synthetic zero

September 27th, 2010

For a short time, when I was a young child, my mother and father used to spank me — my mother somewhat frequently, my father relatively rarely.  My mother’s spankings were somewhat mild, I didn’t mind them that much; she would often give me a choice between spanking and going to my room for a while, which softened the blow. But when my father spanked me, it was a fearsome event, something I really dreaded. I think he only did it two or three times. And then he just stopped; never did it again.

I asked him once, sometime in my twenties, why he had stopped spanking me as a young child. He said that when he became a father he decided he would have to start from scratch, assume he had no idea what he was doing. So he didn’t start with the presumption that any particular thing he did was necessarily “right”. And, he said, he observed that his spanking me was having a bad effect. So, he stopped.

Needless to say, my father is one of the people I respect the most in this world.

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2 responses to this post:
  1. kat says:

    my mother spanked me once and then sat out on the porch crying for ages afterwards, which upset me considerably more. that was the only time she spanked me.

    September 28th, 2010 at 7:11 pm
  2. Magda says:

    I was spanked twice by my grandfather and once by my mom. I remember each time vividly, because they were ‘events.’ My mom has never spanked my brother. I cannot imagine her attempting to say or do anything negative to us. She’ll cry to guilt trip us to no end, but I feel she does not have a sort of malicious bone in her body.. and that’s rare I think, but somewhat to be expected considering what her husband and my biological father did to us.

    I am not sure what spanking accomplishes or how it became custom to do that to children.

    And in no way am I saying that physical negativity is any better or worse than mental negativity… and I don’t say abuse, because I think that can be contested in context.

    September 29th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

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