I've been lurking here a long time. One of the topics that I rarely see disscussed is how many of you parents beat their kids because the religion told them to? If so did you really beat your kids (after reading from the bible) or did you ignore the rule? Those who did beat their kids, how do you feel now about having beat them? Have you apologized or made up for it in some way? Modern psychology and total common sense proves that beating children for whatever reason leads to a child's aggression and depression and emotional difficulties in later life. My half sister was beaten by her JW father and she still believes she deserved it. She said it was okay because the father said he was doing it out of love for god and the religion. Obviously, that is a very f---ked up way for her to feel. I would like to hear some intelligent answers from parents who have done this and if they feel badly now, and also from children who experienced it. Maybe something you say will help me help her. Thank you
Beating your kids
My step-father has told me as well as others in the cong that my stories are a LIE!!!! My sister-a JW elder wife and my half-brothers heared him say it and are stunned that he
won't admitt we were treated very badly. Of course because I am no longer a JW he CAN say I am lying because no one will come and ask me about it. His son----my half-brother
beat me almost every day and admitts how bad he was to me and is sorry, but again my step-dad told everyone I am lying. My mom won't stand up for me either.
Now as an adult and raising my own children, I did get help to learn how to handle kids because I had nothing to judge what is normal discipline for children. I still feel much anger
for the abuse I lived with, but am doing pretty good now. There is no way in hell I would ever not believe the stories of abuse from some of the ex-witnesses.
Most of our abuse was mental,but there was physical abuse and we were told to lie since my step-dad was an elder. (my mother told us to lie).
I remember hiding because I was so scared of his rage. He through me in a closet for sucking on my brothers soother when I was 4. His spankings were so bad that we couldn't sit for days.
My sister was thrown through my gramas glass door(breaking it) then had her arm twisted and thrown down the stairs. Just a few examples of presiding over your family properly.
Sorry, but feeling a little bitter right now and just needed to post!
I can't speak from a parents point of view when it comes to spanking and physical punishment. I have children, but I feel guilty even giving them time outs. I'm a horrible disciplinarian, I'm more apt to laugh at their antics than punish them.
I can speak from experience of being a child beat on a regular basis because some men in Brooklyn told my Father to.
As much as I'd like to think I've totally moved on, and as much as I cringe at the cliche' of "having a bad childhood", I still carry quite a bit of baggage around from all that.
My Dad never told us twice... ever. He told us once and then we were beat. There were times I was given a note to get out of PE because of the bruises from my middle back down to my knees. It still makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.
I won't get into all the horror stories, just suffice to say I still carry the feeling that my Father never loved me. My brothers and I were mearly little robots to be beat into submission. My Father never knew me as a person. The disciplining policy is a big reason for that. My feelings were irrelevant... my obedience was all that mattered. They don't make any effort to understand the psychology of children... just make them fear punishment, and your children will do anything to try to make you happy.
It worked until I was 17, I took the first chance I got to get out. That's the problem with the system... control only works so far.
I don't know if this answers any of your questions... just a bit of rambling on my part. I find it hard to even articulate this stuff... it's pretty buried.
I can't really answer the question, exactly, cause I'm not a parent... but I thought I'd comment anyway...
I am so sorry to hear about any of you that were beat. A lot of people think that I am very "radical" in my views on this... but I don't think anyone should hit their kids, ever. Not even a "spanking" or a "tap." You don't go around hitting adults, do you? That's illegal and you can have the police come take you away if you hit an adult... but it's okay to hit a KID!? A small child that can't even defend themselves against you? People that are a fraction of your size? It's ridiculous. People who hit their kids and spank them have absolutely no brain and I think they are completely cold hearted. How much intelligence does it take to raise your fist or hand to someone? Not much. Anyone can do that. An intelligent parent can find other ways to discipline besides hitting. How about using some words and talking things out, too, for that matter? But I suppose for lazy, dumb "parents," it's easier to just hit the kids. How embarassing it must be to be a parent like that... to know that you are just BULLYING someone so much smaller than you.
We were abused too. Belt, willow switch, fist, you name it. Verbal abuse was always there too, and the screaming and yelling.
I resolved to do it differently, so I only used a spanking as a last resort, and only on a bare behind with an open flat hand. First we used every other option. We also talked about it afterwards, and I never ever did it in anger.
However, because I was raised that way, because I'm an uppidy, independent female, I was told all my life I would need a "strong" man to control me. So I went out and found one. You guessed it, he was abusive. So even though I was not abusive to my son, his father was. I stayed for 15 years because I was supposed to. I tried everything to be more submissive and compliant so that he wouldn't be abusive because I was told if he was abusive it was because of something I was doing to set him off (by my dad the elder and by the congregation elders).
After 15 years I left him and I left that asinine religion for the last time. Unfortunately the damage was done with my son. Although he and I are great friends he still has issues around his father and how he treated him. I doubt he will ever feel his dad's appreciation and support because his dad just doesn't know how to give it. So sad.
But we can't go back, we can only learn and move forward.
I sadly share many of the experiences of having been beaten and overdisciplined in the name of this religion. While I admit to not being the perfect parent, I have never beaten my children (one daughter, one son). As a result of my experience, I actually went slightly detrimentally the other way--I'm pretty over permissive. I was admonished to corporally discipline my daughter at the meetings as early as 4 months of age but failed to do so and was looked at askance.
When I was pregnant with my daughter and told the elders that I did not intend to use corporal punishment of any kind, they said "Give it time, see what happens".
Good luck in helping your loved one deal.
Love and light,
My mother wasn't one of JW's and she beat us kids mercilessly, but never at church. I was much kinder to my children, though I did spank them occasionally.
Please, it's important for all who raised as JW's, lots of people spank their kids, not just JW's.
I remember beating my oldest daughter. That was 28 years ago, felt bad then and feel worse today. I never beat any of the other children after that. Beating is not the answer.
Did you guys really "beat" your kids, or did you spank them? There is a difference. Where I live, the mental health officials consider anything other than using an open hand on a bottom, child abuse. I guess this varies from state to state.
When I was growing up, I got what you called "whoopings" even before my parents came into the "truth." I didn't view it as abuse. I knew that every lick I got, I deserved, but then again, I was a very outspoken and smart ass kid. I don't think spanking is considered abuse.