I was also someone who was spanked. I think what I got out of it was that I feared my parents. I behaved because I was scared, not because I was trying to please them, or doing it because it was right, I just didn't want to get hit.
Like I said up above I was a yeller. And one day after reading a book about anger managment, I asked my dd if I scared her, if she was scared of me.... she said yes. I was shocked. (I know that sounds weird, but I just spaced out that she might me terrified of me yelling) So I decided I had to stop. I want my kids to do what is right for the right reasons NOT because they fear me.
Sometimes when I feel like I am going to loose it, I leave the room: go to the bathroom, go outin the back yard. I cry I scream at the moon, whatever. Sometimes the "tools" of parenting are the ones you use on yourself. I journal my feelings at the end of the day. When I write out what I think my kids where doing to "get me" riled up, I laugh. Where they really trying to drive me crazy? No. They are just acting like kids.
I have made the choice to NOT do something. I understand now more than ever, that what I do as a parent truly effects how my kids see themselves. Yes, mom can loose it, but mom is learning to deal with that. Example: We where having a particularly stessful day. dd was on the computer and something happened to what she was writing... so she is freaking out, crying, yelling. My older son was in the carport skateboarding, and wanted to come in. BUT ds#2 was trying to get out... ds#1 acidentally hit ds#2 in the head with his skateboard. So ds#1 is upset cuz he knocked his brother in the head and ds#2 is crying cuz he got hit, dd is still freaking in the office. I try to get the boys settled, but ds#2 will not be consolded. I go to help dd with the problem, but somehow make it worse. I am about to loose it. Everyone is yelling or crying or both. I finally just snap.. I yelled for everyone to just cut it OUT!!! And then I started crying. They all stopped and stared at me. I was sitting on my bed, head in my hands jsut sobbing like a baby. I was thinking just get me out of here! They are making me crazy. The kids all got on the bed with me, we all talked I appologized for yelling, they appolgized for freaking out. and we just held each other for like 10 minutes.
I could have gone nuts... I felt like I was. The day had started out bad and was just getting worse. I could have been like my mom, she would have spaked us all and probably yelled alot more. But I want to use better parenting than that. Itry really hard to find ways that work better for my family, that are non-violent. Sometimes the "new tools" take a while to work, it has taken YEARS for me to put to use all I have learned, and anytime something new/better comes up I try to incoperate it in. Being a parent is a learning/growing experience... but it doesn't have to be a painful one.
Anytime I think about just swatting their butts or screaming like a mad woman, I try for just a split second to think how I would feel if that was happening to me. What if I was hungry, tired, whatever and I was getting crabby/sassy/demanding, would I like to be hit, yelled at or demeaned because of how I was feeling? 99% of the time I answer NO to that. and 100% of the time I say no to being hit.
Hitting is easy, I know form being hit and dealing with people I care so much about being hitters. My niece hits her kids (said her church said it was the right thing to do) and a month or so ago we where visiting her and her youngest was crying about something... I think she wanted another tic-tac... and my niece had had it, she told her she could either stop crying and be a pretty girl or she could get the woodenspoon and she could get a spanking. I felt sick. The girl shut up, but I thought... there had to be a better way. How would I have delt with it? I don't know. Maybe talked with the child, maybe I would have given them a nother tic-tac before it even became an issue.... I couldn't/can't say. It is just.. no matter how you justify it how you slice it whatever hitting hurts, not just physically but mentally/emotionally the child and the parent.
It is most important to be there for people who are trying to break the cycle of violence, I totally belive that. To understand that being judgemental doesn't make people open up it clams them up. Book ideas, websites, support groups whatever it take to stop the hitting.