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Son exposed to dom abuse and spanking has began displaying behaviors. help

My 2 year old has had to see a lot of fighting between me and my ex the past year. His father also believes in spanking and so do my parents, i do not. Now, everytime i say no no don't do that, he begins spanking himself or hitting himself in the head.. when u get close to his face with your hand, he flinches.. this really worries me.. he has not been beaten, but he has seen some drag out screaming matches that his dad has displayed *we are no longer together* i just need advice on how to help him not be scared and to get over the impact of spanking.. thank you.


Asked by MickeysMom19 at 12:38 AM on Jun. 30, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • Although I believe in spanking that is done in a correct fashion, it is obvious that is not what has happened with him. He shouldn't be spanked because he's already been abused and needs to be loved on. Anytime he needs to be corrected, bring him onto your lap and hug him first. Then let him know whatever you need to tell him. Don't let him hit himself. Tell him God didn't give him arms to hit himself with but so he could give hugs, and spend lots of time holding and hugging this little one. Pray with him that God will heal his heart. In time he can change out of this behavior and learn to love himself again. If you don't want him to ever be spanked then make sure he isn't left with those who would spank him - even family. Don't let them keep him if they will spank. He can't separate the 2-abuse and correct spanking-because he's been swatted down. Do everything you can now to keep him away, but be consistent so he'll obey.

    Answer by GrowingMama at 4:33 AM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • oh that's scary isn't it? Could your inlaws or soon to be ex be spanking harshly your son while he's with them? I used to get spanked with my father's belt when I was a kid. Not beaten at all ever but spanked when definitely disrecptful when I was a kid. I was never fearful of my parents though or belt but I knew for sure then wrong was done, my sibling too. My kids though never.

    Maybe try when he's so so fearful maybe you back up to allow him however long to calm down and don't yell put speak firmly. When he's calmer or maybe even upset try coloring maybe he'll draw what happened to terrify him so much. Other than that I can only think of talking to your doctor or a counsellor. Good luck, hugs to you and your baby.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:44 AM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • wow that's a tough one. maybe hug him after redirecting the behavor? example: he throws a toy... you take away the toy tell him in a stern but calm voice no throwing toys then give him a hug... once he gets a little older he will know your not gonna hurt him and you can stop the hugging when he's in trouble. I know it seems like a reward but it will help him understand that no matter what he does you love him and won't hurt him. good luck. hope this helps and I'm eager to see what other moms have to say.

    Answer by chases_mommy at 12:46 AM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • Thank you, was afraid id get a repsonse like "thats your fault exposing him" well things happen and ive left him for that reason. I was also very abused as a child and i dont want him growing up not trusting anybody and being seltconcious. i love him very much obviously and even more since his dad has decided to not be in his life, but still be in his half brothers, very hard on me right now. my son is never with them alone, because they dont want to see him. but when his father was around he would get out of control anger and smack him in the face or knock him down, and now he just hits himself in the face and says NO NO.. not lightly either.. it is very scarey.

    Answer by MickeysMom19 at 12:48 AM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • When he hits himself, grab his arms and hold them down to his sides (gently). Look him in the eye and tell him very nicley that he doesnt need to hit himself, then give him hugs and tell him you love him. The key is going to be to get him to stop hitting himself and to stop being fearful, is patience and understanding. This may take a long time to accomplish. Good luck!

    Answer by Love2BMommy77 at 1:09 AM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • Thank you

    Answer by MickeysMom19 at 1:15 AM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • tell him very gently and calmly, "no hit" " only kissy kissy" and kiss him instead every time. tell him "we love baby *use his name* we're nice to baby, say again, no hit, only kissy kissy. and kiss him every time. Show him love over and over when he tries to hit or bite then give him something else to do in it's place, like kissy kissy for now. Over and over again every time, he will eventually start knowing that he is worth love and not hits. Keep the no-spanking rule, teaching him thru other methods is better.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:27 AM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • if he is hitting himself in the face that means they are too and thats abuse its one thing to spank but to hit a child in the face like that is just wrong I was very jumpy as a child from abuse I do punish my son but never in excess which is what sounds like to me thats whats going on when he's not with you keep him away from those people FOR GOOD they are not teaching him anything good...

    Answer by aidensmom570 at 8:30 AM on Jun. 30, 2009