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What do you think?

My DH was beaten as a child, fully abused to the point where his personality has fractured.
To make sure that he never does this to our kid(s) he has come up with his own method of handling DS when he's throwing a fit. He sprays him with water our of a spray bottle.
He never sprays him in a way that is harmful, and tries not to get him in the face. About 99% of the time it makes DS laugh and then he comes and gets the bottle and a waterfight ensues. The other 1% he just cries louder. He can be very stubborn.
My dad thinks that the spray bottle is abusive, stating DS is not a cat. I think it's fine, especially the way DH uses it... What do y'all think?


Asked by Anonymous at 3:34 AM on Jan. 22, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I applaud your husband for finding a non-handson way to handle it...I'm with some of the others, though I don't think it's going to be effective in the long run. And not only waterfights outside with the hose, how about running through the sprinklers?

    I do think introducing time out might be a better way to go...standing in time out until your son is ready to go do what he was told...and can still be "hands off".

    My dad was abused and rarely laid a hand on us...but he chose to yell...a LOT. We did grow up fearing him because of the yelling. (he was tall and had a very deep voice!! lol) He was afraid to touch us because he was afraid he would hurt us...

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 7:32 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • i think its fine. i dont see how the bottle is abusive.

    Answer by MommaBear1129 at 3:43 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I don't think its abusive, but I do think it is uneffective:) Jmo

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:46 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I don't think it's abusive...but what is it telling a child about their mistakes? Discipline is used to teach a child something and honestly I don't see any message there...especially when a water fight comes out of it. You and your husband should sit down and find other ways to discipline your son and it doesn't have to involve spanking. There are tons of books on this if you look at your local library. Sometimes you just gotta be creative. What works for one kids doesn't always work on another.

    Answer by britni11 at 3:46 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • While it may seem on the surface to be rather ineffectual, honestly, when DS is acting up and DH says "Do I need to go get my spray bottle?" He generally does what he's told right away. It's just that he's 3 and sometimes he throws little tantrums. No is not a word he hears a lot, because he's generally a really good kid. But in those circumstances where the answer is 100% no you cannot do that, he tends to get upset.
    I find that distraction rather than punishment in those cases is a lot more effective at killing the tantrum right away, and he still understands that he did something wrong. Just that we also still love him and want to play with him, he just needs to not be doing (insert whatever) right now...
    Does that make sense?

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:57 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I don't think its abusive but it does sound a lil weird. But hey if it works go for it.

    Answer by Tams_jade at 4:05 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • why dont you try and introduce time out to your husband?? i do agree that its not abusive and also not effective..what is your child gonna think when its summer and everyones outside playing and dad squirts kid with the hose to play?

    Answer by tnteaton at 4:05 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • Yeah...I dunno it does make sense...I'm not gonna judge you... I personally won't do that to my son...but like the pp says...if it works for you then you are the what works for you guys. I also can't say to much because my son is only 5 mos and I don't know if it's to young to teach a 3 y/o about consequences from his/her actions...I guess it would depend on the maturity level and would depend on the child. It might work for now...but you gotta think long term is your husband still gonna spray him when he's 10? or 15? Will it work at those ages? I'm not an expert...just throwing things out there. Good luck!

    Answer by britni11 at 4:13 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • As tnteaton says, what will happen if it's hot out and your hubby sprays him with the hose? It may send a conflicting message. But, it's not abusive, I'm a little unsure as to the effectiveness, but if you guys think it's working, then it's fine. It's much better that your hubby has found another way to deal with your son than to simply continue the pattern of abuse that his own parents did.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 6:53 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • Hmmmm.........its def. hands off. I dont know, I just keep getting visions of asylums and spray hoses. Its different but the concept is the same. Im with your dad..........your son is not a cat. I applaud your husband for seeking other alterntives to hitting. That is a HUGE step. Kudo's to him. But as the others said, mabey its time to find another alternative.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 9:06 AM on Jan. 22, 2009