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Thread: Do you smack??

  1. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjrose View Post
    Anyway. I want to point something out.

    Over the years parents have stopped smacking. Over the years the world has become a more scary place than ever before. Teens are roaming the streets, having sex & doing drugs alot younger than they used to. Kids have no manners or respect any more. Parents have no control.

    I was smacked as a child. So was my brother. When I was a teen I would never have snuck out. Never tried any sort of drug til I was 19 & that was pot. & haven't had it since. The person I lost my virginity to was my now husband at nearly 17. I did have DD1 young, but I was alot more mature at that age than alot of other people are.

    Is it because parents have stopped smacking their children & instilling some sort of fear that teens are acting the way they are these days??
    Both of my parents used to smack us when we were younger. I snuck out of the house, I had fake ID and went clubbing on school nights, I drank every weekend, I did drugs, I lost my virginity way too young... I basically did all the things that kids are still doing today.
    My parents are loving, kind and generous parents who were there for us growing up.
    I guess what I am trying to say is that some kids will just do these things. Smacking or not smacking won't change it. The only thing that stopped me doing the things I did was seeing how it hurt my family.
    I am more of the raise-my-voice parent in terms of discipline and my children jump 10ft high, DH is the one who asks them calmly to not do the things that they shouldn't be doing... I think it is because they respect us that we don't need to smack them... besides, they're way too big for smacks now (14 and almost 11) but Harrison does get the occasional hand tap smack when he is touching something he shouldn't.


  2. #20

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    Yep in my group of friends it was the kids who's parents were ultra strict that were the ruffians. I remember one girl I knew who's mother never smacked (although I'm sure she raised her voice) she was extremely communicative with her daughter and she never ever went off the rails, and they still have a great relationship today. I don't think smack vs. no smack is indicative of how rebellious teens can be.

    I personally don't smack never have never will. I know what my temper is like and I'm just not going to risk it. Besides that I don't see it as a constructive way to communicate boundaries. We have a no violence policy in our house, our kids are not even allowed to tap each other without consequences (time out, toy confiscation etc) so there is no way I would be a hypocrit iykwim?

    I'm not going to go on too much more as I remember a recent thread on the very same topic, where words were skewed and I was attacked for my POV Hopefully that won't happen this time.

  3. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjrose View Post
    When talking to my mum last night she was listening to DD1 & said something about how you have to be a parent first & that the child has to have some sort of fear towards you. Even if it is just that they are scared you will yell at them. My DD couldn't really care less how I feel. Yes I know she is 6.
    I have to say I totally disagree with your mother. The idea that my child should FEAR me???! I would say I want her to RESPECT me, but that's totally different from fear. I know you've corrected your point since, but I think it's important to see it for what it is when that kind of language is used.

    My point would also be, if you need her to fear you to get her to behave, what's going to happen when she has no need to fear you? She will grow up, probably bigger than you, have her own car, her own money, what's to fear from her parents? If she has learned to respect you, on the other hand, she may take your advice more seriously.

    I think discipline is only about teaching your child to self-discipline, so that one day you won't need to do it for them. Every child develops differently, and at six she would not have the capacity to empathise with how you're feeling. Everything to her is about how she feels and what she wants. That's normal for a 6 year old child. I find it much easier to control my frustration towards my very-active toddler when I think about it from her point of view.

    You say you are seeing a psychologist with her and I would also ask his/her advice on dealing with your daughter in terms of discipline. Good luck!

    PS I also find it a bit of a cop-out to point to today's youth and complain about how bad they are. Did you know in ancient Roman plays the same things were being said about young people? I find it hard to believe that centuries later it is any more correct! Also, to use a Dr Phil quote, 'older ppl talk about the younger generation like they had nothing to do with it'. Parents also work more, have more 'stuff', marriages break down more often, families move from place to place, less extended family, etc, etc. You could blame changes in society on any number of things, apart from smacking or not smacking.
    Last edited by Jennifer13; June 23rd, 2008 at 02:19 PM.

  4. #22

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    I was smacked as a child..

    I used to smack regularly until I realised it simply doesn't work.. I do raise my voice more then I should. I try not to smack.. I think maybe once a fortnight one of the kids will get a smack for something. I have tapped my Ds3 on his bottom a few times in the last couple days but I personally wouldnt call it a smack. It was a tap to say hey you move it... or cut it out as words were having no effect

  5. #23
    smiles4u Guest

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    Just the thought of smacking my 2 year old at any point, I think it would break me as a human being ... as I was smacked as a child

    I would feel if I smacked my daughter I had then become my ' own Mother ' which I have myself so far removed from being like her

    ... Don't get me wrong, ... when I have been at the worst moment with my daughter the thought & even an impulse to smack her comes to mind for a fleet of a moment ... BUT I stop myself as I simply see my Mother in my mind doing it to me !!

    Also I struggle to get anyone to explain to me how imposing pain (I don't think smacking tickles) on a child works ??? Like what message does the child recieve through physical pain ... I don't get it ??? ... Can someone please explain that to me

    And I'm certainly not looking down upon anyone that does ... to be perfectly honest my DP is all for a tap on our daughter's hand BUT won't as I won't agree with it ... also he doesn't as he understands that it's too much on me emotionally.

    ALSO like KRISP mentioned (& I so agree with her) ... how do you explain ' that ' situation

  6. #24

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    Been thinking about my reply to this.

    I don't like to smack my kids (feel terribly afterwards) and more often result to removal of privileges and time out but some times those tactics don't work.

    Quote Originally Posted by smiles4u
    Also I struggle to get anyone to explain to me how imposing pain (I don't think smacking tickles) on a child works ??? Like what message does the child recieve through physical pain ... I don't get it ???

    Can someone please explain that to me And I'm certainly not looking down upon anyone that does ... to be perfectly honest my DP is all for a tap on our daughter's hand BUT won't as I won't agree with it ... also he doesn't as he understands that it's too much on me emotionally.

    I have smacked my kids when they won't stay out of the kitchen when I'm cooking as I've had a very badly scalded child from hot water and a smack doesn't compare to the pain of that. I turn into a blood curdling shrilling banshee and if they still come in then they get one. I don't care what anyone says or thinks in regards to that situation as the only one who can judge is someone who has been in my shoes and nursed their baby in an ambulance and spent the night in hospital with their child holding him when his burns are being dressed

    They know I mean business if I threaten a smack!

    I have also smacked Mason when he was 3 and did the limp tantrum thing in the middle of the road when we were crossing it.
    Last edited by ~Raven~; June 23rd, 2008 at 02:26 PM.

  7. #25

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    We have only smacked my big one (nearly 3) a handful of times and never had a great response from her however when i threaten being smacked - thats enough for her now, she does what i say after the look and the threaten

  8. #26

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    I consider a smack as one of the tools in my toolbox of discipline/guiding/teaching my children.

    I was smacked, and I know it worked to discipline me at times. I think a smack on its own isn't very helpful, but it can show a child you mean business and it gets their attention.

    My parents smacked, it would be a smack and then sat down to discuss where we went wrong.
    I remember mum sending us to the laundry to wait for dad to deal with us (if he was around, or on his way home) if we'd been really naughty and she was too angry and didn't trust herself to smack us.
    I also remember dad asking if we thought he enjoyed smacking us - it seemed like a silly question, of course he didn't, we knew he did it cos we'd been naughty. As we got older, and we were able to understand delayed consequences better, like loss of priviledges, then smacking kind of got phased out.

    So - yep I smack, because we've tried a few things, and a smack with a firm 'no' is most effective when teaching about roads, the gas controls, powerpoints, climbing things. I'm not willing to muck about with those things, whatever works, we do.

    We have a policy though, whoever smacks the child gives the comfort. So if dh smacks, there'll be no kids running to me for comfort, I'll send them back to their dad for a hug so they fear the punishment but not the parent. Riv automatically hugs us after a smack now, which is really nice.

    I'm looking forward to when he gets older, and I can explain/discuss things with him, and introduce some different discipline that works with older kids, like punishment to fit the crime. I'm guessing that our discipline will evolve as the kids develop, and even differ comparing to their personalities and what gets our message through to them. And at the moment, for the important things, smacking is one of the tools in our toolbox that works.

    I hope that made sense. I figure the point of discipline is to guide my children to know what the right thing to do is, so that one day I won't have to discipline them! (at least not as much. :P)

  9. #27

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    Thinking back I wasn't really smacked as a child when i did dangerous things... it was more when I was just being silly and cheeky. I was smacked for: being found playing in the wardrobe in the middle of the night... I was sitting in there eating an apple and playing with my dolls. I was also smacked for playing chasey with the neighbour's kids near a sleeping baby's cot. When we did dangerous things we were warned by loud firm words then given an explanation afterwards. So this kinda indicates that my parents smacked because they were tired and frustrated rather than worried about my safety. Personally I think this is still largely the case today. I'm not really judging... I know where that comes from. I've had my biggest meltdowns because I've felt so unsupported as a parent... not really because of the child. If I really think about it I have smacked because I feel frustrated about things beyond the child. So many times if I'd had a grandparent or aunt/uncle around (even just sitting on a chair in the corner having a cup of tea) just to "back up" what i was trying to get through to the child I wouldn't have felt the need to smack. You often smack because you feel unheard. Children listen better to extended family (on the whole) than to their own parents. Take away that "back up" and it gets very frustrating. My own parents had their extended family as back up... Nana and Pa would re-inforce what they were telling me nearly every week of my life until I was 12... I'm quite envious of that. Looking back my parents probably resorted to smacking because they were just doing what their own parents did (and probably due to their relationship problems as they eventually divorced)... they wouldn't have given it as much analysis as we are doing here today. My sister and I were pretty good kids (I know, we all say that!) it's a real shame the legacy of smacking was passed on to us. But as far as I can help it it will end with me... no passing it on to my own kids.... and therefore my grandchildren.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; June 23rd, 2008 at 04:07 PM.

  10. #28

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    Bathsheba - I feel like that. I am 10 hours away from my mum - I hate that & 1 1/2 hours away from my MIL. I was completely alone here, but my SIL has stopped working to stay home with my neice & I find I'm handling things alot better.
    I have someone to talk to & to get out of the house with. So unless it's really big I am usually pretty calm.
    Well except on Thursday when she stood out the front of our house & screamed full on for 15 minutes about not being allowed in the front seat. I ended up getting her by the arm & putting her in the car & shutting the door on her. - we had a doctors appointment we ended up being 10 minutes late for.
    Then that night she wanted to stay at SIL's house & carried on the same way from about 8pm til 11pm. I had to keep her home from school just coz she threw a tanty.
    I didn't smack though. Just drove home, told her to go to bed & ignored her. It was really hard to do for 2 1/2 hours. But there was no reasoning with her at all.
    Confiscating toys & stuff makes no difference when she's like that.

  11. #29

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    I don't smack. Never have. I don't agree with the lesson it teaches - that smacking is okay, if the circmstance calls for it. Because I don't think hitting is ever okay, no matter the reason. I was hit as a child, and I don't think it taught me anything of any use, personally. I was more scared of getting caught than of upsetting my parents, and that's not the lesson I wanted to teach my kids.

    My XH used to smack, and it's true, once they grow and are bigger/independant of you, the fear is lost. They used to be scared of him, but they are still scared of disappointing me. Therein lies the difference, I think. Respect lasts, fear doesn't.

    And that's because I try to be what I wish them to become. It don't believe in 'do as I say, not as I do'. I try to be a good example for them, I believe it's the very best gift I can give them. I've not always been good at it, and I've made my share of mistakes, but if I expect them not to try to solve their problems with hitting, then that's the example I have to set. I will never expect them to behave in a way that I myself am not prepared to behave.

    Not that I have anything against parents who smack. I am not here to tell you how to parent; you make the best choices for your family. If it works for you, who am I to say you shouldn't do something?

    I think it's too simplistic to try to draw a direct cause-effect link between smacking (or lack there of) with the behaviour of teenagers today. There are too many social issues that at play here to suggest that you can stop your child from certain behaviour if you smack them as children.

  12. #30

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    I think it's too simplistic to try to draw a direct cause-effect link between smacking (or lack there of) with the behaviour of teenagers today. There are too many social issues that at play here to suggest that you can stop your child from certain behaviour if you smack them as children.
    Sushee I totally agree. I think children are far more influenced by our values and world view as parents, than one or two individual behaviours. I think too often we put the behaviour modification (ie the smack, the time out, the cause and effect discussion) into practice before we actually think about what values our children need in order to make a behaviour choice.

    Perhaps if we start with the big picture, the values, and then work in towards the small picture, the behaviour modification, we'd have more success Afterall, behaviour is only the outward expression of what we feel, think and sense.

  13. #31

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    I wasn't really smacked when I was little, my mum never hit me, my dad did occaisionally. Once he smacked me hard for jumping on the bed when I was having a sleep over with a friend. I was soo embarrassed. I remember it exactly and wouldn't speak to dad for a week because of it. So I think it would be pretty traumatic if you got smacked frequently for such things. My brothers were abused by my father. I have never been able to figure out why he never hit me like that, I always think it's cause I'm a girl and 10yrs younger than them, but I saw what he did and I see how my brothers are with him as adults and it's not nice. DH was smacked when he was little and doesn't mind using smacking as punishment and a teaching technique. But I have explained to him I don't want him to do it and why and he hasn't really done it since. Though he does get very frustrated with DD soemtimes and just tells me 'I can't do this' and I will step in.
    I try not to smack. I don't see that smacking my DD will teach her anything, other than being violent when someone does something you don't like is ok. Though in saying that I have smacked her on her hand a few times and once on her (naked) bum (for standing on the toy box and almost falling off onto the tiles, scaring me to death! And I am ashamed to say leaving a hand mark), when in dangerous situations, but even then I really try not to. I have also done it a few times out of frustration when she does the same things over and over, like biting me. But I believe violence begets violence. After I do it I regret it and really make an effort to talk to her rather than smack. I don't smack my DH or my mum when they do things I think are 'naughty' why would I smack my baby? I would rather open line of communication and talk to her explain how I feel or the consequenses of her actions (though she's still only a baby). Children (even babies) do understand tone of voice if not words. She knows when I mean business. And besides when I smack her, she just smacks me back....at 1yr old. Imagine when she's 15 and I smacked her, it would turn into a cat fight!! I would hope by then we have a good communicative relationship and I can tell her how I feel and vice versa.

  14. #32

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    I've just remembered another reason why I'm trying hard not to smack: When our children grow up they will most likely choose partners based on their experiences and perceptions of what is normal. I don't want to normalise violence. My mother was hit "until she was black and blue" quite regularly by her own father apparently. Is this why she didn't leave my violent stepfather? Did she associate being hit with being loved? I don't think she was hit by anyone else than her father... so... do women perhaps subconsciously choose men that are like their own fathers as a way of getting the chance to finally gain their love? I've read psychology books to say that this may be the case. This is one thing that has an impact on my DH when he gets angry... I remind him to be the kind of man he wants his daughter to marry.

  15. #33

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    I don't remember my parents raising their voices let alone smacking (except once when I was nine which I vividly remember because my first reaction was 'dad's being an idiot, I'm too old for this caper')

    I don't think it was a moral objection on their part to voice-raising or smacking, just that they're pretty laidback. Mum's reaction to most things that I may have got whalloped for by another parent was amusement.

    Infact, I so rarely got told off that I was MORTIFIED if I ever did - by my parents or by teachers. I would literally dwell on it for weeks.

    I don't have really strong views on the subject but I think I'd be the same - absolute last resort measure if DD was in immediate danger.

    Infact, this morning she was playing on the bed with me and went to pull the lamp off the bedside table. I put my hand on hers and said no and she cried! Not even a smack (which obviously I wouldn't do in that case because she's not old enough to know that lamps aren't meant to be pulled off) ... but I do think if you use 'no' sparingly rather than for every last thing, then they're more likely to take notice. For instance, I could say no all day when DD pulls books off the bookshelf ... but I really don't mind. She doesn't rip books (that would be different), she's just looking and exploring and that's fine by me.

    My DP on the hand was hit quite a lot as a child and blames this for the poor relationship he has with his father.

  16. #34
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    I don't smack by policy, but once recently i did smack. It was 5am, DD had had me up 4 times in the night, and at 5am i found her drawing with permanent marker on the (rented) livingroom wall. I smacked her hand. It didn't leave a mark except the one burned into my heart because i had found it in me to hit my baby (she was 25months).

    I didn't hit her because of her. I hit her because *I* was tired, *I* was worried about the rental walls (which was because of my tiredness - i have spare paint for such disasters in my kitchen cupboard), *I* was annoyed that she'd done it (how did she get the pen? I LEFT IT WHERE SHE COULD REACH IT!). I know she's 2 and has no concept of rentals, clean walls, permanence, meternal exhaustion or me being at the end of my rope already before this happened. And i know full well that the one wallop of her life, on her hand, taught her ZIP about any of those things. For days after if i asked her to stop doing something she would hit her hand and squeal "NO, BAD!" and i would cry. I have apologised so many times. I will never hit her again. Once was enough for me to know it isn't for me.

    To me you can divide kids into before they have impulse control (under 4) to when they begin to have it (4-8) to when they have it (9+). Before they have it it's my job to prevent disasters. DD is my beautiful lively flood, and i arrange the contours of our day so she flows through picking up as much info to carry forwards as possible while leaving the least destruction in her wake possible. When they are beginning to have control it is my job to give them chances to exercise it (it's how it gets strong) and give them fair but harsh consequences when they fail to control it, to give them more incentive and tools to do so next time. Once they have it it's my job to give them guidance and responsibility to let them practice and sharpen it, so they can KNOW themselves to be good people, which is SO important for self-esteem IMO.

    I was talking to my dad after i smacked DD and he said "it's no big deal, it was just a tap on the hand, don't beat yourself up! Really, stop worrying about it!" and i said "Dad, if i called and said DP had hit me, but only gently and it hadn't left a mark, how would you react?" and he went a bit pale and said "Ok, i'd be worried sick, i see what you mean."

    I do not want my kids to fear me, i want them to love me, respect me. I love and respect DP, i do not fear him. I am a VERY strict parent, i just don't hit. The word "discipline" means "to teach" and i don't want to teach any lesson which ends with "because if you do mummy will hit you". I don't see what relevance it has for inner self-control or self-regulation of behaviour, and i don't want to be that sort of parent.

    I was only smacked once as a child. I was 3, i don't remember being smacked (because my brother turned the volume on the stereo up instead of down and my dad decided we both should get a smack for it) just having a handprint on my butt in the bath. My mother told my father that she had divorced one violent man already and that he might think VERY carefully before raising his hand to any of us in the future. My mum never smacked me, but she was a STRICT parent. When i was small i was allowed out to play but had to be home by a certain time. If i was late i was grounded for a WEEK for every minute i was late. I was late once. Ever. My mother never made empty threats and ALWAYS carried through on punishments, even when it inconvenienced her significantly (when i was grounded she had to miss several things we did together since i wasn't allowed to go myself). I always knew from that that she REALLY cared about me, and it REALLY was for my own good. She would lose out on a month of art classes or craft groups or reading clubs to teach me the importance of being punctual and the grace of being kind to your loved ones by being predictable so they don't spend half the time worrying about where you are. I always felt she was very serious about raising me. She put us first.

    Krisp - ITA. I saw a mother only a few days ago holding her toddler (looked about 3, perhaps a small 4 or a tall 2) by the arm and walloping him hard on the bum, puntuating every smack with a word "DON'T. HIT. YOUR. BROTHER." Kid looked terrified and furious.

    Bx

  17. #35

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    It's really interesting to read all these points of view, I think it's really good to be challenged about why I smack, do I smack just because my parents did, could I discipline other ways?

    I like reading about people who have found other ways to discipline because smacking doesn't work for them or their kids - I am incredibly encouraged that we are so thoughful about how we teach lessons to our children.

    Just a side note, I'm not sure about the comparison between smacking a child and smacking a friend - because it's not our job to discipline our friends, but it's our responsibility to discipline our children.
    I do believe that we should treat children with the same respect that we show our friends (as long as we really really respect our friends!). But I think you can show respect and use smacking for discipline - in my experience anyway, I have always felt respected and valued by my parents, who occasionally smacked my when I was younger. Anyway.

    I would love to come back in a few years time when my children are older and say 'nope, I don't smack!' That is what I'm aiming for. But right now, as it is, a stern NO elicits a grin, and explaining patiently in simple terms again and again starts to get through after quite a few explanations, if I'm consistent. But since there are some lessons that I feel need to be learned faster (ones that involve his safety, like turning on the hot tap or playing with cords), a smack in conjunction with a simple instruction is still an option for us.

    I really am glad that people are reluctant to smack, those of us who do need to take a lot of things into consideration, check to make sure we're not smacking (or yelling or withdrawing priviledges for that mattter) out of anger or frustration, make sure that there are no alternative more effective options, make sure our kids are secure in our love and don't fear us.
    I do understand that by that criteria, some people will say, well nobody should smack.

    I hope no-one thinks I'm particularly arguing for smacking - I really think there are so many variables, and each parent needs to determine what is the best option for their family according to those variables.
    I also hope that people who do smack in a self-controlled, loving, teaching, accountable context don't feel like the bad guys here.
    Furthermore, I hope that anyone who does smack with a negative motivation will be challenged to re-think their behaviour and find someone to be accountable to, because as we've heard from others' experiences, you need to avoid that pattern of behaviour for your family's sake, including yourself. We're all learning as we go, maybe even someone from the BellyBelly 'village' can help out.

    So. Another short essay there. I just want to say again, I am so encouraged that people are taking the care to think about these things, and I'm also encouraged that we've stayed so respectful of each other. I really am glad to be a part of these forums.

  18. #36

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    Perfect post Nelle You've pretty much summed up what I wanted to say. I am enjoying reading this thread immensely, and it really is challenging my thoughts on discipline, at a time when my DS is really starting to need some. It's great to see that everyone is being so respectful of each other

    Maybe I will change my mind on this when I've more children, and they're older (I'm sure I will actually!) but ATM I think that there are so many variables, as Nelle said. Not the least of which is that different children will respond differently to various forms of discipline. Some will laugh in the face of all attempts, while others are quite sensitive, and will be hurt at the slightest scolding. So of course, most parents will do their best to discipline their child according to what works best for them.

    I agree with alot of the PPs who make excellent points for NOT smacking. That doesn't mean that I'm removing it permanently from my toolbox right now, but I will certainly rethink how we can parent differently so as to avoid smacking. I'm relieved not to have needed to do it as yet, and hope that I can say that for some time to come

    There are so many posts I want to comment on, but it's late, so I'll leave it there. Again, I've really enjoyed reading ALL of your posts

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