|View Poll Results: Were YOU spanked as a child?|
|Yes, I was abused||145||20.57%|
|Yes, I was spanked on a regular basis, but I wouldn't consider myself "abused."||131||18.58%|
|Yes, I was spanked several times a year||181||25.67%|
|Yes, I was spanked 1-4 times in my entire childhood||172||24.40%|
|Nope, I was never spanked.||60||8.51%|
|Voters: 705. You may not vote on this poll|
Those who were "only spanked" seem to have a harder time in the heat of the moment- I'm guessing that subconsciously, there's a feeling of "spanking isn't THAT bad- I was spanked and I turned out OK" and are more likely to lose control and spank or almost spank.
Dad never laid a hand on me. Of course, he wouldn't, because that would have meant getting involved in a part of parenting that wasn't fun. He did hit my sister when she was about 14...he lost his temper (the only time I ever saw it happen) when she called my mom a "motherf***ing c***sucker" and several other nasty names.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
I don't feel that the spanking, per se, was always abusive. More the attitude that came with it. It always came from a place of blind fury, but I also now understand my mom's rage-- she felt powerless in marriage and life, and I think she tended to take it out on us kids unintentionally.
And her religious beliefs say that the rod is necessary for proper spiritual development, anyway. She wasn't going to argue with God, I reckon. :
OK, so maybe it WAS abusive. But I forgive her. And I turned out mostly OK in spite of it all.
I do fight the urge to be violent toward my children. It is very hard. Sometimes I fail.
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She also made my little brother drink castor oil every time she thought he was lying about something (even when he really wasn't). That means he spent a lot of his childhood in the bathroom with diarrhea. Aside from that, none of us were really physically abused, but we were definitely verbally abused and emotionally abused.
I have felt the urge to hit my child twice, when I was extremely frustrated. Obviously I would never do it, though.
The most manipulative thing I remember doing as a child occured one day on our front porch when my stepdad was spanking my brother and my brother was yelling and my grandfather was there and you could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to intervene but wasnt sure if he should, I mean, you could see the alarm and then the confusion, then he looked at me.... so I very purposely and conciously threw my head back and started crying too and that sent him into action and he intervened. I guess it was manipulative but as a child, it was the ONLY way I ever found to actually HELP my brother. I dont think it changed anything overall, but it stopped that one beating.
I had to really work to convince my xh not to spank, but his own father did it for me. One day xh was at his parents house with ds and came home and said, "ok, I get it now" because ds had done something (he was like two at the time) and my xfil had gotten angry and he came at ds to spank him and xh said you could tell it wasnt about discipline or teaching, xfil was PISSED and was clearly about to take it out on ds. So xh intervened and told his dad off and they came home and he was on board ever since.
DH had always been on board, thanks to an abusive mother who beat the crap out of him, but not his sister.
Interesting to me that at MDC, there are 57 people who have replied that don't consider hitting a person smaller or younger than the hitter (spanker) to be abusive.
I consider it WRONG, and bad parenting, but to me "abuse" means something more serious. I do not equate my experience getting rare and not-too-painful spankings from loving parents who thought they were doing the right thing, with the kind of experience some have described here of being thrown into walls and beaten with objects and screamed at.
However, she was not perfect. I distinctly remember her hitting me once. I was young (4-5 years old). I had hit or perhaps bit (I know I was a biter...: ) my younger brother who was 2.5 years younger than me. She lost her cool. I know I was a very difficult small child to manage, especially when my little brother was added to the picture. On a lighter note, I was a very happy, mature, and well behaved teenager. I don't remember being hurt physically. I remember the emotional responce. I don't remember if she hit my hand, my arm, my leg, my butt. I'm sure she used her hand.
This is the only instance I can remember. I do not resent it at all. My mother was/is a wonderful mother and a wonderful role model. I hope I do as well for my own children. She is, however, human. Considering how perfect she always seems, it's nice to have the reminder that she has in fact screwed up.
SAHM to DD1 8/06 , DD2 8/09 , and DD3 9/12 married to 6/99. We , , , , and lots of and .
ETA: I fall into the camp of thought that says it was a bad parenting moment but it wasn't abuse. My mother lost it a few times and spanked me with her open hand or slapped me with her open hand. I clearly remember pushing her buttons or doing something unsafe on those occasions. That doesn't excuse it, but I know the parenting culture she grew up in and the advice she was being given, and as far as the scale of "normal" goes, she fell well on the lighter side for her reality. There was no intent to abuse, there was momentary anger/fear in an otherwise fairly healthy and stable parent-child relationship.
My gut reaction is to say spanked but not abused. But when I think about what happened when I was spanked it is definitely abuse. It's so strange how my inner child wants to protect the image of my loving parents even when my adult self is not so sure.
As a small child I was hit with a wooden spoon often by my Mom. Dad would occasionally be called in with his belt.
As a teen things were much worse. I did not get daily spankings but when things got physical it was terrifying. I remember Mom picking me up out of the bath tub by my hair when I was at least 15. When I was 16/17 I remember a few times being terrified of my Dad and running into my room and trying to lock the door before he could get me. Once he lifted me up by my neck/throat. Once I was getting ice from the freezer and he came around the corner, shoved the freezer closed at me. When I held it open so I would not get caught in the door I remember this fist coming around and slamming me.
My first summer home from collage was real bad. I ended up leaving the house and moved in with a friend. I remember going through the get away from Dad terror by running out to get in my car. Dad pulled some part out of the engine so I ran for the house. He caught me and threw me in the door. Then when I would not stop screaming he help me down on the ottoman and slapped (I think it was a punch) me so hard I thought he broke my jaw. That is the day I moved out.
Mom and Dad started family counseling after that. It helped with the physical stuff. The mental abuse keeps coming. I think my Mom is jealous of me for some reason based on the type of abusive things she says.
My husband has labeled my Mom as a psychopath. He thinks I should just cut her out of my life since she continues to be so abusively.
Long post. Thanks for letting me get some of this stuff off my chest. It's hard to think about/talk about this kind of thing. I agree with the PP that say they feel like there are people out there that really are ABUSED so talking about this stuff seems so "poor me".
DH and I do NOT spank. Sometime I have the urge to. Once I did and DD just laughed at me. To her "spanks" are a tickle game.
One happy momma to a very spirited little girl , her tough little brother , and a happy little suprise late April 2012 . Wife to an overworked and under paid husband .
Dh and I don't spank dd. This is a deal breaker for me, there will be no violence in my home.
Me + Dh = Dd1(9.5 yrs) + Dd2(7 yrs) and Ds(4.5 yrs)
My parents were very into scare tactics. My Dad made a paddle and drilled holes in it with a happy face. He threatened to use "Mr. Happy" on us everytime we were bad. He did use it on my brother, but not me (and yes, he really called it that--pretty sick, huh?). He beat my baby sister when she was 2-ish, because she stuck crayons in the disk drive of our computer. My mom had to pry her away from him as he hit her on the bottom/back.
For some reason, I think they were afraid to "discipline" me, because I certainly did my share of bad things.
I guess I just posted because even though I disagree with my parents on many things (besides this they are Republicans hehe) I have the utmost respect and love for them, it is mutual and I just could never call these people child abusers.
Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.
Me + Dh = Dd1(9.5 yrs) + Dd2(7 yrs) and Ds(4.5 yrs)
I always wanted to have a loving family. I remember when I was 13 I created a journal that I would write fictional entries of what I had done with my loving mom and sister. In my fictional life, we went to the mall and the zoo and ate ice cream. It was the most mundane stuff, but they really liked me. We always had a good time and I never got a whipping after our outings like I did with my real family. I spent a lot of time daydreaming to get away from my real life where my mom and grandmother hit us with switches and belts. My mother was always in a blind rage when she hit us and she even hit me once with a high-heel shoe because we were making noise while she was sleeping. My mother was extremely controlling and my sister modeled her behavior towards me. It hasn't changed much with my sister, but I have more leverage now that I'm married and they want to see my DC.
When I was 13, I applied and was accepted at a boarding school 1000 miles away from my home. My sister and I both went. That was the start of the change in my life. My sister was too indoctrinated and dependent on my mother's conditional love to thrive as I did. She still struggles very badly with a sense of low self-worth. I found a loving mom in my dormhead and did very well.
Sometimes I think people hate their kids because they hate themselves. My mother told me on my 31st birthday that she suffered from depression in her 30s. I would have been 7 when she turned 30. She never sought help, just took it out on us. I try to have some empathy towards her because she had two kids 10 months apart in her early 20s by a married guy who was a sociopath. He left us and went on to have 8 other kids by different women. It's hard having 2 kids 19 months apart with a devoted DH, so I can understand some of her stressors. What I'll never understand is how you can look at someone who is so small and looks so much like you and beat them until they scream, and do it again and again. I think only a self-loathing person can do that.
Anyway, my mom usually spanked in anger or frustration. It mainly was just bad for the relationship, but also not the biggest deal in the world.
My stepfather though, he spanked in the awful, yucky, ritualistic way. You know the kind "you are going to get a spanking when we get home" for things like squirming or falling asleep in church or whatever. It made me seething angry inside. I would refuse to cry and would tell myself I would never let them see me hurt. when it was over, I would walk away and throw a very calm "I hate you" over my shoulder.
I guess that is why my take on spanking is that it is just completely ineffective and can create rebellion and an inappropriate tendency to turn feelings inward, which can later manifest in depression, self-destructive behavior, and addictions.
Spanking can be absuive, of course, but in my case it was not exactly abusive, but was horrible parenting.