I come from a family of hitters. My parents were hitters, and their parents were hitters. For all I know, their parent's parents were hitters. Not something I love or am proud of; but there you have it. Smarting off? Wham. Objecting to a comment? Wham. Voicing an opinion? Wham. Parents were the aggressors, children never dared to retaliate. That's just how it was.
However, by around fifteen years of age, I'd had my fill. My mother, unfortunately, was not very good at reading me during that period, and had not realized that this mental shift had occurred. The next time I said something that she did not approve of; she let me have it, hitting me on my arm...and I let her have it back, hitting her on her arm. Not hard, mind you, but a warning that enough was enough. Registering complete shock, she came back at me with another blow. I returned the favor. She did the same, turning the exchange into what became a game of 'slapsies'. The both of us were going so fast and hitting so sissy-like that it finally looked absolutely ridiculous. We stopped hitting each other and started to laugh. That is the first and only time I have ever laid a hand on my own mother, and, to her credit, it is the very last time she ever chose to hit me, breaking that long family chain. Left over is a somewhat fond memory of the two of us facing each other, sissy-hitting just as fast as we could, in a lame, limp-wristed style, and then collapsing into uncontrollable laughter.
I come from a family of hitters.
My children do not.