Saturday, July 18, 2015

My mom is coming over today...

I am sure she will have lots to tell us after her weeks on vacation.  This is probably the first real vacation she's had in years and definitely the first one without my dad.  We'll pick her up this afternoon and I will try to entertain her for a few days.

I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving and there is no telling when I will see her again.  I don't have any plans to come back to the States anytime soon.  I doubt she'll be wanting to come to Germany on a regular basis.  So I hope this will be a fun visit for us.  I suspect it will be.  My mom is probably the least high maintenance person in my immediate family.  Bill is taking the next few days off so he can help me entertain my mom.

I'm sitting here with the air conditioner going because it's been oppressively hot recently.  Even though we don't have a hot air blocker yet (ordered one yesterday and it should get here today), it does a good job cooling down my spot.  I wish we'd moved it into the bedroom last night because it was hot as hell in there last night.  But at least it's not Texas, where it was hot even with two air conditioners going full blast.

My aunt shared this photo recently on Facebook.


Naturally, corporal punishment was a big part of my grandparents' discipline routine.  My aunt commented that she was sent out to get a switch.  That was how kids were dealt with back in those days.

My dad, who was my aunt's brother, was a big fan of spankings.  I have to say, it didn't make me respect him when he employed that discipline method on me.  It made me hate him.  That may be because his spankings were usually delivered when he was enraged.  He also didn't know when to stop.

I stop short of saying that spankings are never appropriate or warranted, but I do think they should be a last resort and they should never be given when a person is angry.  I think it can turn into a lazy means of discipline, too.  My parents did not ever employ a method of discipline that inconvenienced them.  Spanking was fast and painful... for me, anyway.  Once it was over, it was over...  for them, anyway.

I struggle a lot with anger.  I feel saturated with it sometimes.  I'm at a point at which I can't tolerate abuse anymore.  If someone bullies or abuses me, I react with a lot more anger than I might otherwise.  I think a lot of my anger comes from being physically punished by my dad.  I think that putting your hands on someone in anger, even if it's just to spank your child, is a recipe for disaster.  I don't think my dad was thinking about discipline when he spanked me.  I think he was taking his anger out of my ass, dissipating his rage by striking me.  When he was finished, he never talked to me about what I did "wrong".  He just left me to sit there and cry.  And I could never predict what would bring on a spanking.  The infractions that would cause him to strike me ran the gamut and there was never any consistency or "boundaries".

That kind of "discipline" didn't stop until I was 21 years old and I told him if he ever hit me again, I'd have him arrested for battery.  He tried again when I was 26, but I reminded him that he had no right to hit me and what I would do if he did.  I was amazed I had the courage, but again, I was pretty saturated by that point.  Anyone who hits me now better kill me.

I don't know if a law outlawing spanking would have stopped him.  And I know a lot of people think it's a good way to teach kids right from wrong.  I can't even say that I wouldn't have spanked had I been a mother.  However, when I see these kinds of posts on Facebook or elsewhere, it brings out a visceral reaction within me.  I remember my experiences with it and feel glad I don't have to submit to that anymore.          

4 comments:

  1. Have a good time with your mom!

    i don't think spanking should be abolished because it wouldn't stop the true abusers and it can be effective if only a small part of a much larger arsenal of disciplinary tactics. iIf it needs to be done more than maybe ten times in a child's life -- and that's being generous -- it obviously isn't working.

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    1. It is illegal in many parts of Europe. In fact, a lot of people in European countries think it's a rather bizarre way to discipline kids.

      My mom had a great cruise and is now relaxing at home with us.

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  2. I'm aware that it'd not legal in parts of Europe. When my dad spanked me ffor doing a cartwheel and back walkover on the high beam of our roof when i was 9, I told him he would be arrested if he were in Sweden. He answered, "Guess what, hiney? We're not in sweden."

    I would think that Europeans would consider the practice more outdated than bizarre, as historicaally they beat children as much as anyone else did.

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    1. Well, in some areas it's okay. My friend and her French boyfriend spank. But yeah, there are places where people think it's weird.

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