Does everyone "really" spank? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 135 Old 11-13-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Storm Bride;6527258]In some cases, a child's behaviour warrants a violent response less than an adult's behaviour. [QUOTE}

I strongly believe that a child's behavior NEVER warrants a violent response.


[QUOTE] Okay - if we're going to equat childen with adults and state that all family violence is unacceptable, how do you advise handling the children who behave in an unacceptable fashion? [QUOTE}

Are you suggesting that violence is the only way to handle children who "behave in an unacceptable fashion"?

I think that respect and NON-violence is what GD and this forum is all about -- finding ways to guide and teach our young people without inflicting physical violence/humiliation on them. This forum is full of wisdom and ideas for doing just that. It doesn't mean our children will never push our buttons or that we will never become angry. It does mean that it is entirely possible to raise children without violence. I know this -- I was never hit as a child. Entire countries have banned hitting children. It IS possible to teach children without inflicting pain upon them.

I don't "equate children with adults" by any means. Of course children are developmentally quite different, have different needs, are much more physically and psychologically vulnerable, and yes, behave anti-socially at times. But when it comes to the right to be free from physical violence, I very strongly believe that children have that right as much as adults do.
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#122 of 135 Old 11-13-2006, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
I've said it before & I'll say it again...when it comes to this board & GD in general...I am head over heels in love with peacelovingmama! Her ability to calmly discuss things that infuriate me impresses me time and time again. She can articulate my thoughts so well that sometimes I don't even bother replying when she already has. She's my GD hero!

Her posts are right on, every time...

So a big : to everything she's said!
Thank you for your kind words -- I love you too!
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#123 of 135 Old 11-13-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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a lot of mommas with the "im holier than thou" attitude who do make people feel really bad.
Something I've found is that no one can ever "make" me feel a certain way. I don't give them that power. I'm responsible for my own emotions

It can be frustrating to perceive that parents who post here think of themselves as perfect...but in reality, if one were to spend some time here, I think you'd find (general you) that we're all learning, struggling and doing what we can in our individual circumstances...no matter what they might be. We all say it over and over, no one is perfect...and if they pretend to be, well, that's their own business . It can be annoying, but in the end, it makes no difference to me what imaginary image someone else wants to portray. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said "no one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

So, IMO, if someone wants to think that every AP parent will eventually spank, it is not a reflection upon me or what I do or don't do. It's not a death sentence or permission for me to spank (or swat or paddle or pop--whatever term here) Her opinion is just that. It might be justifying her own inadequacies she's feeling, rationalizing, whatever...either way, it's not about anyone else but her

YMMV

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#124 of 135 Old 11-13-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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[QUOTE=georgia;6527838]Something I've found is that no one can ever "make" me feel a certain way. I don't give them that power. I'm responsible for my own emotions . . .

I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said "no one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

..../QUOTE]

I wholeheartedly agree. I have only ever seen compassionate support here for people wanting to improve their parenting. The only time I have ever seen abrasive responses is when someone posts defending or justifying physical violence against children. And that, IMO, is very different than being "holier than thou." This forum is not the place to advocate hitting. It just isn't.

But for every person here seeking to improve (myself included), I see tons of support. I have grown and improved my parenting based on thoughtful responses I have received here and I think others would say the same. I can certainly understand feeling badly about hitting a child. That isn't something I have done. But I circ'ed my son and I braved the circ forum to get advice about talking my DH out of circ'ing DS #2. It is a passionate forum but I know that no person can MAKE me feel badly about what I have done. I choose to learn, move forward, and do better in the future. I think that mamas who frequent this forum have the same mindset, whether or not they've ever hit, yelled, or otherwise engaged in non-GD.

There is a huge difference, I think, between judging a practice (e.g., hitting is wrong) and judging a person. I prefer the former, not the latter.
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#125 of 135 Old 11-13-2006, 11:27 PM
 
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Okay - if we're going to equat childen with adults and state that all family violence is unacceptable, how do you advise handling the children who behave in an unacceptable fashion? [QUOTE}

Are you suggesting that violence is the only way to handle children who "behave in an unacceptable fashion"?
....

I don't "equate children with adults" by any means. Of course children are developmentally quite different, have different needs, are much more physically and psychologically vulnerable, and yes, behave anti-socially at times. But when it comes to the right to be free from physical violence, I very strongly believe that children have that right as much as adults do.
Of course I'm not suggesting that violence is the only way to handle children. However, I do sometimes think it's the only way to handle adults. This is why I find the whole argument/analogy/comparison about adults and children to be completely off base. Our interactions and relationships with children are totally different from our interactions and relationships with adults. When I hit dd, I felt awful - it was my single worst moment with her ever. If an adult had done the same thing, I'd have hit them with no second thoughts whatsoever. If anything, I believe that chidren have more right than adults to be free of physical violence.

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#126 of 135 Old 11-14-2006, 02:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by monkeys4mama View Post
No. I don't spank in anger. Never have. I do get angry though.
Getting angry is nothing to be embarrassed about. That is what I emphasize with my DC . . .the feeling is fine, it's all what you do with it that counts.

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#127 of 135 Old 11-14-2006, 08:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Of course I'm not suggesting that violence is the only way to handle children. However, I do sometimes think it's the only way to handle adults...
: Really? I've never hit anyone. Somehow I've managed to handle all the adults I've met in my life.

When is violence 'the only way' to handle someone - adult or child? Aside from some crazy extreme example like defending your life against an attacker, I can't think of a scenario in which lots of other (better) options than violence exist.
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#128 of 135 Old 11-14-2006, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I have so little time at the computer, that every time I have come to read this thread, my time has gotten away from me before i can respond.

Thanks everyone who has contributed to this. I was not conducting a poll, but rather was seeking reassurance that it is indeed possible to parent without resorting to physical and punitive discipline. Those who chose to share their struggles in this area, thank you for doing so, and I hope we can all continue to learn and grow here in this supportive forum. Those who shared with me that they have been able to not spank, thank you also.

Knowing my own personality, I know I shall struggle with yelling, but I truly hope I never spank. I was raised with spanking, but it wasn't that often. Mostly it was just a hugely critical and punitive atmosphere. Spanking was completely ineffective on me and just made me angrier usually (eroding the relationship with my parent), so I don't want it in my "toolbox."

I have a brother who is 16 years my junior, and our father died suddenly when he was around 8 and I was 24 (and our sister was 10). I had to help a lot with parenting for a while until my stepmom was feeling better. On two occasions I spanked him (one swat to the hiney) when he was 1). trying to drown our sister in the ocean and he wouldn't listen to me to stop and 2.) hitting same sister and wouldn't stop. Both times, the look of shock and dismay on his face, coupled with the way I felt about doing it (seemed ridiculous to try to stop violence with violence, playing the "I'm bigger than you" card) has stuck with me, and I still feel horrible about it (12 years later).

I never want to see that look on my daughter's face.
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#129 of 135 Old 11-14-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessed View Post
: Really? I've never hit anyone. Somehow I've managed to handle all the adults I've met in my life.

When is violence 'the only way' to handle someone - adult or child? Aside from some crazy extreme example like defending your life against an attacker, I can't think of a scenario in which lots of other (better) options than violence exist.
I added the bold...you just answered your own question.

Violence is sometimes the only way to defend yourself or your child. If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that I was talking about the one time I hit dd - with no thought, when she pulled ds2's hair while he was nursing. While I have trouble imagining an adult doing the same thing to a baby, I definitely feel that a violent response would be warranted in that case. Despite the fact that I did hit dd, I don't think that was an appropriate response...I do think it would have been appropriate, had she been an adult engaging in pulling the hair of a nursing baby.

I don't think defending your life or your child's life is a "crazy extreme" example. I've been attacked at knifepoint, almost pulled into a car by two guys, and another experience I can't describe easily...three separate occasions, all of which requried some degree of violence - or the threat thereof - to extricate myself from. When something has happened to me three times in my life, I don't consider it a "crazy extreme". There was also at least one other situation in which I absolutely should have used violence, and will probably always regret not doing so.

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#130 of 135 Old 11-14-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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Comparing children to adults is very helpful in terms of philosophical shifting of how we view our "rights" in relating to our children.

However it's important to keep in mind that practical solutions are the keystone of this forum. We do live with and tolerate from children a degree of aggression for which most parents are unprepared, based on interactions with other adults. It can be a genuine shock for parents when a 3 year old slaps them across the face or kicks a parent hard in the stomach with a boot covered foot. If we are thinking about a child only in terms of treating them as we would an adult, our reaction in such a moment could be more defensive and aggressive, rather than less.

Ultimately many parents find more value and resolve in 'not hitting', if they stay connected to what is unique about their relationship to their children. Also, and most important, is clarifying in our own minds what response we are committed too when/if our child is aggressive towards us. Parents need something tangible to fall back upon--words, actions, and thoughts that form a non violent response. Beneath that is the fundamental commitment not to hit. That is vital. But as with anything, it's not enough to say what we won't do...we need to keep each other focused on tangible solutions for the moments a parent finds personally challenging.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#131 of 135 Old 11-15-2006, 09:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NaomiLorelie View Post
No one said that you do beat your kids. But they are four and two. My point was that the older they get the worse it gets sometimes. I don't think anyone is saying that you are abusive or going to be abusive, but the fact that you rationalize spanking sends up warning signs. Now is the time to take a good hard look at yourself to see if maybe something is wrong. If(and I'm not saying that there is) there is something that needs to be changed, do it now, not later. I had a lot of anger built up from the past and I ended finding counseling to work through it.
What type of counselor did you see? Could you recommend any books?

~Nay

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#132 of 135 Old 11-15-2006, 09:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaFern View Post

and i think its a load of crap all of you mamas who say you have never even thought bad thoughts about your kids (or ever yelled or swatted at them or given them a time out or reacted in less than a gentle way).. because i love my kids more than anything in the world times 100 but sometimes i get so mad i want to scream and throw them out the window. how can you NOT feel that way somtimes?
Thank you for saying this. I feel the same way sometimes.

~Nay

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#133 of 135 Old 11-15-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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What type of counselor did you see? Could you recommend any books?

~Nay
I saw a psychologist who specialized in family services. I was lucky and got a great one right off the bat. I don't think that it's the hour in therapy that helps so much as the work I did afterward and it helped having an empathic ear and unbiased opinion.
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#134 of 135 Old 11-15-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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I've certainly had the desire, and I have used more force than needed to move a child or hold a hand, but no, I have not spanked my children (almost 2 and 4). However, I have had many a desire to
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#135 of 135 Old 11-15-2006, 11:00 PM
 
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and i think its a load of crap all of you mamas who say you have never even thought bad thoughts about your kids (or ever yelled or swatted at them or given them a time out or reacted in less than a gentle way).. because i love my kids more than anything in the world times 100 but sometimes i get so mad i want to scream and throw them out the window. how can you NOT feel that way somtimes?
Dear Mama,

I will tell you from my own heart how this is possible for me (or at least 95% possible, with a few very rare exceptions.) I did a LOT of healing of my own wounds from my childhood - very hard, difficult and painful work. I have a long-term Buddhist spiritual practice that supports my commitment to non-violence and patience in my daily life. I have enough financial resources (mostly), a supportive partner, a decent place to live, and a child without a disability or other severe behavioral challenges (just a normal toddler). Also, my daughter was adopted after 10 years of wanting a child, so I was more than ready to be a mom!

I totally realize that a lot of mothers are not nearly this fortunate. We are all trying to move in a better direction with good intention and whether for some of us that's yelling less, or using time outs instead of hitting, or whatever, I respect that. I still have many areas to improve on too, especially in being more patient with my partner. I just want us all to know that it is possible to cultivate peace in our bodies and minds, over time, with commitment and practice, and to offer that peacefulness within our families.
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