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Subject: Willow switch


Author:
Margaret
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Date Posted: 16:29:58 07/01/11 Fri
In reply to: No Nonsense Mom 's message, "Worse thing spanked with?" on 12:29:35 04/09/10 Fri

When I was little, my mother's preferred method of discipline for me were "spankings," given with her hand or with her hairbrush. But on relatively rare occasions when she felt I had been particularly naughty, or when she simply felt I was "due," she sent me to my room while she went out to our garden with her pruning shears. There she would cut herself a whippy, green switch or two from our willow bush and then smooth it with her paring knife.

I listened with miserable fear when she mounted the steps to my room, knowing her every footstep hastened the stinging lashes across my sensitive little behind. Then, after she'd admonished me one last time for my misbehavior, she would place me crying over her knee, pull down my panties, and redden every inch of my bottom with her switch.

When she chastised me this way, Mother didn't even call them "spankings." She knew her willow switchings were my severest punishments, so she gave them a special name: "thrashings."

Mother intended my thrashings to be my most painful childhood experiences and they were. (They hurt more than anything else in my life hurt until I grew up and gave birth). I would love to believe she didn't realize how much she was hurting me while she whipped my buttocks with her ultimate implement. But my mother knew full well how my thrashings felt. When she was a little girl, she too received willow switchings, courtesy of my grandmother. And she firmly believed God wanted her to carry on that tradition with me.

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Replies:
[> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Marci
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Date Posted: 12:22:35 07/03/11 Sun

Margaret,
I can relate to your upbringing as my parents also fully believed it was "God's will" that they spank, paddle, strap and switch our bare bottoms. I agree a switching was the most painful.
Because like you said, to be switch whipped until "every inch" of your behind is red meant WAY too many licks of the skinny bendy green stick of fire!
Until what age were you spanked? All thru high school for me.

Marci

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Margaret
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Date Posted: 15:39:26 07/08/11 Fri

I'm so sorry you were switched, Marci. I don't believe in spanking children with implements, especially narrow flexible implements such as belts or switches. Too much pain and fear can harm children's relationships with their parents. I know I had difficulty dealing with how much pain my mother was willing to inflict on me when she thrashed me, even though her thrashings only happened rarely.

Mother considered my occasional willow switch thrashing part of my religious training. She wanted me to understand just how much pain can hurt so I would better appreciate the perils of eternal damnation. Did your parents give religious reasons for your spankings, Marci, aside from just disciplining you for your specific misbehavior of that moment?

Like your parents, mine did not believe a high school aged girl was too old to spank. I was last spanked when I was 16 by my father and 17 by my mother. But my mother stopped thrashing me with her willow switch sometime in elementary school. After that, getting a licking from my father with his belt became my ultimate punishment, while my mother made do with the flat of a large, hardwood brush.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Sally
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Date Posted: 07:38:39 06/09/12 Sat

Wow. I too can relate to the sting of the switch .
We never had to pick our own. My Mother always seemed to keep a fresh one on top of the refridgerator or behind the sofa back for convience. She gave free switch dance lessons to me and my brothers on several occations I well remember. My Aunt and Grandmother were also pretty fond of the switch.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Alfred
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Date Posted: 20:27:17 07/04/11 Mon

As mentioned in previous threads, my mother and I once picked a switch "just in case" it should be needed. Given what Margaret says about her experience with her mom's carefully peeled and smoothed willow switch, I suspect I had some intuition or knowledge of what switchings felt like. I don't now recall actually feeling a switch as part of a spanking. But, I do clearly recall disposing of the "just in case" switch as fast as I could. I didn't do a very good job and it floated down from the second floor balcony to the ground and the leaves turned brown over the next few days. Why I didn't finish the disposal job is a bit of a mystery to me.

I know from adult hiking experiences that when a branch flicks back from the passing of another hiker and strikes you as the following hiker, it definitely gets your attention. And, these branches all have leaves on them that show them down considerably. So everything Margaret says about her switchings seems totally credible and her memory that spankings were second only to childbirth has been noted by others, some of whom actually rank spankings ahead of childbirth.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Margaret
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Date Posted: 15:08:17 07/08/11 Fri

When my daughter's head was crowning and I was trying to push her out, I remember thinking to myself, "this is the worst pain I've ever felt - it's even worse than Mother's thrashings!" But when I try to remember that pain, it is only a vague memory.

However, my memory of the sensation of Mother's willow switch whipping across my poor bare little behind remains vivid despite being a couple decades farther in my past. I wince just to think of it. Go figure!

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Alfred
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Date Posted: 20:00:51 07/12/11 Tue

Margaret, I have a hunch about vividness of memories. Could it be that everyone with you when you were delivering your daughter was rooting for you, telling you that you could do it, sayingthat one more push was all you needed to accomplish, and helping you achieve something wonderful. Odds are your mother, when she was thrashing you with a willow switch, was doing none of these things and indeed might have been telling you how bad it hurt, how you would never forget it, punctuating her scolding with switch strokes, and doing her best to make you "feel it."

There probably is no objective way to measure or scale pain but we could put meters on the nerves and measure nerve impulses. Measured that way, the birthing might yield a higher number. But, feeling pain is more complicated that nerve input so how a pain feels has a lot to do with the other thoughts of the recipient.

So, my tentative guess is that overall the spanking with the willow switch (for our UK friends, they are thinner and a bit more flexible than rattan canes but otherwise comparable) was indeed felt as more painful than your daughter's birth.

God Bless that you have a daughter. Somehow I have the opinion that you and she had a much less spanking-oriented relationship than you had with your mother. Not easy to achieve but a worthwhile goal. Congratulations.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Margaret
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Date Posted: 23:00:38 07/14/11 Thu

Margaret, I have a hunch about vividness of memories. Could it be that everyone with you when you were delivering your daughter was rooting for you, telling you that you could do it, sayingthat one more push was all you needed to accomplish, and helping you achieve something wonderful. Odds are your mother, when she was thrashing you with a willow switch, was doing none of these things and indeed might have been telling you how bad it hurt, how you would never forget it, punctuating her scolding with switch strokes, and doing her best to make you "feel it."

Feeling myself in disgrace and knowing Mommy herself was forcing me to experience that horrid sensation across my bottom doubtlessly made a painful experience feel even worse. But giving birth sort of felt like punishment also. I am a Christian, and scripture teaches that for women to give birth in sorrow is part of our punishment for Eve's disobedience in the Garden.

I doubt my mother said anything to me while giving me a thrashing. If she did, I never heard a word. I was crying too hard. She didn't need to address my ears with her lips. Her whippy green switch "spoke" to my buttocks very audibly!

Although giving birth hurt me worse, it was a different kind of pain - sort of like a dull tummy ache, but a hundred times stronger. Mother's willow switchings brought a very sharp, keen pain, like a wasp sting. In fact, when I was stung by a wasp when I was little, I remember thinking that this sensation feels like getting a willow switch whipping from Mommy.

There probably is no objective way to measure or scale pain but we could put meters on the nerves and measure nerve impulses. Measured that way, the birthing might yield a higher number. But, feeling pain is more complicated that nerve input so how a pain feels has a lot to do with the other thoughts of the recipient.

I'm sure you are right, Alfred. But I remember the sensation of getting a thrashing better than I remember the sensation of giving birth. They were different kinds of pain.

So, my tentative guess is that overall the spanking with the willow switch (for our UK friends, they are thinner and a bit more flexible than rattan canes but otherwise comparable) was indeed felt as more painful than your daughter's birth.

I'm sorry, Alfred, but I must disagree. I remember thinking to myself during my daughter's birth that this was even worse than Mother's thrashings. I had no doubt right then. But now I can better recall myself thinking that thought than I can recall the sensation which inspired it. It hurt worse, but less memorably. Go figure!

God Bless that you have a daughter. Somehow I have the opinion that you and she had a much less spanking-oriented relationship than you had with your mother. Not easy to achieve but a worthwhile goal. Congratulations.

I let my daughter get away with a lot my mother would never have let me get away with. And I never spanked my child with an implement, and not past her elementary school years. But I did end up spanking her - or resorting to the threat of a spanking to make her behave - with greater frequency than I had imagined I would. My daughter has grown now and she has become antispanking in her views and judgmental of me for disciplining her that way when she was little. (She calls it "hitting," but all I ever used was my hand, and only on her bottom). I do wonder if she will become less doctrinaire once she has small children of her own and discovers just how naughty they can be sometimes.

But I have to confess that if I had my daughter to raise over again I am sure I would spank her much less than I did. (I think I might even attempt not to spank her at all, which she believes I should have done, but I am not so sure I could actually achieve that).

Back then, I didn't know much of anything about alternative methods of child discipline. So I would find myself falling back to dealing with a situation with my daughter like my mother would have done because that was all I knew. I wish there had been a world wide web when my daughter was little. Young mothers nowadays have so much good information available for them now which I wish I'd had back then.

Some young mothers in my church never spank, or at least they say they never do. And all told, their children don't behave noticably worse than children from the spanking families - although some particulary well behaved and some particularly badly behaved children come from both.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Alfred
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Date Posted: 20:01:26 07/29/11 Fri

Thanks to Margaret for such a thoughtful and careful analysis of the issues involved in comparing the pains of remembered spankings to the pain of childbirth. No two childbirths are the same so perhaps the comparison is not very scientific. 7.5 month babies are much easier to deliver than full term babies. I am told that I was particularly difficult to deliver because I came out bottom or breach first. No obvious ill effects from that exit other than my mother never let me forget it!

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.

Margaret wonders if her daughter will be more approving of the few reasonable spankings she received once she becomes a mom herself. 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. 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." In other words, Margaret will have to keep us posted as to how her daughter manages the grandchildren.

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 believe that parents of our generation used implements because they approved of the intense and usually short-lived stinging or tingling they delivered. 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. I don't think our parents knew just how much pain they caused. If spanking is ever re-legalized, spanking parents should have to experience what they administer. Details here could be left up to individual families but the general idea is clear enough.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Margaret
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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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[> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Joel
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Date Posted: 11:35:32 07/10/11 Sun

My best friend was spanked with a switch. From what he told me, that was not the normal implement, but was rather reserved for more serious offenses. He said it was pretty much unbearable and kept him on his best behavior for weeks.

I can only imagine it would be incredibly painful.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch


Author:
Margaret
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Date Posted: 08:07:09 08/25/11 Thu

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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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Willow switch -- the swishing sounds


Author:
Alfred (for Margaret)
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Date Posted: 20:58:01 08/27/11 Sat

Thanks for your most conscientious reply to my comment on your mom spanking with a willow switch. I know my mom cut switches but I have no clear memory of what kind of tree they came from. Friends of mine and my pastor growing up spoke with hushed tones and great respect for peach tree switches. They were reported to bend amazingly but never break. They had quite a reputation.

My hunch is that switches are like all the other implements. They can deliver super intense pain and leave marks that last way too long. Or they can be used carefully and gently. The choice is up to the parent as to what a switch stroke "says" when it lands on your bare bottom. Margaret points out very eloquently what a very harsh switch lick says. It probably does say something like: you were so bad that I think that you deserve this borderline abusive/illegal spank. This is a very poor message to convey and I am very opposed to licks this hard. I learned the most from a spanking that I remember thinking Wow! Is that it? Only four hand spanks?

So, being a sensitive and only child, perhaps like Margaret was, I would have taken very poorly to a severe or intensely painful spanking. The ones I got, I thought were very painful. I learned a bit later at the boys clubs what real spankings were like and I realized that the ones I actually got were more symbolic than real. Other moms said that I needed a real spankig but they never had the nerve to give me one.

As far as hearing the sounds of a switch, we had many sword fights with them and perhaps the only time I really heard the swish of a switch was when playing with one. The same could go for the yardstick. It will swish if you flick it rapidly. I don't recall hearing the swish of the yardstick when it was on its way to a meeting with my bottom. So, Margaret, I do agree-- it was hard to hear the sounds of the implement over my comments on how it felt!

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