I've noticed that I get very triggered whenever anyone mentions physically disciplining children (anything ranging from beatings to light slaps), especially because many find it socially acceptable. I'm not here to tell anyone how to raise their kids, and I'm probably very biased on the matter because of my less-than-decent upbringing. However, I can't help but despise the idea. So, I would like to talk about it to try to understand it more, and perhaps form a more informed opinion.
I could not imagine taking my hand, or a paddle, or whatever to my child, and purposefully causing them fear or arm, or watching them cry or yelp in pain. I have always been very empathetic, and I swear I feel other's pain as if it is my own. I would feel like a monster. I have never raised a child, so maybe I am naive. I'm sure that physical discipline in some cases is born from a place of caring, of wanting to control a wild child who's driving everyone crazy, or teach them ways that will make their lives easier.
I've noticed that many people say they are grateful to their parents for beating them because it shaped them up or taught them something. Even my boyfriend is like this. I'm not sure how, but this worries me a lot, I've always thought of physical discipline as a method of coercion in the absense of other parenting methods, and this seems to support that.
I grew up in an environment where physical discipline was held over my head as a weapon of fear. Whenever things got physical, though they rarely did, I feared for my life. My mother has threatened to kill me a couple of times, while waving knives around, and/or coupled with a beating. My parents only ever hit out of anger, and it never taught me anything. I was left with lasting anxiety (trauma?) because of that. I would never want to inflict that on someone else. But I understand that the physical discipline I experienced was most likely abnormal. Or was it?
I'm really not sure, so I'd like to ask for your experiences. Did your parents physically discipline you? Did they do it to teach you or out of anger? And what do you think of it now?
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