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I had a very rough, abusive childhood. I have made a commitment to my children and myself to practice gentle discipline to the best of my ability. I don't spank my children (ages almost 5 and 3 1/2) even though I definitely have the urge to when I'm angry. I have fought my past demons very hard to get to a point where the urges are even far and few between. I do yell when I am extremely frustrated but I am working very hard to stop yelling.<br>
When I am out in public and I see a parent being rough with their child, I get very shaky and angry as if I am their child and feeling like those things are happening to me. I have heard this is similar to what some might think of as a form of port traumatic stress. In these instances, I have been known to say something to the parent before, because I want that child to grow up having heard at least once in their life that there is a different way so that they might someday grow up and not repeat the cycle with their own children. For me this happened because I heard the adults in my life laughing at and making fun of others they knew who DID practice gentle discipline and didn't spank their kids; so as an adult I searched that out to find whatever was furthest from how I was treated because I knew my childhood had been awful and didn't want to repeat that for my kids.<br>
Because I feel so strongly against spanking, I also don't pursue relationships with people who treat their children this way. Firstly because of how I feel when I see it, but also because I don't want to put my children in a situation where they are seeing it as acceptable behavior.<br>
I was recently told by some other mothers that I was very wrong for automatically deciding I didn't want to build a friendship with certain other moms just because they acted violently towards their children (who have engaged in publicly spanking them and grabbing them by their hair on multiple occasions, all of which are age 3 and younger) ; but I feel like it is a REALLY good reason for not being involved with them. And while I am not asking for validation of my feelings, it was told to me that I will be a very lonely person if I can't just look the other way/ get over it/ etc. (which I am not willing to just accept it as normal parenting behavior.) So my question is: I am wondering if there is ANYONE else out there that feels the same way I do? That consciously make it a point to not hang out with people who treat their children this way?
 

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It's hard. I seek out mummy-friends who have gentleness in common over all other things. My closest mum-friend had completely different births to me (highly medical/surgical) and didn't BF her babies (tried but didn't pursue it) but she is loving with her kids, she doesn't spank, or shame, she yells (so do i!) but works on it as much as i do too. My DD is VERY sensitive to others emotions, mainly, i think, because she cannot predict when they're coming, and she HATES when another child is being talked to sternly, let alone hit.<br><br>
However we DO have some relatives who behave that way, and since we cannot cut them out of our lives, i just try to shield DD as much as possible when we're around them.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I was recently told by some other mothers that I was very wrong for automatically deciding I didn't want to build a friendship with certain other moms just because they acted violently towards their children (who have engaged in publicly spanking them and grabbing them by their hair on multiple occasions, all of which are age 3 and younger) ; but I feel like it is a REALLY good reason for not being involved with them. And while I am not asking for validation of my feelings, it was told to me that I will be a very lonely person if I can't just look the other way/ get over it/ etc. (which I am not willing to just accept it as normal parenting behavior.)</td>
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I completely agree with you. I would avoid, and REPORT "friends" i saw abusing their children this way. "There are more of us than you" is not a justification for violence or abuse. I would tell them that it is exactly that sort of bullying attitude you DON'T want your children to grow up with and keep your head high. They might have the majority, but you have the moral high ground as far as i'm concerned. And for the record i'd rather be lonely than hang out with people who disgust me.
 

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I'm having keyboard problems, but to respond. I have friends who do not use GD. They are good parents who love their kids. They aren't abusive, but be pretty stern and harsh. One of them asked me, why my son and I were so close<br>
and why despite having ADHD, he's fairly well behaved. I used this as a chace to talk to her about GD. I've noticed over time, her approach to her daughter has changed. She stopped screaming and while she used time outs, it's a much more effective and thoughtful manner. Since the mom is more in control of her self so is the daughter.<br><br>
Wow, it's really hard to write without a "N" & a "B", I'm happy for the on screen<br>
key board.
 

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My experience has been that it is almost impossible to find a family in the southern United States that has never spanked and thinks all spanking is wrong. Believe me, I have looked! I have gone as far as starting GD playgroups, advertising in newspapers for GD families, advertising on homeschool groups for GD moms to meet up with, and still found that most parents who believed in GD either spanked a few times, or believed it was okay in rare instances. You are looking for people who think spanking is ALWAYS wrong and would NEVER do it--very rare in many areas.<br><br>
My point is that depending on where you live, it may be impossible to find friends who are 100% against spanking and have never, ever spanked or threatened to spank.<br><br>
I have wound up friends with people who are very pro-spanking because yes, indeed, it got lonely trying to find anyone who didn't believe in it.<br><br>
Edited to add: The previous poster raises a good point--I do notice that it has a good effect on spankers to be friends with someone who never spanks. If you can be that person, it is great to show how you discipline without spanking. Many people just have no idea what that looks like.
 

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But believing spanking is valid discipline =/= to yanking kids about by the HAIR surely!? That really shocks me - i know a few people who either believe in spanking or don't believe but don't seem able to stop themselves in the heat of the moment (who i was friends with before we all had kids) but they don't grab their BABIES by their HAIR! I know my B/SIL's think spanking is ok/necessary but even they would step in if they saw a parent grab a child by the hair and spank.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GoBecGo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14811242"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But believing spanking is valid discipline =/= to yanking kids about by the HAIR surely!? That really shocks me - i know a few people who either believe in spanking or don't believe but don't seem able to stop themselves in the heat of the moment (who i was friends with before we all had kids) but they don't grab their BABIES by their HAIR! I know my B/SIL's think spanking is ok/necessary but even they would step in if they saw a parent grab a child by the hair and spank.</div>
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I agree with you. Mostly when I hear about spanking on this board it is mostly to the extreme. I was spanked until a certain age and the things that is in the OP post my parents never did and wouldn't do and they believe that type of parent is not called for. I can only recall getting spanked once but I sure there was more, also my parents didn't do it for everything it was a once in a while type of thing.<br><br>
If I was to seperate myself from everyone that spanks I would have no friends except for the superficial friends I meet at playgroups don't turn into the true friendship I have with my long friends. Now with the example from the OP that type of parenting I would try and not bring my kids around and I can see how that would make the friendship grow apart in ways. But there are some parents that don't spank their kids in public or only use it on rare moments. Also some friends would understand why you don't want your children to see spanking.<br><br>
And like one poster said some people can become inspired by those that do not spank.
 

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I will not be friends with people who spank their children. It's not really up for discussion for me. I, too, had a violent childhood, and I start to relive those demons every time I see anyone hitting their child, even if they're falling within what most consider acceptable violence toward children. Beyond that, the couple of times we've seen someone hit/spank a child in public, my son has become really distressed over it, so it's not something I would expose him to. Family is a different matter, but I do try to shield/avoid as much as possible.
 

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I had to reply.<br>
I had a childhood much like yours. I too, fight those demons of discipline everyday. I yell alot. I'm working on it. Anyway...<br>
Would I be friends with someone who physically disciplined their children in public? No. Absolutely not. Just like I could never be friends with a man who beat his wife. To me, abuse is abuse no matter how well-intentioned. Believe me when I say this, its taken me YEARS to get to that point. I grew up believing that spanking was not only fine but absolutely necessary. Now, I can't do it. I can't justify spanking or physically hurting any human being to get my way.<br>
If I can't justify it in myself, I am certainly not going to condone it with my friends.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nicole McGraw Dorr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14810583"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was recently told by some other mothers that I was very wrong for automatically deciding I didn't want to build a friendship with certain other moms just because they acted violently towards their children (who have engaged in publicly spanking them and grabbing them by their hair on multiple occasions, all of which are age 3 and younger) ; but I feel like it is a REALLY good reason for not being involved with them. And while I am not asking for validation of my feelings, it was told to me that I will be a very lonely person if I can't just look the other way/ get over it/ etc. (which I am not willing to just accept it as normal parenting behavior.) So my question is: I am wondering if there is ANYONE else out there that feels the same way I do? That consciously make it a point to not hang out with people who treat their children this way?</div>
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I would definitely not hang out with people who treated their kids that way! I wasn't spanked as a child, but I still get very upset whenever I see a child being shouted at or treated badly in other ways. I don't really ever see kids being hit or pulled by the hair, and if I did I would say something to the parents, possibly also report them to the police, as hitting children has been illegal here for almost 40 years.<br><br>
I would not want my child to see other children be treated badly, and I absolutely prefer being around people that it is nice to be around, and that treat each other with respect.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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This is tough. The OP's post really resonated with me and my personal history and I have stepped in too in public when things seem to be out of control. (i.e. You really can't spank a toddler into their car seat. No really, you can't. So don't do it!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">)<br><br>
I do know moms who spank and who use time out in a way I don't agree with. It depends though on the degree that they use/abuse these methods. I can accept almost any thoughtful, conscientious approach to parenting and discipline. Even spanking can fall under that umbrella, but I think it's rare. Too many parents spank out of emotion as opposed to any controlled intentional discipline imo.<br><br>
I ended up socializing with a momma recently who proudly proclaimed 'You have to beat your kids. I smack mine around.' I was just appalled. If she thinks her boys are bad now, wait until they get to puberty after being 'smacked' and told to 'quit yer cryin''. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><br><br>
It's when parents should know/do better that I have a problem. Like the child psychologist in my mother's group who spanks. I don't get that although she's pretty intentional with it and I don't believe she's acting out of anger--it is just. so. hard. to watch a child's obvious needs be met with hitting. I get the momma who smacks; she's not someone to research or read, I don't think she went to college, she's doing what was done to her, she's alone most of the time while her DH works out of state etc...<br><br>
Anyway, I'm rambling here. I guess my philosophy is I can't control the rest of the world. If I can find a way to be helpful/educate and/or maintain a relationship despite philosophical differences, then I go for it. Spanking is so common, it is hard to avoid.<br><br>
And then I try to be compassionate and remember I am far from the perfect parent myself. We are all doing the best we can and parenting is hard work.<br><br>
V
 

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I don't think you're overreacting. I don't build relationships with people who are violent in any way. I don't want my DD to witness violence done by people she's supposed to think of as nice or good people. I don't want her to think violence is an acceptable part of a relationship. Unless it's in self defense violence is BAD. I don't know the discipline methods of all of the moms who are our acquaintances but I haven't seen anything that indicates they are less than gentle.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ssh</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14812310"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think you're overreacting. I don't build relationships with people who are violent in any way. I don't want my DD to witness violence done by people she's supposed to think of as nice or good people. I don't want her to think violence is an acceptable part of a relationship. Unless it's in self defense violence is BAD. I don't know the discipline methods of all of the moms who are our acquaintances but I haven't seen anything that indicates they are less than gentle.</div>
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Good point. Witnessing the violence is key for me too. I don't want dd to see spanking. So far (knock on wood) my social circle keeps spanking private.<br><br>
V
 

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you're not the only one--we don't hang or associate much with spankers either
 

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I don't think you're wrong. My friends are not perfect, but none of them espousing hitting or spanking as the best way to discipline. We've all made mistakes, had bad days--I'm not judgmental about that. I just talked to a friend this morning who is being driven crazy by her 3.5 year old--she said some pretty harsh things on the phone, and she was angry at herself for losing it with her DD yesterday. I have another family member, though, who is a spanker, a yeller, and I think the way she talks to her kids is terrible. She's family, so all I can do is limit my contact with them.<br><br>
I choose not to be around that kind of behavior, and I don't want my DD to see it. I'm not lonely living this way--do agree with other posters that geographically, some areas are more into spanking and that stinks, but happily here in NJ we're a pretty mixed bag.
 

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my brother and i were spanked as children. but we were never abused. we were always loved and knew it too.<br><br>
and so in a sense i can relate to people who spank like i can relate to my parents who didnt know any better.<br><br>
the decision not to spank - to the non spankers around me - seems almost an inner journey. its not so much someone told me to. its almost an inner knowing that even though you want to last out you dont.<br><br>
no parent around me is abusive. they all deeply care for their children. they just follow different philosophies. and so i am friends with them.<br><br>
and yes it makes them notice adn think that i dont use any of their techniques, yet i get better behaviour out of my child.
 

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Nope. You are not the only one. I cringe when I see people being aggressive with kids. I generally don't want to hang out with people like that. I am raising little people, they deserve just as much respect, if not more, than adults. I agree it is hard to find people who don't think spanking is perfectly normal and acceptable.
 

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I think there is nothing wrong with your decision. You're doing it right. So what if you don't befriend them, there are other mothers on the neighborhood who does parenting like the way you do it. Being a friend, you should be a role model, not just to your children but also to your friends' children. Spanking a kid is not right because they are too young to notice what they are doing. Words can do better disciplinary actions. And another good way, if they (kids) did something right, reward them so they will continue the good deed.
 

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Oh, your post brings back the feels i have towards my mom. My mom was a hair-puller...i dont know how young i was when she did it, but i remember her doing it to me in middle and high school! I like OP am working really hard to use gentle techniques with my kids and thankfully, I have really good examples to follow. I do know people who spank and though I don't agree with that, I also don't put it in the same category as the kind of abuse i received at all. I have friends that may or may not spank (i really don't know) but if they did, I might talk to them about it, but I would also trust that they were not just taking their emotion out on their kid. I'm in a place where I don't deliberately make friends with people who I know are harsh with their kids, but friends that i have for years I'd rather wait for an opportunity to talk to them instead of just cutting them out.
 

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I do have friends who spank, but it hasn't been an issue because that isn't all they do and they don't discipline for the world to see. They also would never grab their child by their hair or humiliate their child with public shaming of any sort. I think hair grabbing is abusive and warrants a report to CPS not an invitation to friendship.<br><br>
I don't choose my friends based on their discipline beliefs, but I do choose them based on how happy I am to be around them. If they are yelling at their kids and scolding them a lot when I am with them or making the atmosphere unpleasant I don't choose to be around them. If you have only found people who spoil the atmosphere with their yelling, hitting, and scolding then I think you should accept being lonely for a while until you can find calmer and funner people to be around.
 
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