Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Saturday, August 28, 2010

C: Whoopings!

Yes, I’m stuck on childhood memories lately.  I had someone recently share about their family’s discipline practices some decades ago.  It was similar to my own.  We both endured the “pick-your-own-switch” order.

It was a day and age when spanking was not frowned-upon—not even given a second thought as to whether  it might be wrong.  I don’t think I was harmed one bit by my mama’s discipline habits.  I admit that there are those of us who probably should not spank their kids because of anger problems, but that was not an issue in my home.

My mother would, indeed, use a switch on us, and I recall that the little, skinny ones were the worst—they’d wrap around our legs, making us dance.  Sometimes, there’d be one handy on the top of the refrigerator.  She’s also gotten after us with the fly swatter (which I hated because I imagined those little fly legs coming off on my own) and, let’s not forget the handy paddles provided by those paddle-ball toys.

Having said that, please don’t get the impression that she beat us daily.  No, if anything, she was pretty lax, but we’d push the envelope sometimes and have to be brought back down to size.  And, it was usually Mom who did the spanking, probably because Dad was at work all day.

One time she got the switch after me, and I took off like greased lightning, smug in my knowledge that there was no way she could catch me.  She chased for a minute and then, to my amazement, turned and went back into the house.  Wow!  She gave up easily!!  I remember vividly how my glee at having won turned to dread as I it dawned on me that I would have to return to the house at some point.   I became a bit worried about what awaited me when I did return…I was right.  Mom did not forget to teach me a lesson, and I never ran from her again.

In raising my own son, I believed in spanking.  I had a very easy kid to raise, so spanking was not often required, but he knew I’d do it…that was usually enough.  And what spankings he got were swats on the butt with my open hand.  I don’t recall ever using a switch or a paddle on him, and he was terrified at the mere thought of the legendary belt—which was never used on him, either.

I recall one time when my husband had really chastised him for something serious (can’t remember.  I bet he remembers, but I don’t dare ask because he’d  probably hit me if he knew I was writing about this). 

My husband came back from the discipline session telling me that our son had begged him to do anything—“just don’t use the belt, please!”  My husband said, “I’d never use the belt on that kid—it could not be nearly as bad as he thinks it would be…the threat is plenty!”

And, we had an “out-of-the-mouths-of-babes” moment one time when I was in the car with my son—about six years old.  I said to him:

Why is it you are so quick to obey your father while it takes a bit of effort for me?  Has Dad ever beaten you or something?”

And my little son turned and said, “No, Dad has never beaten me, Mom.  But you know how it is with full-grown males: you never know what they might do.”

And that, folks, is the truth.  C

17 comments:

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

You know "C", I vividly recall your mom chasing you and your brother round the house with her flyswatter! Yeah, my mom kept her switch on top of the refrigerator, but sometimes it would mysteriously disappear and she might find it all broken up into pieces! lol Of course, that did not keep her from picking a new one--what were my sister "K" and I thinking?! I can still hear mother saying "I'm going to make you dance a jig"!!! If you got backed into the corner of the kitchen, and couldn't get away you did "dance a jig".
Stick Horse Cowgirl "V"

Linda Hibner said...

Oh my, what memories! My mother liked to use a small peach tree limb. I remember the sting being soooo bad. I was never beaten or mistreated, but I do remember physical punishment was always the handiest choice of the day. With our own children, spanking was an option that we used very judiciously. Time-outs, loosing privileges, stern warnings, or early bedtimes were our more usual discipline bill of fare. I always hated to use any kind of discipline tied to church and church attendance because our kids lived their lives at church. They took naps on the pews and played house in the choir loft. You see, my husband was Minister of Music--called a Song Leader back in the day. He always wanted his little family to sit as close to the front of the church as possible. He felt that that set a good example for the backseat Baptists in our midst, and that our children behaved better. Wrong! One bright Sunday morning, our then 3 1/2 year old daughter wiggled, laughed, and did everything distractive possible. I realize today that Laura was just being a preschool who was tired of sitting still in church. Back then, I was embarrassed for my husband, and I finally had had enough. I picked Laura up and started walking down the long aisle (made longer because we were so close to the front) with a kicking, fussing preschooler. Mid-way down the aisle and Laura turned all her attention to the pulpit area, made eye contact with her dad and began to loudly repeat over and over and louder and louder, "Daddy, Daddy, help me! Save me please! She's gonna spank me!She's gonna spank me bad!" Of course, the congregation was hysterically laughing by now, and Laura realized she had an entire audience. I can't begin to describe the dramatics that followed as I stopped walking and started practically bounding down the aisle. A friendly and laughing usher opened the big back door, and out I ran to the nearest ladies' room. By now, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't begin to be serious about discipline. I remember that once I regained my parental composure, I rendered as grave a warning as I could about church behavior (probably quoting scripture!). We went back in, but sat in the rear of the church behind a lady with a BIG hat. As you might surmise, I never had to sit close to the front of the church again--at least not with a preschooler.

Linda Hibner said...

Oh my, what memories! My mother liked to use a small peach tree limb. I remember the sting being soooo bad. I was never beaten or mistreated, but I do remember physical punishment was always the handiest choice of the day. With our own children, spanking was an option that we used very judiciously. Time-outs, loosing privileges, stern warnings, or early bedtimes were our more usual discipline bill of fare. I always hated to use any kind of discipline tied to church and church attendance because our kids lived their lives at church. They took naps on the pews and played house in the choir loft. You see, my husband was Minister of Music--called a Song Leader back in the day. He always wanted his little family to sit as close to the front of the church as possible. He felt that that set a good example for the backseat Baptists in our midst, and that our children behaved better. Wrong! One bright Sunday morning, our then 3 1/2 year old daughter wiggled, laughed, and did everything distractive possible. I realize today that Laura was just being a preschool who was tired of sitting still in church. Back then, I was embarrassed for my husband, and I finally had had enough. I picked Laura up and started walking down the long aisle (made longer because we were so close to the front) with a kicking, fussing preschooler. Mid-way down the aisle and Laura turned all her attention to the pulpit area, made eye contact with her dad and began to loudly repeat over and over and louder and louder, "Daddy, Daddy, help me! Save me please! She's gonna spank me!She's gonna spank me bad!" Of course, the congregation was hysterically laughing by now, and Laura realized she had an entire audience. I can't begin to describe the dramatics that followed as I stopped walking and started practically bounding down the aisle. A friendly and laughing usher opened the big back door, and out I ran to the nearest ladies' room. By now, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't begin to be serious about discipline. I remember that once I regained my parental composure, I rendered as grave a warning as I could about church behavior (probably quoting scripture!). We went back in, but sat in the rear of the church behind a lady with a BIG hat. As you might surmise, I never had to sit close to the front of the church again--at least not with a preschooler.

Linda Hibner said...

Oh my, what memories! My mother liked to use a small peach tree limb. I remember the sting being soooo bad. I was never beaten or mistreated, but I do remember physical punishment was always the handiest choice of the day. With our own children, spanking was an option that we used very judiciously. Time-outs, loosing privileges, stern warnings, or early bedtimes were our more usual discipline bill of fare. I always hated to use any kind of discipline tied to church and church attendance because our kids lived their lives at church. They took naps on the pews and played house in the choir loft. You see, my husband was Minister of Music--called a Song Leader back in the day. He always wanted his little family to sit as close to the front of the church as possible. He felt that that set a good example for the backseat Baptists in our midst, and that our children behaved better. Wrong! One bright Sunday morning, our then 3 1/2 year old daughter wiggled, laughed, and did everything distractive possible. I realize today that Laura was just being a preschool who was tired of sitting still in church. Back then, I was embarrassed for my husband, and I finally had had enough. I picked Laura up and started walking down the long aisle (made longer because we were so close to the front) with a kicking, fussing preschooler. Mid-way down the aisle and Laura turned all her attention to the pulpit area, made eye contact with her dad and began to loudly repeat over and over and louder and louder, "Daddy, Daddy, help me! Save me please! She's gonna spank me!She's gonna spank me bad!" Of course, the congregation was hysterically laughing by now, and Laura realized she had an entire audience. I can't begin to describe the dramatics that followed as I stopped walking and started practically bounding down the aisle. A friendly and laughing usher opened the big back door, and out I ran to the nearest ladies' room. By now, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't begin to be serious about discipline. I remember that once I regained my parental composure, I rendered as grave a warning as I could about church behavior (probably quoting scripture!). We went back in, but sat in the rear of the church behind a lady with a BIG hat. As you might surmise, I never had to sit close to the front of the church again--at least not with a preschooler.

Linda Hibner said...

Oh my, what memories! My mother liked to use a small peach tree limb. I remember the sting being soooo bad. With our own children, spanking was an option that we used very judiciously. Time-outs, loosing privileges, stern warnings, or early bedtimes were our more usual discipline bill of fare. I always hated to use any kind of discipline tied to church and church attendance because our kids lived their lives at church. They took naps on the pews and played house in the choir loft. You see, my husband was Minister of Music--called a Song Leader back in the day. He always wanted his little family to sit as close to the front of the church as possible. He felt that that set a good example for the backseat Baptists in our midst, and that our children behaved better. Wrong! One bright Sunday morning, our then 3 1/2 year old daughter wiggled, laughed, and did everything distractive possible. I realize today that Laura was just being a preschool who was tired of sitting still in church. Back then, I was embarrassed for my husband. Finally, I picked Laura up and started walking down the long aisle (made longer because we were so close to the front) with a kicking, fussing preschooler. Mid-way down the aisle, Laura turned all her attention to the pulpit area, made eye contact with her dad and began to loudly repeat over and over and louder and louder, "Daddy, Daddy, help me! Save me,please! She's gonna spank me!She's gonna spank me bad!" Of course, the congregation was hysterically laughing by now, and Laura realized she had an entire audience watching her. I can't begin to describe the dramatics that followed as I stopped walking and started practically bounding down the aisle. A friendly and laughing usher opened the big back door, and out I ran to the nearest ladies' room. By now, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't begin to be serious about discipline. I remember that once I regained my parental composure, I rendered as grave a warning as I could about church behavior (probably quoting scripture!). We went back in, but sat in the rear of the church behind a lady with a BIG hat. As you might surmise, I never had to sit close to the front of the church again--at least not with a preschooler.

Linda Hibner said...

I can't believe it. First, I take a chance and write too long a comment and then my computer acts up and tells me that the comment did not print. So sorry for the repeats of the same comment. Please, please delete the excessive comments and then delete this one. You're both the best!

Vee said...

Ha! Well I, too, was swatted and I, too, did some swatting. I remember well the year I found the wooden spoon graveyard beneath the lilac bushes. (We believed that we should use something besides the hand.) I'm quite convinced that a number of children could benefit from knowing that a paddling was forthcoming.

Packrat said...

(I haven't visited for a while. Sorry. I'm not sure why.) You had me laughing out loud. My friend and I were discussing this very thing. Oh, I hated the fly swatter!

There was a child in the store the other day that I'd like to have swatted. Sadly, all parents can do now is say, "Please stop." If the child doesn't stop, what is the punishment?

KathySue said...

Well, as V has already described, discipline at our house was usually handled by mother with a dreaded switch. I also recall trying to get out of the punishment by removing the switch or running away, which only resulted in more stripes on my legs!

On the other hand, I recall whenever I misbehaved in "public" my daddy would render a hard "thump" on the head. He also very effectively used the phrase, "I am so disappointed in you". It is still a mystery to me how easy it was for my dad to get me to behave, and for the most part I observe this in other families. Anyone have some philosophical reason this is so?

Immigrant Daughter said...

As daughter of greek immigrants, sticks were never used because the big hand of my father sufficed. He was the the one who kept us in line. I do think the boys got spanked more than the girls, and me the youngest I received the least spankings of all, not because I was good but because I was under foot all the time when mom died. But my sisters have their stories.

Vickie said...

Priceless!!!

My folks believe in spanking, too. I got my behind paddled quite regularly with the switch, the flyswatter, and on occasion - usually when my mouth got me into trouble - with my dad's belt. Dad holds onto one of my arms and I'm running around him in a circle yellin' bloody murder each time I got a swat! Ahhh, those were the days!

Ayak said...

I was also brought up with spanking as a punishment, and I believe it was the best way. Discipline has disappeared these days...at least in the UK it seems to have. I do agree that spanking shouldn't be done in anger..it's the wrong reason. It should be a punishment if all else fails.
I used to give my son the odd slap on his bottom or legs...he was a difficult child! But I never had cause to do so with my daughter.
This kind if discipline still exists in Turkey...which probably explains the reason why Turkish kids have respect for their elders and are generally so well behaved!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh yes, things were definitely different back then, and I doubt that any of us suffered any real damage from it. We may possibly be better because of it! Lately (probably because it's been so hot), I've thought a lot about vacations we took with the car windows "rolled" down and no seat belts (we'd never heard of a child car seat). I really don't remember the car being unbearably hot, but now, I guess there's no such thing as "optional" air conditioning on a car. Love your "out of the mouths of babes" quote from your son! laurie

Zuzana said...

Hello girls, I am back from my travels and your blog never disappoints.;)
A very interesting subject. I was disciplined as a child. Over the years this made me not believe in disciplining children physically, buy the again I do not have children of my own, so I can not say what i would do.
In any case, when i was a kid, physical discipline was very normal and very common, in home and school. Today in Denmark and most Scandinavian countries it is against the law.;)
Have a wonderful Monday,
xo

Happyone :-) said...

My mom was the hitter in my family. She used to hit me with the rubber spatula and they were thick back then!! When I thought I'd be getting spanked I would hide it.
There are things worse than spanking. My mom used to tell me I was bad and didn't deserve to have a a mom. I had to call her Mrs______.
I spanked my kids VERY RARELY and used my hand on their bottoms when they were young.

Debbie said...

Hey Friend, your story brought back lots of memories. My dad did the spanking, and I got plenty, my last one at 13 for driving his car around town. He would use whatever he could find - hairbrush, hanger, belt, board, shoe - always on the butt and HARD. We knew we had been spanked! Yep, I learned from the best, and my boys felt the board of knowledge, too. Surprisingly, they all still love me. :)

Joy said...

Oh, this was soooo good! I got quite a chuckle out of the 6 year old's comments! And yes, I knew, just like your mother knew, that you had to return home at some point! I remember one time knowing I was going to get a spanking---I slipped little children's books down the back legs and seat of my pants so a switch/paddle wouldn't hurt! I was so smart! Don't remember what my mom thought of it. My kids were pretty well-behaved. I don't think my daughter was spanked more than 5 times, and with my son, all I had to do was give him 'the look' and he straightened up. I miss those days!

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