Fighting

My son Cole is living the reality of a prisoner for quite a while. He was thrown out of his lacrosse game for fighting with a ref today. Thankfully my husband was on the sidelines or it may have gone to blows, I'm ashamed to say. As scary as it is I think my little boy is entering puberty. He's been a lot more violent lately, he doesn't watch much TV never has shown any interest in videogames... It's not good. Theo (My husband) Said he'd handle it, that he understands how a boys mind worked at this age. This would not be nearly as big a deal if I didn't see a pattern of voilence developing, but last week he pushed his little sister off a swignset for no apparent reason and then when we demanded an answer he just clamed up and stormed off. He and his little brother always rough housed, but there's a diffrent tone to it now. Theo actually has to pull them apart sometimes,and before whenever Evan said he had enough Cole would stop immediatly.

Anyways, I just stepped back and let Theo handle this because like he said, he understands the difference between boys being boys and things getting a little out of hand verses real aggresive violence. We pulled Cole from sports games for the rest of the weeek, even though the red card means he only has to miss one. We're still making him go to practices though. He is in his room and only leaves for school and to go to the bathroom. We drive him too and from school instead of letting him take the bus like he usually does, because we know he hates it. We took his and laptop yesterday. It goes without saying theres no TV or videogames (Even though that part did't really effect him) But anyways the TV is in the living room and he won't be setting foot in there for a while, so doesn't matter. Theo has been bringing him all his meals to his room, but you can tell Evan is missing his brother which I think is so sweet. I don't know how much longer this is going to go on, but I hope for everyones sake not long. Hopefully Cole will straighten up and offer a proper apology. We're saying he has to write an apology letter to his coaches and the ref and we won't even discuss when his punishment ends until then.

It's going to be a long few weeks...
Tropicana55 Tropicana55
31-35, F
4 Responses May 21, 2012

Time to blister his ***!

Sounds to me like Cole could use a good session with a razor strop.

True to your username, lol.

LOL right abut that. I didn't get it at all growing up but I recognized early on that I should have. I needed it, and I knew it. Parents denying their children real discipline,when they need it to learn boundaries and rules,makes it difficult for the children later in life.

I couldn't agree more, but I parent by the philosophy that every child is different. Ive found with my kids, the hands off approach works. They would much rather be spanked than have to spend two weeks in their rooms without their phones or without playing outside with their friends. We havent had any fights since this incident (thank God) but Im not against spanking, if they needed one they'd get it, no hesitations.

Well, I don't know if I would go along with all of that, but obviously you know more about the situation. I guess we just disagree on whether they needed one in this particular case. Also, for the record, I didn't have many friends with which to go out and play...so I don't think that would've worked with me.

Like I said, everyone's different.

Certainly, but I believe more probably fall into the "need spanking" group, rather than the "removing privileges" group. Just a hunch.

I would have no idea, I'm kept busy enough with the 4 I have.

Good luck with that. I think you'd be less busy if you spanked, but, if it's working for you, that's great.

Thanks, I agree. Any kids of your own?

No, I have none, but I can assure you that if I ever did have them, I'd be a lot harder on them than my parents were on me. I wouldn't want them to have that void in their lives like I did, without their dad or other family members, for that matter, keeping them in line. . I was actually shy, academic high-achiever type, not a problem child by any means, but I know there were times when I crossed the line and needed the strap.

Any reason you favor the strap in particular?

I just believe the strap is the most effective of the options available, and razor strops in particular are better than regular belts/straps, as they hurt more. This may be why they have fallen out of favor in many parts -- but not all parts, as a few days on this EP have clearly shown; and when they were used fairly regularly back in the day, children were a lot better behaved.

I don't know if my prime object as a parent necessarily to raise an obedient child, but more one that can function independently in the real world, but more importantly be happy in the real world. (A bit unorthodox I know).
And I do agree some pieces of being obedient and well behaves go hand in hand with being a functional, happy, productive, adult. I do believe my children need to know how to take orders, but I also want them to know how to challenge authority and opinions (when appropriate). And think for themselves. I want them to make their own decisions, even if that means sometimes making the wrong decisions, without fear of consequences, (again, only in some instances)

I think a very important part of being obedient and well behaved goes together with being a functional adult. Children need to be kept in line. They need to learn the importance of boundaries and not to step over the line. They also need to how to determine right and wrong in a situation, because otherwise they are going to have a hard time later in life when they have to start making decisions for themselves about their own lives. I agree there are certain situations where you'd want them to know how to challenge authority and opinions, but i see that as a small minority of the time; the bigger concern to me is the majority of time when that is inappropriate..

I think this ties in again to how all children are different, thus the situations they find themselves in will be different. Though I do completely agree, there are few things more important to teach a child than boundaries, right and wrong, and tracking the tone of a situation and making a conscious decision about the most appropriate reaction.
But I feel it's best (with my kids) to teach through experience. I would rather they behave innapropriately as an isolated incident and have them learn from that, get them real world experience as to why the lesson is important and how it applies to the real world. I've found it's a good way to show them that I'm not just telling them these things because I'm their mother, that there really is something to it.
For instance, my second oldest, the one referred to in the story, Cole, when he was in 4th grade I told him a thousand times that he needed to be in bed by 10:00. He assumed I was just saying that to get him out of my hair, he didn't take me seriously. So I decided to let him stay up one night, to show him what it feels like to not have had enough sleep. Since not sleeping isn't dangerous for him, I decied it would be okay. Well, come 4:00 AM I went down to the kitchen to get a glass of water, there was Cole. I come down at 6:00, he's still there. He's energized, dressed, and ready for school. I remind him he has a big soccer game after school, he gets in the car and is al full of "I told you so" 's. Little did he know what was coming next.
Around 10:35, I get a call from the nurse's office saying Cole isn't feeling well and came in to take a rest. I told her to put him on the phone with me. I said, "You chose to stay up. You made your bed, now you have to lie in it." I told the nurse to send him back to class.
I go to his soccer game, he was so exhuasted and out of it he edned up blowing the game for his whole team.
Long story short, now when I tell him it's time to go to bed, he goes straight to bed.

I've encountered similar situations with all my kids, and my method has proved itself time and again (For MY kids, at least.)

Of course, there are situations such as siuations involving safety, in which I do not hesitate to discipline swiftly and severly. Safety is my number 1 priority.

As far as right and wrong, I've taught my kids to follow their instinct with things like fights with friends, how far is too far to take a joke, etc. I've taught them about guilt, following their gut instinct, and have told them time and again "Never do anything you would be ashamed to tell me or your dad." We have also promised them complete immunity if they cofess to us and tell us the complete truth, if it's before the fact. We told them that if their friends ever want them to do something their uncomfortable with, if they have a problem and afraid we may be mad, we've promised them as long as they tell us the whole truth and do whatever they feel is necesarry to rectify the situation then we will not "mad". We said that we will still be dsissapointed, we will still have to address the problem, but we will not be angry. However, if they tell AFTER the fact or after the situation is out of hand, we will be angry. i.e.; If Cole in a few years were to get a speeding ticket, but he came to us immediatly and told us about it, we would not be mad. If he got a ticket and tried four different things to cover it up, until he started getting the red government stamped warning envelopes, we would be mad.

As far as basic manners, we've established a relationship with our kids so that they respect us but do not fear us. All it takes is one firm "Don't take that tone with me." or "That is not how I taught you to eat at a restaraunt." To get immediate rectification and an apology.

Of course, we do have to punish sometimes. We do that by taing away privledges and grounding because our kids are okay to deal with pain. They would much rather we spank them than ground them. They can still go out with friends if we spank them, a spanking is over in a matter of minutes but grounding could take weeks. They've even said "Can't you spank us instead? Louis is having a big party on Saturday, I have to be there!"

So so far we haven't had to use that method yet, but like I said, should asituation come up that warranted it, I wuldn't hesistate. It's not that I'm against spanking, it's just that it hasn't been necesarry with my kids yet. If it works for you, mroe power to you. If it works, then it works, every child and parent is different.

Thank you for the interesting and thorough response. I appreciate the explanation of your process of teaching through experience. In your example with the soccer, I would hope that the coach would have had a few words with him over that situation.

I am a bit unclear about certain points, however. You indicate that “Of course, there are situations such as siuations involving safety, in which I do not hesitate to discipline swiftly and severly.” and “So so far we haven't had to use that method yet, but like I said, should asituation come up that warranted it, I wuldn't hesistate. It's not that I'm against spanking, it's just that it hasn't been necesarry with my kids yet.” . I don't know how they both could be the case if they haven't been spanked before.

Further, you say that “Of course, we do have to punish sometimes. We do that by taing away privledges and grounding because our kids are okay to deal with pain. They would much rather we spank them than ground them. They can still go out with friends if we spank them, a spanking is over in a matter of minutes but grounding could take weeks. They've even said 'Can't you spank us instead? Louis is having a big party on Saturday, I have to be there!'“

Regarding that, I don't know how you would know that, if they haven't really been spanked before. This is only based on what they are telling you. I would suggest that your kids probably wouldn't be able to deal with a good, hard spanking of some duration, given with a razor strop. In all likelihood, I think they would prefer having their privileges taken away, and a grounding, than an old-school trip to the woodshed. Next time there's a situation where you need to decide between giving that spanking or having the grounding and whathaveyou, if you gave that spanking as I described it, I think you'll see that maybe I could have been right on this.

I agree that every child is different, but I'm just not sure that the situation has fully developed in this case to know for sure that they would prefer a spanking to the other means.

Those are all valid points, but allow me to explain.
First of all, pertaining to the soccer incident, the coach didn't need to say anything the team did all the talking the coach could have done and more. :-)

And as far as my kids not being able to deal with a spanking when it got right down it, that si probably true for most kids, and for my youngest child and my second youngest that may be true. But somethign you should know about Cole is that he can tolerate pain if it means he'll still get what he wants. Lasst year Cole broke three of his fingers for a bet. What did he win? 10 dollars. He had broken his finger before (But accidentally.) So he knew it would be a less than pleasant experience, but at that particular time he was saving up for a new lacrosse stick and was only 12 dollars away from meeting his goal, so he thought it was worth it. When we rushed him to the emergency room, he wasn't even crying. My 5 year old asked him, "Doesn't that hurt?" His response, "Yes, but I needed that 10 dollars and I had to pay a price to get it. But it was worth it because now I can get a new stick before the season ends!" When the doctor asked Cole fi it was worth it, he said "Absolutely. It was excuriating, but it will heal." So that's his approach to pain. My oldest daughter Katherine has a high pain tolerance, she would never do anything as mindless and wreckless as breaking her own fingers for 10 dollars, but she would rather endure pain if it meant she could have a good social life. I do not have an specific incident where she has chosen pain if it meant boosting her social status, however I do know she handles pain well, because she toppeled off a medium sized cliff while hiking and a jagged rock ripped through all 7 layers of her skin on her left leg, and she just bit her lip and said, "We need to go to the hospital NOW." Though there were tears in the corners of her eyes she wouldn't allow herself to cry (It's a pride thing, she's a teenager, it will pass." But I know I couldn't have had all of my skin ripped through and not cry.

The only aspect of a spanking that my older two couldn't handle is the humiliation, but I can humiliate them just as much without spanking if I need to. I remind them quite often that I could have their baby pictures on the front page of their school newspaper if they aren't careful (I would never actually do that of course, but they don't know that.)
My younger two are just young and don't like pain, but they would soon forget about the pain and move on. Pain doesn't slow them down, it upsets them for the better part of an hour but then they become too distracted with something else to care.

The points you were unclear about, I will now attempt to make clearer, reading them again I do realize they may need further explination.
The first one, “Of course, there are situations such as siuations involving safety, in which I do not hesitate to discipline swiftly and severly." Let me begin by saying, so far luckily, I haven't had many serious situations involving my children's immediate safety. I think the worst I've ever had to deal with was when my daughter Liberty (2nd youngest) was when she decided she was going to ride her bike off the block without a helmet in 1st grade.
She didn't make it very far, because after the 3rd one was born I find myself constantly doing a headcount of the kids. It took my 5 minutes after Liberty left the house to realize she was gone. She got 3 blocks away, my elderly neighbor, who raised 5 kids of her own and has 9 grandkids, found Liberty before I got there and called me, she knew Liberty wasn't supposed to be that far from the house, she said that it would be fine for Liberty to wait inside her house so she wouldn't be on the street. I thanked her profusely and promptly came to collect her. Lib could tell from my face that she had made a BAD decision. This was an act of willful disobedience because I told her at least 25 times since she got that bike that she never rides without a helmet and she doesn't leave the block unless either myself, her daddy, or her sister was with her. So I went frmo being petrified and anxious to angry and tense the second I knew she was safe. (With the 15 seconds of relief and thanks that she hadn't been harmed in between.) But I could not believe she would do this, especially since she knew how important safety was to me and how danergous it was to do. I knew I was not in any condition to deal with the situation right then and there, I was so mad I didn't even think I should drive. I told Liberty to go wait in the car with her brothers and sister while I spoke with our neighbor. (Katherine was at an age where it was ok for me to leave the kids with her alone.) I went in, I told our neighbor I needed a second to calm down, and she was gracious enough to let me sit in her living room for about 5 minutes and jus ttake a few breaths. When I finally decided I could go back out, I got in the car didn't say a word and drove us home. I had called Theo at work the second I realized Liberty was gone, and by this time he was back at the house so I left the kids with him and sent Liberty to her room. I needed a moment to think, safety issues invovling leaving the house alone and stranger danger strike a nerve with me because of a childhood incident. I went to my room and just cried, I was so emotional from the shock of the whole thing. When I finally collected myself Theo and I went to talk to Liberty together. We didn't raise our voices, because I don't think kids can really take in what your saying if your yelling, so we calmly explained to her the seriousness of the situation (In an age appropriate way so as not to put too much fo a scare into her.) When she realized how badly I was freaked out she started to cry. But then I knew that was not the time to try to console her or get soft or back down. We told her very firmly that she would not be seeing TV, computer, friends, desserts and other treats, or the outside world for quite some time. Not to mention no bike for 3 months. We also informed she would be writing our neighbor a letter of apology and hand delivering it too her. But we wanted to make a point, so we knew that wouldn't be enough. We called her teacher and arranged for Liberty to give a short presentation on the importance of bike safety and wearing a helmet, using her own mistake as an example. She hated every second of it, but it taught her a lesson.

The second part, “So so far we haven't had to use that method yet, but like I said, should asituation come up that warranted it, I wuldn't hesistate. It's not that I'm against spanking, it's just that it hasn't been necesarry with my kids yet.” That is because the only situations with my kids that would warrant a spanking would be doing something dangerous at a young age such as running into the street or away from me in a parking lot, attempting to touch the stove, etc. But by some small miracle they haven't done that yet, except for once when Katherine reached for a pot on the stove when she was 13 months, I had actually completed forgotten about that incident until now. I gave her 5 or 6 firm pops on the behind. I do not tolerate anything unsafe, no warnings no second chances, not when it comes to safety.

But I do agree with your last point, that a situation hasn't fully developed for me to speak with authroity on the effectiveness of a spanking on my kids, but I don't wish to find out until it is absolutely necesarry. That may end up being the wrong decision, but it's a risk I'll have to take.

Wow... I wrote a lot.

Yes, you did, and thanks for sharing. Evidently my comments really sent you off thinking, and that's cool with me. I just have a few points in response:
-Breaking three fingers on purpose, to me, warrants the razor strop. I bet you would agree with me if you didn't have health insurance and those expenses would come out of your own pocket.
- I think the second daughter there might not be able to handle the razor strop all that well. You can't judge a possible reaction to that based on a very different pain situation at age 7.
-Regarding the situation with Liberty, I have a couple of points: a) what do you expect when her name is Liberty? , and b) you were very lucky that neighbor found her, and if you had been telling Liberty not to do that on so many different occasions and she still violated it, I think she needed the razor strop.
- You may well wind up regretting not spanking, but that's a chance
you're willing to take. I clearly think you've had experiences where you should've spanked, but we disagree about that.

Maybe I have, maybe I'll regret. We'll know in a few years.

Yes, indeed, we will know in a few years. I hope for your sake that things turn out right for you.

Thank you, and thank you for your concern.

19 More Responses

Um ... did everyone forget what they were like as teenagers? My neice was one of the moodiest teenagers there was, finally got her past that stage and now she's pregnant with hormone induced mood swings. Then you have her 12 year old brother who is starting to get the tween moodswings. He has a little sister who i think i will pull my hair out before she becomes a teen.

That. Sounds. TERRIBLE.

You have no idea lol cept mama to be is getting past the mood swings for the most part. I just ignore her most of the time.

Sounds like to me Cole needs a good bare bottom spanking with the paddle.