I'm 64. Growing up in rural Indiana, my parents were normally strict (read "normally strict" as a quarter of the stuff would have social workers pounding on our door today).

I remember when my brother, at about age five, came inside once again crying because a couple of brothers in our neighborhood would gang up on him. He expected to be protected and comforted. Instead, my dad turned him around and gave him a wack on the butt and told him to stand up for himself. My brother, not being stupid, evened the odds by grabbing a toy rifle and starting batting them with it. He won, much to my fathers delight, but Dad wasn't expecting him to grab a weapon.

He grew up to be a very violent man, including an enjoyment of beating the crap out of his little sister (not stopping at the beatings).

The reason he was allowed to do this was because my mother read in one of her women's magazines that the younger sibling was probably taunting her big brother to hit her so that she could run to Mom to get the elder sibling punished. The magazine article told the reader to just let the siblings work it out.

Here I am reading another magazine 60 years later pretty much screwed up. All I want to know is: What is normal? It's really changed.