Have you EVER spanked? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Have you ever spanked?
Yes, once or twice but never again 98 22.58%
Yes, more than once or twice but never again 69 15.90%
Yes, I used to spank but now don't 35 8.06%
No, I've never spanked 202 46.54%
Other 30 6.91%
Voters: 434. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FLmom_3 View Post
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Originally Posted by MamasBoys

My Dad used to spank us with a belt--anyone else grow up with that sort of background?

I too was raised that way - not always with a belt, though - depending on what the offense was. I became a "last resort" spanker depending on the severity or importance of the behavior but haven't really in the last few years (maybe once or twice). Either way, even then it wasn’t my only resource and there were some things I knew it wouldn’t work for – I have worked hard within the last few years to cut it out completely and have done well so far.
I gotta be honest here, though. I have noticed my oldest daughter has gone totally the opposite direction (worse behavior) since it has been cut out completely. I don’t spank anymore because it hurts me to do so and I do feel there are other options but I don't judge those that do, however, if the intent is true and it is done in a certain manner, which is difficult for many to do and maintain self control. For that reason, I feel it is better to avoid altogether. It isn't always handled in the way most "non-spankers" portray, and there are some that don't spank that are putting far worse on their children emotionally by excessive guilt and yelling out of frustration. I will tell you, however, that my being spanked as a child did not emotionally damage me and I don't have any harbored horrible feelings toward my parents for it. I do know that whenever they tried to avoid spanking, not knowing how to handle it properly did cause emotional damage, which is another side everyone needs to consider.
If spanking is prohibited throughout everyone’s home, not all parents are going to immediately seek alternative resources & classes, as many aren’t aware they are available. In doing so, many parents will become disconnected with their children who they otherwise have healthy relationships with or they will damage the child emotionally with their behaviors and words because they are at a loss of what to do or how to handle their children, therefore, they avoid them - since they aren't clued in to other options, the effects could be far worse than spanking the child. Much of their frustration could then be taken out on their children. I will never EVER say a parent who spanks must not love their child because I have been on the giving and receiving end and realize that ignorance can often be misconstrued and feel it is a harsh judgment. It isn't always handled in the way most "non-spankers" portray, and there are some that don't spank that are putting far worse on their children emotionally by excessive guilt and yelling out of frustration.
It would be nice if we could all learn other options and help eliminate many of the emotional problems in our children these days but I don’t feel that will immediately be the case. In other words, eliminated spanking is a great step toward the right direction but it will not automatically produce positive results. Maybe they should consider more detail to the bill and somehow add something that offers help and assistance for those parents this will affect. After all, many of these parents love their children and would do differently if they understood how but by taking their only known means of discipline they know, yet holding them responsible for their children’s actions (including fines and damages), doesn’t seem altogether fair if you aren’t properly teaching them alternatives. They will become helpless and this issue will only get MUCH worse before it gets better for many people – especially the children.
It’s just a thought. I’ve tried to look at both sides of the situation, without the assumption that all spankers are horrible & unloving parents and understanding this could have a major negative impact on the future of these children if not handled properly.

I understand what you're saying, but I disagree with your conclusion. In my opinion, physical and emotional abuse are so closely linked they are almost always going to be seen together. Hitting is a way to have power over another person. Once you can justify hitting someone else, then you automatically become bigger, stronger, better, and more right than they are. In any difference of opinion, need, or want the stronger will triumph over the weaker. Hitting lessens the physical and emotional value of the person being hit. Which, in turn, makes it easier to hurt and devalue them. It's a downward spiral. I remember my mom going from light, almost playful, spankings to becoming literally frightening.

My own life's example is actually pretty common. Much abuse starts off when parents are told by society how good and beneficial light spankings are, then the parent slowly realizes that if they're twice as mad as when they spanked last time, well, then the only logical punishment is to hit twice as hard. If the child eats a cookie and ruins his appetite for dinner and gets 5 smacks, then what does he get for pouring his staining grape juice on the brand new white sofa? It's easy for hitters to justify hitting "just a little harder" or "just a few more times" than last time.

You are right in that we really need to educate parents that there are alternatives to hitting and shaming children. I don't know what ways are best, unfortunately. In my case, the moment our son (now 29 mos.) was born I looked at him and simply promised him no one would ever hit him. I've kept that promise. (Except for that one time he bit me in my sleep and I jumped and bopped him in the head. He gave me kiss so I know he forgave me : ) Not everyone has as much self-control as me, though. Perhaps the most important first step would be to make hitting unacceptable. That way the downward spiral never begins.

I need to work on these thoughts and get them to make more sense, don't I? My baby is bouncing and gurgling on my knee. Time to play!

~Nay

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#62 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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I voted other because I am still working on not doing it. I've never spanked ds on his bottom but I've smacked his hand for touching dangerous things. I'm not proud of that, but we are working on it and doing better with redirection. He doesn't respond to physical discipline anyways ( big surprise there ). :
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#63 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 09:47 PM
 
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I never have...I think even if I wanted to my DH would divorce me for even considering it.

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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#64 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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I have never spanked. Dd is only 2y9m, but I can't imagine ever doing it. I have yelled. I'm not proud of that, but it happens from time to time. I was never hit as a child. Actually, my mom hit me once when I was 15y, but for some reason I don't count that because there was a lot of crap going on and by that point in my life I knew it was totally uncharacteristic of her and that she probably didn't mean it.

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#65 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 11:16 PM
 
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I have never spanked and I never will.

My mother would say she spanked us. My sisters and I agree that is a gross understatement. Even as a very young child I could see that her beatings were more about her anger than anything we did. She was raging out of control, breaking things, a hurricane of fury. A spanking from my mother often left you with a black eye, a fat lip, a broken wooden spanking implement, broken glass, an enormous dent in the wall the perfect shape of me, etc., etc.
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#66 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 11:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BlueSkyJennifer View Post
I have never spanked and I never will.

My mother would say she spanked us. My sisters and I agree that is a gross understatement. Even as a very young child I could see that her beatings were more about her anger than anything we did. She was raging out of control, breaking things, a hurricane of fury. A spanking from my mother often left you with a black eye, a fat lip, a broken wooden spanking implement, broken glass, an enormous dent in the wall the perfect shape of me, etc., etc.

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. And I am in awe that you have been able to stop the cycle and not pass on the violence, not even a little bit. Amazing.
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#67 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 11:28 PM
 
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I have never spanked my dd. I do yell though, and I feel bad about it and am really trying to stop.
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#68 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BlueSkyJennifer View Post
I have never spanked and I never will.
You are a very strong person.

~Nay

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#69 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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I want to add, I have seen Corbin's reaction to being hit a few times when we hit him accidentally. He's an active kid and there have been several times when he ran the wrong way just as I was moving my arm ... of course I didn't mean to hit him, but he wouldn't know that. He gets very upset and usually wants to be held by the other parent (not the one who hit him!). I think he's starting to understand, "Mama is sorry! Mama didn't mean to hit you!" but when he was younger he didn't get that concept.
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#70 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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Yep. My dad spanked us with a belt, my mom with a switch. AND, she would make us go pick our own switch - if she didn't think it was "good - enough" - i.e. painful enough - she would make us go pick another. Talk about screwed up! It's one of the big reasons we don't spank, although I grew up thinking it was okay and that I would. When I started thinking about this parenting thing when I was pregnant, I realized all that spanking and switching didn't teach me anything except don't get caught, and you do what you're supposed to so you don't get hit - it didn't teach me crap about internalizing right and wrong. So, thankfully, I realized before I had dd that this was NOT something I wanted to pass to my kids. I still struggle to be GD in other ways - I am a yeller by nature and am working hard to tame that beast - but I have never spanked.
I could have written this, with a few slight changes. Change it to both parents and assorted relatives and add in wooden spoons, more often than not the kind with the big hole in the middle to measure spaghetti with, and slaps to the mouth or upside the head. I never wanted to be a mother because I was scared of what I'd do to any child of mine. So I was very, very careful not to get pregnant and managed until I was 25. Then DH came home from boot camp and we celebrated with, ahem, alot of enthusiasm So I dreaded my entire pregnancy, and when DS was born I took one look at him and wondered how in the world anyone could ever hit their own child??

From day 1 I made it known far and wide that my son was not to be hit. No spanking, from anyone. No swats to the butt or anywhere else, and anyone who even mentioned it got an earful from me. Guess what I voted? "more than once or twice, but never again." Ds went through a stage where he would lash out in frustration and there have been times when he was playing and inadvertanly kicked me, or he'd think it funny to come up and headbutt me in the stomach. If I could see it coming, I could keep my cool. The times I've smacked my son were the times he caught me unawares it happened before I could process it It took longer than I care to admit to get a handle on that gut reaction to hit back. And I have to remind myself sometimes that no matter how big he is, he's still only little and not trying to hurt me so I don't need to defend myself, I need to step back and think. Yelling is still a struggle, but coming in here helps tremendously. I get alot of hope from those of you who are more peaceful than I because you prove it can be done.
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#71 of 115 Old 01-27-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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No, and I've never come close. We don't even really yell.
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#72 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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Nope. 24 collective years of parenting and no.

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#73 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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No, never. DD is still a baby (22 mos) but neither DH nor I have ever come close to spanking. I have never been tempted to in dd's short life so far and I really don't think I ever will be.

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#74 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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Much to my dismay, yes.

Maybe once or twice as a young toddler, at the end of my rope, did I give Zoe a slap on the bottom.

I am so heartened to read accounts of mothers who have never even felt like spanking, let alone actually hit their child.

It gives me hope that I can keep moving in the right direction.

I have such a hard time with gentle discipline, and I was raised without any hitting, and very minimal yelling.

Go figure. :

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#75 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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Just once, out of complete and utter frustration. It was terrible, I cried about it for the rest of the day, and so humiliated that I'd lost my temper I could barely discuss it with dh when he came home from work. It just breaks my heart that I did something on purpose to hurt my own child And then, as if I wasn't already feeling terrible enough, dd was comforting me, saying "it's okay, mama, I know you're sorry" It will absolutely NEVER happen again -- I've never even come close, I couldn't bear to inflict that on my daughter or myself again. It's so embarassing to even admit this

I was spanked as a child, and wanted never to hit my children :
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#76 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 05:01 PM
 
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No the thought never even crossed my mind until I came across this post. Strange.
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#77 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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Nope, never spanked.

But, I have grabbed ds's arm too hard
This. There have been a few times where I have been angry when ds was hurting his little brother, and I was too rough. It is at these times when I can (almost) understand that a little swat on the butt after the fact could be seen as preferable. **But I do believe that neither of this is at all acceptable behavior from me.
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#78 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 05:45 PM
 
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Once.

It was an act before thinking moment, one smack on the butt, and I was HORRIFIED after it happened. Never again.

GREAT MOM to dd (5) and )ds( [sept 26 2006]
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#79 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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I hit ds1 2 or 3 times when he was little, which invariably ended with the two of us crying together on the floor. YUCK!

I also hit dd once...totally took myself by surprise when she walked up and yanked ds2's hair while he was in my lap nursing. He started to scream, and I reacted from a "threat to the baby" place, before my brain clicked in that the "threat" was my other baby. I pulled it, but not in time to avoid hitting her. So, that time there were three of us crying together...

I've definitely had some less-than-stellar moments in the screaming department, as well. I'm getting better all the time.

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#80 of 115 Old 01-28-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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i have and i felt so guilty, i didn't hurt them but still its not right is it i also need to stop shouting so much cos thats awfull too i only realise how bad it must sound to them when i hear other mums shouting at there kids when walking up to school and it sounds awful

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#81 of 115 Old 01-29-2007, 02:20 PM
 
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I have never spanked and I really try not to "discipline" while angry. Sometimes I just need to walk away for a while to calm down and deal with a straight head, you know?

Ange. Mama to boys. Yup. All Boys. All Intact. A bunch of other NFL, crunchy credentials too.
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#82 of 115 Old 01-29-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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I did it once with each child. In both cases, they were putting our/their lives in jeopardy. With eldest dd, I was 8 months pregnant and carrying her in a busy parking lot (tantruming out of the store) she wriggled so much we both fell to the pavement in front of an on-coming car. With dd2 it was when she climbed on a balcony two flights up. In each case I wanted it to be significant, that they would NEVER do something like that again. It was truly the only thing I could think of that would have a lasting impact (moreso, because I've never spanked them before or since). I always think that parenting is about having a toolbox, and knowing what tool to bring out when; humor, ignoring, logical consequences - but in both these instances, I couldn't think of any other tool...

Suggestions for dire situations REALLY welcome!


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#83 of 115 Old 01-29-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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Hitting is never the best way to teach a child. Even in the case of real danger - as when a child runs out into the road - you can grab him, sit him down, look him in the eyes, and tell him why he must never do that again. The panic in your voice will communicate your message much more effectively than any spanking. You can be dramatic without being abusive.

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IMO, when you hit someone in a life-threatening and/or dangerous situation, you are modeling how to handle extreme situations: with violence. One of my concerns is that when there is a serious problem that a parent might not be aware of--the child will feel afraid to come to you for fear of punishment. IME, physical punishment must be removed completely from the 'tools' available if one is committed to loving guidance/GD.


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#84 of 115 Old 01-29-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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I have in the past a few times :

As a family we have made a vow to not hit. We help eachother when things get heated.

I threaten it. : Then immediately apologize for saying it and cry. My children are so wonderful and supportive. :

They are aware that I was spanked when I was little and that dh was beat. :Puke We are all committed to ensuring the cycle does not continue though sometimes the words come from no where.

It is the thing I am most ashamed of :

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#85 of 115 Old 01-29-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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I swatted DD on the (diaper-covered) butt a few times (emotional pain, not physical) when I lost my temper. I think she was 2 at the time, and it was before I came to MDC and learned about GD. What made me decide to stop was seeing DH do it. It was so obvious when I saw him do it that he was swatting her butt because he had lost control. Once I knew what it looked like, I quit cold turkey.

Once, DD and I sat down and talked very frankly about how mommy would never hit her or hurt her on purpose, and I apologized for losing my temper with her in the past. It was very healing for me, and also helpful for the trust between my sensitive little DD and myself.

It took a little longer to get DH to stop swatting, but he hasn't done it in over a year, so I think that's pretty good. I mean, 3.5 year-olds are pretty trying, so if he managed to keep his hand at his side, then I think he's kicked it as well.

In truth, I think a lot of parents think there's a difference between swatting and spanking, or spanking with a hand vs. an object. Ultimately, though, if you put spanking in the right context (would you do that to an adult, an animal, etc.), you see if for what it is. It's a parental temper tantrum, a power struggle, and either emotional or physical abuse.

As for me, I was spanked upon occasion by my mom. It was the over-the-knee with a wooden spoon or hand kind of spanking. The last time she tried it I was 12, and I got my butt into a corner and kicked her away. So, her violence towards me elicited violence in return. I never wanted to spank my kids "that way" and thought swatting my DD's little butt was different...until I saw that the adult doing it looked the same as my mom looked when I was 12.
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#86 of 115 Old 01-29-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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It wasn't something that I meant to do. My hand did hit his bottom once but it wasn't a thought out thing. I would have never done it if I wasn't caught up in a stupid power struggle. Never again!
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#87 of 115 Old 01-29-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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Yes, I have. I have to admit it too, because it's so important to reflect on it from time to time I think. It's important because the conditions that led me to spanking are the same conditions that lead so many to do it, and the fact that they can be dealt with and changed is so wonderful. When we know better we do better and all that...

I have no idea how many actual times I have spanked. My Dd only really remembers one time that I hit her on the behind. My Ds had more than that I am sure. He was what many would call "spirited" and most called a "brat". It was a difficult time for us, but I sought a good counselor and we made it through. Every single time I resorted to physical stuff all those years ago it was because I felt like I had no other choice. Now I can see that it wasn't true because I have the tools to do that. I wish I had known that back then.

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#88 of 115 Old 01-29-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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I wanted to add a moment we’d had with our youngest that helped open eyes for my husband and may help others who spank.

We were spankers. I took parenting courses prior to my first child but was only taught time-outs and reasoning. They didn’t tell you how to handle situations when the child is too young for reasoning and time-out doesn’t work (she’d just get up and say no and walk off). From there, I didn’t know of any other way. If it worked for them, I probably honestly wouldn’t have looked for anything different because I felt I was doing “what I had to do as their parent” to teach them right from wrong, though I didn’t like or feel good about it. Luckily, it didn’t work and began to fade out, until I decided to stop completely. Even when I spanked, I didn’t begin to do so until they were older because I tried to be sure they were old enough to “understand” (don’t jump all over me for this-use it more as an insight to “spanker’s point of view” to help when trying to talk with them). I had been speaking with my husband about why I didn’t feel it would accomplish what we were trying to accomplish with it and he agreed to work with me.
My 3 yo (youngest), had never been spanked. One day she stood up in her car seat while I was driving on a 65 MPH street. My husband saw her and out of fear, he reached back and popped her upper thigh and told her she could never do that because it wasn’t safe. A look of shock came over her face (and mine too)! : We pulled in a gas station and while he ran in, I tried to talk to her to help her understand as best I could what happened and let her know Daddy loved her (she was shocked and very hurt). When he got out of the car, she said while sniffling and with a trembling voice, “Mommy, Daddy hit my weg”. I tried to explain that he wasn’t trying to be mean and asked “didn’t Daddy tell you many times it is important not to stand up in your seat?” She agreed. I asked if she stood up in her seat, and she mumbled “yea” and I explained that when she did, it scared Daddy so much and he was just trying to be sure she didn’t do it again so she wouldn’t get hurt and he didn't mean to hit her. Then I asked if she understood why Daddy spanked and she nodded yes. I asked why, and she said “Cuz’ Daddy hit my weg” in a pitiful voice and began to cry again with her hands covering her eyes! It wasn’t hard at all and probably didn’t hurt but it DID hurt her feelings horribly and KILLED me to see her that way. I wasn’t trying to justify it but didn’t want to “badmouth” as soon as he left the car either cuz' by the look on his face, he felt bad & it was a snap decision - I know he loves her. When he got back in the car, I made him hear it himself by asking right in front of him “why did Daddy spank?” and she replied the same. I wasn’t trying to terrorize her with it but felt if he’d heard it from her as I did, it would make much more of an impact than my throwing a fit about it (I did add my 2 cents of guilt here and there though! ) He felt horrible, apologized and hasn’t spanked since. He saw for the first time that they truly don’t look at spankings and hitting any differently. I think we are finally on the same page.
Sorry it was so long but I felt this may help some that aren’t members of the board but are browsing to understand. I know not all spankers are abusive (I wasn’t) and many do love their children (I do) and feel it is a must. Sometimes, it takes an innocent child’s point of view to help parents see it for what it is. I struggle everyday with urges but if you openly try and imagine what is really going through your child’s mind, you can get past it.
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#89 of 115 Old 02-24-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Yes, I have. I have to admit it too, because it's so important to reflect on it from time to time I think. It's important because the conditions that led me to spanking are the same conditions that lead so many to do it, and the fact that they can be dealt with and changed is so wonderful. When we know better we do better and all that...
Same here. I have spanked DS a few times, maybe 2-3 total. I feel the same as you. I have to admit it, even though it is terribly difficult for me to, and I am ashamed of it. I never, ever want to spank my children, or be rough with them, or anything. I think spanking is a horrible discipline technique, never called for. The times that I Have spanked him have been right before DD was born and then right after DD was born, one time when he jumped on top of her when she was 10 days old. I vowed never to do it again the last time I did, and it's been nearly 8 months. What helps me is to have a pat technique or phrase that I use when I feel on the edge. The worst for me is when DS hurts DD. I feel this mama bear rage and it feels nearly impossible to control. So I've started using a pat phrase... this works so well. I want to be GD for the good of my children, but man is it hard sometimes. I'm working, I'm working... sigh...

Mama to 3 kids. We live in a yurt!
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#90 of 115 Old 02-24-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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I have spanked before - that's the way dh and I were raised. I thought it was effective at the time. Now I realize it really isn't very effective, and I get better results with GD. I also realized giving myself permission to spank was giving myself permission to be a lazy parent. It is easier to pop a butt sometimes than to have a teaching moment. But just because something is easier doesn't make it best. I've also seen that it seems like you have to hit harder and harder for it to "work" as kids age and get more determined - at that point, it started making me nervous.
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