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A family friend has demanded I spank my 4 year old and has accused him of being abnormal! Help!

My husband left for Afghanistan in Sept and it took a great toll on my little boy. To help give him focus I enrolled him in Taekwondo. It has really helped his self esteem but for a little while (about 8 weeks) he was kicking everyting. I invited a single male family friend (whom I work with) to Thanksgiving meal, along with extended members of my family. While I was preparing the meal, my 4 year old tried to get my attention. When he did not get it, my son kicked my friend's uninvited dog...not hard, just to see if anybody would care. My friend let me know, I apologized, I made my son apologize to both the dog and to my friend, and then I put him in the corner until he stopped crying and could apologize again. 6 days later he accosted me at work and said it was not enough, he needed to be spanked. He said other 4 year olds don't kick dogs, and if my son could do that 'who knows what he will grow up to be' help!

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momvswild

Asked by momvswild at 1:58 PM on Jan. 30, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (25)
  • I would have spanked him immediately for that kind of behavior.
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 2:00 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • kids do all kinds of things to animals...I think what you did was fin for a 4 yr old-I mean if he was 7 or 8 and kickded the dog that would be another issue.
    This guy has no kids I take it? I think he is being rediculous
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 2:01 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • I say not his kid, not his call. It's pretty rude for a guest to criticize his host's parenting skills too. I don't think I'd invite him over again, and I definitely wouldn't discuss your son or your discipline techniques with him again.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:02 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • I think you handled it perfectly. You dont teach a child not to hit, by hitting them. Tell your friend that you handled it and your sorry he didnt approve, but its not really up to him to approve or dissaprove. Your sorry he kicked the dog, your son apologized, and he was put in time out. Thats the end of it.
    cassie_kellison

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 2:03 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • I would tell your friend that you handled it in the way you thought best....and maybe throw in that when he has children of his own he can discipline however he sees fit. And it would make me angry that he brought his uninvited dog to my house in the first place.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:06 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • I think the punishment you gave your son was sufficient. He's 4 years old for crying out loud.
    A time out and an apology is exactly what I would have done as well. I would make sure to explain to him that it's not ok to kick animals or people and that there are other ways of getting your attention.
    If this was his first time doing something like that then I think what you did was fine.

    Your co-worker was way out of line. He has no right to tell you how to raise your child. He would punish a violent act with another violent act? What would that teach your son? It's not ok to kick the dog but it's perfectly fine for an adult to hit a child?
    That would be sending mixed messages.

    Kids do stupid things, it's our job as parents to guide them and help them learn from their mistakes. I wouldn't be worried about what your son will grow up to be because of one minor incident.
    You did the right thing.
    Laila-May

    Answer by Laila-May at 2:07 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • Some friend. Anyone who told me how to discipline my chidren would get a mouthful . Your son can kick your friend by all means, he sounds very kickable, but the poor dog, do raise hin to be kind to animals . Some animals ate so much nicer than some people.
    janet116

    Answer by janet116 at 2:08 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • Whether or not the dog was invited it was there and didn't deserve to be kicked. I think you did a fantastic job in teaching your son right from wrong!!!! That's what I have done too when my kids had done serious wrongs. No matter if he was a parent or not parents are allowed to parent and discipline differently. I'd tell your friend not to worry you've taken care of it.

    If he bring it up again or gossips about you, if you're asked comment just that son immediately apologized to him multiple times and timed out then walk away from the gossip. He's upset for his dog still plus possibly doesn't understand the unpredicatable behavior of kids.

    You did a great job!!!
    lfl

    Answer by lfl at 2:09 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • Thank you all so much for your kind words; To Nanny, I do believe that if the situation warrants it I may have to spank my children. But I don't spank them for everything and it takes an act that he was not sorry for and did not want to learn from. He was sorry and he learned. It's just my style. I do not judge anyone's style, but I was deeply hurt for his insistence I spank my child, and also for insisting other four year olds don't do this. also, yesterday, he fought with me again, pulling me outside my office. He reiterated his refusal to apologize, and stated again that 'he knows lots of 4 year olds (I don't think he does outside a nephew I think out in california)' and '4 year olds do NOT do those things'. Then he accused me of calling him a liar when I said I didn't believe him! should I retain this friend? It would be a loss to our family but I feel the need to defend my son. thank you.
    momvswild

    Answer by momvswild at 2:14 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • lose him-he's a jerk who is completely clueless
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 2:18 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

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