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Sd8 told BM

staying calm's picture

DH very rarely disciplines SD8. He "talks" to her about what she did wrong. Needless to say that does not work. Most of the time she does whatever she wants. I have really done well with ignoring these things that used to drive me crazy and make me angry. Recently DH popped SD8 on the back of her head. She was really out of control, and she actually screamed at him. It was the first time she had done this, and I think he was so surprised that he reacted to it by popping her. Now he did not knock her to the ground, or smack the crap out of her... she did not have a concussion or traumatic brain injury...but he did scare the living daylights out of her. (Which IMHO is exactly what she needed) So what does she do? She goes to BM and tells her that daddy hit her. OMG So now BM, who really couldn't care less about SD8 (wanted to give her up for adoption when she was born) is breathing down DH's back. He has full custody and she is threatening this and that. My concern is that DH will never even try to discipline SD8 again after all this. Any thoughts? SD8's behavior is and has been pretty good as long as she is doing exactly what she's when you tell her no that the problems start. In my mind this will only make things much worse with her because she knows she can control this now.

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

Sorry but I agree with the Op. DH is out of control hitting a child in the head. Doesn't matter what the child said or did. He is a MAN - he hit a CHILD. Hit the wrong way or one too many time can cause serious brain injury or death. Don't stick your head in the sand because you enjoyed seeing the skid get hit. You just might be next.

WTHDISUF's picture

I take it he tapped her in the back of the head, not bruised her or created a bump or do anything but tap her back to reality out of her fit. You'd think he beat her with a bat... jeez.
BM would have to PROVE damage to the child, a pattern of repeated bonafide abuse, other forms of mistreatment. Sounds like the worse thing he's done is NOT effectively discipline her at all & this response of his was out of not knowing what else to do in the moment. While it was wrong thing to do, I don't think it's a case of War. The Courts rarely give Dads full custody unless Moms agree or don't want to be bothered so that holds some weight if she does want to take it that far. His lack of appropriate discipline in ONE incident does not negate all of his previous Parenting. Good grief.

It sounds to me that he should seek some professional help on proper disciplining. That could be a book, a short term local program or a talk with a Parenting specialist. He could learn the tools on how to discipline consistently, for results and with love, not anger. That'd lessen the chances that he'll use physical discipline again and it'll improve his ability to discipline in future. (Granted, she's 8 so she may be too far gone to have any real improvements as she's gotten away with chaos for a long time it seems).

I have a SS8. He started being a real brat around age 6. Lord knows DH is NOT a disciplinarian and it's not my place to discipline but there was one time in which SS had a meltdown on me for not being able to watch cartoons (vs getting ready for school) that I would have liked to whoop that boys butt. Lol. Shortly thereafter, lo and behold, he had such a fit one day that his own BM spanked him (he literally peed on his bed and on her b/c he was mad about having to get ready for school vs watching Scooby doo at his leisure). We didn't know this was the case for about a week or so but his behavior in school and home was so much better that we casually mentioned it to her and she told us then she'd had to spank him. Now I don't advocate spanking but I do advocate effective and correction-based discipline so as long as a Parent does SOMETHING that works, be it time out or toy removal. But when they do NOTHING or just do talks the kids learn mean nothing, that's when it becomes an issue.

That's when it can lead to a loss of better ideas as it did with your DH. He can continue to discipline her but he just has to learn other/more appropriate ways to do it. Advise him to seek some guidance. There's an ad on here about the Totaltransformation for proven ways to fix behavior issues. Worth a shot--gotta start somewhere! Good luck!

IronRose's picture

}:) Scooby-peed! :jawdrop: I think I did, too. From laughing so hard. Blum 3

WTHDISUF's picture

Ironrose, I'm just glad he did that with HER and not with me because I'm sure at that point, I would have put him over my knee, to hell with what his Parents thought. Nasty little sucker.

klm1717's picture

I personally believe in the 'spare the rod, spoil the child' adage-new parenting is what's created these Monsters. It's interesting to note that NONE of Dr. Spock's (the supposed parenting guru, father of the 'time out' I believe) children were speaking to him when he died. My mom beat the tar out of me once when I was 4-she'd still be in prison by today's standards, but I waqs NOT scarred for life by it, I DID deserve it, & we all laugh about it now-she says I was the perfect child afterwards! She was & is a wonderful mother to 5 kids, we all refer to her as "Saint Joan". A good smack on the head may be just what she needed...I know SD here makes Damian look like an angel-she needs to get the tar beat out of her, IMHO, but DH won't touch his little angel, & I don't feel like doing time...

tweetybird74's picture

Just as a note, BM would not have to prove that DH his the child. The child is 8 and would b e able to speak for herself. So if lets say BM called CPS they would speak with the child and given her age she would be able to give details as to exactly what happened. Now with that said it is unlikely CPS would do much other than talk to DH about how to handle his child without the use of physical force and read him the riot act about how dangerous it is to hit a child in the head! Hands off is always the best policy!

NJStepmom's picture

A scream does not warrant a pop on the back of the head. There is obviously a breakdown of communication in your family and I suggest family counseling.

staying calm's picture

I appreciate everyone's feedback. I am not sure people understand what i mean by "he popped her in the head" . He did not punch, strike, beat or smack her. Imagine a rolled up newspaper, now pop it down on your leg. It makes a sound, but it doesn't really hurt. It does get your attention. This is what he did, only instead of a paper it was his fingers. Having said that i agree that this should not have happened. He should not pop anyone in the head. I would have swatted her in the butt IF she was my child. I didn't mean to cause a debate about wether it is appropriate to pop a kid in the head. My concern is that he may never try to discipline her again in anyway. I also understand that 8 year olds tell everyone everything and that he shoud not be suprised that she told her mom. But i would think, in the interest of co parenting, mom might say "oh goodness, that doesn't sound like dad? What did you do.". And then Sd8 would spill the beans and mom might say "well that wasn't a very good way for dad to handle that, but it is never ok for you to scream at either one of your parents.". Mom might, in the interest of parenting this child then call dad later, when sd8 was asleep, and ssy " listen dumbass, don't pop our kid in the head!" and then she might give him some advise on how to better handle situations like that. But i guess it's not a perfect world... And i guess i will be lucky if no one calls cps on me for saying that IF sd8 was my child and yelled at me like that i'd spank her butt.

staying calm's picture

And fyi echo, bm wanted to give her up until dh took her to court when sd was 3 years old, and even then she didn't want her, that's how dh got full custody.