Parents: What Would You Do If Your Children Hit You?

Since over in this thread, the subject has been discussed: what would you do if your children hit you? How would you react?

If you would react differently for different ages or how hard they would hit you, state so (ie from a joke tap to a disrespectful smack to a nasty slap to full-blown assault).

My children never ever hit me or my husband. The only type of corporal punishment we used on our kids was slapping their diapered butts when they tried to run out into traffic (we lived on a busy street). Other than that hitting anyone was not allowed in our home. And yet we we all survived and prospered.

And to answer directly, joke slaps by the kids were treated as real slaps and the children were admonished with a stern NO!

I’ve never had children, and that’s probably a good thing, because if my child were to ever hit me the punishment would be physical, instantly applied, and of sufficient intensity as to ensure it would never, ever happen again. It was good enough for my parents; it’s good enough for me.

Child was reminded that battery is an illegal crime against another person; familial relationships are not excluded from that definition. (Look it up.) Punishment was grounding, removal of privileges, and a serious discussion about respect for others.

“Joke” hitting regarded as a lack of respect and serious breach of home rules; punishment depended on child’s attitude and previous behavior. There is no excuse for hitting a family member, friend, or stranger except in (extreme/rare) cases of self-defense. Don’t.

It’s a pretty complex subject in real life. Moreso with an autistic child.

My oldest, now 10, would get frustrated and try to hit me. Each time I would stop her and teach to make a proper karate fist and throw a proper punch instead of a girly little punch. She quickly got tired of the karate lessons. She will, however, occasionally try to hit one of her twin sisters. That’s always a time out. And it’s been several times when I’ve physically intervened (pulled someone away).

The twins, now 6, is a LOT more complicated. Oldest twin has quite the temper. She’s punched both of her sisters and tried to punch me. She gets a timeout for any infraction. I also am working on her to “use words” instead of just grabbing or pushing. I find it amazing that kids tend to grab first and have a whole rationale behind the action, but don’t think of vocalizing it first.

Youngest twin is autistic. Timeouts have no meaning and are irrelevant. She has a very high pain threshhold. Also, getting spanked is something she tries to get as an attention seeking action. Or hell, I dunno, maybe she thinks it’s normal. Eg, throwing a cup of milk on the floor, and then asking or pantomiming to be spanked for doing that.

I had a 6 month period where she scratched. Badly. Drawing blood badly. I don’t know how many times I got my face ripped up but it was dozens. Of course, most of that was at night when she had horrendous sleep issues (now solved through very mild nighttime medication). it took about 6 months of me flicking my finger irritatingly hard on the back of her hand to cut it out. More like 2 years for her to stop doing this to the rest of the family including her mother.

This is not something that timeouts help with (she doesn’t understand the concept of timeouts) or a spanking helps with (it’s not a deterrent) or shame works with (she doesn’t understand language very well), and hitting her wouldn’t do anything but confuse her more. She did get spanked or hand slapped painfully hard a couple of times for attacking her twin. But it was not a cause and effect deterrent, and much more a horribly confused “what did I do wrong crying” that would break any parents heart.

Hell, her mother and I did the happy dance the first time the autistic twin pushed her twin off the kids love seat. It was a “normal” sibling physcial altercation. And the first normal one in 5 years. I certainly don’t want to see her smack her older sisters, but part of me will be overjoyed when she does at a justifiable time. Welcome to austism. :frowning:

Qin - your question has a lot more grey areas than you can probably imagine at this time.

And just to be clear - we don’t allow hitting in the family where at all possible.

I’m sorry to hear this. :frowning:

What is the age of the child? If they are in single digits, they are children and should be treated as such. If the child is a teenager, they may find me putting them down.

In short, there is no hard and fast answer to your question.

Probably hit em back. For neurotypical children, of course. :wink:

Once again,the Family Circus has already discussed this

I like this.

Of course, my answer would have been “Ida Know!”

Best wishes,

I remember an incident with my aunt quite clearly. I was about ten or so at the time, and my cousin was maybe 5 or 6. Anyway she - my aunt - spoiled this kid ruthlessly and would never let my uncle even yell at him. She was cajoling him to behave in some way or another, and my cousin up and popped her one right in the face.

What did my aunt do? Sit there and cry, with her head in her hands, while my bratty little cousin ran in circles going lalalalalalalalala. I remember that image very clearly.

So that is not what you should do.

Hitting of any sort by anyone is strictly forbidden in my home. Any hitting, even just symbolic, gets immediate horror and a loud “No!”. After a few calming breaths I remind her that I don’t hit her, and she doesn’t hit me, no hitting allowed.

Then we talk through the acceptable ways of releasing frustration. We may end up doing push-ups together, or drawing deep breaths, or giving ginormous bear hugs.

There are a lot of variables, but it starts with a horrified reaction, moves to constructive action, and ends in laughter.

Q - if you are old enough to talk about it here, you are old enough to take responsibility for your own actions, and stop looking at what your parents are/are not doing correctly. You are too old for them to fix. It is time to make a decision about what type of person you want to be - and then be that - regardless of other people’s behavior.

Functionally, you’ll have to decide in advance what you are going to do instead. If you haven’t planned out and even practiced alternatives, then when the situation/frustaration hits, you will do what you know.

What are you going to do instead?

This is something that I dealt with briefly with both of my kids. Seems like it comes along when they are 2 or 3 years old.

I taught them that it’s not okay to hit people. I didn’t do it by hitting them back, but by other means.

My son had a temper tantrum one time years later (he was about 8 IIRC). He slapped me hard on the wrist. That time, I put him to bed without any supper. He never hit me again, or anyone else except in self-defense.

“Aw hell no. Is it on? Is it ON?” Plus the crazy-eye.
No, I’m just playing. TruCelt’s post pretty much covered it.

Not a huge deal with toddlers, really…

My two-year-old went through a phase of expressing displeasure non-verbally, with face-slapping.

Time outs, explanation about why we don’t hit people, reminders that we don’t hit her. Contrition, hugs. That behavior didn’t last very long.

Something like this.

Yep–my girl is in this exact phase now. She spends a lot of time in time-out when she gets physical, and she loses privileges (say, going for a walk after dinner, or getting dessert, or whatever). I hope the phase ends soon, as she realizes it never gets her what she wants.

Another vote for depends on the age.

My son went through a hitting phase at age 2, then again for a few months after his sister was born, about age 3.5 to 4, maybe a little longer (it really came to a climax when she started moving enough to get into his toys). His punishment then was a timeout. Usually when I put him in timeout, I tell him in a very controlled manner exactly why I’m putting him in timeout, pick him up and put him there, then when he’s done explain to him that hitting hurts and force him to apologize to the person he hit. Luckily he never intentionally stricken his sister. He’s always taken his anger out on us, which is something I’m okay with if she’s the only alternative. I’m kind of afraid of what would happen if he did that in his father’s presence, because he’d go ballistic.

As he gets older, the consequences will likely become more severe, though I’ll have to think about exactly what they are in advance. My first instinct is to slap him. Hard. I’ve never done that and would never done that, if only because I’m terrified that if I slapped him, I’d do it too hard or would otherwise overdo it, and I never, ever want that to happen. We have a very strict no-hitting policy.

“If I see you hitting anyone, one of your Barbie DVDs goes in the charity box. And no bedtime story.” seems to work OK.

If my son hit me, well, I’d probably take a brief, unplanned nap. He’s 6’1" and 200+ lbs.