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Is this an appropriate punishment?

(40 Posts)
margaritadrakeina Thu 23-May-13 18:02:20

If your child is messing around with their food/making a mess at the table is the following ok or not? To make them take their plate and put it next to the animals' bowls on the floor of the kitchen because 'if they're going to eat like an animal they may as well be treated like one'. Then make them eat the rest of their meal from the plate on floor next to the cats and dogs bowls (without cutlery, crouched over the plate like a cat) until the plate is cleared.

CecilyP Mon 27-May-13 11:13:07

I don't know, cory. I suppose the questions to ask are, 'would OP's mother have done this in front of other people' and 'would she have told others that that was how she treated her DD'. If the answer is, 'no', then she would have known what she was doing was wrong but she did it anyway.

cory Mon 27-May-13 10:24:35

I don't think everybody parented in this way in the olden days either- can't see my MIL doing this one, but the lack of information did perhaps make it less easy for the not-very-bright-ones to see that certain types of behaviour was unacceptable. The emotionally intelligent ones, of course, didn't need books and rules, because they could work it out for themselves.

Just as in my childhood not every child was a fighter or a playground bully- plenty weren't, but these days every child knows that punching somebody behind the bike sheds is unacceptable.

DeWe Sun 26-May-13 21:50:00

Reading that back, it doesn't sound like I meant it to.

Op, I don't think for one moment that your mum thought that you were thinking it was fun. It was abusive, no doubt.

But what I was trying to say was that if someone said to you that they didn't think it was a problem they might be thinking "my dc likes to pretend to be a cat/dog/t-rex and eat dinner from a plate on the floor." So they'd be coming at it from a completely different idea. Hope that makes sense.

DeWe Sun 26-May-13 21:43:56

No it's not okay. ((hugs))

However my ds (age 5) would probably think that was great fun and wouldn't see it as a punishment at all. In fact I probably would have great difficulty persuading him that he had to eat at the table afterwards.
So if someone doesn't think it's a problem, then they may have a child like ds who likes pretending to be an animal.

CecilyP Sun 26-May-13 13:39:36

It wasn't normal or acceptable then either. You are only 5 years older than my DS, so much younger than me and I have never heard of anyone treating their child like this. The behaviour you have described is, and always was, abusive.

apatchylass Sun 26-May-13 12:30:47

Margarita, I don't think it was acceptable then either, but it was commonplace, if that makes sense. Think how generations of men were systematically brutalised in boarding schools all over Britain. It was normal for centuries. That doesn't make it right. But it did normalise it socially. (I'm absolutely not condoning it, I'm trying to account for how different things were for our parents.)

What I do think is important is that you deal with it in the way that feels most appropriate and healthy to you. If you need lots of therapy - get it. If you prefer to shrug your shoulders and think - they did their best, I'd do it differently (which for me has been by far the saner, happier route, but wouldn't work for all) then do that.

But don't let anyone get all hyper-het up on your behalf if you'd prefer to take the low key route, nor let them shut you up and be dismissive if you need to get angry about it. It's your life. Happened to you. You have the means within you to deal with it and process it the best way for you.

margaritadrakeina Sun 26-May-13 07:58:28

Snog you speak a lot of sense. My life in two sentences.

I think that's what I was also asking apatchylass was it acceptable then (I'm 32), I don't want to bring something up when it's just the generally accepted way of doing things and that it was acceptable then, even if its not now. It's hard to judge events of the past by today's standards because other things like washing mouth out with soap for being cheeky clearly aren't acceptable now, but were then.

apatchylass Sat 25-May-13 22:07:45

No, it's humiliating and brutal. But to put it in context (because I'm all for forgiving our parents not harbouring resentments for every one of their mistakes) - there was nothing like the access we now have to good parenting. Fewer books, nothing on tv, no websites like this one to discuss stuff you didn't feel able to raise in RL.

So, though it's horrible, maybe it's not as shocking then as it would be now. Maybe it was how they were taught or brought up themselves. I remember my mum urging me to bite DS1 when he bit DS2 because she'd been bitten by her mum to cure her of biting and it worked. She suggested it often. She's a mild woman with no violence in her at all.

myonlyfriend Sat 25-May-13 21:52:42

No op, this is very wrong and I am sorry if this has happened to you as a child.

miffybun73 Sat 25-May-13 21:47:54

No, how very sad if this has happened to you sad

TigerSwallowTail Sat 25-May-13 21:45:00

I might have misread, not sure if you're studying counselling or having counselling.

TigerSwallowTail Sat 25-May-13 21:43:12

No, of course it's bloody not! A child should never be treated like that.

Doing my psychology course, and also being a parent myself made me remember a lot of very unacceptable (and plenty of abusive) things from my childhood, it's really tough realising how badly you were treated and realising things that you always thought we're acceptable really aren't.

If you start to feel overwhelmed by it all you should have a chat with the college/university counsellor.

EmmaThomson999 Sat 25-May-13 21:34:54

probably not sorry xx

Snog Fri 24-May-13 08:01:19

I used the word disturbing because this is evidently not normal or acceptable parenting so if you need to ask it suggests to me that you are unable to rely on your own barometer of what is normal or acceptable behaviour.
I would expect that this could potentially cause a lot of relationship problems for you and I hope you are getting good professional help.

exoticfruits Fri 24-May-13 07:41:52

It isn't normal discipline- I would definitely mention it.

cantreachmytoes Fri 24-May-13 07:32:01

Just wanted to add: really not ok.

Very sorry this happened to you (both).

ballstoit Fri 24-May-13 07:26:29

Not okay, and I'm sorry that you experienced it x

SgtTJCalhoun Thu 23-May-13 22:04:17

No it's fine. I told you because I wanted you to know you're not alone.

margaritadrakeina Thu 23-May-13 21:58:18

Why disturbing?

SgtTJCalhoun hope you're ok, sorry I reminded and upset you.

Snog Thu 23-May-13 20:15:32

It is surely quite disturbing that you feel you need to ask this question

SgtTJCalhoun Thu 23-May-13 20:10:20

OP I was given a plate of spaghetti and toast to take into my Dad for his lunch. I was five and it slid of the plate. My Mum made me eat it off the floor just as you describe.

I had forgotten and now I am sitting her shaking with rage thinking about it. I am sorry this happened to us. Yes it needs to be mentioned at your counselling.

crunchbag Thu 23-May-13 19:03:56

No it definitely does not count as normal discipline sad

Dontbugmemalone Thu 23-May-13 19:03:31

Oh no, I'm sorry you had to go through that. I hope counselling helps you.

Have some unmumsnet hugs ((( )))

FarelyKnuts Thu 23-May-13 19:03:15

My not so darling mother used to cut out the middle man and just give the dinner to the dog if we didn't get to the table the first time she called us or act in an "appropriate" manner and that was abusive enough!
So to answer your question its not appropriate, it's abusive.

margaritadrakeina Thu 23-May-13 19:00:24

Yes, seriously, it is a genuine question. No, I am not planning on enforcing this on my children. Back story is merely that I have recently started a course of counselling and I was asked to try and remember about my childhood. I didn't know if it was worth mentioning or if it just counts as normal discipline. Just wanted some opinions, that's all.

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