MODEST MAMA

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hitting

Seems we have a bit of a hitting problem in the house.

It didn't start at my house. It actually started next door where there are three brothers and one sister. Older sister beats up younger brother who in turn terrorizes his younger brother. Second younger brother has no one to bash because next brother is a baby. So he comes to my house to see who can be his victim. Two of the brothers over here can run faster than the neighbor terror. So that only leaves Henry.

Oh Henry. Henry who runs using his entire body. Henry who runs on tip-toes when he tries to go really fast. Henry who neighbor boy can catch.

Not only does neighbor monster use Henry as a punching bag, Henry has also become "sand and dirt in the face catcher" as well as "scream in your face as loud as I can recipient." Good natured Henry takes it all because he like to play with "freunds."

But when Henry and the brothers start arguing over here, Henry begins to throw and hit. Throw and hit and scream. Throw and hit and scream and kick. Hmmm.

I am so tired of hearing, "Mama, Henry hit me." that I no longer even get up to take care of the problem. I usually mumble something about taking care of it and go back to sorting cloth diapers. When Henry and I are "nuggling," I remind him that we don't use our hands to hit. Then we talk about what we can use our hands for. But he still hits and every time the neighbor boy is out, it gets worse. It's as if all the hard work has been erased. I can't keep him inside all the time.

Any suggestions?

4 comments:

Heidiblossom said...

Feed the neighbor boy some 'ludes. Ha ha, can you at least talk to the neighbor boy's parents? Not allow him at your house?

Jessica said...

Well, you've seen our area. It's hard to keep kids out of your space. Most of the "violence" happens outside. I have talked to his mother and she always takes him inside, but truthfully, that only solves the problem for the time he is inside. She wants to know when he behaves like this, but her solution is a spanking which in my opinion kind of defeats the point. Maybe I am just a wimp for not spanking my kids.

Annie said...

I do spank the kids from time to time and I might for this, i think, since it has the potential to hurt someone else but I don't know if it's necessary. I'm not sure how to solve it, mind you, but I don't know if it's necessary to spank.

I have a policy for my girls, which I borrowed from my friend Allison, that if they aren't actually injured (ie in need of a bandaid), I don't want to hear about who did what to whom. If there's an injury, the aggressor is punished with a timeout. Meanwhile, if I hear or observe them fighting with each other at all, they get a warning and if I hear it a second time, I punish both of them with a timeout. I don't want to get into whose fault it was. No fighting.

I don't think any of that is actually helpful here, though, because it doesn't sound like your boys are actively fighting henry, just getting thwacked. That's much trickier. So basically, I'm useless.

midwest mama said...

I'm sure this probably won't help at all, but we have a similar problem with Peter. He's the hitter, thrower, biter...frankly I think it's just his way of dealing with being the youngest and least coordinated. He wants to be a force to be reckoned with. He'll actually chase Mary around the house with his mouth wide open, with her screaming in terror that he's going to bite her.

He's not actually been a victim of the kind of violence you are talking about with Henry. Sure, Mary likes to pinch (it actually seems to be an involuntary reflex), but Peter's #1 reaction to anger or frustration is to throw or hit...and he'll throw the heaviest thing he can find. I think he's simply not mature enough to handle his emotions. Henry may be experiencing the same feelings and then the neighbor kid's behavior is saying "yeah, that's right, hit when you're mad," which cancels out the more constructive things Mom is trying to tell him.

I'm not really a spanker. I think there are occasions that may warrant it, but I don't think it's a general solution. Peter actually laughs and makes a game of avoiding a swat. In fact, he'll laugh unless you leave a mark...so that's clearly not the answer.

As a consolation, he has started to come around a little...sometimes when he's mad at sister he will come to me and say: "I want you to give Marewee a spanking and put her in time owet." Maybe it's just a matter of time...It'll get better, Jessica!

-Susan