To Spank or Not to Spank

22Jul09

In the paper this week was an article entitled “Southern Parents Spank Their Kids.” Really? THIS is news? Obviously these people haven’t been hanging around my house lately or this would never have made the front page of the paper. This is like a page four story around here. I am a firm believer in spanking. My kids RARELY EVER receive a spanking, but when they do it only has to happen once.

Tonight at the gym my Cirque Du Soliel-wannabe three year old decided to hide in a locker from his sister. He wanted to hide in the TOP locker about four feet off the ground. The conversation went something like this:

“Will, stop climbing on the lockers.” … “Will, get down right now.” … “WILL! How many times is Mommy supposed to ask you to do something?” … “Will, what happens when you disobey Mommy?”

He paused and looked back at me. “I get a spanking.” Like lightening, he was out of the locker and back on the floor.

A child in the dressing stall behind me gasped. Yeah, his mom was part of the 62% of Southerners too. That kid knew what a mommy-spanking meant.

Here’s my spanking disclaimer before someone gets their panties in a wad: Spankings and abuse should clearly be two different things. If that line ever gets fuzzy between an adult and a child then someone should intervene. Spankings should be rare and reserved for serious BEHAVIORAL offenses and never for accidents.

*************************************

On a lighter note… what about those moments when your children make it impossible to parent them? Here are a few real-life-of-eL. examples for your enjoyment.

I have the hardest time getting my son to eat at dinnertime. Bribery, threats, hours at the dinner table… nothing works. A few weeks ago I fixed spaghetti – a kid staple, right? The conversation with my son was the same. “Will, you may not get up from the table until you finish your dinner. If you don’t finish your dinner then you will have to go to bed.”

Forty five minutes later, I was folding laundry in the bedroom when my son entered the room. (Remember… HE’S THREE.) “Mom, I would rather go to bed AND have a spanking than have to eat my dinner.” I was dumbfounded. It was all I could do to not fall on the floor and laugh.

“Son, it’s spaghetti!”

He clamped his hand over his mouth. “I not wanna eat it.”

I dropped my head and pointed down the hall. “Go to bed.” By the time I caught up with him, he was in his bed with the light off and his blanket pulled over his head. Maybe I should take a cooking class?

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At our gym is a 50 gallon fish tank that my children are both fascinated with. Will can’t sit still to watch the fireworks show over the Magic Kingdom, but at that fish tank he will sit and stare for hours if I let him! Yesterday, while waiting for my Yoga class to begin, I let Will visit with the fish. He kept slapping his hands against the tank and yelling at the fish. “Will, stop doing that,” I told him.

“Why Mom?” he asked.

“Because you’ll scare the fish. Do you want to scare the fish?” I asked.

He pondered this for a moment and then looked up brightly. “Yes!” 

Do you believe in spanking?

Do I not have the funniest kid on the planet???

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13 Responses to “To Spank or Not to Spank”

  1. 1 Noelle

    I too believe in spankings! I, like you will say…If you…you will…..Mine are learning!

    A Spanking should be a controlled discipline method. Hitting is not a controlled act.

  2. 3 aletheamarinanova

    Spanking is a form of violence against a child. It is an aggressive act that will do nothing but obtain a temporary relief for the adult, and the child will associate their parent with pain and anger.

    • 4 eL.

      I have to disagree. Spanking, when done by a controlled and loving parent, is not an act of violence. My parents spanked me for lying, stealing and being hateful to others and I do not assosciate them with pain and anger by any stretch of the imagination. I thank them for helping me become the adult that I am. There is a huge difference between a spanking and child abuse. Beating a child out of anger and rage is NOT spanking and it is NOT discipline.

  3. here in Jamaica spanking is a household staple. there are probably very few families that dont use that disciplinary method. now there are some that border on abuse and i dont agree with that, but i dont see anything wrong with spanking.

    spanking when used with other disciplinary methods can be very effective. so once the parent is in control and doesnt come anywhere close to spanking i dont see a problem. there is a much bigger problem with kids who arent disciplined at all!!!!

    • 6 eL.

      Amen.

      There are too many children today that have been “spared the rod” to their detriment.

  4. 7 PDeverit

    Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE

    Child buttock-battering for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is just what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child buttock-beating isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson

    NO VITAL ORGANS THERE, So They Say
    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

  5. 8 PDeverit

    Most compelling of all reasons to discontinue this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-beating can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children.

    Some quick research on the subject would yield ample educational material, testimonies, documentation, etc.

    A handful of those who are trying to educate the public as to why child buttock-beating isn’t a good idea.

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

    Center For Effective Discipline

    PsycHealth Ltd., Behavioral Health Professionals

    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu (supports Global Initiative)

    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps

    United Nations Convention On the Rights of the Child

    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children

    Countries where child buttock-battering is illegal: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Italy, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Iceland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Spain, Costa Rica, Republic of Moldova, and more in process.
    In fact, the U.S. was the only UN member who did not sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    • 9 eL.

      I will still have to stand by my personal experience and say that I am thankful that my parents loved me AND busted my butt when I needed it.

      Granted not all children are the same – and most certainly – not all parents are the same. If there is ever a doubt to motive or control, spanking should never be used.

      • 10 eL.

        And I do appologize for not getting back to this sooner… your comments got trapped in my spam filter. Thanks for reading!

  6. 11 PDeverit

    It was the LOVE and CARE they had for you, not their way of expressing it through corporal punishment.

    “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.” -Maya Angelou

    Thanks.

  7. 12 Jamie

    Great story! As you know I totally believe in spanking but it never works so I have taken the advise you gave me last week & so far it has worked better than anything i have tried. Thanks Elicia, much appreciated!!!!

    • Thank Jamie! Good luck! We’re the mothers of girls with hormones. We need all the luck we can get!


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