When Discipline is Child Abuse

by A concerned parent
(Indiana, USA)

I'm doing a paper in one of my college classes on child abuse, and when does punishment becomes child abuse. I was abused as a child/teenager, although my mother would never think so. I was merely disciplined in her mind. I am older, and have a daughter of my own, and after listening to a fellow student do a speech on child abuse- it made me wonder. When is punishment pushing the line of child abuse? I've shared with very few people my past. Although, some knew it was going on without my saying a word. I now worry though, am I raising my daughter the right way? I discipline her as well. Never to the extreme that I went through of course. I've always sworn never to be like my mother. I see my mother in myself so frequently though, that it scares me. I know at times I've had to walk away I was so mad and afraid that I would push that line- then I would be so upset that I would cry for an hour. I love my daughter more than anything in the world and never want her to live the childhood life that I did. I want her to be happy and grow up a happy child- looking forward to coming home every day- rather than looking for reasons to not have to be home. I've never spoken with anyone professionally about what I've been through- just pushed it deep down inside. I can't remember a lot of my childhood. Funny I remember the abuse though. I don't know what to do in order to make sure that I don't repeat the steps my mother and step father took. I want to be sure that when I do punish my daughter I'm not taking it too far. My daughter is wonderful! She's smart, does very well in school, she's outgoing, has many friends, is in sports and cheerleading. She seems happy enough- but when she gets mad, she's mean. She reminds me of myself. I don't know how to break the cycle.





Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Comments for When Discipline is Child Abuse

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May 02, 2010
To concerned parent...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

The fact that you're asking about this is admirable. It shows that you really do want what is best for your daughter. But I suspended my Ask Darlene section on this website well over a year ago because I do not have the time necessary to answer questions for my visitors, which is why I've removed the questions you've posed. I will however point you toward my Abuse and Discipline page. And for the sake of both you and your daughter, I will also suggest you do seek out some form of counselling in order to help you deal with the repercussions of coming from an abusive environment.

[To my other visitors:] Please don't use this comment thread to speak to the perceived virtues of spanking, because such comments will be deleted. I do not consider physical punishment as appropriate discipline EVER, nor will I allow any page on my site to become a place for others to support it; I have a well documented history on this issue. If that's your intent, I suggest you go elsewhere. Thank you for your understanding.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir


May 02, 2010
I was disciplined too
by: Scott 1

My advice to you is to read my story. The comments are insightful and eye opening. You are not alone. How much was too much??

I wish the people punishing us as children had done a little reading themselves..

Teachers can read cant they?

May 03, 2010
I won't rear my child they way may parents I was.
by: maurice

You'll be fine, now that you have posed the question and you are showing concern about it and the rearing of your child: Darlene has given you a woman's heart comment with her professional training on dicipline and abuse: She knows at first hand that Spanking/beating a child is total abuse: Hi, she is a winner over her abuse after so called discipline from her parents: Great you wrote your feelings and concern on her site: She has given you a comment that will hopefully help you To LOVE your daughter even when she is like you when she gets mad: You are a good MOM, you want always to do what is right for your brilliant gifted child: You will because you know what is best for you both in LOVE. You are intelligent, bright eyed and clear in your thinking re helping your child to live her life to the full, have a healthy mind in a healthy body whil having and making good friends in her life: Darlene has empowered you by her loving words: Thank you again Darlene for re-assuring me that my abuse was wrong in the form of discipline used on me: It was abuse, I know that now, No child should be spanked or beaten on the bottom or physiaclally hit: IT IS OUT AND OUT ABUSE of their innocence, vunerability, dignity: Thankfully the majority of parents, mom's Dad's guardian's love and cherish children as is their right.

May 10, 2010
Child Abuse
by: Jaden

I think that you are being a very nice parent to your kid. I agree people should not beat on there kids. All parents are different though.

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