Two Sides of It: Running Girl — To Spank or Not to Spank

The Major and I have differing views on the spanking issue.  16 years into our parenting and my side is holding steady.  I am in the anti-spanking camp.  I’m all about the Time Out and talking through the choices our kids make.  Why did you make that choice?  What do you think you can do differently the next time?  What do you think the consequences should be for your actions?

  • I like that I can say to my children, “We don’t hit.  I don’t hit you.  I have never hit you.  You don’t hit me.  You don’t hit your friends.”
  • Studies suggest that spanking leads to aggression in children.  Children model what they see others do, especially their parents.
  • Spanking can lead to lower self esteem.
  • These days we are working very hard to encourage bonding and attachment.  I feel spanking would create fear in my child.  I want to be respected for my patience and understanding.  I want to be fair in my punishments.  I want my children to understand their punishments, not just fear punishment.
  • All parents get angry and frustrated sometimes.  Spanking when angry?  Probably not a good idea.
  • How do you determine when to spank?  Where is the line?  What behavior determines a spanking and what doesn’t?
  • Having your child being afraid of you is not the best environment for learning from your mistakes.  Children focus on the spanking and not the reason behind the punishment.
  • Spanking teaches kids that if you are bigger, stronger and have the power then it’s okay to hit them.  If you are angry then it’s okay to hit.
  • Don’t we want to teach our kids that hitting does not solve problems.
  • What memories do we want to create for our children?

As for The Major’s post and his comment about parking lot behavior, I kindly draw your attention to my father’s technique for dealing with my sister putting me on a motorcycle.  I wasn’t even there for the doll smashing, but man, I remember the story.  I think we can be more creative with our consequences than spanking.

I believe The Major and I have some theatrical talent.  A well placed, “GASP!” and “WHAT are you doing?!?!” can work wonders.  I can cry at will.  That freaks my kids out.

For older kids, we had another arrow in our quiver that we used to accompany the classic Time Out.  The Major had a friend who told us about “Dad’s Jar of Dirty Jobs” for when his kids got out of line. The Major re-christened this “The Jar of Opportunities”.  It included slips of paper with things such as: clean the toilet, write a 100 word essay on (fill in the blank), write a letter to a relative, mop the floor, etc.

We’ll have to keep “The Jar of Opportunities” on the back burner for now.  First, Island Boy needs to get the whole alphabet down before he can start reading from “The Jar of Opportunities”.

"Look Mama! I made a letter F out of ham!"

–Running Girl

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tara on October 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    We used to spank here and there. We have officially quit. Doesn’t work and is not ever a fun thing afterward anyway. We do time-outs frequently and a lot of repeating of this sentence: “I am so sorry you made that choice and no I have to give you this consequence”

    Reply

  2. You have a lot of kids to repeat that line to. I’m sure some of them hear it more than others. That Paige…when will she shape up?

    Reply

  3. Posted by Lisa N. on October 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

    We were never “spanked” as kids, but I do remember a few tight grabs of my wrist- being pulled in the direction of my bedroom, while the other hand came around to “tapped” (firmly) on my bottom. Then we were sent to our rooms for misbehaving. There was another time I must confess, just once & thats all it took, when my mom, (who is literally a saint, she would not hurt a fly) slapped me on the face. I was 15/16 & it was fully deserved. I know to this day, that it was much harder on my mom, then it was for me. I had done something very stupid & certainly deserved that type of reaction.

    As a parent now myself, we opted for the “time out” form of discipline. Although there were a few tantrums my son had that were really challenging to sit through & breathing deeply. But I realized spanking him at the moment wasn’t going to do any good for either one of us.

    So I guess i come down on both sides of the issue. Different situations call for different forms of punishment- I could never see slapping any of my kids, but i’m sure my mom couldn’t either. I love her dearly. It didn’t cause me to become an “aggressive” spanking parent myself. And there are certainly some teenage kids I see today that I’d like to give a swift kick in the …. but I’ll leave that
    to their parents to decide on proper punishment. 🙂

    Reply

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