M.Z. asks from Aurora, CO on March 15, 2011
I Know I Didn't Do the Right Thing, But...
My kids were watching a video last night on my computer and it was almost bedtime (I let them watch for about 30 minutes), so I turned off the computer when the video was over and I asked them to go brush their teeth. My 6 years old boy asked me if he can watch another one and I told him that was time for bed and we can watch another one tomorrow. He was a little desapointed, but understood and didn't say anything. My 5 years old threw a fit about it. He kept pulling on the mouse of the laptop. I told him to be careful because he could brake it and won't be able to watch anything if he keeps doing that. He didn't listen to me and just kept pulling and here is my laptop on the floor... For the first time I spanked him and I feel horrible about it. He cried and was following me everywhere telling me that he was hurt. I sat down with him and explained that what he did was very wrong and that he will have to give up going to the park the next day. I asked him to apologize and he did, saying that he was sorry that this happened. But he was more focused on the fact that I spanked him and that he was hurt. Needless to say how I felt, I know that I did something wrong and I should not have done it, but it happened and I can't change anything. I had to skip the storytime also and I felt bad for my 6 years old that he had to pay for that too. No storytime for him and no park as well. My older boy was telling me that was okay and that could happen in school that someone will ruin everything for the entire class and he was fine with that. When my little one was asleep and I could see his tears still in his eyes, I was wondering if I should apologize to him.. How would he take it if I do? Please let me know what you think..
So What Happened?™
We had a good day together! We gave each other hugs and he told me that we was sorry that he did that and I told him that I was sorry that I lost my temper, but I explained that there will be consequences if he does not listen to me and that we have to work on that and talk about it another day (what would be the consequences if he does not listen to me and what I should do to make him understand what I want, like giving him warnings...). I did take them to the park, but I was firm about the time. I told him that I know that I said no park for you today, but because your brother will need to go and couldn't find someone to take him, we will go just for 30 minutes and that was what we did. And yes some of you told me that spanking, taking away the story time and the park was a little too much, so I had to cut back one punishment, but not entirely because I have already committed to do it. He was fine with that and grateful that he got to go. I really liked the idea of the "what not to do" list and I am thinking to use it! Some of your replies brought tears to my eyes! Yes I am proud of my eldest son and I did tell him that before he went to school today. Thank you for all your replies, really appreciate your kind words and encouragements!!
S.D. answers from Austin on March 15, 2011
I think it all depends on how you spanked him. If you spanked him out of anger, you need to apologize. If you were level headed, explained to him why he was getting spanked, and meted out a set punishment, that's different. Spanking out of anger is no different than a beating and the child can tell that's what happening. I'm not saying that's what you did, just laying out what I think the line is.
3 moms found this helpful
C.N. answers from Baton Rouge on March 15, 2011
If spanking is out of the norm for you, then I would apologize for having let my anger get the better if me and spanking him. I would also reiterate that he still can't o to the park because he threw a tantrum an ddisobeyed me when I told him to go take a bath and again when I told him to stop pulling on the mouse.
There have been times when I punished my daughter for things I later found out she didn't do. I admitted to her that I had been wrong, and apologized for having punished her when she wasn't guilty.
There have also been times when, in the heat of anger, I imposed consequences that were excessive. When my head cleared, I told her that I felt that I had over-reacted, apologized for my reaction, and altered the consequences to something I felt was more suitable.
My ex saw this as a sign of weakness on my part - he felt that a parent should never apologize to a child, even if the parent was undeniably wrong. I felt that admitting to her when I had been wrong and making amends was modelng the way a person should behave when they've made a mistake in dealing with other people.
2 moms found this helpful
P.M. answers from Tampa on March 15, 2011
DO NOT APOLOGIZE! You did nothing wrong. You gave him a few verbal warnings - he didn't listen to them so you stepped up the punishment when he almost broke your laptop. HE ALMOST BROKE YOUR LAPTOP. Most times when a laptop falls to the floor, it's expensive to fix. He needs to know his behavior was unacceptable and that when he doesn't listen to your verbal directions, a real punishment will follow.
Hopefully your younger son will start modeling your eldest - which seems to be a great, understanding and smart child.
12 moms found this helpful
T.P. answers from Indianapolis on March 15, 2011
I don't think you need to apologize. I think spankings are ok when a child is doing something destructive or something that can hurt them or themselves. You're not beating them half to death you just gave a couple of whacks on the bottom. I do think that should be the end of it though. The spanking did what it was supposed to do by letting him know that what he did was no ok. He is remorseful so he should be able to go to the park. You are his mother and you have to look out for his best interest. He will think before destroying something else. Don't beat yourself up. He will be ok.
7 moms found this helpful
N.M. answers from Cleveland on March 15, 2011
Absolutely apologize to him. Not only will it make you both feel better, it will model good behavior for him. If you are able to apologize, it will make him more able to apologize to others. That is a great skill that many people never learn. Everybody makes mistakes, but the people who apologize for their mistakes are the ones who are truly successful in their relationships.
I think it shows a great amount of respect to your kids. Not just the one who got spanked, but all of them. Again, you are modelling good behavior.
Don't make a huge deal out of it, but tell him your are sorry that you lost your temper and you'll try to do better next time. Then, give him a big hug and do something fun together.
5 moms found this helpful
J.L. answers from Chicago on March 15, 2011
You are a good Mom..Don't beat yourself up over it. Kids at that age can be very drama..He didn't listen and you used discipline to handle it. If you spanked on the bottom that would be appropriate to punish.. I know I go for the action and consequences first before I resort to spanking. You also apologized because you were angry and yes spanking should not be done out of anger but we all make mistakes..It is how we end up handling it. A five year old should know better and follow the rules. He didn't so there were consequences.
5 moms found this helpful
S.T. answers from Washington DC on March 15, 2011
if your philosophy is 'no spanking' and you did it from anger, then yes, an apology is in order. if your kids know that this type of disobedience will result in a spanking, you let him know he was headed there, and did so calmly, then no, you have nothing to apologize for.
but i'm wondering why he got spanked AND is losing privileges.
you need to pick your consequences for naughty behavior, make sure your kids know what they are, and stick with them. if they don't have firm boundaries and family rules, then they can't be expected to stick to them. so when they misbehave it's unfair to then throw ALL the punishments at 'em.
4 moms found this helpful
M.!. answers from Columbus on March 15, 2011
I think you will get a lot of responses to this, since it is in regards to spanking and there are alot of people for it and alot against it.
I would not apologize though. The punishment was given and I would follow thru with the rest of it with no park and no story time today. This evening I would talk again to him reminding him of "why" he had a punishment and that his behavior was unacceptable. Let him know that you do not enjoy giving punishments but you also do not enjoy the behavior he had given.
When my kids are coming out of time out or whatever punishment they had received I always ask them if they know what they were in trouble for. If they have no idea why they were in time out I feel like they are not learning from it. So, I always review why they were punished and have them tell me what the correct behavior should have been.
4 moms found this helpful
J.H. answers from Kansas City on March 15, 2011
I would definitely apologize b/c of how you feel...you think you did something wrong. We are quick to make our children apologize for hitting or acting out, but it's a little tougher when we do something wrong to say those two little words. You'll feel better and so will he, plus it will show him we all have to apologize when we make mistakes...even mommy.
4 moms found this helpful
M.F. answers from Denver on March 15, 2011
It is possible that he could tell that you felt bad and was trying to play up on that.
It is also possible that he was angry for getting in trouble and trying to hurt you as much as you hurt him. 5 year olds are not stupid.
Now if you did in fact hit him in anger and did it too hard, then yes, I would say, "Mommy is sorry and I should have never spanked you like that. But you have to start listening to me when I tell you to do something."
But if you swatted his bottom one time because he disobeyed and knocked your computer on the floor, no, I do not think you need to apologize.
He has been punished, it clearly got to him, he will never do it again.
4 moms found this helpful