No more wooden spoons!

by Kanesha

As a gen-xer born in the 70s, there were certain parenting techniques that were employed. YES, my parents spanked me (sorry mom, but I’m spilling the beans).

No, I’m not bitter about this. I just find it super odd that my mother acts like it never happened and I better not DARE lay a hand on her two grandchildren.

I was sitting around the other evening with my *MIL watching Jeopardy (we watch it EVERY night). At a commercial break I told her that my hubby had considered buying a wooden spoon (a plain ole kitchen one), wrapping it up all nice and pretty, and giving it to her for Mother’s Day, as a joke.


I chuckled, she didn’t.

She turned bright red and said, “Oh, I would have been so embarrassed.

Whoa! Not the response I had expected.

You see, my mom used a belt to lay down the law and my MIL used a wooden spoon for my hubby and his two siblings.

I quickly told my MIL that she needn’t be embarrassed. The 70s were experimental and wacky. Nobody knew what was going on (disco anyone?). But no, she was clearly upset.

She said she’s glad things have gotten better and that we don’t have to parent like that any longer. Hmm… I had not thought about it in those terms.

I never told my MIL this, but I often thought she viewed my hubby and me as lightweight parents when it came to discipline.  We don’t yell and we don’t spank. We talk it out with the kids, do time-outs, revoke privileges (which in reality only punishes US), and sometimes just throw our hands up and grab a cocktail. (OK – the cocktails are just a quick fix when we’ve lost our minds.)

That brief exchange about the wooden spoon was enlightening.

I didn’t mention the wooden spoon conversation to my husband, but I know I won’t let him gift his mother with a wooden spoon. Some things of the past should stay there.

What’s your stance on spanking? How do you discipline your child (ren)? Do the grandparents offer you any “tips” on disciplining your child(ren)?
(*MIL – mother-in-law)


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Teresa on May 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    This post is eloquent and insightful, not to mention well-written.

    I was spanked with a belt. My dad cut the buckle off and used this modified item as the discipline tool. Cutting the buckle off indicated a level of prudence about the harm the spanking might do but it also took thought about using the belt in the first place. My brother was smart. He cried easily and quickly, which always got my dad to stop. (He confided this strategy to me much later.) I was much more recalcitrant. I was not going to cry. So my spankings lasted longer. After one particularly intense spanking, which raised welts on my legs, my dad said no more spanking and just like that put the belt away. This was when I was about 12 years old. Discipline thereafter was banishment to my room and removal of privileges. For the life of me, I can’t remember what it was I did that was deserving of spanking…. I’m a baby boomer by the way, born in the 50s.

    I never hit my own son, not once. Didn’t have to. He started talking at age 10 months. He was a wise little yoda. Talking always was enough discipline. Thank goodness, I would not have been able to spank.


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