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I just smacked my 2yo for the first time and am freaking out!


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#1 Curious123

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:24 PM

I'm shaking as I write this. We were having dinner at my in-laws and DS2 was climbing on me, giving me cuddles and fluffing around. When all of a sudden he bit my arm. He clamped his little teeth (through clothing) on such a small piece of skin, but it felt like he was biting it off. I didn't even scream, I just tapped him and then had to smack him to get him to let go. I can't believe I did it, I wasn't even thinking. I have NEVER done this before, with him or his 5 year old brother. I don't think it was hard, he seemed a little shocked, but straight away smiled and hugged me - I was in such a state, trying not to cry at the table. Everyone thought I was upset about the bite, but it was about my reaction. They all think I'm overreacting (MIL used to smack) and DH has just rolled his eyes and told me to get over it -  he doesn't understand why I'm so upset. It's just that I simply don't do this. I yell at the kids, more than I should, and then feel super guilty and hate doing it, but it's usually a case of having to either break up a fight from across the room, or I've asked them 20 times to stop etc.

I'm so upset. I feel like this is because I'm not really coping at the moment. I have hardly slept in 3 days, there is so much going on in our lives atm (my mum has a virus and I'm cooking for her and trying to take care of her, my sister has had an operation and the wound is infected, so I'm trying to help out with her kids, I work part time, which has been really busy since another member of the team resigned, we're usually quiet this time of year, and all the usual Christmas chaos of parties, gatherings etc has started). I am crying as I write this because this is not the mum I am supposed to be - I don't want to discipline my children like this.

Sorry, I just needed to get it off my chest.

#2 ~ky~

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:28 PM

You're tired, you snapped.

Forgive yourself, give your 2yo a big cuddle (but don't start with "Mummy was all wrong etc" as they shouldn't have bitten) and then move on.

It's not like you have abused your child. Sometimes, they need a reminder to let go and in this case, a smack was the quickest way to stop more damage being done.

#3 niggles

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

Go try to get a good nights sleep and I'm sure you'll feel better about it in the morning.

And try not to read too much into it. He was hurting you and you reacted to stop him. It doesn't mean you have to change your approach to parenting if you don't want to. Don't sweat it.

#4 Escapin

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:33 PM

The odd smack isn't going to ruin him for life OP. However, your reaction to the situation, and you saying that you yell and then feel terrible does suggest that you aren't having much fun at the moment. Have you thought about doing some parenting classes to learn some other strategies? Or talking to your GP?

Having kids isn't supposed to be fun all the time, but it doesn't sound like you're having any fun sad.gif  Hope things get better for you soon.

#5 Laborious Nicety

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

I am a rabid anti-smacker.  Rabid.  Foam at the mouth anti.

It sounds like you reacted in a situation where you didn't have many options and it sounds like you need to forgive yourself and cut yourself some slack and move on.  Hell, I'm not sure I would not have smacked in that situation, given the toothing and the lack of letting go.

#6 ASDivine

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

Sounds like a reflex rather than an actual planned smack.

Edited by ASDivine, 03 December 2012 - 05:31 AM.


#7 Bottom

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

I'm also rabidly anti smack, but read this and totally understood your feelings. I shouted at my two year old the other night- first time, and something I thought I would never do. I yelled at him to go to sleep as it was after midnight and he had woken up wanting to play. I was exhausted and after about an hour of being patient and reading to him I snapped and raised my voice. I felt so guilty immediately after and all the next day I kept welling up with tears. I honestly do not know how parents smack and shout on a regular basis- I would be a basket case filled with oppressive guilt! Don't worry too much. You child will be fine. My son did get upset when I yelled but he was fine after a few minutes and I don't think he remembers it- the next day he was sweet as ever.  original.gif
I will certainly be more vigilant at keeping my frustration intact if he pulls a playful wake up midnight game again- I know it was because I was tired and didn't take deep breathes and get a hold of myself that I yelled at him, and hopefully it won't happen again. Yelling and smacking is pointless and not necessary, but sometimes it does happen almost by accident:). Hopefully it will never get to the point where I accidently smack my son, but I totally understand how it did for you OP. Just forgive yourself and don't worry!

#8 Unatheowl

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

Hi op.  I'm sorry you're having such a bad time at the moment. Please don't beat yourself up.  We also don't smack our kids.  There have been a few times where I have lost it and smacked in anger.  I am deeply ashamed of those moments and carry guilt about them.  I understand the feeling.  However, we are all human and make mistakes.  In your situation it sounded like a reflexive action rather than an intentional punishment.

#9 Cranky Kitten

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:10 PM

QUOTE (~ky~ @ 02/12/2012, 06:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're tired, you snapped.

Forgive yourself, give your 2yo a big cuddle (but don't start with "Mummy was all wrong etc" as they shouldn't have bitten) and then move on.

It's not like you have abused your child. Sometimes, they need a reminder to let go and in this case, a smack was the quickest way to stop more damage being done.


This!

I don't think there's too many parents who could honestly say they've never had a similar moment and an isolated incident doesn't define you as a parent. You're human, and from the sounds of it under a fair whack of pressure at the moment. Go easy on yourself and remember tomorrow is another day.

#10 CallMeProtart

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:22 PM

I do stuff I regret and don't intend to with my kids.

Just do your best not to ever do it again (not because smacking is wrong, I'm pro smacking, but because it's not something you are happy with doing).

#11 lucky 2

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:34 PM

Can you not do all the things you are supposed to do (ie time at the inlaws and christmas things) at the moment?
It sounds like you need to par things down if your mother is sick and your sister as well that sounds very stressful combined with a young family.
Maybe you are better off home as much as possible to rest when you have so much else going on.
I hope you can talk to your DH about how stressed you are.
I'm also a non smacker and I completely understand your reaction, doing what you did does not make you a parent who smacks.
Sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed at the moment.
All the best.

#12 WinterIsComing

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:44 PM

A friend of mine had a breastfeeding baby bite her nipple with such ferocity that she slapped him on the face before she realised what she was doing. It was just a reaction to an unexpected pain. She still mentions it (the boy is 8), now with humour, either way, that has happened to other people who do not  normally hit their children.
Be gentle on yourself, OP, it was just a reflex.

#13 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:45 PM

OP go easy on yourself. You are a mum but you have limits.  I  have snapped more times than I care to admit. If this is the first time for you then you are doing a lot better than I am!

For what it's worth- I don't think you did anything wrong and there wasn't much else you could do in that situation. Your son is fine. Go easy on yourself, we all make mistakes.

#14 poss71

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:35 AM

I think it was the appropriate action in the circumstances. That's not to say you should do this all the time, but there's not many other effective ways to remove a small child's teeth unexpectedly embedded in your body. Yelling certainly would have given the child a shock and caused greater overall trauma.

Sometimes a sharp smack really is the most effective response. Having said that, I'd have a big problem if he bit you again and you smacked him a second time. Now is the time to plan a strategy for dealing with any further biting attempts, before it happens again.

The reason for not smacking is that it doesn't work - and can harm a child physically - if done in anger.

I'd be more concerned about the yelling that seems to be a regular occurrence and, like a PP, suggest that you seek some assistance via a parenting book or course in that regard.

We smack here, but it is not in anger, and it is not to hurt. It is our choice, used to punctuate an important instruction and is always on the bottom, slightly harder than you would tap someone on the shoulder to get their attention.

DH is an occasional yeller, but getting much more infrequent as he becomes more confident with daily care of the children. I rarely yell, but will clap to get their attention and do a 'cross face', since I prefer not to shout.  I don't mind using an occasional "HEY!", to get their attention - if they're really caught up in fighting/bickering - but I'm an 'explainer' lol: I bore them into submission.

Give yourself a break, you sound like you're in a tough space right now. Your son wasn't injured or traumatised and you have the opportunity to do it better next time. As a parent, you can only do your best, not be perfect.

Edited by poss71, 03 December 2012 - 06:42 AM.


#15 somila

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:50 AM

For me it was a knee in the groin.  I'm not a smacker - it was a reflex, no lasting damage to the parent-child bond I assure you.

#16 mpjp

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:31 AM

QUOTE (Balzac @ 02/12/2012, 09:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am a rabid anti-smacker. Rabid. Foam at the mouth anti.

It sounds like you reacted in a situation where you didn't have many options and it sounds like you need to forgive yourself and cut yourself some slack and move on. Hell, I'm not sure I would not have smacked in that situation, given the toothing and the lack of letting go.



Absolutely this. You are human. You did something you didn't plan to do. Give yourself a break, forgive yourself, and let go of it.

#17 Propaganda

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:37 AM

You're not a bad Mum, you have no reason to feel guilty.

When someone inflicts pain on us, no matter who that person is, we have an instantaneous reaction. It doesn't involve thought or consideration, it just happens. Forgive yourself for being human and reacting like just about every human does to situations like these.

He's not going to come to you at 18 and cry about the time you smacked him when he bit you when he was 2.

#18 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

I once smacked my dd on the leg as she bit me really hard( it drew blood) when i was breastfeeding her. I think she was a year old. It was a reflex smack and like you i did feel terrible.I was very shocked that i did that  It just happened and was not the best thing i could have done  but meh. She never bit me again. and i have never smacked her again.

I think you need some time out and a break. And maybe work on the yelling original.gif




#19 Carmen02

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

OP try not to feel bad it is defiently a reflex action i think! I have unfortunely done it (same reason they bit me!) and i really dislike smacking. You are human give him a big cuddle and try not to feel bad.

#20 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:36 AM

OP, you're not up for worst parent of the year award, not by thousand country miles. TBH your post is a bit on the hysterical side and you're over thinking your reaction way, way too much.
Rope in whatever support you can get, have a good meal, have a bath and get some sleep.  
All the best.


#21 Lolpigs

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:46 AM

QUOTE (winkywonkeydonkey @ 03/12/2012, 11:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I once smacked my dd on the leg as she bit me really hard( it drew blood) when i was breastfeeding her. I think she was a year old. It was a reflex smack and like you i did feel terrible.I was very shocked that i did that  It just happened and was not the best thing i could have done  but meh. She never bit me again. and i have never smacked her again.

I think you need some time out and a break. And maybe work on the yelling original.gif


This. If it was a reflex, I wouldn't worry. I generally just apologise for losing my temper explain the frustraion but if it isn't an every day occurrence, I wouldn't get too worried. I am guilty of that myself beating myself up over things like this as I have a flash temper, I don't hit either as I was belted as a kid and it just made me scared of my parents. Your not a bad parent, your a good one because you care so much. I just try to be more observant next time, work on techniques to use instead of cracking it with frustration (my big failing).

However...
It isn't reasonable to expect you to be this benevolent happy person in the face of your children's nonsense all the time. That just isn't possible nor reasonable.

#22 Becky Thatcher

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:54 AM

Thank God the PP have not entered this yet.

OP, I also get caught up doing too much for everyone. You have to cut back for your own sanity. Easier said than done, I know, and I am the worst offender. Sit down and really think how you can offload some of your jobs.When you fall in a heap, you are no good for anyone.

#23 BVB09

Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

QUOTE (Princess.cranky.pants @ 02/12/2012, 10:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP go easy on yourself. You are a mum but you have limits. I have snapped more times than I care to admit. If this is the first time for you then you are doing a lot better than I am!

For what it's worth- I don't think you did anything wrong and there wasn't much else you could do in that situation. Your son is fine. Go easy on yourself, we all make mistakes.


This.




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