Christmas 1989 was memorable for my low income family.

Christmas 1989 was memorable for my low income family.

My pops somehow rustled up enough money for a less expensive ColecoVision. Only game we had for it was Smurf Rescue, so we played the hell out of that game day in and day out. Beethoven's 'Pastoral' from his 6th Symphony is forever burned into my mind in the best possible way thanks to it.

Years later I found out he put in almost 40 extra hours of work in the weeks prior to get us that. Humbled the hell out of me.

He wasn't perfect, but he was wise beyond words.

I got a bit too mouthy when I was young and called my mom the "C" word. We were a church-going family and that simply wasn't done. Add to that the fact that my mom was a saint working every day to make our house a home and keep our lives as good as our situation allowed. I had crossed a monumental line.

Mom was stunned and crying. My dad hugged her, whispered something in her ear, and she came over and hugged me. She said "I love you and forgive you" as the tears from her cheeks transferred onto my own. Dad asked her to go outside for a walk for 20 minutes.

He took me down into the basement, explained that he and my mother loved me more than anything in the world, maybe even more than they loved themselves, and that I had to learn what it felt like to hurt someone you loved so deeply.

He took off his belt, and handed it to me. He told me to whip his back as hard as I could, and if I let up I'd have to do it for twice as long.

Now, I loved my father. By the second hit I was in tears and pleading with him not to make me go on with this. He made me continue. At the end, when I was a crying wreck and his back was a red, raw mess, he held me and said all was forgiven.

I learned that day what it feels like to cause pain to someone that loves you. I learned how my mother had felt when I had betrayed her with my words earlier. Sure, my dad could have whipped me instead, but I don't think I would have learned the life lesson I did that night. Never mind the fact that he never once raised his hand to me his entire life regardless.

I have never begrudged my dad for that night, and I will never, never forgot that lesson. Not even till my dying day.

Holy shit

Damn. Sounds like a good man.

My dad would have tossed me out the window

And then your mom lovingly kneeled down, touched you on the shoulder, and said, "I'm sorry, honey, but the princess is in another castle."

I was so poor I had to put it on lay away at walmart and make weekly payments from my $5 allowance. My dad went and got it out and surprised me after like 5 or 6 weeks.

Also when I saved the princess, I paused the game and waited till my mom came home and met her at the driveway jumping up and down screaming "I SAVED THE PRINCESS! I SAVED THE PRINCESS!"

Holy shit indeed.

I can't even tell if that really happened or he's just trying to fuck with my emotion, god damn!

Lesson: never call your mom Catholic.

I was working in a restaurant that year and I heard a very old waitress tell her bus boy "I would like to give you more because it's Christmas but I need to keep enough to get my Grandchildren the Nintendo they want so bad."

The kid was shocked "You would take money from me to get your grandkids what they want for Christmas?"

She took his hand in both of hers and looked him in the eye and very kindly said "Honey, I would kill you to get my grand children what they want for Christmas."

My dad regularly beat me with his belt. My mom used a paddle.

It was me, so dull your pitchfork tines. I mentioned this story a long while back though.

How many tens of millions of redditors are there throughout the entire world, all telling their stories a million times each day in a million posts. Yet my tale from back in the day made enough of an impression that you remembered it almost word for word.

I'm humbled by that too. Thank you... sincerely.

That was the same day I got my NES. I was 4, and it ended up being the love of the first 18 years of my life.

I still can't beat goddamn Battletoads, though.

Edit: Who am I kidding, it was the only love I had the first 18 years of my life.

thats the exact face i made when my folks got me the NES. we were pretty poor around that time too

What the fuck are you

defenestration is a small, but still culturally relevant child rearing tactic.

Stories like these make me doubt if I will ever be a good father

Happy Cake Day ?? Sorry for the awkwardness of this.

If you care enough to think about it you're already miles ahead of many if not most.

Ahhhhh that tv. Completely remember turning it off with a pop and then watching as the ghosts slowly faded away on the screen.

Well this made my day. Murderous grandmothers are the best.

I wish my kids would understand how lucky they are compared to when I was a kid growing up.

It saddens me and angers me when I walk by an angel tree and see the items some little boy or girl wants for Christmas and think about how much they will cherish those items. And then think about when I get home from work, walking into a home filled with every toy imaginable and then hear my oldest complain and whine because he doesn't like something about his shirt/shoes/stuffed animal/fill in the blank.

I grew up with next to nothing. Raised by a single mom in a small rural area and she worked harder than anyone I have ever met to give my brother and I the simplest of things. Witnessing that drove me and I promised I would give my children the things I could never enjoy myself growing up.

I don't know what's worse. Being spoiled or having nothing. And it is extremely hard finding that happy medium as the smiles/laughter are like a drug when they get something new but at the same time, the lack of appreciation is like a kick in the stomach.

As a single parent , my mom was able to buy my brother and I a Super Nintendo and a game boy for Christmas. I don’t know how she managed to do it making 15K/yr, but she did and it was the best!!!! Her sons are now college graduates and professionals. Now we get to buy her stuff.

Holy shit

I was expecting it to end with the undertaker meme.

That's a bit fucked up :/

edit: actually it's extremely fucked up. I can't believe some people think that's 'beautiful'. Madness.

That's... fucked up.

I used to get the belt occasionally growing up, but the one time it actually worked was when my dad handed me the belt and said "I want you to feel the pain I feel when I have to punish you" and told me to use the belt on him. I couldn't do it of course, and started crying. He knew I wouldn't. I remember it to this day.

But if he had actually MADE me hit him? Much less for several minutes? Yikes.

We were low income too and I remember begging my parents for a sega genesis and my mom kept telling me it was too expensive, so I gave up on that fantasy.

I later found out my mom had worked overtime for weeks to save up enough money to get us the sega that Christmas.

All my friends had one which would suck as I would have to sit and wait for them to get bored so I could have a go which was around the time it was dinner so I had to go home.

But now that I’m a working man, we’ll let’s say the tables have turned.

Don't abuse your kids. Read about what abuse is (physical, mental, financial) and don't do those things. Read about how to raise a child that is emotionally competent. Teach your kid how to cook, and clean, and change a tire, and get a clog out of a sink, and how to determine the interest you'll pay over the life of a loan. And don't push a bunch gendered bullshit on them, i.e. "be a man" or "act like a lady". Encourage them in their pursuits even if they are weird af to you, and even if those pursuits scare you a little bit.

That's a paddlin'

I can't decide whether that's sweet or sorta fucked up hahahaha

They made him buy a Nintendo Switch, then smacked him around with it.

God damn you, if I could give you more than one up vote

the ghost of christmas past

This reminds me of my little brother when he caught Lugia in Pokemon Silver. My mom was at a diocese meeting chatting with the heads of the church, when my little brother bursts through the door exclaiming with joy, “I CAUGHT LUGIA!!! I DID IT!”

Instead of getting salty, the preacher turns to everyone at the meeting and said, “We need to live every single day with that kind of happiness. The world would be a better place.”

When the ipod became really popular in 2004, my brother really wanted one for Christmas. Mom couldn't afford it; they were $450 or something like that, and he knew she couldn't, because he actually just asked for money for Christmas to put toward one. He wasn't irritating about it, but we knew he wanted one. In Canada there was a contest where if you drank pepsi, you got a contest code to put in a draw, and for about two or three weeks they were giving away a free ipod per HOUR, with one of these codes. It took me 6 days, and about 12 pepsis, but I won one. When I gave it to my Mom to give to him for Christmas, she almost started to cry.

The look on his face for Christmas morning was a very shocked one, followed by the one above. Haven't forgotten it.

Smile, I believe.

I'll ready the pitch forks after I'm done crying.

Your friends and their parents were shitty. All of my friends and I (well, moreso our parents making us) would switch off every game or play a two player game at all times. Or we didn't play Nintendo.

And trust me, we can't believe you don't see the value in the lesson taught.

My parents were emotionally and physically abusive. I would have loved this much thought and care and lack of anger put into my discipline.

same here. TIL/TIF!

today i learned, tomorrow i'll forget

My dad quit whipping me when I started laughing. I took all the joy out of it.

Was waiting for jumper cables

I've heard this story before. Like legit almost word for word. Not really sure if it was this guy or someone else though.


Same I struggled with teenage mutant hero turtle sewer lvl ...I couldn't jump one of the big Jumps...I dispair...

Thank god your parents weren't Asian you would have just died

Source: Asian with Asian parents

Did not expect that, not at all. Hell, it had an effect on me, a 41 year old male who was never hit even once as a child. That's one of the worst punishments I've heard of, yet one where the child wasn't physically hurt. Bet you never did that twice.

Man this hits me in the feels today. My parents got one for my brother and I from Santa. They were pretty poor too. I loved it because my brother would actually let me play with him for once since I was the annoying younger sister.

Our parents divorced the summer after and life was rough after but my brother and I still gamed together like crazy.

Come time for us to go to college we agreed to share custody of the NES. He took it the first year, his freshman year. Then he let me have it for a year. I gave it back to him after my year with it and he returned to school. I went and stayed with him in October for a weekend and we spent the weekend playing Mario and partying. It was a very eventful weekend similar to dude where's my car.

Unfortunately he died in early January following that October and my parents wouldn't let me go help pick his stuff up from his apartment. I was upset and said I was worried they'd miss something important. Sure enough they did not get NES. We spent our whole childhood building an epic collection of games and accessories and memories and it was the only thing I wanted and it was the one thing they left.

I haven't played or wanted to play NES since.

Kinda both, isin't it.

And then think about when I get home from work, walking into a home filled with every toy imaginable and then hear my oldest complain and whine because he doesn't like something about his shirt/shoes/stuffed animal/fill in the blank.

Honestly, you only have yourself to blame for that. All throughout history there have been gracious kids, and there have been bratty kids.

Care to elaborate? The lesson appears to work and the guy seems to never require another instance to have learned the lesson. What method would you have used?

i'm just glad it didnt end in mankind being thrown from a steel cage


That’s something you have to teach them. Kids won’t learn to value and appreciate stuff if all it takes is asking and they get whatever they want.

I get wanting to give them the childhood you didn’t have and have them never want for anything, but doing so without any structure leads to spoiled, ungrateful kids.

That's enough Reddit for today. Jesus Christ.

Those Winter Sundays


Sundays too my father got up early 

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, 

then with cracked hands that ached 

from labor in the weekday weather made 

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. 

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. 

When the rooms were warm, he’d call, 

and slowly I would rise and dress, 

fearing the chronic angers of that house, 

Speaking indifferently to him, 

who had driven out the cold 

and polished my good shoes as well. 

What did I know, what did I know 

of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Thought you might like this.

No way it’s most. If there were more bad dads in the world then good this world would be a really bad place.

I was expecting the last sentence to be "Not even till my dying day in nineteen ninety eight when the Undertaker threw Mankind..."

Wow. That's when we got ours. Same bundle, same low income situation. You got me reminiscing OP.

Which is why I grew so fond of Luigi!

God damn, the reverse belt whipping. Could have backfired if you were a budding sadistic maniac. Glad it didn't.

I had a similar fight with my mother when I was young and my dad sat me down and told me to remember that no one in this world will ever love me like my mother would. Not nearly as spectacular, but I have never forgotten that either.

My son is 10 years old and I still doubt my abilities as a father on a daily basis. I've been pretty much just making it up as I go along for the past 10 years, hoping that I don't make a massive mistake that could scar my child for life.

You're lucky. My father would just beat me savagely with a pair of jumper cables.

I had to go out into the backyard, rain or shine, and pick my own switch. If I tried to go too thin, I got twice the punishment, and their standards were high.

That's a paddlin'

New word of the day!

A bit?

Yep pretty much how it went for us too.

Famicom is the real thing. Wtf you talking about?

This was exactly my 1989 Christmas! I was 10 😀

technically a thin straight branch. its not supposed to be thick because you don't want to cause permanent damage. You're supposed to be able to whip into a kids butt or thigh a bunch of times before it breaks.

source: expert switch picker

edit: don't try to hopping around trick either. My friends told me if you're getting a beating, hop around a bit a scream like you're in pain and they'll miss more. You get less of a beatdown and the parents get to feel good about you screaming for pain. The first time i tried that, my grandmother, whom I love dearly, told my dad, "Look at him screaming like a little girl. Hit him harder." In my family, you're supposed to take it like a man.

This! My husband is a scout leader in our church. He teaches 6-8th graders. Last night at the awards ceremony ( our nephews do it too and since we raise them I was getting pics!) a woman stopped me and asked if I was Commander Bubblegumdaisies wife. I said yes and was grabbed in a hug I did not think was possible. She told me her son ( who is in 9th grade now and no longer in my husbands group) adored my husband she wanted me to know what an impact my husband had had on her son. See my hubby is a huge Star Wars/ LOTR nerd. ...and we recently discovered has ASD ( formerly Asperger's) . So he's a quirky guy and passionate about his interests. Her son is also a massive SW/LOTR fan. Her and her son's father are not the fantasy book type and while they supported their son's interest ...they didn't get it. Hubby did. Apparently her son's confidence has soared since discovering he wasn't "weird" and that there are adults (with WIVES- his mom winked at me here) that were just as passionate about his interest as he was.

A switch is a piece of wood that you break off of a tree or bush. You go out and find one then bring it back to be spanked with it. Similar to a belt.

This is gold right here, it's like the Lifetime Movie of Mario.

We all did. UHF/VHF channels complete with the tin foil antennae

I can tell you're British because you called them Hero Turtles instead of Ninja Turtles.

Louisa May Alcott's father did the same thing to her.

We were too poor to afford those either.

Hopefully they'll realize when they're older and have families of their own.

Yea, that sounds like some sect sort of behavior.

I'm fairly sure we had that same TV growing up.

Huge lifetime lesson learned for you that day, however I hope you find a more 'creative' way to teach your kids a complex lesson.

Yep. Though the Dad probably saw himself as some kind of martyr or some shit. "Don't worry son, I'll take the pain for your sins of... swearing." Fuck me.

I agree. I'm pretty astounded at all the down-votes for people objecting to, or questioning this.

I would never in a million years force my own child to harm me as a component of her own punishment. That's just... insane.

(Edit: wow, there is a LOT of pushback in these threads by people that think this is a wonderful method of punishment. Some of you are using the harm of corporeal punishment as an argument that this was an effective, healthy alternative. REALLY? The alternative to inflicting violence on your child is forcing your child to inflict violence on you? What kind of gladiator bullshit is that. Seriously.)

My job is done.

I hope my boys appreciate me as much as you do with your single mom :) Merry Christmas!

Wait....they were called "hero" turtles there? How in 30+ years of life have I never heard this? Our best friends for the last three years are from England and I know we've talked about them because I have Ninja turtle drink cups and a t-shirt i lounge around in.... Never once did he tell me this...I feel betrayed.

Do they not have ninjas in England or something, why did they call them hero?

That's beautiful. Your parents sound like they really tried hard, and loved you very much.

The number of people on Reddit who come out of the woodwork defending child physical abuse as "quality parenting" is just astounding.

There's such a body of evidence that corporal punishment is likely psychologically damaging, and has little effectiveness as a parenting measure (inb4 the anecdotal evidence of "I was beaten and now I'm a rocket surgeon." That's not how behavioral research works).

And mostly from an ethical standpoint; what rational adult wants to hurt a child?

They're kids. They're going to screw up. They're not going to listen. They're going to be dicks at times. That's what being a parent is all about. You don't hit your spouse, you don't hit other adults, you don't hit pets, but somehow people want a free pass to smack their five year old, who is just learning how to be a functioning human in our society, and is sometimes pushing or crossing the boundaries on acceptable behavior. Ironic that part of what society deems as "acceptable behavior" is to not physically assault other people, yet some people want to use that assault to create that acceptable behavior in their own children.

Take away a few privileges now, and they'll start to appreciate them.

We don't have much but we have a Nintendo. Score!

I'll tell you buddy, just the fact that you're asking yourself that question is a good sign you'll be. Constant doubt makes you try harder.

Smurf Adventure. The only game where three blades of crabgrass can kill you. F that S

"Murderous Grandmothers" sounds like my new favorite band.

Oh, I'm no hero. I guarantee someone else would have made that joke eventually.

I don't know what's worse. Being spoiled or having nothing.

In my experience the answer is "being spoiled" 100% of the time. No question. You're much more likely to find honest perspective and humble appreciation for life when you have nothing. You're much more likely to figure out who you are and what you want, imo.

It's one of the reasons I really don't want to have kids. Because I know exactly how responsible I am for their ability to navigate reality and I don't think I'd be good enough at it. I'm also pretty selfish with my time..

Gyromite played just fine without that Johnny5 ripoff.

Yeah, I said it.

You will burn in hell for that

I think it's time R.O.B. makes a comeback.