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Let me recount one of the saddest conversations I've had in a long time--let me also add that my father is not a monster. He is a very wonderful man, albeit very wounded in many ways.<br><br>
We were talking about how difficult the adjustment has been for my nearly two-year-old dd since the baby has been born. I was telling him I was angry at her a lot of the time for doing things to get my attention--things like taking off her diaper and pooping on the floor, hitting and screaming, chasing me around and spitting at me. I said that I knew my mood and frustrations were only making the situation worse and that I felt overwhelmed and wanted to spank her sometimes--but that I knew it wouldn't solve anything and that it would be a terrible thing to do.<br><br>
Dad: You wanna know what will solve all of your problems? Now listen very closely, because it WILL work if you do it right.<br>
Me: Okay...<br>
Dad: She's what? Almost 2?<br>
Me: Yeah.<br>
Dad: Ok, she's the perfect age. You can't do this with older kids because it will humilate them. My parents did this kind of thing to me until I was much too old.<br>
Me: (cringing) ok...<br>
Dad: The next time you want to change her behavior, you gotta just smack her--smack her hard. You can't talk to her, just smack her. I tell ya, I did this with you and your sister. It works. But you can't spend your time trying to talk to them or giving hugs...then they see you are weak.<br>
Me: Oh dad.<br>
Dad: I know it sounds horrible, but they get the message. You did. I only had to do it once or twice to you because you got the message.<br>
Me: Yeah, but I don't want to send my kids that kind of message.<br>
Dad: Ok, so what would you do if you lived in a house with a pool and Zoe loved water and knew how to open doors to get out there? The pool doesn't have a fence and you can't afford one. She knows how to get through any door. What do you do? Talk to her or beat the crap out of her so she doesn't go in the pool?<br>
Me: I put her in a life jacket.<br>
Dad: (pause) Good answer. Good answer.<br><br>
By the end of teh conversation, I felt just sick. Sick for his upbringing and sick when I think about my 2-year-old self getting smacked.<br><br>
When you know better, you do better.<br><br>
Jesse
 

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Sorry you had to have that conversation. It is so sad that things like that happen! I had the crap beat out of me a couple of times as a child and, while it did change my behavior, it also made me afraid of my mom. Negative reinforcement does work, but look what it teaches!<br><br>
Sending peace your way--
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
Unfortunately, I can relate to this conversation <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
This sounds like a conversation that I would have with my mom. She almost gets to the point of being offended whenever we talk about how we plan to discipline dd. I feel like she almost laughs at me when I say we aren't going to spank. But, like a PP said, when you know better, you do better.
 

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My mom has actually said "A little fear never hurt anyone" with a mischievous smile. (She used to chase us with a wooden yard stick and smack it on the table in a threatening way. That's when we were "too old to spank". )
 

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I'm so proud of you Jesse. Whenever I read threads like this on these boards, I'm so proud of all of us. Thank you for holding your ground and being such a gentle mama. Its so hard sometimes -- in the face of what we've been brought up with -- and I'm so inspired by you and proud of you!
 

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Mamaduck, you said what I am thinking very well.<br><br>
It saddens me to think of the things many adults have endured in their childhoods.
 

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wow...that is sad...the saddest part was the last part....that he paused with realization and said "Good answer." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> i just wonder what would have been different if he'd had this conversation with someone when you were 2...clearly he just didn't know any better and thought he was doing the right thing...that's what makes me think that shutting up about our parenting style around others who don't practice GD isn't the wisest choice...but i still make it daily....i just wonder how many other minds/lives we could change if we just talked more about it with others, you know?
 

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Jesse!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>michelemiller</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">wow...that is sad...the saddest part was the last part....that he paused with realization and said "Good answer." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> i just wonder what would have been different if he'd had this conversation with someone when you were 2...clearly he just didn't know any better and thought he was doing the right thing...that's what makes me think that shutting up about our parenting style around others who don't practice GD isn't the wisest choice...but i still make it daily....i just wonder how many other minds/lives we could change if we just talked more about it with others, you know?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
This is exactly why I couldn't be mad. He acknowledges that his choices might not have been ideal--but they were sooooo much better than the way he grew up, he did make changes. I guess we make strides by generation.
 

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Know what I would do in that hypothetical situation?<br>
A. Not buy a house with a pool in the first place<br>
B. Move<br><br>
Whatever happened to rearranging one's priorities for a child?<br><br>
Too bad that spanking parents usually wait until the kids are all grown up to realize they were wrong. Dh's parents were like this. They spanked because that's just what was done and now they say there is no reason to do so. My mom also says the same thing but really she just "happened" to decide it was wrong when I got to be as big as she was. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> I wonder how many parents stop hitting out of fear their kids will hit back...
 

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The OP's story reminded me of one that I'd like to share, a somewhat happier one...<br><br>
My mom never ever spanked us growing up, with two exceptions: once when my older brother would not stop being horribly mean to the rest of us, tormenting us to tears, and another time with my younger brother, who as a toddler would -not- stop going to the pond. My mom finally had to spank him for it and it did work.<br><br>
My little sister, who is now twelve, but was younger at the time, heard this story and said, "Why didn't you just put a life jacket on him?"<br><br>
And my mom also agreed that this was a better solution and didn't know why she hadn't thought of it.<br><br>
I think my little sister will be a good mom someday<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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