Does everyone "really" spank? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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An AP friend of mine said that everyone, even the most gentle mamas, has spanked in anger. It made me feel like I was being set up for failure (as I have an 8 month old and haven't experienced even the slightest desire or urge to spank). Is this really true (that all GD'ers have failed at one time or another and resorted to swats or spanking), or is this perhaps a situation of unresolved issues being projected onto everyone else?
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#2 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 12:24 PM
 
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My son is 5 and I have never raised my hand to him, swatted, spanked, hit, whatever you want to call it, him.

I have been very angry at times and have removed him and put him in his room or have removed my self from the situation but nothing has been so much that I needed to harm him physically.

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#3 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 12:28 PM
 
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Unresolved issues projected. Maybe your friend said that to make herself feel better. I've never spanked dd and I've been angry many times.
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#4 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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Well, I have swatted my kids-- I'm not proud of it, but I've done it. I'd never describe myself as "the most gentle mama", but I'm doing the best I can.

I guess I think parenting is a task where you get up everyday and do your best, and as much as I'd love to be perfect, we're all raised by mere mortals, and most of us are ok.

I do wonder why it is that grown-ups feel comfortable hitting children. Aside from the handful of times I've lost it and swatted my kids on the tush, I have not struck another person since I was a kid. I can't imagine hitting an adult. I recently heard a radio show that says apparently some of our most ingrained moral feelings are hard-wired into our brains and something we share with other apes. I have also heard that for some people the strong urge to hit and throw when angry is genetic. I don't have a strong urge to throw and hit when angry, though one of my kids does (got it from dh-- he resists the urge as an adult), and it's interesting to see how she reacts differently from her sister. I really wonder if I have something in me that resists hitting peers and babies, but not children.

These are things I think about to help myself remember I need keep control of my temper.

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#5 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 12:52 PM
 
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I think that if you have a good idea how to discipline without spanking, then you probably will not resort to spanking. For me, as with many, spanking was something I did because I knew no other way. It never felt right, just seemed to be the only option. You have a head start- you already know how to discipline without punishment. Now make a vow to yourself that you wil never spank, and make sure you have good ways of dealing with all possible situations, and you are setting yourself up for success.

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#6 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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My ds is 4. I have never raised a hand to him. I have never been tempted to, even in the throes of serious anger and frustration. I suppose anything is possible, and that it COULD happen, but I can't imagine it. The thought of hitting my child literally makes me sick to my stomach. It just isn't an option for me and never has been.

I think your friend was trying to make herself feel better.

No judgment on mamas trying to work their way through this..
but no, not everyone has spanked in anger.
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#7 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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I have never been angry enough to not be able to control myself. I find it easier to be patient with my wild child than anyone else does. I actually wouldn't leave him with many people because he really would try the patience of a saint. Not that he isn't a great kid, but he still has trouble managing himself if he is tired, hungry, or unable to interact with someone.

I think your friend is just coming to the table with her own experiences and you should try not to let it bother you. No need to disagree with her, just say something about everyone striving to be the best parent that they can.

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#8 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 01:01 PM
 
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I have a 13 yo ds - never, not once have I ever raised my hand to him - I have a 5yo dd - twice I've wacked her on the tush - something I AM NOT proud of. I was pg both times I did it and at my wits end. She didn't even cry - but I sure did.....
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#9 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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Just remember these words:
SPANKING IS NOT EFFECTIVE

The problem is that many people, even some GDers regard spanking as a more effective, but cruel alternative. That attitude is a sure route to failure. If you always have in your mind that there is this "tool" that will work then sooner or later you will use it. You might even end up resenting your child and/or parenting style because you are busting your butt trying not to use the "easy , more effective, but cruel" method of discipline meanwhile your child is never going to have "perfect" behavior.

Growing up my sister got fairly regular spankings because she was the "worst" behaved one (she was the strong-willed child). None of the rest us raised any static so none of us got any punnishment besides guilt trips and screaming. Every once in a while something would happen and mom or dad would blow up and seriously physically discipline someone besides my sister. It always took us by suprise, always scared us, and always made us extremly resentful, it NEVER had anything to do with discipline.
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#10 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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i will not hit my children. i will not hit my husband. i will not hit my annoying neighbor.

i hate that there is a different word for hitting your child. can you imagine if someone said they spanked their wife for disobeying then rolled their eyes if you acted like they hit her? :

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#11 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 01:43 PM
 
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I will admit to having spanked my children in frustration. It was never hard but it is something I am ashamed of. I am learning how to handle my emotions better and am getting better everyday. I grew up in a violent household. That doesn't excuse it but it explains why I don't always understand the best way to handle things and I'm very unsure of myself. You live what you know and when what you know isn't right, it's hard to learn what is. At least for me. I'm doing pretty great at this point IMO.
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#12 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 01:52 PM
 
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I have four children, my oldest is almost 14. I've never spanked or hit my kids and I never would. I don't claim to be a perfect parent though. We all make mistakes.

Quote:
It made me feel like I was being set up for failure (as I have an 8 month old and haven't experienced even the slightest desire or urge to spank).
Don't worry about it. People say this kind of stuff to make themselves feel better.
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#13 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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No. There have been times when I've wanted to because I was going crazy, but I'm glad I didn't. I have yelled, though, which I'm not proud of.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#14 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 02:00 PM
 
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I think hitting is a lot like yelling, some people (for whatever reasons) just have the impulse to do it. And if you are a yeller, it might be hard to understand that other people are just not inclined. Same if you are sometimes overwhelmed and spank, it may be hard to understand that there are other people who just don't even GET that impulse.
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#15 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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Here's some actual data:

http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/p...mericameta.pdf

In case you don't want to read the whole thing, in national surveys, between 40-55% admitted to having spanked their kids depending on the survey; 68% said it was appropriate to spank kids as a regular form of punishment; 37% of college-educated parents said it was never appropriate to spank a child; 25% of parents with a high school education said the same thing.

So, not everyone spanks, but the majority do.
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#16 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 02:11 PM
 
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I have never hit, grabbed, yanked an arm, nothing. We are not physical in our home
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#17 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 02:11 PM
 
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Nope, not true. I have never spanked or otherwise hit either of my kids. And I have been steaming angry. I have grabbed ds1 a little too hard a few times, however, which I'm sure some could argue is no different than hitting - it was a physical act done out of anger that hurt him. I think he was 4yo at the time.

I have been so angry that I can totally understand how someone resorts to spanking. I don't agree with it and I've never done it, but I can understand it, and hold no judgement against parents who have faltered. But I don't understand spanking as a regular form of discipline.
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#18 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 02:55 PM
 
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I have been that angry, but- hit a wall, send kid to room, hit the table - these are all a better alternative. I'd much rather cause myself pain from hitting something hard than hurt my kids.
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#19 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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I have never hit my dd. I have yelled : but never hit.

-Angela
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#20 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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I have never hit dd either. I have yelled though and sometimes I go out of the room and tell my husband that I want to throw her out of the window but I've never spanked her and I don't believe I ever will.
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#21 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 03:09 PM
 
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I'm pretty proud of myself that I haven't hit my kids. I've been SOOOOO tempted to, and it's been a real battle in my mind sometimes. When my first child was an infant and we decided hitting wasn't going to be a part of our family, I promised him and myself, out loud, many times, and it is still a mantra, that I will. not. hit. Now there's other parts of my parenting and personality I DON"T LIKE and try to change, but at least I'm not doing that AND hitting.

I've really really been struggling the past few weeks b/c dd is not staying in bed. And it's like, well, maybe if I started spanking her she'd stay. It's so tempting to think there's a quick fix out there. But it really isn't. Ugh, parenting is hard..... And I so wish physical punishment weren't the norm. Very frustrating.
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#22 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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I have never spanked. I have never been that angry at my own kids.

I have been VERY angry at the kids I work with. I mean shaking mad. But, I never even had the urge to lay a hand on them. So, I don't truly understand the urge to hit.

My daughters were SOOOOOO easy. They were both happy, calm, girls, who liked each other, and rarely gave me any grief. My neices and nephews are also like this. But, my best friend's daughter has given her fits since she was born. So, I think how angry we get at our kids depends on what their temperments were/are.

I can look at a Father who is clearly VERY mad, and I don't judge. I just give my kids a hug and thank Heaven they made parenting so easy for me. Because we don't all get these kids.

Not all parents are equipped with the same tools. Some parents hit because they truly do not know any better. They were hit, they hit their kids.
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#23 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 04:15 PM
 
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I think that is a really strange thing for your friend to claim.

To claim that EVERYONE has or will spank in anger, is assuming that everyone grew up with the conditioning that parents need to MAKE kids be good.

Dp has never spanked ds, and I'd be willing to bet a large amount of money that he never will. He just doesn't even get how anyone could, or why anyone would. It makes no sense to him at all. It's not even a reaction that crosses his mind, ever. And he spends a good amount of time with ds, so its not like he never has to deal with difficult situations, or his own anger.
I have spanked once, unfortunately. I grew up in an area where it was ok, even the right thing to do, to spank in certain situations (dangerous situations, hurting others, etc). But even so, I don't feel like I failed, I feel like I screwed up, and I have to learn from it and do better.

What was your friend trying to get at? That you're going to spank at least once, so you may as well use spanking as a parenting tool? Or was she feeling a little defensive because she screwed up and spanked, so she's trying to convey to you that nobody's perfect?

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#24 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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Well, my guy is 2.5 (almost) and I have yet to swat or spank. I've been ANGRY enough to have the URGE, but I quickly try to see, in my mind, his face afterwards, and that's enough to stop me.

I really doubt I'll do anything like that. I'm lucky enough to have some anger management counseling under my belt, so I have tools to control my anger right there in the moment. I might suggest something similar to your friend...
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#25 of 135 Old 11-10-2006, 04:29 PM
 
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I hit ds1 a couple of times when he was younger. Those were really awful times, though...there's nothing about my life at that point that I even want to remember, except for ds1 (not the hitting him part). He also got yelled at too much.

I hit dd once, too...not even exactly in anger. She pulled ds2's hair when he was nursing, and he started to just scream, and my hand flashed out before I realized I was hitting. I pulled it, but not soon enough. I felt awful, but not exactly guilty. That's one instance where I absolutely would hit another adult, too - if somebody walked up and just hurt my baby like that.

I don't think it's true that every GD mom will hit their child. But, I'm not sure it's exactly unresolved issues, either. She may have just been making the point that sometimes people do lash out from frustration or whatever, even if that's not something they ever saw themselves doing.

Somebody posted about the desire to hit and/or throw things being genetic. I think that's probably true. DD has been very aggressive from day one. DS1 and ds2 just aren't the same way at all. DS2 is 15 months, and I haven't seen him hit at anything even once. He occasionally throws something, but it's in a very playful way, not an aggressive way. We're going to have to work with dd a lot to make her understand that people don't like being hit, whereas ds2 never even tries to do so.

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#26 of 135 Old 11-11-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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Ds is 10, and I've never spanked or hit him. When he was two, there were a couple of times he tried to kick me and I "blocked" his leg with my hand before it struck me....it shocked me both times and I wondered if I had "hit" him...but I'd say definitely not, it was a self defense thing, and nothing that upset either of us.

So, no, I don't think all parents are doomed to spank. However it *is* true that most American parents spank at least once. Realistically, it is good to think about why that might be, and prepare yourself for situations that may challenge you on the issue. I don't think good intentions are enough...the reality of parenting is such that "never spanking" may be an ongoing conscious effort.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#27 of 135 Old 11-11-2006, 01:35 AM
 
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No, that's nonsense. I'm no saint and I have never spanked.
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#28 of 135 Old 11-11-2006, 01:42 AM
 
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I haven't spanked.

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#29 of 135 Old 11-11-2006, 01:58 AM
 
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I can't say for everyone, but yes, I have my moments, ds is very high needs and spirited, and after hours of dealing with the same thing, and the same peircing scream in my ear when I remove him from the naughty activity, I spank in anger. I always feel guilty, but yes, I have spanked. I'm trying to find better ways to deal with it, but its hard........and IMO one spank is much better than some of the thoughts that go through my head at high stress times, (eg shaking him to see if he will stop screaming) which of course are neverf acted on.

I was also raised being spanked, so its a natural knee jerk reaction that I'm trying to change.
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#30 of 135 Old 11-11-2006, 02:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
I think hitting is a lot like yelling, some people (for whatever reasons) just have the impulse to do it. And if you are a yeller, it might be hard to understand that other people are just not inclined. Same if you are sometimes overwhelmed and spank, it may be hard to understand that there are other people who just don't even GET that impulse.
ITA..I have both impluses, so I am working uphill in a constant battle.....then I got the added bonus of a high needs spirited child, whos in the screamer stage.....after years of me growing up see "those" kids and saying "i will never have one of THOSE kids".

I have learned to control my anger alot though, so one spank is an improvement over me leaving him alone, throwing things, cutting myself etc.
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