How Do You Handle Your Kid Smacking You?

It was a smack heard around the world. Seriously, I am shocked with what happened. Has your child ever full blown smacked you across the face? You can have one of two reactions: smacking back out of instinct or talk about it with them. I was recently faced with this very experience and was shocked with the reaction I did.

We were all sitting around the TV having what I thought was a fun filled night. Everyone was happy, we were enjoying each other, playing games, and watching a show everyone loved—Dancing With The Stars.

My oldest son wanted to play a game on my phone. For years, I didn’t want games on my phone because it became another thing to take him away from his imagination. I told him the game was no longer on my phone. We pulled it out, I opened it up, and deleted the game in front of him—SMACK!!!!

What had just happened? My son had just smacked me straight across the face. I was in complete shock. I was shocked for a couple things: 1) Where did he learn this from? And 2) What was going to be my reaction if I were to do this?

“Okay, it’s time for bed.” We picked him up and carried him to his room. Kicking and screaming he started to yell, “I hate you dad! I hate you!” It took everything in me not to react. If you know me, you know that I am not one to hold back. Quickly I respond with rude remarks, but this wasn’t the time for that. It was time to be a parent and teach a lesson.

When your kid hits you, how do you handle that? I assumed I would have reacted with spanking him or yelling back, but it wasn’t like that at all. When I was little you were spanked if something like this were to happen. Being a modern dad I have decided to take a different route.

We went in his room and I told him I loved him. I asked him why he hit me and told him again that I loved him. He was upset and didn’t want to talk to me. I let him cry it out and knew that he would be okay.

Really though, it shook me. As I sat on the couch and thought about what happened everything went through my head. Am I a bad parent? Do I not give him enough attention? How can I show my kids more love? What do they need from me, their father?

Suddenly I was hearing steps coming down the stairs. “Dad, I’m sorry.” There he was, looking at me with tears in his eyes. He told my wife that his feelings were hurt. “Dad hurt your feelings?” she asked him. “I hit dad really hard and it hurt him and that hurt my feelings.” He has a heart of gold and to know that he genuinely felt bad was good.

How thankful I am that it didn’t react in a way that I would regret forever. I know that there are going to be a lot of experiences in my life where I need to control myself. Honestly, I hope I can just show him the love that he needs. If it’s time, attention, or just talking to your kids more—do it! They are sponges and whatever you give them, they soak up. So if it’s constant love and affection, even better. I learned mostly that my reaction taught and showed him more about my love and concern for him than any lecture or spanking would have.