What Would You Have Done?

So, I am feeling like a monster right now, cursing myself and wishing I was more in-control of my temper. My stepfather controlled his temper very well, and I try to model after him as best I can, but he did spank me, and I have no idea what he'd have done in my position. I am also a stepfather. I married a nurse from my hospital, my lovely wife Katya, and I had known her and her son for four years prior. He is five years old now, and I married his mum my intern year on the surgical course. I am a second year resident now, wanting to go into trauma surgery, and very happy with my marriage. Pyotr is my stepson, and I couldn't ask for a more respectful and polite son, but today was not his best. Katya had never spanked him before, and the most he'd had was a wrist slap at school, but I was not informed of these wrist slaps, probably because he knew, with stepdad, a slap at school meant a slap at home. I had never had to in force this in my home before, but today was my first. I just wanted to know what other parents thought. Am I a monster?
So Pyotr got home from first grade (He skipped a grade), with red marks on his wrists. I noticed them and asked him where he got them, and why. He gave me a sulky look.
"Pyotr, where did you get those?" I asked, putting down my bag of papers that needed signing.
"Nowhere." He grumbled at me. I firmly believe in respect, and would not stand for my stepson talking to me this way.
"Don't lie to me Pyotr." I said, putting my hand on my hip, and giving him the don't-screw-with-me face. He glared at me.
"School." He mumbled, setting his backpack down.
"Why?" I snapped, sounding more severe than I'd intended. He didn't reply, just gave me a sulky face and turned his back. I was getting sort of pissed now.
"I asked you a question. Hello?" I said. His back was still turned. By this point, my stepdad would have been giving the ominous threat: "You answer me, or I'm going to thrash you." I kept my temper though. It had been a long day at work, and I had to wake up early the next morning for rounds. I was in no mood. His mum was still at the hospital.
"I got them because my teacher made a mistake." He said.
"You'd better explain." I said, calmly. I did not say it like a threat, more as an offering to confide within me.
"My teacher, Mr. Sanders made a mistake on the board. He was writing arithmetic equations on the board and he messed up. I raised my hand to tell him, but he ignored me. I said his name, and he still ignored me. I finally just told him he was wrong. I lost my temper, and he got mad." He said. I was furious, but hid it well, or so I thought.
"You corrected an adult? You spoke without being called on? I would have given you a slap too. You need to learn to respect adults, Pyotr. You address me as Sir. As you do everyone else who you otherwise address as ma'am or miss. Understand?" I said. He crossed his arms and looked away.
"Yes." He replied.
"Yes Sir." I corrected. He thought I was done talking to him, and went to go do his homework. I wasn't finished yet though. I was raving mad! If I had gotten a spanking at school, my mum and dad being teachers there, would know, then I'd get a spanking at home. My stepfather spanked both me and my sister, strictly, but fairly. I was not about to let my son get away with behavior like this.
"Where are you going? I'm not done. You need to apologize to your teacher, and you need to apologize to me. You've disappointed me Pyotr, getting in trouble at school is not acceptable." I said after him. He turned and came back.
"I said I was sorry." He said in a bored tone.
"No, you need to make sure this doesn't happen again."
"I said I was sorry!" he said more rudely. This was not at all like him. He usually abided my rules, and was respectful, but he'd never had a consequence at home beyond a grounding and extra chores.
"That is not the way you address me young man. You hear me." I said dangerously. he thought he'd be a smart aleck and test me.
"I said I was sorry, sir." He said in a mocking tone.
"This is not acceptable. You're grounded for a week." I said, and was going to leave it at that, and not spank him, but he argued with me once too many times.
"What? That's not fair! I was already punished at school! You can't do this!" He whined.
"Actually, I can, and I am. You got in trouble at school for rudeness, and now you're being rude at home. I won't stand for it, you know this. Don't argue with me." I said, getting angrier.
"Mum wouldn't!" He said, trying to make me feel bad. I didn't care.
"Yes, she would, and she'd be disappointed in you, just as I am. You're grounded for a week, now if you argue with me once more, I'm going to spank you." I said, putting my hands on the table. He didn't believe me.
"No you wouldn't! And you can't ground me for something I was already punished for!" he retorted. I had had it. I decided to give him one more warning.
"Pyotr, I'm warning you, don't you argue with me. I said you're grounded, so don't make it worse for yourself. Go to bed, right now." I said.
"When is mum getting home?" He whined.
"The only thing I should be hearing out of you right now is yes sir." I said, raising a finger.
"I don't want to go to bed." he moaned. That was it, I was at the end of my rope. I knew he needed a spanking, but after, I am having doubts. I had never spanked him before.
"That's it, bend over, right now!" I yelled at him, pointing to the table. A look of mortified panic came over him. He seemed to shrink, and he was begging right after I said it.
"No, please. I didn't mean it. I'll go to bed sir. I promise sir." He begged. I would have none of it. I had given him too many warnings, now he was going to get his butt whipped. I snapped my fingers and pointed to the table still. I was glaring, and imagined I must have looked pretty scary.
"Pyotr, if I have to tell you again, you're getting the belt. Understand?" I said. It was a totally empty threat. I would never use a belt on a five year old. He believed me this time though. However, he still didn't bend over. I was getting pretty furious but his time.
"Dad, I'm sorry." he tried. I wasn't about to budge.
"Yeah, I bet you are. And you're going to be even more sorry if you don't get your bum over that table. I'm telling you for the last time." I said. He didn't cry easily, but his eyes began to water.
"Yes sir." he whimpered. I walked over and put my knee under his bent bottom. I didn't pull down his pants, but they were thin shorts anyway, so it probably stung a helluva lot. I spanked him firmly about twenty times. I wanted him to know it was serious. He cried and sobbed, and bit the inside of his mouth to prevent from crying out louder. I stood him up and held him by the shoulders. It was what my stepdad used to do after he punished me, was tell me he loved me, and that I'd better not make him do this again. he would then give me a hug and send me to bed. Although, I would always have to sleep on my stomach, because he was far more strict with me than I am with Pyotr. I never thought spanking did me harm, and certainly hoped it would make Pyotr rethink his logic of disrespecting me, and his teachers. I held him by the shoulders, while he looked at his feet, avoiding my gaze at all cost.
"Don't you ever make me do that again. Understand?" I asked, giving him a little shake.
"Yes sir." He said automatically.
"I love you Pyotr. I expect better tomorrow, okay?" I asked, pulling him into a hug. He hugged me back, still sniffling.
"Yes sir." He said, through a shaky sob.
"I want you to go to bed, and tomorrow is a new day, so when you wake up, I expect the polite, respectful boy I know. Alright?" I asked, reciting almost exactly what my stepfather had said to me. He nodded and buried his face in the shoulder of my shirt as I carried him to bed, tucked him in, and kissed him goodnight. Katya is still not home, but I feel like a monster. I cannot believe I just hit my own kid, and wondering if I went too far, or didn't do enough. I seemed to be arguing with myself, and an outside view would be great. I love Katya and Pyotr more than anything else on the planet, and I don't want to be the bad guy. Am I the bad guy?

Princelegolas Princelegolas
26-30, M
3 Responses Sep 16, 2012

It's your call. I never got more than 3 hand smacks over clothes. As I got older it was a smack upside the head, (like a what the h**. Think! kind of thing.) And I got away with quite alot with my mouth. (more than I should have.) I do know I would be upset. But I think I'd wait until the next day, and also realize that while unacceptable, his frustration makes sense. Kids want to be respected, and in my opinion much of the inappropriate behaviors are a way to say, Hey, listen to me. As adults, instead of giving in to the urge to punish alone, we need to model/teach an appropriate way for him to react in such situations. And, for me, someone confronting/yelling at me only ticks me off further. (usually). Just some thoughts. I don't have kids, and am studying to become a teacher of children with special needs, so much of my views are based on concepts we learn in classes.

that happened in russia or usa

oh yes, I know, but he doesn't like it. He wants an english name, and I got a couple of questions from people of what Pyotr meant, and where it was from.

Btw I am in England, not USA. I live in Oxford.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, Pyotr is the russian form of peter, so I didn't spell it wrong. Pyotr would prefer it if he was called peter though, since we live in oxford, and he wants an english name. lol.