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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