Friday, December 11, 2009

To spank or not to spank....That is the Question

I am part of a group in yahoo comprised of single parents and the question of spanking came up and there was a bit of a heated discussion to be had by all involved. The following was my input...and I felt it appropriate to put here on my blog...

I have always found this argument to be (a) amusing (b) too damn late...why didn't people argue this crap when I was growing up and it could have done me some good! I am like Christian Comedian Mark Lowery...People say that spanking will squelch your child's personality? Well momma squelched my personality all over the damn house!!!

Seriously though. I do use spanking. I will admit I am a bit of a softy with my kids and they get away with murder with me. My older two I only have during the summer...and I don't want their memories of the summers to be of spankings and other "negatives". My youngest, well...ok I admit it...I am my youngest child's sucker...and if you tell her I said that I will deny it all!!! I do, however, believe that spanking is an appropriate form of discipline. There are a couple of points to be made...(sooner or later you guys will tell me to shut up with my long ass posts! lol)

(1) I find it amusing when I hear good christian people talk about the evils of spanking when I had plenty of scripture displayed in color on my ass growing up! "Spare the rod, spoil the child" that one in particular spent a lot of time emblazoned in neon colors of black, blue and I continue? I believe the Bible has many good words of wisdom to take from it, and I believe that this is some pretty appropriate advice.

(2) Before Dr. Spock and his kind came around to tell us about the wonders of "time out" spanking was the expected course of action and society seemed to be a much better place to live in. Children knew how to treat their parents, and knew how to respect society and its rules. Somewhere along the way we managed to find "better" a way of raising our children...but society has taken a steep decline in the process.

(3) Children must learn consequences. It is why spanking worked. Let's face it, punishment and pulling priviledges only work so much. The children know eventually they will get their cell, tv, xbox, etc. back. It is a waiting game. And time out? I laugh when I think what would have happened if my parents had used time out on me and my brother....that would have been time for me to sit down...think about what I had done...and figure out how to get away with it next time! I am not saying these things do not work at all, I use them with my daughter as much as possible. But sometimes it is necessary to get their immediate attention. And few things have that immediate impact as effective as spanking.

Too often children's first true encounter with consequences is when they are 18 and slammed face first on the hood of a police car with a criminal record that will last them a lifetime. The true lesson of life, and the most important, is that life has consequences...good and bad. For every action there is a reaction of equal or greater consequence. Too often children fail to learn this lesson till it is too late, and it is not the student's fault that they fail to learn is us the teachers that are to blame.

Now, don't mistake what I am saying to mean that a spanking is always appropriate. Too much spanking will make spanking meaningless. Excess of anything removes its value, to both you and your child. There are certain rules I follow when it comes to spanking:

(1) Self discipline. You cannot discipline another if you cannot discipline yourself. I refuse to spank when I am angry. It is my personal rule. Furthermore, to ensure I do not overdo it I give the same amount of swats every time. Structure is the key to discipline...particularly self discipline.

(2) Love follows discipline. I don't hug up immediately...that defeats the purpose. But I will make sure I sit down afterwards and talk about why she got spanked, hug her and tell her I love her.

(3) Do not let your personal experience with spanking cloud or influence your practice. Too many times the people I hear that disapprove of spanking refer to their own childhood. Just because something was not done right, does not mean that it is wrong. If you let the negativity inflluence you then you will (a) under discipline making your discipline a joke rather than an effective means of discipline. (b) over discipline making your discipline become either abuse or routine.

Effective discipline of any kind requires imagination. Let's face it...children have to use their imagination to get into some of the messes they get into (I sure as hell did!) and trying to get out of them. Raising a child effectively also takes some imagination. Discipline is no different. Sometimes we have to use our imagination to find ways to get through to them. Don't rely just on time outs, groundings or even spankings when disciplining your child. Use is the spice of life.

This may have come out all wrong, and I am sure some disagree with me on this. It is ok....I respect that.


Sylvia said...

Well, your comments have not come out wrong in my ears.
You have put my thoughts into writing.
As for myself, I have proof of the vality too.
My oldest son, raised by myself in his first years of life has grown up (with the occasional spanking among other creative consequences) to be a respectful person toward his parents and authority.
My other two children, born much later and with a father who was afraid to loose their love if disciplining, live with struggles to manage life, responsibilities, respect etc.
Thank you for posting this, and hopefully it will inspire a few parents and benefit their children


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