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Punishments as a kid

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Nov 12, 2017
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First off, I know everyone will have different opinions about this, and some will think slapping/spanking your child is abusive and wrong, while others don't, so let's try to keep it civilized.

I am just curious, what kind of punishments did you get from your parents growing up? What was the worst you ever had?
If you have kids yourself, do you punish them physical or just by sending them to the naughty step, or banning them from using the internet etc?



Growing up me and my brother were - for a lack of a better word - little shits. Constantly arguing, fighting and just winding one another up. We were also quite naughty outside too when we were with friends.
My mother would always threaten us and tell us to stop shouting and swearing. She would say "if you don't stop, I will wash your mouth out with soap". Obviously, we never believed this and she would say it often so it was basically an empty threat, we knew it would never happen.... until one day she must have been really pissed off.. and she really did it. Let me tell you, soap does not taste nice, and I can assure you, this stopped us from swearing for a good few months :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
I don't swear too much now, not sure if this had that much of an impact or if I just don't like it or see the need etc.
 

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my mother straight up emotionally abused me and neglected me when i was in trouble after screaming at me for a few hours. iwas left alone for weeks without anything. no books or music. i only could do school work. my brothers weren't allowed to talk to me. she would also grab my arm with her nails and drag me if i ever did something to her disliking. she would also smack me across the face anytime she "felt" disrespect. she would also go as far as getting rid of my belongings because in her words "these are mine because i bought them with my money so they belong to me". zero respect for my space or things. she hated my style and would punish me by making me wear the clothes she wanted me to like. and this is when i was in trouble. when i wasn't in trouble, she would make my life hell by calling me names or bullying me. i was "stinky, zombie, skinny, bones, weirdo, spooky skeleton, ect" she hasnt stopped calling me names, the last time i saw her before i went NC, she said called me a grandma because i was wearing a kaftcan. when i look back and think how bullied i was in school, and how i went home and had zero relief breaks my heart for kid me. no wonder i was so suicidal and got into drugs. i was in so much pain.

the last time she put her hands on me, i put my hands on her and we had a full-on bitch smack fight with hair pooling. i remember having her extensions in my head and off her scalp. shortly later she kicked me out of the 2 months before my 18th birthday.


i have so much shit wrong with me because of my childhood. my mother believes because her kids didnt grow up in a shack by the railroad tracks like she did with an alcoholic and a neglectful parent, we had it better. she would dismiss us because we have it so good, and she didn't. be glad i live in 4 bedroom home (she's projecting and diminishing here. she grew up in a one-bedroom with 9 siblings) i understand her behaviors are probably from the abuse and situation she picked up at home growing up, and sadly it became a cycle in my childhood too.


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if i have kids, the first thing im gonna do is keep seeing my therapist and actually put a stop to generational abuse in my family. keep getting help from outside. don't treat your kids like extensions of you, but their own growing persons. and if you kids do fuck up, dont treat them like they are in solitary confinement. fucking parent.
 
Jun 8, 2022
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My mom was the punishment-giver in my house. She spanked us, when we swore she made us wash our mouths out with soap. When we got too old to spank she'd ground us. We lived in the middle of nowhere so we wouldn't be able to go see our friends. My dad would find chores for us to do but that was a fake punishment because he *always* found chores for us to do.

I'm not hitting my kids. I'm not sure what my strategy is for punishments exactly but I know it won't include that. I had some friends growing up whose parents didn't believe in punishments at all. The worst it got for them was their parents would say, "We're very disappointed in you." One of them is a professor of engineering at an Ivy League school who invented a new type of earthquake resistant steel beam, and the other moved to Italy and is a lawyer there, so I wonder if their parents had the right idea.
 

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I was treated violently and talked to very terribly.

We don't hit our kids as a form of punishment or do anything physical. We use time-outs, sometimes I raise my voice, but not very often. I use distraction (ie supporting the child in coming u w alternate activities if getting mischievous) and follow all the methods recommended to me by school professionals, science, etc.

We're both heavy on expressing our affection through hugs, play, and verbal praise. I think it's important for children to know they are important, and that they have rights and freedoms. Their brains aren't developed like ours, so often they're not capable of the same things an adult would be. I also see they get crazy little bursts of energy, and I believe it's important to support them into channeling and using that energy to do fun and productive things, rather than to get into too much mischief. Structure, activities, communicating clearly, routine and lots of healthy foods, laughter and hugs are my priorities, as a parent.
 
Apr 21, 2020
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My siblings and I would get spanked with a wooden paddle if we were very bad. The paddle was mounted on the wall in plain sight. I don’t know if that was meant as an ominous reminder to us to behave, but it did have that effect (on me anyway).

But otherwise we never got hit or physically abused. And if we ever got the paddle we knew exactly why, and it was usually after multiple warnings to stop the bad behavior.

We did get the soap-in-mouth thing for foul language but again, never as a first resort - my parents believed in multiple warnings before punishing. We’d get grounded from time to time.

Thankfully, my parents were not the mentally/emotionally abusive type. My mom was always very blunt with criticism but never in a mean way. If I was being lazy or my grades sucked, she told me without sugarcoating it (but also without making me feel like a failure). She also told me when I did well, so it balanced out.

My dad was a nice guy who had a lot of demons. That will happen when at age 18, before you can even fully contemplate your future plans, your country gives you the “choice” between going to war or going to jail. He fought in the war, came home with issues from that experience, and spent the rest of his life self medicating.

He had no interest in inflicting any form of punishment on anyone after that experience - let alone his own kids - so the most we ever got out of him was a raised voice.
 
Dec 4, 2020
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I won't go into detail of my own childhood, as home and school was tough on a physical and emotional level.
But when I became a parent myself, I vowed that my kids would never have to go through that same shit.
I'm far from a perfect parent, but I have tried to set clear expectations and boundaries, and to give warnings when necessary.
A lot of the advice from so-called behavioral experts from a few decades ago (such as the TV 'Super Nanny') can be shown to be harmful to kids on an emotional level too.
It took me a long time to realise that often what adults see as 'naughty' behaviour is really just a kid seeking attention that they're lacking, and a cuddle and showing interest in them can fix many things.
Other times of course, it's absolutely intended to be disruptive, but that's where the alternative strategies come into play.
 

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It took me a long time to realise that often what adults see as 'naughty' behaviour is really just a kid seeking attention that they're lacking, and a cuddle and showing interest in them can fix many things.
I had to learn this too. For a while after I first had the baby I was so absorbed in trying to heal, look after the baby, and work, that I inadvertently stopped paying as much attention to my other child. They started acting up for exactly this reason, and once I realized why (and started going out of my way to give extra positive attention) it stopped completely.

As humans, we are wired to notice problems and adverse behaviors, but it's also worth the extra effort to praise positive behaviors and express gratitude and praise too.

Even with other adults, if all we ever do is go off when there are problems, but never express praise, appreciation or gratitude for positive things, it really makes life unnecessarily difficult and negative for everyone. And of course damages what could have been positive and supportive relationships, and create bad impressions of ourselves.
 
Apr 21, 2020
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Even with other adults, if all we ever do is go off when there are problems, but never express praise, appreciation or gratitude for positive things, it really makes life unnecessarily difficult and negative for everyone. And of course damages what could have been positive and supportive relationships, and create bad impressions of ourselves.

I totally agree. Gotta call attention to the victories too, not just the failures.

Encouragement and gratitude are powerful motivators. I was always the type of person that didn’t respond well to negative reinforcement, but a tiny bit of praise from a coach or an employer worked wonders. Sometimes all a person needs is to be told “you can do it” by someone they respect.

On that note, @MarieElise, you seem like a great parent from what you’ve written here. (Take that for whatever the opinion of an internet rando means to you, lol.)
 

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(Take that for whatever the opinion of an internet rando means to you, lol.)
Coming from you, that means something to me :) Thank you.
 
Nov 12, 2017
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I have to admit, i didn't expect so many others to have the washing their mouth out with soap.. I genuinely just thought it was me and my brother.
No one in my circle of friends growing up had it done to them (although I think most were not so rude to their parents).. So it's weirdly reassuring lol.
 
Nov 12, 2017
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My cousin would wash her kids' mouths out with soap, and when she did she would use liquid soap, and she would make them swallow it.

Horrible woman.

Yeah that's an entirely different kind of "punishment" (abuse).
My mother only did the soap thing once, I think she didn't even know what the fuck to do, so she just basically "grated" the bar for a little second on our teeth to make sure we got the taste of it.


I can remember one other time, I don't know what I and my brother did but my mother rang my grandad who came round and smacked my brother with his belt (I think my mum was at breaking point and didn't know what to do with us both constantly arguing and fighting each other).. I remember hiding, and hearing my brother scream from the belt smack, I ran out and did a flying kick on my grandad and then I ran like crazy to a nearby field/woods (on the back of our house we had a big open field that had swings and a slide, football goals, and at the back of that was a little wood area)..

I definitely do say me and my brother did deserve what we got, and our mum definitely only did things like the above when she was at genuine breaking point - the end of her tether.
I am a very very different person now compared to how I was growing up (we do finally grow up and grow out of things.. sometimes), and in all honesty, I am truly surprised she didn't give us up to a foster home, so for this, I do respect and love her a lot for (didn't realise at the time until you grow up and look back at all the shit you do). Not sure if your parents did/said similar but it was threats of putting us into a foster home if we didn't stop being the way we were. Happy she didn't give up and do that
 
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I got pretty gentle smacks on the back of the hand when reaching for something I shouldn't or taking something I shouldn't. And I got gentle smacks on the butt when I was being an absolute little twat.

I'm an only child. These things worked on me, and I feel absolutely zero trauma from it. And I would do the same to my child if I had one.

But I'm not having kids, because I don't want to have to decide that, or try to lead a human through childhood to adult life. Fuck that noise. #ChildFree
 
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