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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

MrsNormanBates Mon 11-Nov-13 11:06:34

I was smacked and would never ever do this to my children. It made me feel fear and unable to trust my mother. I got slapped around the face hard for things like falling over and scraping my knee.

I don't believe in physical violence as a form of discipline or punishment.

LaRegina Mon 11-Nov-13 11:02:20

I agree with Hully. Pick your moment to tackle the problem - which is never when either or both of you are mid-flip smile

I have found that when my teen is freaking out and nagging me constantly, quietly and calming repeating the mantra 'I will discuss this when you calm down' over and over and over again does eventually work. You can't argue with yourself for long (even if you are a teenager!).

insanityscratching Mon 11-Nov-13 11:01:36

I was smacked once as a child and I've never forgotten it and yet I don't remember any of the other times I had behaved badly and was told off. So smacking for me has never been an option I would have considered. I have five children aged 10 to 26 and I have stuck to the never smacking them.
What works for me is choosing battles, noticing every positive and making sure we spend time listening and talking to each other, I've very rarely had to punish any of them to be honest because we've usually spoken at length previously of what sort of behaviour I'd expect.
Year seven is a hard time, she will take time to adjust to new school, different rules and more demands. Keep her close, talk to her and listen to her and try not to get into destructive battles, talk don't fight and definitely don't smack.

LaRegina Mon 11-Nov-13 10:59:37

I was smacked as a child - from conversations I've had about this most people in my generation were smacked as children. As others have said, I make no judgements on my parents about it - smacking was seen as 'the norm' then.

But times change and I have never (and would never) smack my children. I would no more raise my hand to a child than another adult. I honestly don't see how it can help teach children right and wrong anyway - all I remember is it made me 'too scared' to carry on whatever I had been doing. Which isn't a good thing IMO.

Hullygully Mon 11-Nov-13 10:59:23

This is what I would do (and have done). When she is in a good mood, sit down together and say to her, Right, all this is making both of us fed up and sad isn't it? Let's have a chat about what we can do to change things. What do you think is a fair bed time? and so on through everything that causes disagreements. Then, if she doesn't stick to the things negotiated and agreed, just calmly and consistently insist that she does. Don't ge t angry or react, just say, this is what we agreed, over and over. If she still refuses, walk away and ignore her completely. Continue to ignore her (not literally, but don't engage or react) until she apologises (may take a day or so). And then try all over again. Keep going until she gets the idea.

Notmyidea Mon 11-Nov-13 10:54:54

up until puberty, aged 10, school year 5, she was delightful. It's been getting worse ever since.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Mon 11-Nov-13 10:54:29

Seriously, spanking is not the answer. Set a list of basic rules, display them somewhere if needs be, and have a list of consequences.

Dont put the chuff on the list - keep it simple and focus on the important stuff. For instance

-Homework to be done on the day it is set - no tv til it is done
-In your room by X on a schoolnight and Y on a weekend - fuss caused at bedtime will result in goibg 1/2 earlier the next night
-Phone to be left downstairs at bedtime - complain or create and loose the phone for one week

ChunkyPickle Mon 11-Nov-13 10:52:52

I was smacked, but I have great trouble with the idea of telling a kid not to fight and then turning round and smacking him if he's naughty. I'd feel that I was undermining myself, so I don't smack mine. Plus it feels either like a disproportionate response (eg if in punishment for saying/doing something) or petty tit-for-tat (in response for hurting me or others) so again, I can't persuade myself it's a good idea.

At 11 I really don't think it's a good plan - she's old enough to be reasoned with and understand other sanctions, even if they take a while to work

FrauMoose Mon 11-Nov-13 10:48:33

What time are you trying to get her to go to bed?

What time does she think it would be reasonable to go to bed?

I am not sure that being an authoritarian parent works so well at this age, though there still have to be boundaries over behaviour.

Is all the stress worth it? Obviously getting up to go to school is non-negotiable.

LaundryFairy Mon 11-Nov-13 10:44:50

'Taught' me , not 'aught me'!

elskovs Mon 11-Nov-13 10:43:57

I was beaten rather than spanked, and sometimes my hands literally itch to hit my children. But Im so glad I haven't. I don't have any advice though, just wanted to say well done for resisting.. your daughter sounds like a nightmare... 11 years old? my 5yo wouldn't behave like that... Id take the phone away for good.

LaundryFairy Mon 11-Nov-13 10:43:53

I was 'smacked' as a child - wouldn't dream of hitting my child. Only things it aught me was fear of my parents and how to be a very good liar to avoid punishment.

SilverApples Mon 11-Nov-13 10:41:20

You need to be prepared for it to take a while to change her behaviour. Bit like an oil tanker changing direction. smile
What was she like a couple of years ago, sweet and biddable or pushing the boundaries? Are you suddenly trying to change things and introduce new rules, or have you always managed homework and bed times before without a problem?

TheFabulousIdiot Mon 11-Nov-13 10:39:31

I was smacked, not often and not after about 10 years old but we did get our pants pulled down and a smack on the bum.

While I hold no bad feelings towards my parents for this I would Never ever hit my child. I only have a 3 year old and the thought of knowingly causing him pain is just abhorrent to me.

I would imagine that an 11 year old is pushing boundaries and to start hitting them would just make things worse.

Not sure what I would do but maybe she wants a bit of freedom to make her own choices? Could you agree to extend her bed-time by an hour but on the basis that you will have her phone overnight.

hellymelly Mon 11-Nov-13 10:37:42

I was spanked, and yes it was effective, and I agree it is really hard not to reach for that as an easy fix when it is what you grew up with. (I am 49, all my friends, cousins etc, everyone I knew was spanked, it was just normal). I have slapped one of my dds, when she was having a monster tantrum and was about to do something really dangerous. i think it was the combination of fear and anger, i just lost all reason, but I felt terrible afterwards , and I still feel ashamed. Sometimes parenting is incredibly hard and discipline is the hardest bit I find. I wish I had some magic answer for you, I can only say that calm firm reason does usually work in the end, even though it is time consuming. I tend to vere into shouty mode very easily, but it is calm that is always the best tactic.

Notmyidea Mon 11-Nov-13 10:37:14

She is, indeed year 7!

Notmyidea Mon 11-Nov-13 10:35:48

I've tried. We can have lovely times as long as she's getting her own way. It's not as if she's spoilt, just that she's making homework and bedtimes things she'll fight about...and so will I! With her best interests at heart!

SilverApples Mon 11-Nov-13 10:35:39

Eleven? First year at secondary?
Big change from primary.

SilverApples Mon 11-Nov-13 10:34:46

Pick your fights. You don't say how old she is, but I'm betting early teens?
Try and work out what her triggers are, why is she pushing and what makes it worse?
Be very specific about what the problem is each time, and warn her before sanctioning her, so that when the 'punishment' happens, it isn't a surprise, she knows what's coming. Be very consistent.
Don't give more than two warnings before acting.
Never make a 'threat' you aren't going to carry out.
Don't engage in arguments and fights, keep your voice to a low, even monotone and be reasonable.
Make deals, rewards and sanctions for behaviour. Praise her when you can, clean slate whenever possible.

Notmyidea Mon 11-Nov-13 10:31:20

This one is eleven.

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