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My Introduction To Behavior Management

July, 1964      Gloucester, Massachusetts

My mom used to punish us by spanking with wooden paddles. My brother Peter says that dad used to hit him and our oldest brother Joe with a leather belt. At some point he stopped, telling my mom that he was away at sea so much (He worked on a fishing boat that would spend 10-14 days off the coast of Nova Scotia) he didn’t want his kids to he afraid of his coming home. Years later I would learn that every Pallazola fisherman in Gloucester reached the same conclusion…breaking a pattern of physical discipline that was generations old in favor of having a stronger connection with their children. Consequently my mom handled the discipli…ne and i would get hit for fighting with my sister or touching myself in church… I hated the paddles, most of which were decorated with drawings & tacky slogans. One day I was being punished…can’t remember what for. I pretended to laugh when she hit me.She hit harder. I laughed harder. This went on for several minutes with her hitting harder and me laughing  harder until she became exasperated and shouted “Go to your room!” I walked upstairs and closed the door behind me, then cried for several minutes. She never hit me again after that.

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Written by PaulPallazola

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