Are You Ashamed Of The Way That You Disciplined Your Child?

by minimus 42 Replies latest jw friends

  • mothership

    ours got a swat on the rear when they were all under 5 years old. after that age we didn't think it was necessary, for dicipline taking them aside and verbally scolding them was effective. I think we would of raised them the same way if we hadn't ever been witnesses.

  • Mary

    It seems to me that people today go from one extreme to another when it comes to disciplining their children. Either they don't discipline them at all, or they beat the living hell out of them.

    I for one do not see anything wrong with spanking a child as a last resort. There is a huge difference between spanking a child on the bum once or twice for corrective purposes, and beating the crap out of them. There was one kid in my Hall a few years ago, and her parents never disciplined her. Even at the age of 6 and 7 they let her run all over the Hall during the meetings, she pushed the other kids around (even tried pushing one kid in the fire pit at a congregation get together) and was a spoiled little brat. One night, I was talking to her mother which apparently annoyed her daughter because she hauled off and kicked me as hard as she could on the shin. I was stunned that she did this and completely expected her mother to at least give her a spanking.(my leg hurt like hell I might add). She didn't. She didn't do a f*cking thing, she just stood there and said "Jessica, don't do that." So I reached down, grabbed her by the arm and spanked her good and said "if you ever kick me again, you'll get it twice as hard!"

    Her mother didn't think I should have done that because she "didn't believe in spanking children." Ya, well too frigging bad. I don't appreciate some little brat kicking me like that either. And guess what? That kid never kicked me again and was much nicer to me after that.

    Down at the other end of the scale, we had a couple who used to beat their kids if they so much as turned their heads during the meeting. The elders knew this and did nothing about it. I felt so sorry for those kids and I asked one elder why they weren't doing something about it. The oldest boy, Brian used to come to the meetings with bruises on him and everyone ignored it. We ended up calling Children's Aid and a caseworker was assigned to watch the family. Unfortunately, I believe that the beatings continued and the oldest boy has now been charged with B&E's car theft, etc.

    I think discipline has to be BALANCED. I don't expect kids to behave like perfect little angels during the meetings, (which is why I firmly believe they need to have Sunday Schools), but you can't let them be little terrors either. Talking, reasoning and denying them things like watching TV, playing with their friends etc. can all be forms of discipline, but in my opinion, spanking is certainly sometimes warranted.

  • gitasatsangha

    One of the events that helped me stop going to the meetings was that I was constantly given council on how I should discipline my child when she was little. Kids make little noises. Deal with it. But this one ministerial servant said I should have spanked her, in some conversation to an elder after the meeting. I heard it and walked up to the ministerial servant and said I would much rather hit him then my daughter. His face turned crimson. The elder looked like he wanted to say something, but really, how to you counter that statement?

    The next week they made a decision that all parents with children should sit on the back two aisles. Literally. We didn't go to the back of the bus, but instead sat where we always did. My daughter tried singing some kingdom sing after the School was over. She didnt know the words but had some fun with that. Frankly it sounded as cute as a damned Kingdumb Song was likely to get. The same ministerial servant came up and whispered real loud in my ear. "You need to keep her quiet." I grabbed him by the lapel of his jacket (one of those moments when everyone in the Hall sort of stop singing, I guess), and pulled him closer and told him to leave us alone. After that we walked out. There was a perfunctory damage control visit to my house, but that ended nowhere. I have never been back there and of course now after all these years I have no reason to go back, thank God. I'm not mad at the ministerial servant, any longer. He's just some misdirected order-taking order-giving buffoon working his way up the ladder. Who knows maybe he changed his mind. Maybe he is reading this.

    I've done some stuff I am not proud of to say the least, but one thing I am happy about is that I never let the Society interfere with taking care of my kids to the best of my ability.

  • MrMoe

    I recall one girl (my friend) in our hall was severely beaten with some sort of paddle for passing a note at school with the “F” word in it. I think (guess) she and I were about 10 years old when it happened. She was severely bruised, her entire butt was solid purple and black and entire back of her thighs, and the front of her thighs were also pretty badly bruised. Welts that broke through the skin, we are talking marks that were so bad they stayed on her for a very long time. Her father was an elder btw.

    I spoke to my parents about it, and the response was it was too harsh, but nothing can be done, they broke no rules. She was alive and OK, and the bible does say spoil the rod spare the child. Maybe they thought I was blowing it out of proportion.

    As a kid, I was beaten with numerous items. Mostly at the hands of my mother. Hairbrushes, yardsticks, orange tree branches (thorns hurt,) bare hands, wooden spoons, you name it. At the time, I accepted this behavior as normal. Fact is, not a day went by where I was smacked or screamed at by my mother. Dad spanked me, but it was RARE, I had to do something really out of line, and when he DID, it was like he didn’t even want to. Like he was going to cry, but it was his duty to correct me in that fashion.

    Later on I recall (long after my parents never smacked me – I outgrew that for of punishment) my mother discussing how a parent SHOULD spank their child, and that is what is wrong with the world. Spoil the rod… and she went on and on about the early Christians and how they spanked their kids, and even stoned them to death if they did so much as talked back.

    Then, I became a parent. It was rare, but there were occasions where I would smack Emma. Swat on the butt or the hand. Mostly I stuck with timeout etc. I can't say I ever spanked her so to speak, but a light swat maybe no more than a dozen times.

    Then, one day, I swatted her butt pretty hard, and her lip pouted - eyes filled with tears, and she said to me, "Mommy, it's not nice to hit." I felt horrible. Just horrible, I felt so disgusted with myself. Totally changed my view on spankings. Felt such guilt, here I physically caused harm to my daughter - no different than when my ex-husband smacked me around to keep me in-line. Doesn’t depend on the degree, or how hard you hit, the point is, you are hitting – abusing – inflicting pain – beating a child to keep them in-line and to incite fear. A child is innocent, helpless... So at that moment I decided never to lay another hand on her.

    Now I rarely discipline her at all, but use positive reinforcement. Yup, I hardly ever correct her for being a kid, but rather, talk to her and channel her energy elsewhere. Of course, I am blessed with a kid who is very smart, where I CAN reason with her, explain things, make her see what or why she did something was not appropriate. When it is necessary to correct her, I stick with privileges, such as movies or night snacks. And guess what? She is still very well behaved. In fact, I find she is better behaved than ever.

    I openly admit I used to think spanking was OK. I also openly admit I was very wrong. It is never ok to hurt a living being, man, woman, child or otherwise. Part of me will always feel guilt for ever hitting my daughter. Makes me sad right now to think about it.

    Not sure if spanking has everything to do with the religion, but I do feel it makes matters worse, and justifies them.

  • SheilaM


    Well, these responses have left me in tears! Did I spank my children Yes, did I beat them no. My husband was raised in the crap so he felt the kids should be silent, or so he thought then when he would get them outside he would usually sit in the car with them or walk around cause he just couldn't beat them for being bored. Hell we were bored and adults!

    I remember two instances vividly 1. He told my kids who were really small 4 and 6 to "get me something to beat you with" My son the 4 year old got a pillow my daughter the 6 year old got a huge book, she glanced at the pillow and frowned then Thunder said "How many swats do you want" Melanie said "hmmm 6" and Anthony grins and says "none" My hubby grabs the book and acts like he is going to use it to swat her Melanie "screamed "WAIT THAT'S NOT FAIR" We were rolling it was so cute (neither were spanked). The other time I told Thunder to spank them and I hear them screaming I was perplexed why he would be hitting them so hard, I walked in and he had a big fat plastic kiddie bat and he would whapp the bed and the kids were screaming on cue, he had never touched them!

    I do wish I hadn't yelled as much but I had so much repressed anger andI always explained my reactions to the kids, so they KNEW it wasn't them but the crap we were subjected to.

    As far as Thunder he was beat and beat badThey had after the meeting beating and I'm sure it was bad. They were beat every single meeting, I just don't understand that. I am glad I listened to my heart and not what they told me to do. But I saw so many children that were dragged outside it still makes me sick.

  • SheilaM

    Mr. Moe: I guess we posted at the same time LOL THAT IS SO WONDERFUL that you were able to change so radically from that incident. I had a Mom to that used whatever was handy and I know what that feels like.

    Billy: I am so sorry that your parents were so harsh, to beat you and to shake a baby makes me just sick. I KNOW you will be a great Mom because you realize how wrong they were.

  • ozziepost
    For those of us that accept the Scriptures, we understand that giving your child a physical beating is not the best solution. The "rod" can clearly be any type of discipline that could effectively reach a child's heart.


    My daughter was spanked probably about 3 times in her life. I could almost always reason with her to help her see why it was necessary to behave.

    That was our experience too.

    I am not ashamed of how I disciplined my child. I am ashamed that some misused the Bible to promote beating a child and mentally torturing , too.

    Yeah, we had some like that over here too. There's no doubt that each congo had its share of weirdos, we found. I can recall that the R&F were fond of saying that you could play any old tune on the Bible, little realising that it could apply to them too!

    Cheers, Ozzie

  • shera

    I was thinking of this alot lately,why do many JW's over spank their children and yell too much?I did spank my daughter and there was times,I yelled a lot.I was told by other, older sisters to spank her more ,which I never did thankfully! I have become a better mother after I left and I will never spank my children like that again.

    God's org my A$$!

    I have said sorry to my daughter for being like that...ticks me off a great deal that I listened to those .

  • Auntie Flame
    Auntie Flame

    More like regretful over the *things* I fussed at them for and the activities I didn't allow them to engage in...(sigh)

    Auntie Flame

  • david_10

    Minimus, you say that the Society would never recommend child abuse, but I'm not so sure. They would certainly never use the word "abuse", but the end result of what they do recommend is the same thing. It amounts to abuse. I was born and raised in the organization and my dad was the Congregation Servant, as they were called in those days, and the Congregation Servants, and all the servants for that matter, were under a lot of pressure to set the right example for the flock in everything from going out in service to keeping their kids in line. And the Circut Servants, as they were called in those days, were not shy about lowering the boom on any Servants who were not setting a "good" example. As a result, my 2 brothers and I were always getting to take a trip outside. I can remember that as we were driving to the meeting, I would get this sick desperate feeling, knowing that I was only about 15 minutes away from getting the first of 2 or 3 whippings before the night was over. I still frequently drive that route and down that street-----------the same old houses are still there, the same dips in the pavement are still there, the old Kingdom Hall is still there although it was sold years ago and turned into a senior citizens' center. The neighborhood around there hasn't changed much in the last 40 years or so. And to this day, when I'm driving down that street, I still get that same sick desperate feeling that I got as a kid. It is a vestige of my childhood that will never go away. And of course, when I made the transition from child to parent, I took that attitude of child-raising with me and put it into practice on my own children. After all, I turned out good, so that proves this arrangement has Jehovah's blessing. It's shameful and there's not hardly a day that go by that I don't feel guilty about it.

    Normally, I always enjoy Ozzie's postings on everything he talks about, but this time, I must strongly disagree. (Ozzie, are you listening?). He says that it is drawing a long bow to blame the Society for whipping our kids. Well, just exactly where did we get the idea that it was OK to discipline our kids with with violence. This has been a theme that has pervaded organization mentality from Russell's time to the present. Whip your kids and scare them into serving Jehovah. I don't have have any publications with me to prove this point, but I do have a songbook right here in front of me. Even in the songs, the message is loud and clear. Example: # 164 Children - Precious Gifts From God The first verse says: "......our children are a possession to train and teach. They are gifts from God. He says 'Use the rod.' " EXACT quote. What are they telling parents to do? They are saying that it's OK to whip your kid and then sing about it, for Chrissake.

    This has been a very good thread, and I have enjoyed all the honest and candid responses (yes, even yours Ozzie.) For me, anyway, it has even been cathartic and cleansing to be able to write about it.


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