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Of course, this was a time when spanking was highly acceptable if not totally encouraged, and dh's grandmother was a young mother in Louisiana, where it was the belt or a tree switch.

Katherine (the mom) had one daughter (Donna) and Donna was playing with a friend out in the yard. The friend came in crying, saying "Miss B, Donna switched me!" Now Katherine was having a hard day and hit her wit's end with that remark. She took Donna to a tree, selected a suitable switch, and switched her daughter with it. Afterwards the little friend confessed that Donna had "switched" her with a blade of grass during an argument.

Two things changed for Katherine that day. 1) She always got both sides of the story; and 2) She never physically disciplined her daughter again--ever--and became a supporter of gentle discipline. To this day she counsels Donna's children (dh is one of them) to find more creative ways of helping their children find their way in this world. It's not particularly working, sadly (I have that thread about BIL paddling his kids, and other BIL and his wife are big spankers and shamers) but dh and his sister are both trying to go about it another way. MIL left her h because he whipped the kids.

Anyway, this Katherine is someone I admire and adore, and I love her "lightbulb moment" story when she realized what she "knew" was not right and sought to "do better, knowing better." I find so many of that same generation are the ones who tell me to get some socks on that child, and I'd better spank them or they'll never respect me--and here is Granny, who cannot stand to hear any baby cry and could never, ever, ever, let a child CIO.
 
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