Is it still abuse if my mom only hits me under certain circumstances? Whenever my grades don’t satisfy her things get pretty rough but when she’s happy with them nothing ever happens to me, I’ve had people tell me that that’s not normal but I thought everyone’s parents did that ?

Anon, I am so sorry to hear about this. Your friends are right, it is not normal or healthy for your parents to hit you under any circumstances. Its abuse.

Think about it. Is it ever okay for another adult to hit a child? Why would it be okay for a parent? Please, if you need someone to talk to, feel free to send me another ask, or a message, any time.

Here’s a story I like to share about violence against children.

When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.

The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.

-(By Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking. Originally shared by Vivian Brault, founder of Directions, Inc.)

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