if you were spanked yourself and are trying to raise your own children differently

(30 Posts)
Notmyidea Mon 11-Nov-13 10:24:36

How have you coped?
When my parents were faced with irrational/entitled//willfully disobedient behaviour my (father in particular) would spank, probably within the "not leaving a mark" side of what is supposed to be acceptable but repeatedly until whatever the nonsense was, and as an adult I admit it was nonsense, stopped.

I'm finding one of my dds very challenging at the moment. I've been grounding, removing gadgets, etc etc. I'm struggling because she's in a vicious cycle of kicking off at bedtime/going to sleep late/not doing as well as she could at school and being a moody little cow with it because she's tired and repeat.
I've tried advance warning of earlier bedtimes, snuggly, unwinding time trying to improve the atmosphere, listening, but she seems determined to shoot herself in the foot. Last night we were treated to about an hour and a half of alternating incoherent distressed wailing and verbal abuse shouted from her bedroom because I'd insisted she hand her phone over, (a friend keeps texting into the wee small hours.)
Now, she's physically bigger than me, I think if I so much as tried to spank it would descend into a physical fight I'd lose and it's not a route I want to go down anyway. But I kind of miss the power my dad would have had; I.e. Spank until the nonsense stops then leave her to cry herself to sleep. Not happy, pleasant or healthy, but it would break the cycle pretty quickly.
Anyone any thoughts or ideas. I need to change the atmosphere in our house.

Greensleeves Mon 11-Nov-13 11:14:57

Good for you OP for wanting to find better ways of dealing with your dd smile

My 11yo ds is just entering the head-tossing eye-rolling door-slamming all-adults-are-lame phase, it veers between very amusing and fucking wearing. He has AS as well and he can be bloody rude, pedantic and stubborn. Two mornings last week he went to school angry and near to tears because of wrangles over homework, breakfast, shoes and other maddeningly pointless crap.

I do pretty much what Hully said. When he's not being a little bastard his usual cuddly adorable self we reestablish the ground rules and it does help lend a bit more authority to my enforcing the rules later. I try not to escalate his shouting/whining by joining in, just stay calm and keep restating the boundaries and expectations and insist that he speaks to me in a civil manner if he wants a proper response.

Early days though - I expect it will get worse before it gets better!

What Hully says. You need to pick a moment when you are both feeling fairly calm and agree a set of ground rules. Listen to what is important to her, and try to decide fairly on why you have a problem with her behaviour.

eg friend texting in the small hours - your problem is probably that you think she needs her sleep. How about her phone goes off, and out of the room, overnight?

If she can agree to this, then maybe you can renegotiate when bedtime is, knowing that she'll be getting enough sleep.

Maybe only try to deal with one or two biggies at a time, and be prepared to accept that maybe there are things you do that annoy her and consider whether you can also change to make things work better.

But when things have been agreed, be consistent about them - 'soft' parents are no better than 'hard' ones, much better to communicate and explain why things are going to have to be like x instead of y.

Emilycee Tue 12-Nov-13 12:44:28

My dad was a smacker and I have no respect for him for it - i think he is a bastard for the way he disciplined and therefore I would never ever do it to my own. (I am pregnant with my first)

I was a willful teenager (more opinionated than anything) argued a lot with my mum. I look back on it a lot as I don't have a close/loving type of relationship with my parents as such. But all I wanted was my mum and dad to communicate with me on my level a bit... and I see it clearer now as an adult. There were also no cuddles, I was never told that I was loved (I know I am but to hear it would have been nice) I was quite insecure and also bullied at primary and then 1st/2nd year of secondary.

Not saying this is the case with your daughter OP but just throwing some thoughts into the mix!

VinoTime Tue 12-Nov-13 13:40:00

You've just reminded me of something my dad once did to me grin

My folks were really easygoing. But they drew their battle lines and you didn't cross them. We could get away with quite a lot, but we also knew that as soon as we crossed that line that was absolutely it. And punishment was always inventive in our house! I was never smacked. I don't even remember being threatened with it - ever.

I had a TV in my room as a teen. I could watch it, but only up until whatever time we'd agreed. Of course, I thought I was being really sly switching it on late at night and turning the volume down when I was about 13. This went on for weeks and naturally, I thought I was getting away with it. Until one day I came home, went up to my room, switched on the TV only to find it wasn't working. The reason, I here you ask? My dad had cut off the damn plug and then put the TV right back in its spot. I can remember like it was yesterday him coming into my room and asking me how my day was, like he hadn't just hacked my TV to pieces, and I just stood there looking between him and the now visible wires where the plug used to be, not knowing what to say. Because if I had questioned him about it, I'd end up either admitting that I'd broken the rules and that he was right for punishing me, OR I would have ended up lying to him about watching the TV which would have resulted in further punishment.

Lesson learned the hard way. My dad wouldn't have cared if that TV cost him a kidney. He still would have taken a mallet to it to prove a point. And because of that, because I knew down to my bones that nothing I owned was more valuable to my parents than my health and well-being was, absolutely nothing was safe if I acted out. My dad was the sort who, with regards to your texting at night issue, would have let it go a little while to see if I stopped. He would have given me the benefit of the doubt and a chance to listen to what he was asking, until he felt battle lines had been crossed. THEN I would have found my phone floating in the fish tank. And he wouldn't have cared how much the phone cost, because if I learned my lesson, to him, the loss was worth every penny.

He also removed my bedroom door once, after asking me nicely for months to stop slamming it every time I got in a strop. Took me ages to earn the damn thing back lol.

I think what you need to do is sit your DD down and have a little talk. Tell her that you lay down rules because you love her and want to take care of her. That you're good parents and not that hard on her, but that there are consequences to her taking advantage of your leniency. Pre-talk, you need to decide your course of action for rule breaking. You discuss this with her, come to an agreement, and by god do you stick to your guns if she takes the biscuit

You don't need to smack her. Your daughter never needs to fear YOU. But as far as I'm concerned, a healthy fear of what you'll do to or with her things should she act up is a pretty neat option wink If the phone's an issue and causing behavioural problems, I'd be finding a creative way to take that phone...out of the picture.

bigTillyMint Tue 12-Nov-13 13:48:12

Sympathies - secondary school children are a difficult ball-game! They are wanting to take more control over their lives but often don't go about it the right way.

I agree with Hully. You need to move to starting to treat her a bit more grown-up and let her feel she has a bit more control over her life. Negotiation is important - only have rules which you have to enforce for the most major things, and then it's best to try to agree them and for them to see why they have to be in place.

if you try to spank her now, she may just hit back. You have to develop an atmosphere of mutual respect. Not easy, I know!

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