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Breaking the cycle - When you were hit as a child, how to not hit your own?

(5 Posts)
NiniLegsInTheAir Fri 23-Nov-12 10:45:15

I'm struggling with this one at the moment since obviously when you're a child you learn a lot about parenting from your own parents. My Dad was a very shouty, angry parent and used to hit me and my siblings frequently, often for very minor things. He used to hit as far back as I can remember, and stopped when I was 16. Usually he'd clip you round the head, and on occasion he'd kick you. It hurt a lot and I've never really got over it.

DD is nearly 2 and has recently entered a real tantrumy phase, screaming at the top of her lungs over anything and everything, which I know is normal but is starting to wear me down. She's a very stubborn, determined little girl who knows exactly how she wants things. This morning I was rushing around trying to get ready for work and she was playing up. She kept kicking her shoes off and screaming really loudly so I admit I lost it for a second, shouted at her and slapped her legs. Not hard, although I know that doesn't excuse it.

I'm now thinking about how terrible it was to do that. I don't want to be an angry, shouty parent and I especially don't want to hit. When she's naughty I try to take a step back, a deep breath and calmly assess the situation. I find myself finding the urge to hit. On the occasion I failed but I don't want to do it again.

Are there any other parents out there who were hit as children? How do you cope with not following this cycle and avoid becoming a parent who hits yourself? sad

ilikefestivitea Fri 23-Nov-12 19:30:13

I was smacked as a child. There are a couple of things which dd. Firstly, I think if I did it to an adult, it would be assault. Secondly, if another child I would not be responsible for my actions. Finally, the greatest.memory of me being.smacked is hatred towards my parents at the time. It.just meant I never told them anything for fear of a smack; I would hate for dd to feel that way towards me.

Don't ger me wrong, i can be shouty and grumpy, but have never smacked.

MoelFammau Sun 25-Nov-12 19:44:09

I agree with the above poster. I'd also add that if my child smacked another child I'd be making them apologise. I was badly beaten as a child and the memory won't fade. My sister though, she recently smacked her 20mo for hitting a child - I was boggled by the logic of 'I'm hitting you because you hit a kid. It's okay when I do it, but not when you do it'.

psychomum5 Sun 25-Nov-12 20:04:26

I grew up being smacked, and twice, beaten by my step father. I grew up with fear at times, and I never wanted my children to be fearful of me.

I am ashamed to say tho, that I did indeed end up occasionally smacking my children.


The times I did it was, 98% of the time, during a toddler tantrum when they were utterly hysterical and not in any way able to be rational. I used it as a 'short sharp shock' measure. It stopped them doing what they were doing, and it taught them not to again.

I also did it in reaction to a dangerous deed. running in front of a car (my then 3yr old DS1 when I let go of his hand momentarily while pushing DS2). I grabbed him, screamed, slapped his legs, then sobbed as hard as he did. He never ran in front of a car again.
Touching something very hot....I smacked their hands away, they learnt not to touch.
Poking things into plug sockets. Again, they learnt
About to grab at broken glass, or a fallen knife. Again, a danger smack.

I now cannot remember the last time I smacked my children. I only ever regret one smack, and that was a slap around the face of one of my very obnoxious teenage daughters when she was being particuarly vile. DD1, age 13. She swore, I slapped. Taught us both a lesson about control I think.

I have very good relationships (most of the time, hormones not withstanding wink) with my children. None are scared of me. Indeed, I think they could respect me more. But I am not going to become scary mum to get it. And as they are all now pretty much teens (all three girls are, DS1 is 6mths off, DS2 may as well be....he speaks like his sisters hmm), I feel I am doing a fairly good job of raising them, and altho they do remember me smacking them, they all say they remember why and each occasion....showing that the smacks were rare enough for them to stick at being for a major reason (IYGWIM).

Dont feel guilty. It is a learning curve being a parent, and the biggest thing to remember is to 'never say never'.

And don;t EVER assume that your child 'will never do that'. They do!! grin

NiniLegsInTheAir Mon 26-Nov-12 19:55:32

Thanks for the response guys, much appreciated. I admit I am struggling to find ways to get through to DD since the slightest deviation from how she wants things results in her screaming as loud as she can, kicking out and rolling around. I need to get the toddler behaviour books out and look up some coping techniques.

I find myself fighting the urge to smack her and remembering the pain and humiliation I felt when it happened to me. I need to keep working hard not to repeat history and it can be very exhausting.

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