Jackie's story

I was spanked as a child--in both the "loving" way, with a lecture, an emotionless spanking and a hug afterwards (wow, is that ever the most shame-inducing thing to do to a kid!) AND more random, angry, unexpected rageful swatting, slapping, etc. (which, yes, made me hate my mother for long periods of time).

I am a parent now and intend not to spank my children. Mostly, I have done pretty well, teaching myself alternative forms of good discipline (LOVE the Positive Discipline books).

But the one time I lost it and spanked my older daughter (she was 6 at the time), she looked at me in shock and horror, stood up on the bed where she'd been lying, so as to be my height. She took her hands, put them gently, but firmly on my shoulders, looked me in the eye and said, "don't EVER do that to me again. I don't like it and grownups should know better!"

She had me there. I lost whatever moral authority I had to correct whatever the behavior had been that made me so angry and spent the next half hour listening to her tell me how she felt and promising not to do it again and apologizing and agreeing that grownups ought to know better than to hit children.

On the one hand, I really regret my bad behavior of course. On the other, I am so grateful I got to see the result of 99% of my parenting, which has taught my children that they deserve respect and to never be harmed by a person claiming to love them--not to mention that they can stand up for themselves and demand what they deserve!