Were YOU spanked as a child? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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%
Other 16 2.27%
Voters: 705. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-10-2007, 04:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
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.
In my case, it's not even that I "turned out OK". It's that it just wasn't a big deal. My mom did it a few times at the end of her rope (really severe hormonal issues for several years after she had my sister). I didn't find it scary and the pain wasn't severe or a big deal. Looking back, she was probably a little bit out of control, but I never felt that way about it as a child - I think that would have scared me...feeling that my mom had no control over her actions. I mean - she was mom!

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.

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Old 02-10-2007, 04:18 AM
 
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I was never spanked, but I was threatened with spanking.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:22 AM
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yes i was spanked,and i don't regret it,not saying that i do it though.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:28 AM
 
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I was spanked, and have just recently gotten over a longstanding aversion to wire hangers. Probably a couple times a month, depending on age.

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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Old 02-10-2007, 04:34 AM
 
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About 2-3x/ year until I was seven or eight. Mostly my parents were pretty GD, but my father felt he was "supposed" to spank. The first time my mother spanked me, I laughed at her so she went to other strategies instead; then after that she only spanked me once. I think the last person who spanked me was actually my grandfather, not one of my parents, when I was seven or eight as I said.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:41 AM
 
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I was spanked and abused but not abused by spanking. My dad only participated in emotional abuse.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:47 AM
 
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Hi, everyone! Please take a moment to review the GD Forum Guidelines:

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Welcome to Gentle Discipline. This forum has a specific aim: to help parents learn and apply gentle discipline methods in raising their children.

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Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.

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.

'Natural Family Living' by Peggy O'Mara
Please appreciate that this forum is not a place to uphold or advocate physical punishment of children. Personal preferences for and encouragement of use of physical punishment are inappropriately posted here. Posts of that nature will be edited by the member upon request or will be removed.

Please feel free to discuss your problems and needs with the intent to learn more about Gentle Discipline.
If you see any posts that feel 'off' or that you believe to be in violation of the MDC User Agreement or the Forum Guidelines:
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Which in this case would be me or heartmama Thanks, and as always, thanks for your contributions and cooperation

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Old 02-10-2007, 05:27 AM
 
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I was spanked a few times a year, always with a belt. My mom wasn't in the picture and I was raised by my dad and stepmother. When my stepmother had her one and only child when I was 7, she apparently decided spanking was not okay for her child, because my half sister has never been spanked, slapped or in any other way physically punished. The horrible thing about it, though, is that this didn't stop my stepmother and dad from continuing to spank all the rest of us! They spanked us, even after my stepmother decided her own child should never be spanked. (She hated me and my two siblings and eventually divorced my dad.) To me, that is abusive, because she obviously made a conscious decision about the wrongness of spanking, but she insisted that the three of us should still be spanked. And it wasn't just because her daughter was too young to be spanked before we got too old to be spanked (having trouble describing what I mean). Basically, my brother got his last spanking at age 12. He's only 4 years older than our little sister, so she was 8 by then. She had definitely been in enough mischief and was old enough to have been spanked by then, so it wasn't that my stepmother changed her stance on spanking after all of us had already grown too old to spank - she knew she wouldn't spank her child even as she was still spanking all the rest of us. That's an abusive mindset, IMO. My dad was emotionally abused by my stepmother and he really did whatever she wanted. She had adopted us and constantly threatened to divorce him and get custody if he didn't. It was utterly f*cked up.

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.
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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We were spanked. A lot. We even had to go to the yard and pick out a "switch" from the bushes to get spanked with. We were spanked with spatulas, belts, wooden cooking spoons...and if said item broke while spanking us? Woe to us cuz we got spanked even harder.
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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Yes, I was spanked with leather belts on bare skin. I voted I was abused.

Same here.....reading this thread has brought back alot of bad memories
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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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.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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I was only spanked a handful of times and it was by my great grandmother, not my parents.

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Old 02-10-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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My parents spanked very rarely. The last time was when I was a little older and I remember wondering why my dad was bothering since he couldn't bring himself to make it physically hurt. It felt like a strong pat. Interesting to note that I don't remember why he spanked me so it obviously didn't "teach" me anything. I would definately consider it abuse so I don't spank my dd.

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Old 02-10-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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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.
Well, the poll is a little confusing. I do think hitting is abusive, but I chose "several times a year" because I thought the OP was trying to get an idea of how often we were hit.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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I chose several times a year. When my mom spanked, she didnt or couldnt spank hard enough to make it hurt. My grandmother now, she made me get my own switch. And my stepfather, well, it hurt like hell and it was humiliating, espeically when I was a teen, espeically when done it public. What I remember abou it, aside from the feelings of humiliation, isnt whatever I had done to be spanked (have no clue about that) but the stubborn streak in me that refused to cry. I think that the more I didnt cry, the madder he got and the harder he hit. But I would not cry in front of him, I didnt want to give him the satisfaction. I hated him and hated my mother for letting it happen. But it was my brother that got beaten on an almost daily basis, hard and with a belt. Just watching that was traumatic to me, I cant imagine what it did to him.

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.

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Old 02-10-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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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 don't consider it abuse.

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.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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I voted that I was spanked 1-4 times in my life. Generally speaking, my mother did not hit us. She was very gentle. She explained what we did wrong, why it was wrong, etc. She was an awesome AP parent.

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.

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Old 02-10-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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I voted 1-4 times ever but it's probably somewhere between that and several times a year. I don't think it was as often as yearly, even -- I only remember a couple of times as a child, then getting my face slapped a couple of times when I was older -- but I'm guessing there are a few I've forgotten. The truth probably lies around 5-8 times ever, knowing my parents.

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.
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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Interesting poll.

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.

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Old 02-11-2007, 12:29 AM
 
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Yes I was spanked as a child (several times a year) with hand, wooden spoon, fly swatter, "The Heat Seat" (a paddle sold at a store). Mostly it was the feelings of anxiety (not just the physical pain), not being able to get away from it, avoid it, the dread, that made me sick about the spanking. Eventually I got over it, but I could not get over how my brother was abused. My father was very rough with him, went too far. Then my brother would say he heard me laughing (when in fact I was cowering in and fear and overwhelming anxiety while he was beaten), and he beat me up afterwards. It was terrible. He terrorized me but I couldn't tell my parents because all they would do is beat him up and that didn't help anything. This is one of my deepest regrets and frustrations.
Dh and I don't spank dd. This is a deal breaker for me, there will be no violence in my home.

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Old 02-11-2007, 12:34 AM
 
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I voted 1-4 times. I was told that my grandpa gave me a swat on the butt at 3 because I kept messing with a german shepard, that he told me to leave alone, and it ended up biting me in the face (I guess it really scared him). My dad gave me a swat once when I was about 2 or 3, but didn't intend it as a spanking, just a single swat, because he thought I had on my diaper. I didn't. My mom came unglued and he never struck me again. I don't remember either of those times. And, my mom actually did spank me once, when I was 11, for defacing the newly repainted bathroom door at her best friend's house. I think she was really embarassed. But it was emotionally traumatizing for me. I'll never forget it. My paren't just weren't the spanking types. They prefered lectures and grounding. I definitely do not spank my child, never will.
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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Reading some of your stories just makes me ache inside. I'm so sorry that you had to experience these things, mamas.

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Old 02-11-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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I was spanked a handfull of times. My brother was physically abused by my father, but I wasn't. I would say that I dealt with some verbal abuse that was much more scarring than the few spankings that I got.

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.
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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Dh and I aren't going to hit, but my brothers and I were spanked and I agree with a pp that it wasn't abuse. My parents choice was misguided, but they truly loved/love us and always showed that. My brothers and I are all VERY close to our parents, are all functional members of society and have no physcological scars. We all live near-by, get together for lunch almost every Sunday and are closer than any other family I know (everyone is always saying how jealous they are of my family hehe). Again, not that hitting us was right, but I will submit that I know children who I view were actually abused by neglect/unaffectionate or controlling parents and now are dysfunctional people.

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.

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Old 02-12-2007, 12:34 AM
 
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Reading some of your stories just makes me ache inside. I'm so sorry that you had to experience these things, mamas.
I know, and (I can't speak for others, but in our situation) the amazing thing is that we have had it so much easier than my parents had it, in terms of their upbringing. It amazes me how people can justify abuse.

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Old 02-12-2007, 12:42 AM
 
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I know, and (I can't speak for others, but in our situation) the amazing thing is that we have had it so much easier than my parents had it, in terms of their upbringing. It amazes me how people can justify abuse.
Many of these stories are breaking my heart too. : But I take heart in that the adult-children telling those stories are here, in the GD forum. It seems that violence in childrearing is becoming less acceptable over time. That gives me hope. One day, hopefully no one will have to rationalize hitting a child and the majority will report that they've never been hit.
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Old 02-12-2007, 05:11 AM
 
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I voted yes I was spanked several times a year, and I do not consider it abuse either. I don't feel emotionally scarred by what happened to me. I'm sorry for some of the other posters who obviously did not have any loving discipline in their homes but only angry beatings. That is very sad.

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Old 02-12-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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These stories are so hard to read, but I keep coming back. Something in reading them is helping me to admit that I was also abused. I voted several times but not abused, but like PP said, the child wants to protect the parent.

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.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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I was spanked. My dad only spanked me once, at my stepmother's insistence. That was no big deal (it realy did hurt him more than me - I knew he didn't want to do it). I was 11 and had been caught smoking and sharing cigarettes with the 7-year-old next door. If ever a spanking was warranted, that was it, LoL.

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.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Emese'sMom Dh and I don't spank dd. This is a deal breaker for me, there will be no violence in my home.[/QUOTE]

yes I would have to say that this has been my commitment as well-
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