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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.

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Nov-13 10:26:41

Do you really want to beat your daughter into submission?

Notmyidea Mon 11-Nov-13 10:27:38

Erm, no! That would be the point of the post!

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Nov-13 10:28:41

You sounded like you were wistfully wishing that you could.

How old is she?

FrauMoose Mon 11-Nov-13 10:29:43

How old is your daughter? Any mileage in rewarding better - e.g. slightly less horrible behaviour - instead?

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

This one is eleven.

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.

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

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

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!

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

She is, indeed year 7!

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.

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.

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?

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.

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 10:44:50

'Taught' me , not 'aught me'!

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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!).

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.

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