My parents used to hit me as a child, but did that mean they were bad parents?
My parents (especially my father) would sometimes hit me as a child. It is never a good feeling is it? I would feel awful and its not just the physical pain of it - emotionally too, you feel so down and depressed. My father would sometimes use his belt. The provocation for him usually was the fight between me and my brother (we never got along). We would create quite the ruckus and he'd sometimes just lose it and let loose. However, I could see that my father never enjoyed or preferred beating us. He'd usually regret it and quite often make up for it by bringing us some goodies. My cousins were worse off than I was - they'd get beaten quite frequently by their father. Their father believed beating was the best way to discipline kids. My father, on the other hand, didn't believe in beating, yet couldn't control himself the odd time that we got rowdy.
I personally never viewed my parents as being bad parents because of the beating. But, I always felt the beating could've been done without. There were many times when I was hit for no fault of mine so the sense of injustice would linger afterwards. If my brother was the instigator and I was the victim and my father didn't see the incident, he'd hit us both. Perhaps, he thought that he was being fair by dishing out punishment to both. But, obviously, the innocent party would feel done in by. I respect my father enormously and he's been a great guy, but this is one part that I wouldn't replicate with my own child. I wouldn't smack my kids for sure. I would let them know their boundaries but in a nonviolent way.
This is a tough subject and there are differing views. Some parents think smacking is fine and feel they shouldn't be judged upon or viewed as criminals by others who don't quite agree with their methods. Others view smacking as lazy parenting and choosing it as the easy way out rather than sit and talk with the child and let them understand by persuasion. I personally think as long as the hitting doesn't cross the limits and can be categorized as physical abuse, it should be left to the parents to choose the way they want to discipline their kids.
My father wasn't a bad parent. He provided for us and loved us very much. Today, I respect him a lot and love him for all the things that he did for us. I do remember those episodes when he occasionally beat us, but since it was rare, I personally didn't get affected by it much. I don't hold any grudges against him but I do wish that he could've held back and not given in to hitting. I don't think hitting makes any difference anyway. I don't think it makes kids better disciplined for instance. If it is overdone, I think it could end up with the kid having a grudge against you. They might perhaps respect you less as a parent, if the hitting was really bad and affected them at a much deeper level.
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