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  1. #1
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    Default How would you handle the following without smacking?

    I smack DS1 (who'll be four in March) very very rarely, but am trying to reduce that to never. Generally we can work almost everything out with explaining things, counting down, distraction, natural consequences etc. But he's a spirited child and though he's usually an amazing kid, when he's naughty he's ridiculously naughty.

    How would you handle the following (this is an example of a situation today where he got a small smack on the hand. I'd like tools not to go there again):

    At a play centre. DS is consistently not listening and doing dangerous things. He's definitely going to get hurt quite badly with what he's doing. I approach him and ask him to stop. He rolls his eyes back, bares his teeth and snarls at me. I say his name again, tell him not to snarl and explain that he'll get hurt doing what he's doing. He shrieks and snarls at me and karate chops my arm several times. I say stop, remove his hands and suggest we play elsewhere in the centre. He shrieks (loudly) no.
    I explain that I love him and don't want him to get hurt. He rolls his eyes back, tells me he'll shoot me (my child has NEVER been exposed to guns or violence in the media, he's picked up the idea of shooting people from kids playing at the park ages ago. I've explained to him multiple times why it's not a good thing to say) then spits in my direction.
    At this point he got a small smack, burst into tears then came over for a hug and listened to what I was saying and took notice. He immediately went to play with something else happily.

    We've had similar situations before when I've tried counting down etc rather than explaining but if he's in the mood to try to be naughty it doesn't work. This is a child who'll say things like "Mum I've decided I'm not going to be naughty for a couple of days to let you relax."
    or if he is being naughty and I ask why he'll say "I made a decision to be annoying. I want to irritate you." He gets it. So to some degree it's intentional. To another degree, well, he's a kid!

    Ideas appreciated (be kind please!)

    (eta - I should add that physically removing him from the situation doesn't work. He's 110cm and almost 24kg. He's a big kid and if he's in that mode he would run, kick, hit or make himself impossible to pick up)
    Last edited by CluckySC; 09-02-2012 at 21:55.

  2. #2
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    "If you don't play nicely and listen to me, we will have to go home." ..and follow through with it if he doesn't play nicely and listen.

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    The only other alternative I can think of is physical restraint until he calms down and is ready to listen. I'm talking about hugging the child close until they stop fighting. This would likely take several minutes.

    However, it would be excrutiatingly embarrassing in a public location like a play centre.

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    I too would say this is your first warning if I have to ask you again we will be going home. And follow through even if you have to take him by the hand and nearly drag him out. I believe do it once and he will remember u mean business. I have done it to my dd but she is light as a feather. So hard I feel your pain. A smack is not the end of the world if it keeps him safe.

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    Leave the play centre an tell him that you will not except that kind of behavior.

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    Sounds like my DD (who is four) I agree with Bell & Bug, give him two choices: `you play nicely/safely and listen to me, or we will go home'

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    I would tell him that if he didn't do as he was told we would be leaving, and I'd follow through. His repeated attitude would be enough for that to occur, the hitting would be an absolute deal breaker, there is no way I'd continue to let him enjoy the play centre after that (assuming this has happened before and he knows hitting is wrong)... We would not have gotten to the spitting stage unless it was happening while I was carrying the child out of there. After the attitude, hitting and spitting he still got to stay at the play centre IMO he just learnt he can do whatever he wants and still get his own way, sure mum might smack me but I can still do whatever I want.

    I can barely lift my daughter either btw, she's two months younger and probably about the same weight, and I'm pregnant with bad back pain but I would still manage to find a way to get her out of there.

    Once out of there I would tell her calmly but very sternly why we were leaving. Then I would discuss what behaviour is and isn't acceptable, and the consequences of future occurrences of such behaviour.


    But I'm no expert and this is just what would work with my child. I think you need to do a lot of ground work at home with him before I'd risk taking him out in public again tbh.

    Good luck.

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    Difficulty re the leaving is that I have a 12 week old baby too, and if he's being so not himself that he acts like that it's a matter of physically dragging him (if I walked out he'd let me go). Have done this pre baby and it involves ear splitting screams and having to use both arms to drag him out. Last time I attempted this he wound up with red marks on his wrists, we both ended up in tears and he almost got hit by a car in the carpark as he was so determined to slip my grip. With a bub in my arms I couldn't do that even if I wanted to.

    I didn't try "stop this or there'll be no tv/dessert" today, but that's sometimes effective, generally only if I sound super cross though...

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    To clarify by the way he is usually a great kid, he is well mannered, kind, well behaved and listens. He's considerate of others and thoughtful. A tantrum like the above might occur twice a month - it's not his usual behaviour, just a situation that a smack may arise.

    Perhaps I should prep before the play centre "ie this is the behavior I expect from you or we leave" so that threat doesn't arise mid tantrum.

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    Its hard. Hugs.

    I like to talk to coop about my expectations of behaviour if we have to go somewhere. I let him know that if his desired behaviour has been reached we can do something he likes or go to the video shop and get a movie out or have an egg surprise.

    If his behaviour hasnt been all that great he always tells me he will be nice but i dont get him anything or take him anywhere, we go straight home because he knows he wasnt being nice as asked to be.

    That usually works quite well for us as there is always something to look forward to.

    Good luck.

    Sent from my GT-I9000T using BubHub


 

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