totally against hitting any child, or humiliating him or her. If this is what you have in your parenting toolbox, what are you going to do if your teenager wants to go OTD? You can't slap your child into remaining frum.

When inappropriate behavior of whatever sort comes up, there need to be ways of communicating expected social norms that do not involve hitting.
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amother




Bisque


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 2:43 pm
JoyInTheMorning wrote:
I am totally against hitting any child, or humiliating him or her. If this is what you have in your parenting toolbox, what are you going to do if your teenager wants to go OTD? You can't slap your child into remaining frum.

When inappropriate behavior of whatever sort comes up, there need to be ways of communicating expected social norms that do not involve hitting.

"You can't X your child into being frum" is nonsense. You can't feed your child broccoli to make him frum or buy him cotton socks to keep him frum, does that mean those things are bad?
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 2:46 pm
OP recounting how she and her DH had to leave their kids for a few weeks reminded me of something. When I was around six or seven, my parents left us for a few weeks. It was not for a medical emergency, and it was not all that necessary, IMO, but whatever. We were left with an aunt and uncle and cousins with whom we were very close. Honestly, I had a great time during those few weeks. My aunt and uncle were much more easygoing than my parents. They did not yell at me and I had no fear of being slapped. I was aware enough to know that I was happier and to realize I had good reason. At the same time I missed my parents, because I wasn't my aunt and uncle's child, and it's never the same.

My parents came back, and we went back to live with them. For a few days, everything was sunshine, and then things gradually went back to the usual dysfunction. Although I was generally smart, I made the grave mistake of hinting at how happy I'd been at my cousins. You can imagine what ensued. I don't think of it often, but I do remember.

I do not mean to accuse OP of anything, but when you mentioned that your five year old had talked about how happy he was at his grandparents, I wondered whether there is some underlying tension in your home that makes your child uncomfortable. It is something worth thinking about. If I am wrong, I sincerely apologize.
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 2:51 pm
amother [ Bisque ] wrote:
"You can't X your child into being frum" is nonsense. You can't feed your child broccoli to make him frum or buy him cotton socks to keep him frum, does that mean those things are bad?


My point is that you may think that you can slap your child so that he doesn't hit others or do other negative behaviors, but at some point, you cannot slap your child so that he doesn't do negative behaviors.

I have seen friends slap their kids when young, and it works on the surface to make them well behaved. But I have seen those kids grow up and go OTD, and in some cases, I have heard these parents say that they wound up slapping their kids when they found out that their kid engaged in some undesirable behavior (violating Shabbat, hanging out with a bad crowd, whatever). These kids did not stay frum.

(My kids are well behaved and frum, but do not eat broccoli and have ambivalent feelings toward socks.)
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Mommyg8




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 3:23 pm
JoyInTheMorning wrote:
I am totally against hitting any child, or humiliating him or her. If this is what you have in your parenting toolbox, what are you going to do if your teenager wants to go OTD? You can't slap your child into remaining frum.

When inappropriate behavior of whatever sort comes up, there need to be ways of communicating expected social norms that do not involve hitting.


If potching were the only tool in my toolbox, then you would have a very strong point. Thankfully it's not.

I think that it's important to clarify what I posted on page one - in no way am I advocating constant hitting, or any kind of punishment for that matter.

I think that it's pretty much a fact that children (and adults) respond better to the positive than the negative. It's also my opinion, that parents nowadays should shower their children with as much love and attention as is humanly possible.

Personally, I have moved away from punishments in general in my parenting methods (I know, typical older mom). I want my children to have a happy childhood. There are enough rules and regulations that children have to follow out of the home that I dont have to add unecessary ones at home. I also dislike being a policewoman. You don't want to eat broccoli? It's ok, nobody ever died from not eating broccoli (and surprise, surprise, my kids actually eat broccoli. And spinach. And tons of vegetables). I'm just not a strict mom.

But my experience has been - and maybe you have perfect angels for kids so you have never experienced this - is that even with mostly positive, lots of love and attention, and not too many rules - kids will act up sometimes. And they have to know that there are certain red lines we don't cross. IMO, hitting Mommy or calling Mommy or Totty stupid is one of them. But you may have your own red line...

Bottom line, life is about balance. We don't want to go back to the days of the strap on every schoolroom wall, but the other extreme is not healthy, either. IMHO. Potching - or the threat of potching - creates a dynamic, that I am the parent and you are the child. And you may have your opinion about what you can or can't do, but my opinion is the one that accounts. Because I am the adult. That's how I see it.

I'm well aware that not everyone agrees with me.
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Mommyg8




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 3:28 pm
Oh, and sorry, back to the OP:

You sound like an amazing mother - you have obviously put so much thought and effort into your parenting! That's amazing.

But going forward, I think Chayalle really got it right, I would really follow everything she has posted. She's really a wise woman.
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dancingqueen




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 3:37 pm
keym wrote:
Agree about the leaving kids, even at Bubby.
But now is not the time or place to hash it out, because it doesn't seem voluntary.
Medical emergency is exactly that. Emergency.


You’re right, that comment was in response to the many posts I’ve seen here about it being totally fine to leave very young kids with others for extended periods which I never quite saw eye to eye with.

And op, the bedtime struggle is real for a lot of us. I think there has to be a mix of boundaries and loving. But it does sound like your 5 yo is dealing with something. Also, school just started how is that going for him?
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 9:52 pm
keym wrote:
OP, what I noticed was a cycle of "bad behavior", "threatening", "punishment" and then even more bad behavior.
This to me is the hardest. Getting into a power struggle with the child and forcing the kid up the cliff that he can't back down from.
Personally, I would have ignored his increasing tantrums. "Mommy is cuddling brother now. You can ask for more time when I'm done." Lather, rinse, repeat. If he's screaming and preventing brother from falling asleep, send brother to your bed- not as a punishment to home but because brother needs his sleep.
My personal choice is sitting on floor right in front of his room with my back to him and repeat over and over. "Mommy can give you more cuddle time when the screaming is done and you are not hitting". Over and over and over. Calm, unemotional, and ignore throwing and destruction.


This and all the other positive parenting advice sounds so lovely in theory, but just doesn't work at all! Here's what happened when, inspired by all of the advice I got here, I tried a more positive approach tonight and tried to avoid power struggles for as long as I could:

I had been warning about bedtime for 20 minutes. At 7:30pm, I told him it's bedtime, we need to go upstairs for snuggles. He is in the middle of playing with magnatiles and says no he wants to continue building. I try validation and empathy "I know you really want to play now. It's so fun to play with magnatiles. But now it's bedtime and we need to go upstairs." Nothing doing; he's not budging. I try creativity "the bedtime horse (me) is leaving on the count of 3. Get on quickly or she's going to leave! (Neighing sounds)." Count to 3, he doesn't move. Move on to consequences. "Snuggles are only for people who are in bed at bedtime. I'm going to walk upstairs now and if you are not there, you're going to miss out on snuggles." I walk up the stairs and still nothing. I'm trying to avoid power struggles, so I take a deep breath and decide to compromise (though I'm not happy about compromising on boundaries). "Ok, if you want to continue playing, we can bring the magna tiles upstairs and you can choose to either get 5 minutes of snuggles or 5 minutes to continue playing." He agrees to this phew, and I help him bring the magnatiles upstairs. But he spitefully tells me "I don't want snuggles because I hate you. You're the worst Mommy!"

After 5 minutes of playing, I tell him "ok, now it's time to get in bed!" He says no, he's not finished making his building. I try validation and empathy, not working. I offer him options ("Do you want me to put you in bed, or do you want to go yourself?") No response. I take a deep breath and remind myself that I don't want to get in a power struggle. I decide to give brother extra snuggles to reinforce the positive behavior of being in bed.

5 year old continues playing for about 10 minutes. I remind him that he needs to get in bed. He runs out of the room and locks himself in the bathroom. 10 minutes later and I am waiting outside the bathroom door to catch him as he opens it. I grab him and talk to him calmly, empathizing/validating and reiterating that it's late and he needs to go back to bed. He refuses. I compromise again "ok you can finish your building for one more minute and then you need to get in bed." He agrees, and actually gets into bed after one minute. I breathe a sigh of relief and start writing my victory post in my head. It is 9pm, but I managed to get him in without a fight.

Unfortunately the night is still young. "I'm hungry," he whines as he walks out of bed again and begins playing with the magnatiles. "I want to go downstairs and eat." Again I try empathizing ("I know you're hungry... but we don't eat after bedtime. You need to get in bed now."). I'm starting to lose it and I threaten "you will not stay up for the Shabbos seudah tomorrow night if you don't get in bed nicely"); he still doesn't listen.

At my wits end, I pick him and he starts kicking and scratching me. I put him in bed and he gets more violent. I tell him I will have to close the door until he is laying in bed nicely. I have brother leave and I close the door. Quiet for a minute. I peek in and see he has turned on the lamp and is playing on the floor. I come in to remove lamp and he starts throwing magna tiles at me. I pick him up and put him in his bed. He starts attacking me and I tell him that if he's going to hurt me and not listen, I'll have to hold him down. I sit on his legs and hold his arms down. He starts crying and screaming "shut up!! shut your mouth!!" Trying to scratch and kick me and repeatedly screaming "shut up!". I calmly repeat over and over "I will let go when you have calmed down and are not hurting Mommy." This goes on for 10 minutes, he's screaming "Get out of here, I hate you! Let me go!"

I tell him I will leave, but the door will only stay open as long as he's in bed. As I'm leaving, he's kicking and scratching me. I close the door, he's trying to open it. He screams that he's in bed. I open the door, he screams "you have to come in here!" I come in and he throws a book at me. I say "If you're going to hurt me, I need to leave." He says "I want to hurt you!!" I leave. This repeats itself 3 times until finally he loses the wind in his sails and lays down (on condition that I stay in his room until he falls asleep).

So please, positive parenters, tell me what you would have done in this situation. All the empathy/validation and calmness accomplished was him being able to drag out bedtime for an extra hour and a half, and it ended in a huge power struggle anyways. (How much longer could I have gone on for?)

I should mention that I made an extra effort today to give him a ton of affection.
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amother




Burgundy


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 10:10 pm
I think you should get a professional consultation to find out what’s going on here.
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 10:15 pm
OP, I can tell you what I did in situations like this. I didn't push it. I never forced bedtime; I never forced bath time. We all pick our battles. To me, it just never seemed like that big a deal.

It's not that there were never battles that I thought were worth having. I always knew that I would wage a battle if a child would be rude to an adult or mean to anyone. The few times that happened, there were long discussions about what had happened. (Yes, you can have these discussions even with a five year old or seven year old and you know when at some level they truly understand what they did wrong.) And these things didn't happen again.

With teenagers, I no longer have to encourage bath time. Regarding bed time -- well, my kids, like many teenagers, stay up too late doing homework. But I'm sure this would have happened even if they had always gone to bed on time.

I guess I'm a disorganized enough person and enough of a renegade that many standards of child raising just don't mean much to me. That makes it easier. But there's plenty of discipline for the things that count.
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Sebastian




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 10:26 pm
I would ignore him if he's not making trouble.
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pause




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 10:30 pm
I read page 1-2 and then page 7, so I see I've missed lots of follow-up by OP in between. But I still wanted to respond to the posters back on page 1-2 who say to never hit your child in anger:

Never strike your child in anger,
Never hit him when irate,
But save it for some happy time,
When both are feeling great.
Save it for some pleasant bedtime,
And as you tuck him in his crib,
Clench your fist and let him have it,
Or better, choke him with his bib.
Or wait until a Sunday morning;
Try to catch him at his prayers,
And as he whispers, “Dod bwess Dada,”
Kick him neatly down the stairs.
Or how about a Happy Birthday,
When friends and laughter fill the house,
Then bash him with a cake you’ve lettered,
“Greetings to a little louse.”
Or how about a family outing,
A Sunday morning at the zoo,
And when it’s time to feed the lions,
Supplement with you-know-who.
Or take him with you on an airplane,
The family plan’s the cheapest way,
And when it reaches cruising level,
Tell him, “Go outside and play.”
Although he breaks a Wedgewood platter,
Spills your bourbon on the floor,
Never strike a child in anger,
It isn’t civilized anymore.
It makes the child feel insecure,
When parents strike or even shove,
But you can do him in completely,
As long as it’s done with love
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amother




Chocolate


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 10:47 pm
Op, that sounds really hard.
I know the thread started with u questioning ur husbands methods but it sounds like u and ds r engaged in a difficult power struggle. If ur dh is available at bedtime, maybe let him take over for a few nights. A stronger authority figure may be just what ds needs and it would give both of u a break while u look into some parenting ideas.
I also think u should appreciate that it bothered ur dh that u were being so disrespected and he was essentially trying to stick up for u and enforce some boundaries. it's harder to enforce such boundaries once things have escalated, but calling u names and hurting u should not be tolerated and I would actually welcome a spouse's interfering to lay down the law abt this.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 11:04 pm
OP, go to Amazon and read the free excerpts of parenting books by John Rosamond.
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amother




Denim


Post  Thu, Sep 12 2019, 11:22 pm
I think these 2 books would really help you, geared for stubborn, intense kids, with methods that really work. They’re both very diff, but very good.

The Explosive Child ($9 on amazon)

Raising Human Beings ($6 on amazon)

Good luck!
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Laiya




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 12:27 am
OP, I agree that books or a parenting class may be helpful. Just want to say, as much as validating him is important, when you're giving a direction to do something, that might not be the time. Since he hears you saying that you understand it's hard for him to put away toys when he's having fun, he might be thinking that you don't really mean, it's bedtime.
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