Filed under: childhood, deep thoughts, just saying..., relationships | Tags: 50's Throwback, Abuse, babies, Charlotte, Chris Brown, College, Cut Me a Switch, Dinner Whore, Fam, Finishing Moves, Parenting, relationships
So, Wednesday night I went to dinner with a friend of mine. This girl used to be roommates with me and .m. in college. She is pretty much the antithesis of Pinky Links philosophy (anti-feminist, not interested in politics or current events, nestles comfortably in the patriarchy surrounding her, etc). We call her “Charlotte” from Sex and the City. She lives in a parallel 1950’s universe at all times. (Now that you have some background, I will move on.)
So, she and I had a conversation about parenting. She opened the discussion asking if my parents ever hit me as a child. They did not. This opened up the conversation to whether or not it’s okay to hit your kid. Swats? Spankings? Going Chris Brown on the little fuckers? I got pretty in depth about why I don’t think it’s acceptable. How do you hit your kid, and then tell them it’s not okay to hit?
My rents definitely pushed solving problems with your mind and reason. As a kid, I used to try and push for “spankings.” My parents quickly learned that there are worse things in life than a swat on the rearender. What?! What do you mean I can’t hang out with my friends/watch TV/go outside/have my nail-polish/rollerblade/go to that sleepover??? Oh, and then they pull out Parental Disappointment. Ugh. Brutal.
In addition, one of the first lessons I got growing up from my feisty Mama was that no one had a right to get physical with me. “Spit in their eye” was one of my earliest lessons at age 4 or 5, when I complained about a bus driver that was disrespectful to me. I was encouraged to stand up for myself, and if someone was to get physical with me, I was to defend myself regardless of who they were (family, teachers, friends, whatev.). I told good ol’ Charlotte that if my parents hit me, I’d haul off and hit ’em back (Oh, the look of horror on her face). Not that it would ever come to that, because that’s what mutual respect gets you! Hooray!
Anyways, so .m. and I had the same conversation last night, discussing parenting. I realize that neither of us have much ground to speak on, considering we know nothing about the tribulations of parenthood. And don’t want to know, thank you very much. Hhhh…children. We couldn’t do much aside from drawing from our own personal experience, really. It’s irritating coming from that angle. My parents did it this way and look how (self proclaimed) great I turned out to be. Their way must be right!
So, I guess I’m interested in adverse opinions. When is it okay to hit your kid, and how much wind-up is acceptable? Where is the line between discipline, responsible parenting, and abuse? Do you let them cut their own switch or is that your job? Anyone get “whippings” as a kid, and have solid plans to do that to their own offspring? I guess I’m mostly interested in WHY people think it’s okay to hit their kids. So….someone please enlighten me!
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