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If you were smacked and don't smack yourself how did you explain this to your parents?

(31 Posts)
doreenmcdoreen Mon 06-Jul-15 15:47:33

I'm deliberately not posting this in AIBU because I don't want it to turn bunfighty may be kidding myself though

I just wondered: if you were smacked as a child and have decided it's not something you will do yourself, have you managed to tell your parents this without making them feel like you're criticising them? What did you say? It's just I've seen threads before now from people whose parents have reacted badly to these sorts of conversations and I'm interested to know how to get it right?

I really don't think my parents would ever smack my DD (she's too young for it to even be an issue right now) but want to be crystal clear with them just to be sure and am not sure how best to go about it.

They were and are lovely parents and while I don't think being smacked did me any good, I don't hold it against them and don't want to sound like I do. DF has said before now (can't remember why it came up) that they preferred smacking to some more prolonged punishments that would have dragged on long after the offence itself was forgotten and they felt things could be over and done with and not hang over us for days.

To be honest I preferred having a smacked bum to being deprived of pocket money or a treat but I think in a way that made it less of a deterrent. Anyway, I'd appreciate advice on how to broach it with them without seeming like I'm having a go. Might be overthinking it, I realise!

Mrsfrumble Mon 06-Jul-15 16:06:25

Interesting question! Like you, I was smacked occassionally and I don't hold it against my parents. It was an acceptable form of discipline in the early 80s, now it's less so.

It's never really come up in conversation. Both my parents and my ILs know that attitudes have changed non of their grandchildren have been smacked. My mum talks a lot about how we do things differently now, such as weaning later, mothers going back to work (she was a SAHM), dads doing an equal share of childcare etc, and I think she just counts not smacking as one of those differences. As we don't live anywhere near either set of parents, they don't do any childcare for us apart from a rare evening's babysitting when we're visiting, so I've never really worried that they would might feel it necessary to smack our DCs.

There's a school of thought that time outs can be damaging to small children. If this is the general consensus by the time we are grandparents, I hope I won't feel too guilty or defensive about enforcing them ocassionally.

BackforGood Mon 06-Jul-15 16:06:58

Not sure why you would need to tell them this at all ? confused
Or are they providing childcare for you ??

If it came up, I'd just say something along the lines of "things evolve / time moves on" or, if they wanted to question your decisions, it would come down to "you did what you chose to do / thought was best at the time, and we are doing things the way we want to / think best in our time. I'm sure we all do what we think best for our own children and probably all make decisions other people wouldn't / didn't make, and that's the way it is"

Change subject.

I certainly don't expect my dds or DiL or ds or SiLs to make all the same choices dh and I made.

doreenmcdoreen Mon 06-Jul-15 16:15:01

They aren't doing childcare no. Was just musing on it really.

MewlingQuim Mon 06-Jul-15 16:17:28

I said to DM that I don't do it because I don't think it works very well and everyone involved ends up miserable.

She should know that too seeing as she smacked me silly when I was little. I ended up just staring at her and sneering "doesn't hurt" even though it did IME smacking is a slippery slope with abuse at the bottom sad

When I first got my dog I smacked her when she was naughty (as I had learned), but I saw how she was becoming nervous and insecure but no better behaved and I realised I was doing to her what DM did to me with the same results -I am also nervous and insecure - and I made a conscious decision to find another way. I use positive training, rewarding good behaviour and ignoring the bad, it works well on both my dog and my DD and now both are reasonably well behaved but also confident and happy.

I think DM new no better, it was how she was brought up so it was how she learned to control children. She is quite impressed by DD's behavour and confidence so I think she may have been converted! I would never trust her to look after DD for more than a few minutes though (for many reasons not just smacking), so it has never been an issue as she has no opportunity or reason to discipline my child.

FATEdestiny Mon 06-Jul-15 16:20:28

My parents have never asked and I've never felt the need to mention it.

Many things have changed in terms of parenting in the 40+ years since my Mum had me and my brothers. She realises as much I do that things that were normal back then are not now.

It isn't an issue or a big deal.

tumbletumble Mon 06-Jul-15 16:22:24

I was smacked as a child and don't smack my DC. I've never had a conversation with my parents about this.

Are you worried they'll smack your DC because they don't realise you're against the idea?

Ashwinder Mon 06-Jul-15 16:23:01

I was asked occasionally in the 80s. I don't hold it against my parents but I don't smack my DCs.

We've never had a big conversation about it but my parents are aware of this. It has never been awkward. They accept that discipline methods have moved on since they had DCs and wouldn't dream of smacking their grandchildren.

Petridish Mon 06-Jul-15 16:23:03

I was smacked if I was VERY naughty - I always knew when I had crossed the line.

I've never discussed my decision too not smack with my parents.

The thing I do resent is that my mum quite often slapped me around the face when I was a teenager. I do think that was unnecessary and it was v painful hmm

Ashwinder Mon 06-Jul-15 16:24:05

* Asked? Smacked obviously. Stupid iPhone.

Volenflo Mon 06-Jul-15 16:24:20

It never came across in conversation

Doreenmcdoreen Mon 06-Jul-15 16:26:28

I am definitely overthinking this!

Sorry to hear that petri flowers

Sizzlesthedog Mon 06-Jul-15 16:28:16

I never had to explain. I heard DM smack DC once. I very firmly said "do not EVER do that to my child" she knew she was wrong and got upset.

She also has said I'm much more patient and a better parent than she was.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 06-Jul-15 16:28:21

I don't feel the need to explain it. My parents don't provide any childcare for us so can't see when they would ever be in the position to be disciplining my child. If it ever arose I would just say 'we don't smack'. No explanation.

It's never come up in conversation, they are 9 and 11 now and past the age when I imagine you would stop if you did do it. We were only smacked for the most severe bad behaviours, it certainly wasn't a routine thing and I have no issue with them having done it at all. I never really gave it that much thought myself, it just wasn't going to be in my plans. I did smack DD once on the back of her hand out of utter frustration and swiped DS's arm once, which I'm not proud of, but I don't beat myself up about either.

lovelychops Mon 06-Jul-15 16:32:51

I didn't have a direct conversation with my mum (who did smack me from time to time). But, she was talking about my auntie who babysits her grandchildren and has smacked them against her daughters wishes.
My mum was recounting the story from the point of view that my auntie was in charge and therefore it was up to her how she disciplined her grandchildren. (Even though my cousin has had countless issues about my aunt doing things she's been specifically asked not to).
I told my mum that if she ever smacked my children whilst in her care, she'd never look after them or see them again. Think it got the message across!

A few years down the line my mum has commented on how she admires us for being patient and calm with the kids. Not a stealth boast as I certainly have my shouty moments - but a world away from how she parented.

Perhaps your parents will be led by you and it will never need a conversation.

SusanHollander Mon 06-Jul-15 16:34:39

My parents smacked me a lot as a child. We haven't discussed smacking but they see that I use time out as my preferred method of discipline and just agree it's intelligent and they wish they had has it back in the 70s and 80s when we were growing up. My in-laws do a bit of childcare and when DD played up the other day MIL put her on time out.

I've no idea whether we parent correctly or not these days...every method is abusive to someone, somewhere. The odd smack really wouldn't have hurt me, it was the fact that my Dad would deliver several in a row in a total rage and then want a cuddle afterwards when he was feeling awful and we were hiding out somewhere that did the damage! My mum smacked occasionally and honestly it didn't do me any harm - her emotional dysfunction and unavailability was the problem!

HaleMary Mon 06-Jul-15 16:37:13

It has never occurred to me to explain my parenting to my parents, but if it became necessary I would be entirely upfront about doing my best to do things entirely differently to the way I was brought up, and that an angry adult hitting a child is not a mode of parenting I want anything to do with.

FenellaFellorick Mon 06-Jul-15 16:41:10

I haven't.
I don't owe them one.
I won't be hitting my kids and I don't need to justify that to anyone, not even my parents.
My dad hit me with a belt. He has nothing of value to contribute to a discussion about discipline.

Nydj Mon 06-Jul-15 18:33:59

My mum smacked us but is very anti-smacking now. She acknowledges that there is a lot more help and support available for parents nowadays in terms of finding alternative ways of disciplining children without resorting to violence. I can't remember specifically telling my mum about our decision so can't help you that front - sorry.

Polyethyl Mon 06-Jul-15 18:37:20

I was raised by hand, by short tempered parents. They have grown into the most doting and soppy grandparents. I explained the no smaking rule as husband would be furious. And societal norms have changed over the decades and people now get reported to social services by busybodies for small that used to be considered normal parenting.

Heartofgold25 Tue 07-Jul-15 19:53:08

If you want the easy way out tell them it is against the law these days, and you support the idea, and don't feel the need to use smacking.

If you would prefer a more honest approach, as I did, I chatted to my parents about raising children and that I was not in favour of hitting my children under any circumstances. We spoke about new parenting ideas. My parents DO look after my children, so I did need to set the record straight no shouting and definitely no smacking. I told my mother quietly that if they ever did, that would be their last time they would ever look after my child. They took it quite well because they feel guilty now!!! smile and could not be more accommodating.

I had a few moments with father dear who felt the need to raise his eyebrows and complain when my child felt the need for a tantrum when she was young, but I know deep down he is glad we don't hit our children.

Lonz Tue 07-Jul-15 22:51:04

I got smacked as a kid. It worked. Never really spoken about how I parent. Not really a topic of conversation. I don't care that I was smacked as a kid. (Probably why most teens these days are gobby f*cks!)
I don't smack my son by the way. Don't think it's necessary but I don't hate my mum for doing it either.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Wed 08-Jul-15 05:59:20

My mum smacked me a lot more than once so it obviously didn't work as I carried on doing whatever I was being smacked for!

dotdotdotmustdash Thu 09-Jul-15 13:06:45

My Mum was big on giving a heavy smack to the side of my head, right until my mid-teens when I eventually smacked her back.

When I had my own DC I told her quite clearly that I never wanted them to be smacked by her. I also told her that I had despised her after she hit me and I never, ever wanted my own children to feel so much hatred towards me.

I have a lovely relationship with both of my teenagers (DS18 and DD16) and I hope my mother acknowledges somewhere in her mind that her actions caused our relationship, both then and now, to be a poor one.

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