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Did anyone else's parents over-use 'smacking'?

(54 Posts)
chickaboodledoodle Wed 07-May-14 23:35:02

My father is a very angry, controlling man. He used to sulk a lot when I was a child, and would always tell my mum to tell me when I'd upset him. Him and my mum are both extremely oversensitive, so I'd often get told off or punished because I said "thank you" in the wrong tone or something.

I am in my thirties now but feel extremely angry as my dad totally over-used smacking. He used to smack me around the head, hard, or punch me on the arm, or slap my face.

What is even worse is that he continued "smacking" me until I left home at the age of 20, whenever he felt that I had done something wrong. My younger sister would get shouted at, but not smacked as much as I was. Apparently whilst I lived in his house then he had the right to smack me.

One of the final straws before I moved out was a morning when my dad woke up and thought a table in the hallway had been moved, and he came storming into my room in the early hours, removed my duvet and slapped me really hard on the thigh.

It's assault really isn't it? I still feel so angry about it.

mrsbrownsgirls Wed 07-May-14 23:37:48

yes, it's assault. No wonder you feel anger
Is he still alive? could you discuss it with him?

chickaboodledoodle Wed 07-May-14 23:39:32

Yes he's still alive. I am non contact with my parents at the moment though because every so often they take offence at something that me/DH/the DCs have said/done and cut us off.

I don't think I'd want to discuss it with him tbh. He'd probably just go mad and start getting aggressive. He is the type who thinks that he is always right and the world is wrong.

mrsbrownsgirls Wed 07-May-14 23:52:48

I would NEVER defend his behaviour but I know many parents from his generation who whacked their kids and are now full of remorse,

IS THERE ANY WAY HE WD fall into that category? Hence my suggestion (probably inappropriate) of face to face talk

BerylStreep Wed 07-May-14 23:53:55

Yes, abusive, physically and emotionally.

Glad you are nc, at least you are keeping you DC away from him.

I hope you heal from this in time - it was very wrong and NOT your fault.

HillyHolbrook Thu 08-May-14 00:20:07

I got very similar treatment from my stepfather for a few years when he was very depressed. That's no excuse, but it's why, combined with the fact his own dad was similar toward him and his brother. Everything was my fault, and I'd even get tricked into being in trouble as an excuse to hit me if he had a bad day. Once he asked me what I'd done to something I hadn't touched, so I apologised to save a fight and he then screamed I was a liar and nothing was wrong with it and hit me around the head for lyinghmm

I blame my mother more so. She would drop me in shit to save her own skin, like letting me have days off school to keep her company and then pretending I lied I was ill so if get punished. She never stuck up for me so that he would treat her better and continue taking things out on me. My sister was always a golden child, still is, and she's grown into an entitled little madam. I love her but I'm glad I don't live with her anymore.

Our relationship is better now I'm not in his house, once I got big enough to hit back and smart enough to tell him how stupid he was he left me alone and finally sought help, realising his rages weren't right, but only after he hit my sister and was so terribly sorry. Never apologised to me thoughhmm

You're brave for going NC. I regret putting it to one side and dealing with it because I still feel hard done by and want my apologies and answers but can't drag it all up again now. I just keep my distance when I can, but stay civil. He's a totally different man to what he was when I was growing up, but I still don't want him near my baby unsupervised when it's born. He and my mum are moving abroad soon anyway so they won't ever have it overnight regardless.

Jan45 Thu 08-May-14 15:56:43

This makes me mad! What did your mother do to protect you or was your father more important!

Definite abuse, very much so.

My dad was an angry man when younger and he used a belt on my older brothers, myself and my sister were spared but we were constantly shouted and swore at.

He's a changed man now in his elder years but every now and then I see the temper show and it reminds me of what a horrible man he was and it was more about him not being able to control himself rather than my brothers, who, btw, were very well behaved.

Makes no sense to me, the minute you raise your hand is the time when you yourself has lost it.

Gudgyx Thu 08-May-14 16:05:36

There's smacking kids for discipline, and there's just being downright cruel.

I was smacked as a child, didnt do me any harm. It was always just a slap on the bum. But that was when I was a young child, probably stopped when I became a teenager. Thinking about it now, it was more of a hard tap than anything else.

What your dad did sounds more like abuse tbh

AMumInScotland Thu 08-May-14 16:15:50

What you're describing was way over the top even for the time. I was smacked as a child, but never round the head or face, and never punched. And I don't think I was smacked from about maybe 10 onwards.

You say yourself he was angry and controlling - the way you were treated was definitely abuse rather than any 'normal' concept of discipline.

I think going NC is probably a much better bet than talking to him about it, since his behaviour is still aggressive. He has not changed, and will not see any need to change. And you have children to protect.

Flexiblefriend Thu 08-May-14 16:19:21

Yes it is assault. What you have described goes way beyond smacking!

KathrynJaneway Thu 08-May-14 16:29:25

Actually it was my mother who liked to dole it out when we were kids although she conveniently can't remember it now. She had a paddle for this purpose but her favourite was a fly swatter. Think she realised it worked better than the paddle which was quite flat. I recall a wire hanger used too and definitely the sticks she was going to use for lighting the fire!

SharpLily Thu 08-May-14 16:34:45

Sounds just like mine but he still insists there was nothing wrong with it - and yet he wonders why my brother and I have no love or respect for him hmm.

NC sounds like a great idea to me - I would love to but that would mean NC with my mother too and that's not what I want.

JonesRipley Thu 08-May-14 16:53:14

It's assault, and his lack of control over his anger probably means he was emotionally abusive as well.

Denton2406 Thu 08-May-14 16:58:22

Yes I was smacked quite a bit by my Dad, and hit across the face when he was really angry. He's now 82 and very calm, but in his younger years had a really short temper and got stressed very easily - although I don't think in those days it was recognised as stress. It made me very introverted with my parents, and I think has affected me quite a bit as an adult. My Mum wishes she had stopped him or left him years ago as she doesn't get on with him at all now. In a way, he has come off worse as I am not half as close to him as I am to my Mum and this all stems back to me not liking him a lot when I was young.

OwlCapone Thu 08-May-14 17:00:34

No. When I was a small child it was very rare and only for major transgressions.

What you describe, OP, is clearly well beyond "smacking" and is assault. Or is it actually battery?

FolkGirl Thu 08-May-14 17:23:20

OP I had similar. My dad stopped smacking me when he moved out 8 weeks before my 18th birthday, but only because it meant he wasn't physically there to do it anymore.

I was terrified of him.

I was flung across the living room/up the stairs by my hair; I was hit with his hands or whatever else was nearby; I would roll myself up in my duvet and hide from him; or shut myself in the wardrobe. I used to hear my mother tell people that I bruised easily and was very clumsy and accident prone.

Since he left home, my mother has both said that she was always scared on PE days that someone would notice the bruises when I got changed and ask me where I got them from, and also denied that it ever happened.

In the last conversation I ever had with her before going NC, she said, "I don't know if you remember what your dad used to do to you" hmm Like I was going to forget!

And then when I accused her of not being bothered by it she said, "of course I was bothered by it. That's why I used to leave the room when it happened so that I didn't have to see it"

Oh, well that's ok then...

He died 18 months ago. I felt nothing at the funeral. I feel nothing now.

One parent dead, NC with the other and I'm better off and happier than I've ever been. smile

BertieBotts Thu 08-May-14 17:32:54

That isn't an example of overusing a discipline technique, but of actual abuse. Sounds like you were his punchbag sad I'm sorry you had to go through that.

beccajoh Thu 08-May-14 17:33:54

My dad rarely smacked me but my mum did, more so than was appropriate. She smacked out of anger and I can remember her launching herself at me when I was 17/18, slapping any bit of me that wasn't running fast enough because I'd stayed out later than I was meant to. I whacked her back one time and it never happened again.

She did over-use smacking but that's my opinion of her parenting really rather than it being actual abuse for the most part - she lost control of her temper. Her go-to discipline method was smacking, even for fairly minor misdemeanours. It meant I was terrified if I did something accidentally - spilling my drink at dinner for example - and it still causes ripples not in my own life. If I do that in my own home I apologise profusely to DH. I didn't realise I was doing it until he pointed out. My mum always vacuumed when she was cross. If someone vacuums I am instantly on edge waiting for the explosion.

DeMaz Thu 08-May-14 18:17:20

I'm so sorry you had to go through that, Chick. Unfortunately, I know exactly how you feel. My dad was a controlling fecker. He used to smack and hit me for the tiniest things from a very young age so much so that my Aunty (my mums sister) and my Grandma actually got up, put their coats on ready to take a trip to the social worker and report my dad. They never did because they didn't want to make things worse for my mother! I bloody wish they'd had!
As a result, my relationship with my dad is strained and I just don't love him at all! Don't even like him. He made my life a misery!

However, after going through a really bad patch of depression, huge confidence issues and just generally being angry, I just thought to myself I'm just not going to let him control my emotions anymore.

I do speak to him every now and again but he has lost all three of his children due to his ways.

How sad....and now I just pity him.....

wooly31 Thu 08-May-14 19:00:07

Wow, I had been thinking of posting similar. I was "whacked" a lot as a child, with slippers mainly, only ever my mum. Never bruised but it was a lot and repeated until I fell into the carpet- maybe 12 or more times. I struggle to make sense of it because I wasn't harmed and it was the fear of the shouting and rage that went with it, more than the physical pain (or maybe discomfort). But times were different (1980's into 1990's). I don't think I was abused but I still feel that trust was betrayed. I just assumed it was normal. What you describe is not normal, and maybe it wasn't normal or ok for me. I don't want closure- she claims she hardly ever smacked and what does dragging up the past do. But part of me must feel harmed or I wouldn't have thought about posting about this subject myself.
Sorry that was an essay but I hope you can move on, and wasn't ok to do that you. I just vow never to do it to my children and never to be with anyone who would...

Writerwannabe83 Thu 08-May-14 19:25:55

Me and my sister were bought up by a strict mother, we were continually getting smacked for minor things. She once proper pelted down on my sister because her bedroom wasn't tidy enough, she was 16 when this happened. My sister was also smacked when she was 17 (in front of her friends) because she had lost her purse. When we were younger we'd frequently be smacked and if we were naughty in our mom's eyes she would forcefully bang our heads together.

At the time it just seemed normal....

RockinD Thu 08-May-14 19:59:04

That's the trouble ... you do think it's normal.

My mother smacked me regularly throughout my childhood, for all sorts of reasons that I suspect now had rather more to do with how she felt than how I had behaved.

The last time was when I was 18. She slapped me across the face for failing my driving test. I left home to go to uni shortly afterwards leaving her to try to control me from a distance by emotional blackmail until she decided I had ruined her life and shown no remorse and she went NC with me and my children (her only GC).

mammadiggingdeep Thu 08-May-14 20:26:39

Yeah, we were smacked. My parents have been amazing in so many ways but in my opinion they were too heavy handed. It was out of frustration on my mums part I think- 5 kids, did most of the childcare/housework as dad worked long hours. I've said to her I'll never smack my dc and I don't like the way she smacked us. "You were never smacked hard" she said...her, I beg to differ!! I remember being hit around the head- total no no! It is a generational thing I think- its how they were brought up. I actually think they'd be pretty horrified if any of us hit the gc in front of them. They'd probably intervene!

BarbarianMum Thu 08-May-14 20:35:00

In retrospect I think they did but it was smacking, not what you describe, and it was the same in many homes in the 1970s. Compared to the beatings they both received as children (again typical of the time) I think they made a genuine effort to tone it down and I don't hold it against them.

I've smacked my a few times. Hopefully when they have children of their own smacking will be extinct in our family.

What you are describing OP does sound more like assault.

Bogeyface Fri 09-May-14 00:00:52

Yes. My parents called it discipline, I call it abuse.

Taking a 5 years olds knickers down and smacking her with a dunlop plimsoll over and over is not fucking discipline sad

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