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Date Posted: 01:03:02 08/24/11 Wed
Spanking and hitting are very distinguishable in my memories. I am not sure how Margaret's daughter would separate them but spanks were aimed for the bottom and hits were not.
Well Alfred, my daughter's view is that "hitting is hitting" whichever part of your child's body you spank, including her bottom (which was where all her spankings were given).
Margaret wonders if her daughter will be more approving of the few reasonable spankings she received once she becomes a mom herself.
I'm sorry to admit, but my daughter does have somewhat of a point. Some of her spankings I wish I hadn't given her now that I look back on them. So her spankings were less "few" than I now realize they could have been, and some were less "reasonable" than I imagined they were back when I was raising and disciplining her. I now know of other approaches I would try first before resorting to... dealing with her my mother's way. But back then there was no internet and young mothers had so much less information available than now.
I wanted to raise my daughter with less punitive severity and less strictness than my mother raised me. And I did. But I knew essentially nothing about alternative methods of discipline. So when I would have a situation with my child I would often just fall back on dealing with her like my mother would have dealt with me if I had behaved that way: by putting her over my knee, or threatening to. I just didn't know how else to react. Unlike my mother, I never used my hair brush or a switch to discipline my child, only my hand. So I wasn't as severe as my mother sometimes was with me. But I still spanked with greater frequency than I imagined I would.
Like the childbirths mentioned above, children vary widely. Margaret's daughter may have an easy child and she will never need to use reprimands, punishments, or spankings to guide the child. In which case, she, Margaret's daughter, may conclude that Margaret was even less justified in spanking her.
Every parent should be so lucky! However, knowing my daughter, she would not think herself lucky. She would think her easy child was proof that her nonspanking methods were best.
It could go the other way and Margaret's daughter will say "Aha, now I get it mom: no wonder you warmed my naughty bottom."
Ha! That will be the day!
In other words, Margaret will have to keep us posted as to how her daughter manages the grandchildren.
If she ever has any... We're beginning to worry. She has a habit of becoming involved with men who are beneath her, who aren't good husband prospects.
Margaret puts the case for the willow switch very eloquently, although I doubt that this was her goal when she wrote "She didn't need to address my ears with her lips. Her whippy green switch "spoke" to my buttocks very audibly!"
I certainly hope you are mistaken, Alfred, and no parent reading my words becomes convinced to carry on my mother's method with their own children. My experiences across my mother's knee only make a "case" for willow switches if one assumes that greater pain for your child means better discipline. For me, when my mother's switch "spoke" to my behind, it simply said "Yes darling, Mommy is willing to hurt you THIS much!" This message did not benefit my relationship with my mother, but made me feel distant when I wished I didn't feel that way.
I don't believe even the naughtiest child needs to be whipped so soundly that their punishment raises welts on their bottom. That goes too far.
I believe that parents of our generation used implements because they approved of the intense and usually short-lived stinging or tingling they delivered.
An implement like a limber switch produces a different kind of pain than something flat like a parental hand or brush. A proper spanking produces a hot, smarting kind of sting which brings tears, but doesn't feel like your parent is actually injuring you. But a switching produces a cutting kind of pain which feels like an acute injury; and I firmly believe children do not benefit from being forced to associate that kind of pain with their parent.
Also, most implements had signature sounds either as they whistled through the air before they landed (switch, cane, and thin belts) or as they plopped down loudly on our bottoms (paddle, slipper, and hairbrush). Implements were used mainly for the sting/tingle and these sound effects.
Alfred, I never gave much thought to the sound my mother's switch made. Usually I was already crying too hard before her first lash landed to hear its swish-thwick sound as she licked it across my bottom. And after her first lash, I was definitely crying too hard to hear anything. So I don't believe she used her willow switches for their sounds. She used them because they HURT!
Actually, I think her spankings with her hand made the loudest sounds - louder than her hair brush. She would sometimes clap her hands together for emphasis when she was scolding me or warning me to behave - her way of reminding me that she also could do something else with her palm which made that sound, and she just might do so if I kept acting up much longer. (I did this with my daughter sometimes, hoping she would straighten up and not cause me to have to make that sound the other way.)
I don't think our parents knew just how much pain they caused.
I tried to tell myself this about my mother's switchings when I was still little enough to receive them. But my maternal grandmother and my mother both said that when my mother was little, all her punishments were given with a switch. Mother knew just how much a switch hurt when whipped repeatedly across a little girl's bare buttocks. Yet, from time to time, she chose to carry on that same tradition with me, and to make me experience that same anguish.
If spanking is ever re-legalized, spanking parents should have to experience what they administer.
I agree with your suggested rule, Alfred. No parent should be permitted to give a spanking any severer than they could stand to administer to themselves. Of course this rule could never be enforced.
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