Smacking

(87 Posts)
alwaysblonde Mon 26-May-14 08:42:01

I was smacked a lot as a child. Not a tap on the legs but pull the pants down and proper whacks. I remember my brother and I screaming blue murder. It's odd, my mum denies it was that bad yet my dad says that I was very naughty.

Issue is I'm 20 weeks and thinking about how I want to discipline. Personally I don't wish to smack due to the following.

1. I wouldn't want my DC to have the memories of being smacked that I have.

2. I think there are better ways of disciplining. None of my friends do it

However I mentioned this to my dad and he said "yeah right, dream on, you'll be on the phone crying to us that you can't control it".

What's the consensus on smacking? I think it's child abuse.

alwaysblonde Mon 26-May-14 08:43:14

Not thinking about discipline that came out wrong, thinking about the things my parents did that I don't want to do. But one of those is how I was disciplined .

alwaysblonde Mon 26-May-14 08:44:31

And plus if you exhibit violence to children, don't they think it's ok? Behaviour breeds behaviour.

SamanthaJones Mon 26-May-14 08:45:32

I agree, it's child abuse. And illegal. You're right and your father is wrong.

alwaysblonde Mon 26-May-14 08:58:25

When I've discussed it with them, they deny it was unreasonable and laugh.

alwaysblonde Mon 26-May-14 09:02:46

I want my kids to think 'I mustn't be rude because that might hurt someone's feelings' not 'I mustn't be rude because I'll get whacked'. It's important that they understand cause and effect.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 26-May-14 09:06:21

I was ever smacked and behaved well. When I was on the verge of naughtiness just the threat of smacking was enough.

Once you crossed the line, there is no going back.

I wouldn't bring up smacking with your parents to be honest. But don't smack them. Parent them.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 26-May-14 09:06:56

never smacked.

JamJimJam Mon 26-May-14 09:12:14

I have never and will never hit my children.

It's rubbish, abusive parenting.

Some of our parents' generation knew no better, but we do now.

PastaandCheese Mon 26-May-14 09:17:40

I was treated the same as you in late 70's / early 80's. I wouldn't say I was abused but I was beaten and I remember my mother's rage and the anger on her face as she hit me.

My mother also had a lovely habit of telling me I would be smacked 'later' so I got to wait all day until she appeared in my room and took my knickers off.

I have two DCs and have never and will never smack them. That's not to say there haven't been moments where I've looked at 2.5 year old DD and thought 'I'd have been thrashed to within an inch of my life if I did that'. In that moment I have come to understand my mother's behaviour was about her uncontrollable temper and not me being naughty.

I have also wondered how she ever came to hit me at all. DD can frustrate me and push my buttons but the thought of hurting her is alien. I love her and want to protect her. I couldn't hurt her. She is a baby really.

I don't really get on with my mother as an adult. I remember the anger and feeling frightened above anything kind she did for me.

I don't want my children to feel like that about me. I can't promise I don't get cross because caring for young children is relentless, tiring and they don't always cut you much slack but I don't hit them and for the most part I don't raise my voice to them.

Your Dad is totally and utterly wrong. It is perfectly possible to parent without using violence even if you were smacked as a child.

The only thing I would say is you might need to read some books / read threads on here when your baby becomes a toddler so you can get some clear ideas on how to manage poor behaviour / doing dangerous things effectively as your only model from your own childhood was smacking.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy OP.

zippey Mon 26-May-14 09:19:41

Have you told your parents how you felt after smacking and that you don't want to give them similar memories about you as a parent as you have about them? They might be more sympathetic then.

You don't have to hit your child ever, the same as you don't have to hit your partner or parents when they don't behave as you want them too. You are right about everything you say. There are better ways to parent than losing your temper and lashing out. You can learn from the mistakes your parents made. Also, is your OH on the same page?

Just be wary about your parents disciplining your child after birth. I'd keep a careful eye on that one.

PastaandCheese Mon 26-May-14 09:21:33

Oh, I agree with funky. I refuse to discuss the issue with my parents. I can't stand the whining of 'but you were naughty' followed by a long list of my childhood faults when I just want to say 'but that's what children do..... You were the adult in the relationship etc etc'

It's a circular argument you will never win.

GoogleyEyes Mon 26-May-14 09:22:21

I've got to school age with my oldest, and never smacked. It's entirely possible. I get compliments from the dinner ladies on how polite she is, too, so the other methods work.

I would suggest reading a few books and seeing what you feel will work for you. Maybe the Sears Baby Book and something like Toddler Taming, as they're quite different in approach.

GeneralGrevious Mon 26-May-14 09:26:25

I was smacked as a child not often but I do remember it. When I had my first DS I didn't actively think I will not smack him it just never occurred to me ! I have just found my own way of dealing with him without resorting to violence.

There are occasions when he drives me mad and I send him to sit somewhere for both of us to calm down not just him! I found with him waiting until the moment has passed then having a chat works well now he's older (and I do shout toooooo much)

RiverTam Mon 26-May-14 09:29:34

my parents smacked in the way you describe, it was horrible.

DH is one of 4 and his parents never smacked, and in fact when I got to uni and we talked about this kind of thing I discovered that over-the-knee smackings with a ruler or hairbrush were absolutely not the norm, so don't let anyone make you think they were back in the day.

DD is 4 and she certainly can push my buttons and I have shouted more than I would like - but I will never smack. I once saw a tired bored little boy hit his mum who immediately smacked him back shouting 'don't hit me!'. Talk about mixed messages.

I would make sure your father understands that he is never to lay hands on your DC. He is a minimiser of abusive behaviour and needs to earn your trust on this matter.

alwaysblonde Mon 26-May-14 09:46:16

DH is on the same page. He's just not an angry person and it takes ALOT to push him over the edge.

I used to wait for smacks too. They never forgot.

Another thing I've learned is that I'm never going to send my child to bed as a punishment. As a result I've always hated going to bed, seen it as a punishment and had difficulty sleeping. This does have an impact on how you feel and function as both an adult and a child.

alwaysblonde Mon 26-May-14 09:49:46

That's a good point. I'll make it very clear that I my DH and I do the discipline when she/he gets to that age and if they touch them, then that's it, the book is closed.

lifesavingnoodles Mon 26-May-14 09:59:27

i was smacked as a child. my sister was hit so hard she peed all over the sofa. she hates my dad with a passion. i hate my mum with equal passion.

once when my dd was a little girl i did smack her. the look on her face made me feel ashamed. I have never hit her again.

i have said to her .....nana would have hit me for that but you can go to your room.

she knows i had a terrible childhood. and i choose not to inflict it on her to.
You also have a choice, you can follow the path that your parents took or you can cut your own path.

If you see my other threads you will see that i dont always get it right but i still think its better than thrashing all sence out of her. if you want to pm me... id be happy to talk it through with you.

FiveExclamations Mon 26-May-14 10:15:11

"yeah right, dream on, you'll be on the phone crying to us that you can't control it".

I've heard that from a few of the older generation, utter baloney. DD is 11 and I once tapped her very lightly on the back of the hand for repeatedly trying to shove toast in the VCR (all toddlers of the time tried it) and didn't like even that. DD gets regular compliments on her behaviour from friends and school, I just had to figure out what worked with her (firm tone and a simple consequence).

It's possible that I've just been blind lucky with DD but I know someone who smacks, it stops her kids for a few seconds but they don't learn anything from it, except to feel sorry for themselves and angry at mum and they're back doing the same stuff almost immediately, so, even with a very willful child I don't think it's the answer. They hit each other a lot too.

Screaming isn't the answer either (that's where my horrible memories lie), I always apologise if I loose my temper.

BertieBotts Mon 26-May-14 10:28:35

I think things have changed a lot. We are understanding children better and learning better ways to discipline.

If your aim is to dominate your children, then yes you probably will have to physically hurt them at some point to force them to submit. But I don't think that today's parents do want to dominate their children. We've learned that it's not necessary - over-reliance on very authoritative methods can be damaging and they aren't always (usually, IMO) the best way to teach something.

If you're relying very heavily on fear of punishment then the child doesn't really learn anything other than how to avoid punishment, how to appease others, how to fit in, how to not be noticed. It's better instead of focusing on how to get them to obey unquestioningly, to think about what it is you actually want them to learn (that it's nice to be kind and gentle, that looking after your toys and things keeps them in good condition, etc etc) and then encourage that in various ways, by modelling it, by encouraging it with praise, by helping them to learn how to do it, by helping them understand the reasons behind it and by having safe and secure boundaries which don't move and are enforced by just literally preventing them doing whatever it is with the least amount of physical force/coercion possible, in the most kind and gentle way you can. As they get older it's a balance of rights and responsibilities and letting them have freedom but pulling it back when they can't handle it.

It's totally possible, I rarely ever have to punish DS, and when we do it's simple removal of privileges, nothing scary, nothing he can't handle, and only for repeated things he knows isn't allowed/issues I can't physically prevent.

BertieBotts Mon 26-May-14 10:32:43

I think that is though why some of the older generation assume that it's impossible to discipline a child without physical punishment, because in their time it was very much thought that you should be dominant over your children and that they should be subordinate to their parents, or "elders" in general.

I don't think you need to do that. They are born adoring you, looking up to you as the fount of all knowledge and safety and absolutely trusting everything you say. Children assume that whatever their parents do is perfectly right and normal. They can't think "my parents are being unfair. I don't deserve this." their automatic assumption is that they deserve the way they are being treated.

Princessdeb Mon 26-May-14 10:53:36

I was hardly ever smacked as a child and have a very loving relationship with my Mum and Dad. DH and I discussed it when DD was tiny and agreed that we would never smack or use physical punishment of any kind. That does not mean that we do not discipline. I think the idea that not smacking means not disciplining is quite common in some of the older generation. As much as we might complain about the glut of parenting guru's around now a days it does mean that we are provided with a range of more creative and effective solutions that we can choose from to suit our own family situation.

For DD who is now 7 setting consistent expectations, choosing my battles (what is really important and what is just irritating me a bit)and then ALWAYS following through if I choose the battle have worked well. I have used naughty step with good effect in the past (although she is a bit old for that now) and find that she knows that low and serious tone means buisness! She is a delightful child (if I do say so myself) and I often get complimented on her behaviour. So it is perfectly possible to have well behaved children without hitting them and you will have a much happier relationship with them if you make that choice.

BurnThisDiscoDown Mon 26-May-14 11:14:07

I was smacked very occasionally as a child but have always said I won't smack. I have smacked DS oncesad when he kicked me in the face and I smacked his leg (not hard, just a tap). As soon as I'd done it I knew I shouldn't have, and the look on his little face was heart breaking. If I'm getting to the end of my rope now I leave the room til I've calmed down a bit. I haven't done it since, I don't want him to think of his childhood as a horrible time. I try not to shout either, but that's a lot harder grin

EssexMummy123 Mon 26-May-14 22:23:48

I'm another who thinks very badly of my mum for smacking, and would never smack, which isn't to say that i don't need to know how to draw the line where it comes to discipline, what's worked for us is supernanny's naughty step (toddler sos book) and also something called 123 Magic.

So for us a minor naughtiness is a warning or a that's '1' a '3' or third minor offence in say 30 minutes = naughty step. For something major e.g. hitting/biting then it's straight to the naughty step.

Vijac Mon 26-May-14 22:28:42

I had a few smacks and I think within moderation that it is just a form of discipline and of it's time. However, your case does sound more serious. Anyway I will never smack my children. It maybe worth reading a few childcare books on how to kindly discipline before your child is a toddler though as a lot of people find they revert to what their parents did just because they have no alternative discipline model.

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