If you were spanked as a child... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 85 Old 08-30-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HennaLady
She would cover her little rear with her hands, try to run away, and scream "no, daddy, no - please!".
I vividly remember trying to put my hands back there to cover up to and my hands getting hit sometimes in the process. My parents would always add extra hits for the ones that my hands were there.

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#62 of 85 Old 08-30-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
Yes, I can understand why my parents did it, because I can understand what it is to reach that level of frustration and anger. But they didn't claim to spank out of love or anything like that, and they didn't do it that often. It wasn't an ideological thing, and I don't think it was tied to any larger pattern of disrespect (although spanking is of course a highly disrespectful act). ).
That's basically my experience too - my parents spanked because they were at the end of their rope and they didn't know any other discipline techniques. My sisters (all considerably older and closer together) got spanked a lot more than I did. I remember being spanked once by my dad. I remember my mom spanking my brother once. I suspect we were spanked a bit more than that, but not much. By the time we came along, my parents had less stress in their lives and more idea of how to parent.

I try very very hard not to spank because I recognize that spanking is something that I want to do when I am angry and overwhelmed. It has nothing to do with disciplining children. And everything I've read said it doesn't work, breeds resentment and teaches children it's OK to hit.

I willl confess that it is a reaction that is very very hard to control. I have lost it and spanked ds twice (both after times when he hurt his little sister - the momma bear insticts flared up) : Both times were when I was more than at the end of my rope and should have given myself a time out. I'm working on that.

But my experience was very different from the abusive experiences that many people here described. I think people who spank after their parents may have a lot of reasons to do it: Pressure from family/community to show that they are disciplining their child, lack of knowledge of anything else to do, and possibly a conviction that "I was spanked and it didn't hurt me".

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#63 of 85 Old 08-30-2006, 07:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HelloKitty
I vividly remember trying to put my hands back there to cover up to and my hands getting hit sometimes in the process. My parents would always add extra hits for the ones that my hands were there.
I saw my nephew do this the other day. I don't think SIL was even planning to spank him (and she didn't), but I had this crazy visceral reaction and pretty much started crying when I saw him do that. I just got in the car and left.

I'm so thankful my children don't fear me. My greatest hope is to never give them reason to.

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#64 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 03:04 AM
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Now that you are a parent, looking back at being spanked as a form of discipline as a child, do you understand where your parents were coming from (ie "doing it because they loved you") or does it make you even more against the act?
I can sympathise with the overwhelming frustration and anger that even the best parents can feel, and having come to the point in my life where I too have those feelings, and knowing that they were only taught physical discipline, has enabled me to forgive them, and understand their basic reasoning. It was the only form of discipline they knew, no matter how small or big the 'offense' was, it required a spanking. They were never taught differently. However, I am no more pro-spanking than I was before I made peace with that.

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I've read that children who were spanked are overwhelmingly more likely to spank their own children.
I agree with that to some extent - when that's what you grew up with, and if you weren't taught any other methods of discipline, then of course you'll be more likely to spank. For me, it makes me more determined to NOT spank. We were beaten across bare butts with belts, wooden spoons, and whatever else happened to be on hand, slapped across the face/head, etc. and it did NOTHING to correct whatever behaviour was in question. It made me terribly afraid of my parents, and they had to deal with odd looks if we were around others, when we would flinch if they even tried to wipe our faces. There is no way I want my children to be afraid of me or to associate common household objects with punishment. If anything, being hit as a child has made me a bit of a pushover.

It has been hard for me at times to not spank, from pure instinct (instinct referring to how I was raised) - I have really had to work hard to find other ways of dealing with rage and frustration, and I did spank once or twice before I realized I was going to put my kids through misery if I kept it up. The challenge is keeping the GD techniques in mind, and trying to ignore the conditioning that makes me think "Oh, I really want to spank your butt right now!"

I know I can overcome this conditioning. In fact, my mother is now raising my brother's child, and I am happy to say that she realizes how badly hitting affected us, and only uses GD techniques this time around. I figure hey, if a reformed spanker can get over it, I can too.
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#65 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 03:09 AM
 
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My grandparents spanked my parents... my parents spanked me. I don't spank my kids. I see the methods my parents used as a reflection of not having learned effectively how to handle situations... my mom has admitted that she got very angry and out of control when she spanked me (and tried to justify it in the same breath P). I see myself as breaking a cycle of abuse... do I think that I necessarily would be anti spanking had I not been so strongly physically abused as a child? I don't know honestly. Before I had children of my own of the "spanking age", I assumed I would spank... I just figured it's what you did when your kid wouldn't listen. Once my oldest daughter got to the age where she began to challenge things and frustrate me, I realized how much I *didn't* want to employ spanking, though, because of the primary fact that I see the same potential for abuse in myself that my parents used towards me, which if I let myself get out of hand and use something like physical punishment, could turn into abuse of my own children which I don't EVER want my daughters to live with the way I do every day.
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#66 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 03:14 AM
 
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they were raising us the way they were raised. And since I'm the only one of the girls they raised who doesn't spank, and the youngest, they flipped out when I put my foot down and said my kids are not to be spanked or slapped, PERIOD...
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#67 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 05:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sahmama
It made me terribly afraid of my parents, and they had to deal with odd looks if we were around others, when we would flinch if they even tried to wipe our faces.
This is me too....over the years I would flinch if a hand moved too fast near me....I've even done this to my husband if he moved a hand too fast (he's never ever hit me). Sometimes my mom would laugh and say "What?? I'm not going to hit you!" Argh.

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#68 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 05:23 AM
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I only remember being spanked once and it is a most humiliating experience. I have no idea what it was for. I was a very easy child. I'm very embarassed about it and would not want to talk about it with my father. As far as hitting children go, it was probably a relatively tame event. I found it hideous at the time and still have the same thoughts. I remember thinking my father was foolish and losing a lot of respect for him.

I don't feel a lot of sway by the "everyone was doing it" arguments. Hell, "everyone" is using time-outs now. "Everyone" is eating the flesh of factory farmed animals. "Everyone" thinks children should only breastfeed for 6 months or whatever and that getting them to sleep through the night is so important. "Everyone" is o.k. with CIO. Maybe the tide is shifting on some of these, but all of these things are quite mainstream in our current society.

I question things in the world around me. I feel my parents should have done the same. Parent effectiveness training was around when I was young. La Leche League was around. Parenting groups were around. My parents maybe owned one parenting book -- probably Spock's. They didn't spend much time at all thinking about parenting or striving to be better parents. They used the same ineffective tactics throughout my life even though they were clearly not doing much of anything and even though it was abundantly clear by the time I was 10 or so that we had no real relationship at all. If they had the common sense to give some thought to how to raise their children, they could have done something to prevent my sister and I from being in a 15-year-long battle. We still have no relationship today. Hello!? Had they spent some time thinking about what to do, even discuss the situation with others, it might have dawned on them to find a project or something else that would have us working together so that we'd have to interact, and that we'd enjoy doing (we ignored each other for years and years and I see now how easy that would have been to solve). Instead they gave us the same old lines: "You know, you two should get along. Sisters are a great gift. Some day you'll need each other." They fussed over my sister's being a bit overweight and over me sucking my thumb for eons. Wonder why? Totally off-topic, but they told me every lie under the sun to get me to quit. I wasn't stupid and could sort out that no, my thumb was not going to fall off. They never once told me about what thumb-sucking could do to my mouth (which it did do, and was corrected by braces); I think that may have had a lot more sway with me, especially if they showed me proof, such as a medical journal discussing it.

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#69 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dal
I don't feel a lot of sway by the "everyone was doing it" arguments. Hell, "everyone" is using time-outs now. "Everyone" is eating the flesh of factory farmed animals. "Everyone" thinks children should only breastfeed for 6 months or whatever and that getting them to sleep through the night is so important. "Everyone" is o.k. with CIO. Maybe the tide is shifting on some of these, but all of these things are quite mainstream in our current society.
I don't know, I think that these things take time. The whole idea of having a relationship with your child is pretty new, I think. People have the luxury of spending more time on these issues, at least some of us. And I think social change takes time. Look how far we've come in such a short time. My dad went to a segregated elementary school. That was one generation away, and while racism is still rampant, I think we're really making great strides. I think it's just hard to see.

Here's an example: we have a picture of FIL and his father holding hands. FIL is about 3, I'm guessing, and grinning into the sun. He's also holding a stick, or technically a "switch", which his father spanked him with after the picture was taken. Now these people were pretty poor, raised in the Depression, but otherwise I would describe them as average Americans. And no one thought anything of the fact that they captured on film the weapon used to beat a small boy. I would argue that nowadays, there are few people out there who would agree with this, mainstream or otherwise.

And, FIL spanked, and occasionally used a belt, but was by most accounts much gentler than his father. And now, my dh doesn't spank. See, we're getting somewhere!

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#70 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 06:36 PM
 
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I remember feeling shame and humiliation. I remember NOT crying just to not give them the satisfaction, and it was out of anger because the more I didnt cry, the harder I was hit.

I have a friend who use to spank and it was because she didnt want her kids to be "bad". She saw other kids that in her opinion were being bad and she didnt want others to think her kids were bad, ie she was a bad mom and spanking worked on her, at least, she obeyed her parents. In her case, what I saw was someone more concerned with the opnions of others (even strangers) than her own childrens feelins, but then she wasnt in touch with HER feelings about her parents.

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#71 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 07:19 PM
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My mother spanked us because she was taught in her church that that is how you raise kids. They were very into Dr. Dobson and controlling children to make them godly and all the spare the rod spoil the child nonesense. It wasn't until she began to get some education and develop critical thinking skills that she started to get out of this way of thinking but she was still for spanking in some cases until I had dd and she saw that you really don't need to hurt a child to get their cooperation. She is now very against spanking for any reason and sees no need for harsh parenting at all. She is my greatest support now because she sees what she did as a parent and how it affected both me and my brother and she doesn't want to see that happen to her grandchild.
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#72 of 85 Old 09-03-2006, 09:59 PM
 
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I don't remember being spanked myself (kicked in the butt a couple times--not abusively, didn't even hurt, but very shaming), but I witnessed my brothers were "spanked." It was pretty much always when my parents lost control. My mom did this every once in a while, but my father was like a ticking time bomb. He was probably borderline abusive... maybe over the borderline with my very difficult brother. However, the most horrible thing I remember was when he spanked my brother with a belt when he was not mad... bro was screwing up in school and dad was at his wit's end and didn't know what to do, so he said bro would get a spanking every day until x behavior stopped. Dad in a rage was one thing, but that was truly frightening. I remember this approach being quite ineffective.

Yet, he also loved us tremendously. We were his world. He was a very hands-on, involved dad. We would have been worse off in foster care, but better off if dad had gotten some therapy/parenting classes. I remember him raging about people who abuse their kids, but I don't think he ever considered himself in that category at all. After all, none of us ever ended up in the hospital or anything. I love my dad so much that I really have to try to remember how horrible things sometimes were. I think I blocked some of it out. So, it's very confusing.

Spanking is not allowed in our house. That said, I have still hit ds1 twice. Once he bit the baby (on diaper, baby didn't even squawk), and I smacked the back of his head on a reflex. The second time, I smacked his leg after he kicked me (after pushing my buttons a number of times). I felt very bad later, and eventually apologized, but my initial reaction was "well then, you shouldn't have done it." and thinking "I'll give you something to cry about!" The only time I have the urge to hit is when I'm frustrated or angry. So I know I should never spank.

I don't think I've ever seen an "appropriate" spanking (calm, deliberate parent, with one or 2 swats with hand on clothed bottom, as described by most spanking advocates). I think that is the exception among spankers, not the norm.

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#73 of 85 Old 09-04-2006, 04:15 AM
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I was spanked. But I was also violently abused by my father. Will I spank? Absolutely not. Will it be hard not to spank? I don't think so, not at all. Do I have violent tendencies? Yes.

I have many times been on the brink of slapping dh in the face, and regrettably I have! I've also snapped and hit the pets. It makes me ashamed, guilty, upset, and humiliated. I am doing all the research I can on gentle discipline, and not spanking or shouting. I have handfuls of anti spanking books that I'm reading from the library. I frequent anti spanking websites. I'm trying to change my whole being.

I do believe that I've been traumatized from the abuse, but also from the spanking. I do not think my parents did it out of love. I think they did it because they didn't know any other way to "teach" me. And they were always tired, stressed, and at their wits end with us (the kids). I can only hope and pray that I will break that cycle. I'm pretty confident that I will. I would be amazed and shocked if I was to ever strike my child.
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#74 of 85 Old 09-04-2006, 04:33 AM
 
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I was spanked as a child, and the older I got, the more degrading it felt. It very rarely hurt physically, but it was that "I can do this to you and there's nothing you can do about it" feeling that was just sickening.

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#75 of 85 Old 09-04-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by arlecchina
how odd, once I saw the question, I dont remember ever being spanked, exactly. I remember being thrown down stairs, kicked, punched, smacked in the face, had boiling water thrown on me, etc and uhm no...I dont recall spankings. I got it with the belt a few times but ass-naked and until I bled which is kinda beyond spanking. and yup, I was told that when I had kids I'd understand. I sure dont.
Oh gosh

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#76 of 85 Old 09-04-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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The idea that parents spank because they love their children is absurd to me.

I was badly physically abused as a child, hit with belts, covered in welts, sometimes bleeding. Layers of new welts upon old welts. Rocks thrown at my head. Bad.

At the time I felt unloved, unloveable, a monstrous child to deserve that kind of treatment. It had a profoundly negative effect on how I felt about myself, how I saw myself, and the harm of that has stayed with me into adulthood. It will affect me for the rest of my life.

As an adult I see that my parents had a hard time coping with children, as do I sometimes, so I have empathy for that. But they felt that they had the right to make their love and approval of me as a person, conditional upon behaviour. And that they had the right to shame and abuse me into behaving the way they wanted.

I behaved worse due to the abuse, because I was so angry and hurt and felt so unloved and despised. And so the abuse worsened, and the cycle continued.

I see, now, that that is the best they could do, because of their own childhoods, because of the information they had about child-raising, because of their conception of love and power and "good" and "bad" behaviour.

I know better, and so I do better. It is very meaningful to me to be raising my child to know that she is beautiful and worthy, regardless of her behaviour, and to know that my love for her is unconditional.
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#77 of 85 Old 09-04-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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Arlecchina, I'm so sorry.



I was spanked as a child, but only a few times. I knew at the time that my parents were not angry or frustrated anymore when they did spank me, and I was told why I was being spanked, and I knew at the time that they did not want to spank me. And I was held and loved afterwards. I didn't feel abused then or now. I was never scared of my parents, and I never felt that they didn't love me unless I behaved in a certain way. In fact, they would tell me often that they would always love me regardless of what I did throughout my life.

We won't spank, though. Even though my parents always held themselves until they were cool, I don't trust myself that way, so I won't do it at all, kwim?

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#78 of 85 Old 09-04-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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I think for me, being spanked as a child only reinforced my resolve to NEVER spank my own kids. I think I was 8 or so, when my dad threatened to spank me and told me that I was disrespecting him. I distinctly remember writing in my journal that I didn't understand how he thought he should get respect when he didn't give any.

From early on, I've known that hitting wasn't the way to go and my childhood experiences were very mild compared to most. It did shape me tho into such a pleaser that it had lasting ramifications when I came of age. I wholeheartedly think that a lot of my actions in college were directly related to how I was punished (or avoided it by being 'good') when I was a child.

Do I understand where my parents were coming from? Not really. They're both intelligent, thinking people and I'm not sure why they chose that route. They're still advocating for spanking although I'm pretty sure they'd never hit my child. I think they know I'm stubborn enough that if they did that, they wouldn't see either me or my child(ren) for years. They have sat DH and I down tho and told us that we need to spank to get 'control' over DS or 'we'll regret it later.'

One of the things I am proudest to be able to say to my son when he is angry and kind of out of control and wanting to hit me is, "mommy doesn't hit you when she's angry. let's find another way for you to show your anger." I guess I'm just such a logical person and DS seems to be that way too, so for us, it's a leap that works.

Good thread.

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#79 of 85 Old 09-04-2006, 03:14 PM
 
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I was spanked as a child.
(Spanking was far from the only bad thing going on, though. During my childhood, my father was a creature of unstable, rapidly-shifting moods and sudden, violent outbursts. He's better now, but he shouldn't have been a parent, not then. I was the result of an unplanned pregnancy, though, and he wouldn't likely have *chosen* to become a parent at that point, so....)

I do feel that being spanked, specifically, has contributed to my anger issues and my low self-esteem.

It has also made it harder for me, personally, to be a non-spanking parent.

There are days when I have to devote ALL of my internal resources to my commitment to avoid physical punishments, and even then, it feels like hanging on by my fingernails at the edge of a tall, tall, cliff....

But I *do* avoid them.

I have broken the cycle of abuse.

I have faith that, when the time comes, my dc will not have to fight so hard to parent well. It is a gift that will pass forward, into the future of our family....

There are days when I speak too harshly to ds, and I feel like a terrible mama, but I resolve to speak more mindfully, and try to remember how far I have brought us from where my parents and I were, and get us further from that place, every day.

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#80 of 85 Old 09-05-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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I think my parents spanked because they weren't real prepared to be parents when they had me and then they didn't know what else to do. They got less and less physical as the years went by.

I'm lucky now in that my parents are very supportive of my dh and I not spanking. My mom especially admits spanking was not especially effective and they "probably": shouldn't have done it. She's come a long way in admitting that at least.

I decided at six I would never spank my kids. I remember it pretty vividly because I got spanked for hitting my brother and I asked my mom why she could hit but I couldn't. Which of course got me another spanking for "disrespect".:
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#81 of 85 Old 09-05-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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My parents spanked me and my siblings and I am sure it was becasue they were spanked when they were children. I had always planned on spanking my children until I got a stepkid after marrying my husband. I refused to spank her even though DH did, simply becasue she wasn't my kid and that just seemed wrong to me. Because of this I have learned how easy it is to GD and I now there is NO WAY I would spank my kids.
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#82 of 85 Old 09-05-2006, 03:21 PM
 
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My parents spank(ed) us (there are still some little ones at home). Both my parents have anger issues. I could have written most of these posts. My parents would lose it regularly. I was terrified of my mother and very uncomfortable with my dad. There was a lot of positives in our life though. I don't remember any of the reasons I was spanked - just the spankings. I was very sensitive and got really angry about the injustices. I remember standing on the counter in the bathroom and looking in shock and anger at the big blue bruises on my bottom in the mirror. The sad thing is I worked so hard to block that all out. My parents majorly indoctrinated us that you *have* to spank to be good parents. They were always pointing out misbehaving children and deriding the parents for not spanking. The people who advocated against spanking were the "enemy" who were trying to destroy the family. I bought it. I don't know how except that the influence was so strong and my dh was taught the same thing. My gut said no to spanking my kids but I did it anyway. I didn't know there were alternatives. The breaking point came when I had 3 kids and the baby was super high needs. I was stretched to the max and started having major anger issues and losing it with my kids. Yelling, screaming, hitting in anger. (never leaving marks, I couldn't hit that hard) I realized I needed help and fast. I found Dr. Sears. I don't spank anymore. It's been about a year since I resolved to not spank anymore. I've messed up, but not for months now. I am such a better mother. I can't believe I bought the propaganda from my parents even though spanking effected me so negatively. I'll live with that guilt for the rest of my life. I learned to give myself time outs to get a grip and come back and hug my kids. They love to please me, they don't need to fear me. Thank's mom. She used to say "you will fear me." Yes, I did. Congratulations, success. Bleck. Never again will I hit my children. Ever. My dh is doing better, I just have to convince him never to hit. He's down to once a month or so and quickly learning it's just not effective. We're both in this journey together. He got the belt all the time in anger. He said he always understood why his dad did it and it didn't effect him negatively. It did. He's just afraid I'll become lazy and overly permissive and our kids will be out of control. They won't though! I've got Dr Sears Discipline Book in our bathroom for him to read. He's stubborn but I'll get him.
Sorry for the lengthy post. It's good to get all out.
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#83 of 85 Old 09-05-2006, 04:27 PM
 
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to thismama and others who have posted your terrible childhood stories. It breaks my heart to think of what you endured. You are wonderful to be consciously charting a new path for yourselves and your children!

Mama to 2 mopheaded rascals
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#84 of 85 Old 09-05-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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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.
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#85 of 85 Old 09-05-2006, 05:34 PM
 
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I was spanked just as a means for my parents to express their anger. A lot of times, I can remember not knowing what I was being spanked for. I began resenting and distrusting my parents from a young age.

I have slapped my son's hand a few times, but always felt bad immediately afterwards. I'm trying hard not to lose it and do it again.

Tis the season, for hot apple cider!
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