At what point do you decide the friendship isn't worth it? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 64 Old 10-02-2013, 07:42 AM
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Let me just be clear (again) and say that I don't think people who spank are "evil". I think they do need help, compassion, and understanding. I mean my own parents did it! I love them with all my heart.

I just think we need to call it what it is. It's hitting. Hitting is not okay. It's abuse. The first step in changing a behavior is seeing the reality of what it is.

I don't want people who spank in my every day family/personal life, if they are going to do it in front of my kids especially. I will keep them at a distance. This does not mean they are not deserving of love, compassion, understanding and help. They need help. They need education. I will support them any way I can. But that support does not mean I will allow their behavior to effect my family. My own sister has spanked her kids but she knows I don't agree. If she were to do that in front of my children you can bet we would be leaving. I just cannot look the other way. This does not mean I don't love her or that I think I'm better than her or that I'm sitting on a throne judging her. Who knows what MY future will bring? Maybe one day I will (god forbid) freak out and hit my child. It would be awful. I would need help.

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#62 of 64 Old 10-03-2013, 12:17 AM
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yk dalia I wonder whether we really do disagree that much. If you are talking about a family who deliberately spanks because they believe it to be an acceptable form of discipline, then I am kind of with you. I admit I had a friend a while back who did this-in secret, never discussed, and "only" a slap to the hand but still, too much for me-and I was really ok when the friendship fizzled out because I felt uncomfortable with it. I felt really bad for the kids though. Lovely Waldorf parents, btw, with an etsy shop and the rest, a feature at Waldorf fairs. It is hard.


And actually I agree that if I hit my kids I'd see it as abuse, or potential abuse at least, for myself. I don't know how helpful it would be for someone else to label it as such though. I think it would be a lot better to see it as something that absolutely should not have happened, but rather spend the time working through it. I've worked with women at the absolute bottom, who certainly wanted to improve as parents-desperately-but needed so much in place to even have the headspace to do that, that for the good of the family the best thing was to keep a dialogue open. And, as their caseworker, I wasn't really the person they needed that support from. They needed ongoing, critical support from their family, their friends.


What I'm primarily concerned with is a situation where a mother, in need of support, whether that is because of her own poor coping ability or something to do with the kid, then loses friends because of it. So a one off, and a sign of her needing support.


Like I say, I avoided pursing a friendship where I knew the kids were being hit, because I couldn't really deal with what felt like hypocrisy. That was systematic, which seems to be what you are talking about, and it seems very different to me. Needlefelting acorn babies on one hand and calling your kids in for a slap on the hand because they took an apple from the fridge on the other. eew. TBH, there's no excuse there really for me, for an educated, non-abused, well off parent to think hitting is ok. To lose it, yes, because they are human. And then to look and what happened and do whatever it takes to make sure there's no repeat. To philosophically defend hitting as a punishment, nope.

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#63 of 64 Old 10-03-2013, 08:55 AM
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Yes, Fillyjonk, I think we do agree. I was sort of thinking that before but was too prideful to say it!!! (Insert smiley hiding under chair)

In fact, I had a friend the other day, a new friend, tell me she spanks her little two year old. I was shocked. I mean, the kid can barely talk. But... They are young parents, and as the conversation continued I could tell she didn't feel good about it and she started asking my opinion. I get a feeling it was her husband's idea and simply because that's how he was raised. That's got to be such a tough situation. Anyway, I did say gently and in front of them both what I think about spanking and how it damaged me. They are still my friends but we will see how it develops. If they hit the little one in front of me I won't be able to handle that. They are Waldorf parents too!!

There is an amount of admiration I have for those who can keep spanking parents in their lives as close friends. I just can't do it. I won't judge someone that does but I also can't call spanking something that doesn't feel right to me. And I don't want to be judged as a bad person or an inexperienced/naive parent because I don't want it around me or my kids.

Yeah, and those folks who systematically spank because they think it's a great form of discipline sanctioned by God or whatever... Ewwwwww... I got little love in my heart for them. I try, though... I just have a lot more love for people who accidentally "lose it" occasionally than someone who does it with full awareness. Yuck. :-(
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#64 of 64 Old 10-03-2013, 01:29 PM
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The dealbreaker for me is more of if the person is nasty emotionally.


I know quite a few people who crow about anti-spanking but punch their kids (and everyone else around them) verbally/emotionally instead.  To me it's not the act but the personality and character.


And my kids are now 10/10/11 (though I've got another one due in March now, suprise!).  It's a better gauge.  Few people are going to try to belt kids bigger than them in public, so you just don't know.  I've been shocked at how some of the people who just talk so nastily to their tween kids are also very keen to let you know how they don't spank like those bad people do.  I live in a pretty crunchy area though, where spanking is kind of a don't.  Whatever makes them feel better about themselves, I guess.


So yeah, I have friendships, and close ones, with people way different in parenting than me.  I even am friends with other parents who my kids don't know and we don't get the kids together because we're friends in different contexts.  There are other friends of mine that are parents that I have *no clue* as to their parenting style because we don't talk about it, we're busy with talking about our biz and things we enjoy together.  I'm kind of not looking forward to things having to revolve so thoroughly around baby talk again,'s just part of the deal when you've got younger kids.

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