We don’t have children yet, but just wanted to post.
I was spanked once by each parent, neither of the instances was out of control or abusive, in my opinion. Once was during my apparently one and only tantrum, I threw a fit in a department store and threatened to break things… I don’t think I remember it. The other was when I was perilously climbing drawers to reach the butcher knives over and over again, I do remember that one, open hand, over the clothes, not hard, etc.
Spanking was there as an ultimate punishment during my young childhood. I knew that if I did something horrible, say, tortured an animal or set something on fire or told my mother to F-off I would have been spanked… but I am not like that now, and I was not like that then… so it was pretty much a non-issue, other than to know that my parents would be the “heavy” if it ever came to that when I was little… but it didn’t. I guess if I were a “spirited” child I might have been spanked more often? Not sure.
My parents almost always talked to me about everything and explained everything to me as if I were a sentient, sensitive creature…. And I am so thankful for that. The main complaint I have is that my Dad would lose his temper and YELL to shake the windows, stomping around, etc, it was really frightening. I figure if I have one complaint, I had it pretty good.
My grandfather spanked me three times in one day when my parents left us at their house! It was very upsetting because I was not used to being treated like that. But, it was a one day thing, so I don’t think I was really affected by that.
But, reading the stories here is just heartbreaking. I’m so sorry to hear about these childhoods that some of you have had. The belts really get to me. DH had a belt used on him and it enrages me to think about it… there’s no way that he should have been spanked, let alone hit with something like that. He’s one of the most intelligent and sensitive people I know, and I think it would have been so hard on him.
I don’t plan on using spanking as a punishment.
I can’t predict what will happen in the future, but there’s no way that belts and other weapons would ever be used on my children.
So, I think it's DH's experience with physical punishment that will inform our methods more than my childhood did.