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Old 09-17-2014, 08:23 AM
 
1,269 posts, read 758,889 times
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I've always been of the belief that spanking should be an absolute last resort. I used the same logic so many others did before with regards to being spanked as a child. My son, who I absolutely adore, is now 3yrs old. He had an early start with his "terrible twos," and despite my best efforts, I found myself spanking him on 2, possibly 3 occassions. What I've noticed in the months since then is that when he does get angry and frustrated, he tends to lash out physically. He's hit me & my wife before, and thrown things at me. I haven't spanked him in quite some time (5-6 months), so the fact that he tried to hit me yesterday during a tantrum has me worried I've created a lingering problem.

I did a google search for "reversing aggressiveness in toddlers" and stuff like that, but all I can find are links talking about how bad spanking is. I get it now, but I'm not sure how to undo what I've done. Any ideas/suggestions?

 
Old 09-17-2014, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Georgia
4,514 posts, read 3,774,014 times
Reputation: 15511
I don't think it was a result of the spanking -- if you only spanked him 2 or 3 times, and the last time was 6 months ago, it's doubtful he even remembers being spanked. Remember, this is a child who can't remember where he left his shoes five minutes ago. :-) You haven't scarred your child for life -- relax.

I think what you are experiencing is a response to frustration that kids often experience at that age -- emotionally, they are all over the place and haven't learned how to control it. So, get over the guilt, Dad, and start addressing the behavor that is being exhibited. Consequences for hitting, and stop feeling like a hypocrite for saying "NO HITTING". Consequences appropriate for that age include time-out, losing the toy that he threw, etc., etc. Practice staying calm and not getting upset when he pulls this stunt -- part of the fun is the reaction he gets. Stay cool, stay calm, and he will learn that hitting and throwing doesn't get him the reaction he's looking for.
 
Old 09-17-2014, 08:54 AM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,816,014 times
Reputation: 61840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augiec View Post
I've always been of the belief that spanking should be an absolute last resort. I used the same logic so many others did before with regards to being spanked as a child. My son, who I absolutely adore, is now 3yrs old. He had an early start with his "terrible twos," and despite my best efforts, I found myself spanking him on 2, possibly 3 occassions. What I've noticed in the months since then is that when he does get angry and frustrated, he tends to lash out physically. He's hit me & my wife before, and thrown things at me. I haven't spanked him in quite some time (5-6 months), so the fact that he tried to hit me yesterday during a tantrum has me worried I've created a lingering problem.

I did a google search for "reversing aggressiveness in toddlers" and stuff like that, but all I can find are links talking about how bad spanking is. I get it now, but I'm not sure how to undo what I've done. Any ideas/suggestions?

Being spanked 2 or 3 times has not caused your child to become aggressive, he is naturally aggressive and has not learned how to control his impulses.

Perhaps you and your wife should invest some time in parenting classes and learn how to get control of this child and his actions so you can teach him other ways to release his pent up energy and control his aggressiveness.
 
Old 09-17-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,047 posts, read 37,695,377 times
Reputation: 73661
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augiec View Post
I've always been of the belief that spanking should be an absolute last resort. I used the same logic so many others did before with regards to being spanked as a child. My son, who I absolutely adore, is now 3yrs old. He had an early start with his "terrible twos," and despite my best efforts, I found myself spanking him on 2, possibly 3 occassions. What I've noticed in the months since then is that when he does get angry and frustrated, he tends to lash out physically. He's hit me & my wife before, and thrown things at me. I haven't spanked him in quite some time (5-6 months), so the fact that he tried to hit me yesterday during a tantrum has me worried I've created a lingering problem.

I did a google search for "reversing aggressiveness in toddlers" and stuff like that, but all I can find are links talking about how bad spanking is. I get it now, but I'm not sure how to undo what I've done. Any ideas/suggestions?
Forget the spanking. I agree that is not the cause of this problem.

Many kids this age have a hard time COMMUNICATING their feelings, so they express them in ways that, to adults, are unpleasant and SEEM like easy-to-label stuff like "aggressiveness."

When you get frustrated, you probably would lash out also, but you have learned how to express that in a more acceptable way.

That's what you have to help your son do.

So when you see that he is in a situation where he is getting frustrated, guide him through it. Help him remember to use his words.

It takes time and patience, but you can control YOUR frustration and help him learn to control his.

If he gets to be 4 and still cannot express himself appropriately, have him evaluated by a speech therapist.
 
Old 09-17-2014, 11:11 AM
bg7
 
7,698 posts, read 7,633,154 times
Reputation: 14991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augiec View Post
I've always been of the belief that spanking should be an absolute last resort. I used the same logic so many others did before with regards to being spanked as a child. My son, who I absolutely adore, is now 3yrs old. He had an early start with his "terrible twos," and despite my best efforts, I found myself spanking him on 2, possibly 3 occassions. What I've noticed in the months since then is that when he does get angry and frustrated, he tends to lash out physically. He's hit me & my wife before, and thrown things at me. I haven't spanked him in quite some time (5-6 months), so the fact that he tried to hit me yesterday during a tantrum has me worried I've created a lingering problem.

I did a google search for "reversing aggressiveness in toddlers" and stuff like that, but all I can find are links talking about how bad spanking is. I get it now, but I'm not sure how to undo what I've done. Any ideas/suggestions?

Young children learn by example of action, not words. Every mammal on earth learns by copying their parents moves. Words can reinforce actions, but where there is a contradiction between words and actions, the child follows the actions, he is biologically set up for that. Hitting him multiple separate times has indeed put that action in his head - this is how to resolve certain feelings I am having. Its not a matter of "remembering", its become a synaptically strengthened neural pathway in him. When you hit him you weren't rationally "remembering" either. "Oh yes, this is a way to resolve problems, I'll hit him". That's just twaddle. You hit him without remembering, without thinking, its in you already.

And you are on the right course by realizing this. By (1) never hitting him again and (2) by telling him when he does lash out that's its not acceptable, and it never helps anyone, and it feels bad to the person getting hit (and that's all they feel), with proportionate non-violent disciplinary measures if need be, it will slowly turn around. But.....we are talking neural plasticity here - it won't occur immediately. Fortunately, his brain is still developing action pathways, so he can be sent in the right direction, neural plasticity in a youngster is considerable. Good luck - maintain the course!
 
Old 09-17-2014, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Finland
6,319 posts, read 5,223,751 times
Reputation: 10153
While I doubt two or three spanks caused this aggression if it is then reversing it is just going to take time and patience. My toddler acted out aggressively (not due to spanking but because she witnessed domestic violence) and it took about a year for her to act with a 'normal' level of toddler aggression.
 
Old 09-17-2014, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
5,865 posts, read 7,089,766 times
Reputation: 14091
3 year olds can be aggressive little things even if they have never been spanked. It's what they do at that age because they do no necessarily have the words to explain their anger or frustration while at the same time knowing exactly what they want.

At that age, with my daughter, one of my "favorite" phrases was, "You hit, you sit." It meant she had to sit on the stairs alone for a couple of minutes. She hated it and learned pretty quickly. The other thing I would suggest is to get down to his level and look him in the eyes when telling him that hitting, or whatever, is not acceptable. When my kids were young I often told them to "look at my face" so that I knew I had their attention and focus.

I think I spanked DD one time in her life. She was around the same age your son was, and I was very pregnant and very tired. As a young woman today she is not aggressive. A couple of isolated spankings does not mean your child will become a bully and monster as an adult, but he does need to learn that hitting is not acceptable.
 
Old 09-17-2014, 05:55 PM
 
6,461 posts, read 6,096,745 times
Reputation: 9778
My very sweet and non aggressive child went through an aggressive phase around that age. Don't let the tantrums get out of hand. It's a misconception that letting kids gets out the aggression...it just leads to more.

He has to learn how to control his emotions. When he can't he goes to time out. Repeatedly. When he is sitting calmly the timer starts for a minute or so. If he gets up or is aggressive, start over and the timer only starts when he is calm. Later on it's a minute per year of age.

This may take 15 attempts. Heck if your child is stubborn it may take twenty. Don't give up or give in. The next time it will take less attempts.

Don't yell at your child or hit them. Just reason with them and say..." Jake we don't hit. It hurts people. You need to calm down. Remember how we practiced going to time out? We are going to time out to calm down right now. The timer will start when you are sitting calmly."


It's important to PRACTICE before he's upset. You show him what you expect him to do. Then he practices and you can reward him after he's done. You tell hi that he was so calm that he gets to play with the cat or pick a snack. Something he can't do when he's upset.

Also, repeat..."I know it's hard to calm down, but I know you can do it."

It really works...I've used this technique in an inner city school district for years. Works like a charm. I also used it at home.
 
Old 09-17-2014, 11:54 PM
 
Location: encino, CA
866 posts, read 371,166 times
Reputation: 1132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augiec View Post
I've always been of the belief that spanking should be an absolute last resort. I used the same logic so many others did before with regards to being spanked as a child. My son, who I absolutely adore, is now 3yrs old. He had an early start with his "terrible twos," and despite my best efforts, I found myself spanking him on 2, possibly 3 occassions. What I've noticed in the months since then is that when he does get angry and frustrated, he tends to lash out physically. He's hit me & my wife before, and thrown things at me. I haven't spanked him in quite some time (5-6 months), so the fact that he tried to hit me yesterday during a tantrum has me worried I've created a lingering problem.

I did a google search for "reversing aggressiveness in toddlers" and stuff like that, but all I can find are links talking about how bad spanking is. I get it now, but I'm not sure how to undo what I've done. Any ideas/suggestions?
If I were you, I'd look everywhere to find anything I could to HELP my now damaged child get back to Sanity. I'd get into parenting classes, see a therapist or psychotherapist to help me figure out where I've gone wrong! Other than that, I have no idea how to HELP your now damaged child. I can only say that, when I was little, very bad and inadequate parenting set me and my brother up to become EXTREMELY violent by your son's age! We somehow survived that bad parenting which was considered quite normal in those days (40s).
 
Old 09-18-2014, 02:03 AM
 
Location: Manayunk
513 posts, read 556,717 times
Reputation: 1185
What is with these posts? I feel like people are trolling hard lately.

A kid hits because they are... Wait for it.. A kid!

Not because they may have been spanked at one point and are having some repressed memories that are causing them to act out. Kids get frustrated and hit because they don't know any better. You say "no hitting" and if they continue take away their toys, tv time, etc.
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