Smacking at home, how your parents carried it out

(49 Posts)
gingerw74 Wed 23-Jan-13 08:56:14

The conversation in the media yesterday about banning smacking got me thinking about how I was punished when growing up. I was a child of the 70’s/80’s, so things were quite different back then. I remember that dad use to work long hours, so mum was the one left to keep discipline at home. She had me and my two brothers to control, and I don’t think that we were ever the easiest of kids to look after on a daily basis. Mum struggled a bit and her only way was to smack us. She would take her wooden scholl sandal off (this was her house slipper) to wallop us with, it’s what she had close to hand! She also used Dad’s dad’s plimsoll (it seem so big at the time, it could be that we were small), but that was mostly given to my brothers. I never got it out but would get a good hiding when I got home. I was always trying to get them into trouble with mum by telling on them, I feel bad now! I regularly remember my brothers and I having our pants pulled down and slippered, seemed to be a daily occurrence in our house hold. Hard to believe now, but I suppose it was the norm back then and what you also received at school i.e. home from home. Classmates also seemed to get the same at home. How things have changed! We’ve all turned out well so it hasn’t had much effect on us! We never saw it as abuse. I think my Mum and Dad were good parents.

My mother (and aunts) used a wooden spoon.

To this day of I'm arguing with my mother and she opens a drawer I flinch!

If she wasn't near enough the kitchen she'd use whatever came to hand, the tv remote, a tennis racquet, sticks, books.

She wasn't above chucking stuff at me either, or chucking my belongings out a window.

My dad used whatever shoe was to hand at the time. My mum used her hand to slap the back of my legs.

Not home I know, but we got caned (yes with an actual cane) at school for everything from talking in class to not doing homework, or being late. I grew up in South Africa where discipline was a bit more fierce than here. We certainly learnt to respect the teachers.

Never did me any harm.

GooseyLoosey Wed 23-Jan-13 09:39:56

Grandmother used a wooden spoon, mother used a hair brush. Didn't see it as unusual at the time.

Then, one Christmas when I was about 12, I got a cooking set with its own wooden spoon. Then when my grandmother got hers out, I got mine and we stood there like something out of High Noon. I explained if it was OK for her to hit me with the spoon, it was OK for me to defend myself with one. We must have looked ridiculous brandishing our spoons. However, she never hit me again and niether did my mother.

MrsPresley Wed 23-Jan-13 09:45:45

My mum smacked me on the bum with her hand although I think she only ever done it 2 or 3 times in my life.

My dad, never ever smacked me. He would talk to me about my what I had done/said and if he was really angry then I wouldnt be allowed out to play and my books were taken away from me, which was torture grin

I did get the belt at school loads occasionally grin

I did have friends that were hit with slippers, belts and sticks sad

I would never use an object to hit my child with and I think out of 4 of them I have only smacked 1 and that was the once and she's now nearly 30 (she'd been caught stealing and I lost it) although I hve threatened it plenty of times!

PostBellumBugsy Wed 23-Jan-13 09:47:45

I was hit with any household implement that came to hand when my mother lost her temper. So, I was hit with a wooden spoon, a length of rope, a sail baton, a garden stick, a shoe, a slipper, a ruler, a hairbrush, a spatula. I think that is all I can remember. She always used to say that she used implements because otherwise it hurt her more than us.

I hated my mother for most of my childhood & during my teens and one of the reasons was hitting us.

I've never hit my children & never will. It may not be "harmful", although I'm not sure about that - but it certainly doesn't make it a good thing to do either.

Branleuse Wed 23-Jan-13 10:06:01

my mum didnt smack me, although i remember her knocking me on the head with her knuckles in frustration when i was about 11 and got caught nicking sweets with my friend in a shop. I didnt really need smacking though as i was quite eager to please and respectful.

I occasionally give my children a smack out of sheer exasperation, but its not ideal. Its usually when i just dont know what the hell else to do to get through to them

seeker Wed 23-Jan-13 10:08:47

Always makes me laugh (in a grim sort of way) when people saying that being hit as children never did them any harm.

Well, no. Except to turn them into the sort of people that think hitting children doesn't do them any harm!

marzipananimal Wed 23-Jan-13 10:09:47

My parents smacked us on the bottom with their hand if we were being persistently disobedient after fair warning. It was fairly rare and they never did it because they'd lost their temper. It was pretty effective and I don't think it did us any harm. It may not be the best form of discipline but it's better than having out of control children

kilmuir Wed 23-Jan-13 10:11:58

i was brought up in 70/80s and my parents never smacked me

CMOTDibbler Wed 23-Jan-13 10:17:02

My mum never smacked me after an incident where she smacked me as a small child, and I had a perfect hand print bruise and she had to go to school and explain it (I bruise very, very easily).

Dad would just grab the nearest thing to hand - I remember being hit with my hairbrush, and a beanpole

fishybits Wed 23-Jan-13 10:20:03

I was smacked a lot, my DB less so and my S wasn't. I think this was because my parents became better at parenting as the years went by.

It didn't do me any harm but it was also utterly ineffective which is why I will try very hard not to smack DD. There are I believe plenty of other ways to discipline a child without losing control and resorting to smacking.

exBrightonBell Wed 23-Jan-13 10:21:08

I was also brought up in the late 70s and 80s. I was not hit by my parents with implements, ever. It is not normal and it is harmful, as well as being deeply unpleasant. All hitting does is teach that the larger stronger person can dominate weaker ones and brutalise them. I would not want to teach my ds to believe this.

CrazyOldCatLady Wed 23-Jan-13 10:22:15

My mother did the 'go to your room and wait till your father gets home' thing. So I'd wait for hours till eventually I'd hear the car door slamming. He'd have his dinner, then there'd be quiet while she explained to him what I'd done. I'd heart him coming up the stairs, he'd put me across his knee and take a wooden-handled hairbrush to my bare backside.

Sometimes mum lost the plot though; she threw my stuff out my bedroom window and once she threatened to hack my teddy's head off with a kitchen knife.

What I found worst was the time my dad made me stand on a chair in the middle of the breakfast room, and everyone who came in roared laughing at me. The humiliation was far worse than being hit.

Floralnomad Wed 23-Jan-13 10:25:01

Me and my sisters were all born in the mid 60s , our parents didn't smack . My mum just shouted a lot and I do remember she threw a hairbrush at my eldest sister once . I wouldn't smack my dog let alone my children , and I've learnt that shouting doesn't help either.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 23-Jan-13 10:28:20

CMOTDibbler - I'm amazed your mum had to explain the handprint. We were hit by the teachers at school as well! No adult had to explain anything to anyone about their treatment of children in my neck of the wood in the 1970s & early 80s.

GirlOutNumbered Wed 23-Jan-13 10:29:12

My mum smacked me, I don't smack my children though. But then I was an unruly child and my children are just angels! [big grin]

GirlOutNumbered Wed 23-Jan-13 10:29:38

grin fail!

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 10:33:09

I got slapped for being naughty. Particuarly for playing the piano wrong during piano practice. So I stopped playing piano. They are still cross about this hmm.

CMOTDibbler Wed 23-Jan-13 10:36:54

Postbellum - it was the fact that it was such a livid bruise I think. Of course no one blinked at smacking at all, even though the schools I went to didn't use corporal punishment. DH was caned and slippered at school though

Be careful about describing specifics of physical punishment: this is the sort of thread title is exactly what pervs search for and archive.

I dont remember being smacked apart from once - my mum was diabetic and it was very difficult to control she often had problems with her blood sugar and often had times where it would be up/down (sorry im not really sure how it works) and she would literally not know what she was doing. Once when I was about 8 (?) I just remember walking into a room and she suddenly just came at me luckily my dad was there and stepped in but thats the ONLY time I remember violence against me at all. My mum did not remember it at all and we never told her because she would have been devastated.

ShowOfHands Wed 23-Jan-13 12:34:21

My Mum 'only' ever smacked me on the back of my calves with an open palm. It did sting but what I remember more is the way she'd push her face against mine, finger jabbing into my chest and hiss at me when she was angry. I felt so fucking small. I do love my mother but she knew exactly how to make herself bigger, bolder and more intimidating than I could ever be.

I refuse to parent by threat or intimidation. It wasn't common but I remember it vividly.

iliketea Wed 23-Jan-13 12:36:39

My parents did it mostly with a hand, and always in anger - I remember hating them for it, and heaven forbid if I slapped them back.

If it doesn't do.children any harm, then we should.implement corporal punishments for everything - if someone is in the street then it would be perfectly acceptable to slap them to show the error of their ways. If you're convicted of a crime, maybe regular smacking would act as a deterrent so you didn"t reoffend?

willyoulistentome Wed 23-Jan-13 12:41:23

My Mum would very occasionally smack us on the bum, not hard, and only if we had been REALLY awful. If Dad was home we would get sent to our room, made to wait for a while, then he would come and talk to us about wha twe had done, never shouted, made us feel guilty as hell, and then gave us a calm token 'tap' on the hand, which although it didn;t hurt at all left us sobbing. Then left us to think about it a bit more and came to get us..and it was all forgotten.

I think they did a really good job of disciplining us.

I do wonder why I am such a screaming ranting smacky bitch with my own kids. sad

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 23-Jan-13 12:47:22

I had to be pretty bad to get whacked by my parents and it was only ever open palm on the bum (and I was pretty well padded back then so it didn't even hurt). I don't hold it against them. I'm actually pretty meh about smacking tbh. Some of the parenting techniques today are so bloody convoluted I think I'd still rather just get whacked and get it over with.

Caning still existed at school and we all looked forward to it like a hanging mob (so long as it wasn't us getting caned).

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Wed 23-Jan-13 12:49:40

My mother was another "wait until your father gets home" type, so we'd wait for hours after the original "crime" to be punished. Daddy would smack us on the bum or the hand with his hand. Being smacked on the hand was horrid, you weren't to flinch as if you did you'd be smacked again and again until you kept your hand still to receive the blow (really, really hard by the way). We would be smacked for smacking our siblings....

I don't have DC but would never play good parent/bad parent or smack them. It's ridiculous. How can anyone teach violence is bad if they use it as an example? I also have been thinking of late that we teach young people that their body is their own and nobody is allowed to touch it without their permission - which falls down on this (remembers being marched by the scruff of the neck at the age of 15 because I didn't see my father's car).

Mosman Wed 23-Jan-13 12:53:59

We got the belt once for talking and not going to sleep.
I often wonder if when they are old and making mistakes, not doing what I want if they'll mind me whipping my belt out and hit them with it not that I could actually do it but I look at my child of a similar age and it makes me very sad to think anyone could do that to another person.

zcos Wed 23-Jan-13 17:07:24

I still remember my mum who only smacked us on very rare occasions smaking my sister when she was about 3 as she had run across the road and was almost hit by a car. I think it was partly heat of the moment she almost got hit by a car and mother trying to literally drum it into her! I don't want to smack and worried about whether my mum will think its ok when dd is older if she does anything quite so dramatic as my sister did. I can say I won't smack its easy now as dd is a baby!

RedJeans Wed 23-Jan-13 17:44:13

Although I agree it seems an unreasonable reaction when you compare smacking a child to smacking an adult, you have to remember that there's probably very few 'discipline' methods that you would use on an adult in the same way as you would with a child. No you wouldn't smack an adult for doing something wrong, but equally you probably wouldn't send them to sit in a corner alone or take privileges away or tell them off in the same way as you would to a child. Its a completely different scenario so I dont think its helpful to compare the two
although i'm one of the "an occasional smack didn't do me any harm" group so maybe my opinion is too biased for some people to take notice of! my parents have been completely loving to me in every way and I think this one discipline method doesn't change that at all. I think it really really depends on the context of the smack as to whether it does psychological or physical harm or not. I don't think smacking automatically makes you a bad or unkind parent, but if you already are one then maybe you are more likely to smack

Iggly Wed 23-Jan-13 17:49:39

I agree with seeker.

DayToDayShit Wed 23-Jan-13 17:53:13

whatever was to hand when we were rude to the p's.

We laugh about it now.

GobblersSparklyExplodingKnob Wed 23-Jan-13 17:55:15

I wasn't ever hit by my parents and would never hit my children.

I don't really use any kind of 'discipline' I don't think it works.

matana Thu 24-Jan-13 21:55:17

I'm actually quite gobsmacked by these responses. I grew up in the 70s/80s and grew up thinking that not getting hit was the norm. Dad never smacked us, ever. Mum smacked my bum twice and was eternally remorseful as she did it in anger. But using spoons and belts? That's horrific and I fail to see how that could ever be considered normal. That's about inflicting as much pain as possible, not a short, sharp shock.

exoticfruits Thu 24-Jan-13 22:08:40

I grew up before the 70s and was never smacked. It has never seemed reasonable to me.

AngelDog Thu 24-Jan-13 22:14:32

My parents smacked us with a hand on the bum, calnly and never in anger. It was for disobedience with fair warning & was always explained it was because they loved us & was for our good. I don't think it did me any harm. I wish I could be as calm when my 3 y.o. misbehaves.

I grew up in the 70'sand me and my brother were smacked quite often. Sometimes it was with their hands, like a real slap across the bum or legs, but mostly they had this stick which sat in the corner of the room like some permanent reminder of what would happen if we misbehaved.
It was yellow plastic strip from a road for a toy car and it had two sticking out grooves on each side of the strip.
It feckin hurt and it would be hard enough to leave two red lines across the legs.
I remember going swimming with school once and one of my friends pointing at my legs and saying "you must have been really naughty last night".
But it was the norm and no-one ever seemed to bat an eyelid if I appeared at school with bruises or marks. And I didn't think it odd either

BertieBotts Thu 24-Jan-13 22:19:36

Interesting first post hmm

LynetteScavo Thu 24-Jan-13 22:27:35

AFingerofFudge if I put a piece of plastic like that in the corner of the room to hit my DC with, my DC would just get it and throw it in the bin.

And I would go back to MNetting. wink

I was smacked by both my parents (youngest of four DC by 8 years). I was shocked to find out as an adult my siblings weren't smacked! shock I must have just been really naughty!

When I was 15 my DF smaked me round the face (not sure what for, but it could't have been that bad, as I was a pretty square teenager). I said "You must really hate me to hit me like that. But I hate you more."

I chose my DH on the bases that he seemed like someone who would never hit his DC. I was right. He's a right softie who should use a bit more discipline at times.

Did being smacked do me any harm? No, it did me some good, as I learned it's not the way to discipline a child.

In 20 years my DC will probably say the same thing about shouting.

Did being smacked do me any harm? No, it did me some good, as I learned it's not the way to discipline a child

Yes Lynette I agree- I have never hit any of my kids and would never dream of it!

matana Fri 25-Jan-13 12:39:12

It would break my heart to smack my DS in anger. I have come close maybe twice and realised that once you smack you have lost your self control through anger, which is pretty frightening actually. DS is still a baby really (2.2) and doesn't know 'naughty' only 'exploration' though he pushes all my buttons sometimes. But even when he's older i would consider it a failure on my part to smack him. As i said, i have come close: i leave the room, close the door, gather my strength for five mins (even if he's screaming) and return in a more constructive frame of mind.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sat 26-Jan-13 15:16:26

LynetteSchavo yep.

Why do you ask, austinsman gingerw74?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sat 26-Jan-13 15:17:07

Sorry, meant BetrieBotts not Lynette blush

Sabriel Sat 26-Jan-13 15:45:04

I was born in the 1960s. We were smacked by both parents, but only with hands and only across the bum/ back of the legs. Worse than the smacking was the shouting and the criticism.

We used to get The Look, and if we were out or had visitors we would dread the closing of the front door/ car door because all hell would let loose.

Our eldest 4 children were born in the 1980s and we smacked them. It wasn't unusual and all the mums I knew did the same. By the time DC5 came along it was no longer the done thing so we didn't smack her. But we didn't know what to do instead (I hate the 'naughty step') so we basically didn't do anything but shout. She is the most badly behaved of all 5 of our children, so I'm thinking now we should have stuck to what we knew. It worked.

Startail Sat 26-Jan-13 16:03:20

I was smacked if I was cheeky and pushed it. DDad would only take so much.

Never minded much. Way preferred a quick slap to a long lecture or some other prolonged punishment.

I can't conceive my dad grounding me, he never ever stayed cross long enough to remember.

Suited me just fine, I also have quick temper and no patience with people who sulk.

I can conceive of taking laptops or phones of my two, or stopping them doing something.

I yell and send them to their rooms, but I sure as hell don't want them feeling resentful for days.

DD2 is like an Elephant she never forgets. No way would you punish her except by packing her off to calm down.

meddie Sat 26-Jan-13 20:13:06

Oh my mum could do 'THE LOOK' you knew what was coming if you failed to comply with that.
You got the ook, then verbal warning that if you continued you wouldget asmack, then you got the smack.
I preferred the smack to the half hour long lectures on why I had been bad tbh

But oh god that LOOK scary wide eyed stuff could stop me in my tracks.

Corygal Sun 27-Jan-13 19:35:50

Dad never hit, but he never did any parenting either. Mum used to wake me up beating me with a hairbrush.

NatashaBee Sun 27-Jan-13 19:41:19

My brother, sister and I were born in the 80s and got smacked regularly... Usually because my mum lost her temper rather than our behaviour necessarily warranting a smack, IYSWIM. It was usually a swift whack with whatever came to hand, usually a shoe. I have tapped DS's wrist a couple of times when he's pulled the cats tails, but I hope I never properly smack him. DH has given him a tap on the bum a couple of times and all that's taught DS is that it's funny to smack everyone on the backside...blush

My dad was a spanker, his favourite line was "I'm going to spank you so hard you won't be able to sit down for a month of Sundays". He never used an implement, but I think smacking a toddler's bottom over and over again until it glows red is pathetic parenting. I detested him for it at the time, and have even less respect for him now. I'm actually glad we left, I doubt his parenting skills would have coped well with stroppy teenage girls!

My mother didn't need to hit us, she could keep us in line with other methods, The Look etc...
She has slapped me twice tho, when she was absolutely at the end of her tether, but frankly I was a horrid teen and deserved it!

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