Tuesday, October 20, 2009

April asks...what would/do you do?

April writing...

**and no, for you smarty-pants out there...I am not tossing out a hot topic in order to induce commenting...(although it would be nice!) I do seriously wanna know what you think.**

...oh and by the way...this is a long one...so be prepared...

To some it's a bad word.
To some, it's abuse.
To others, it's a normally acceptable way of discipline.

Why myself, I was raised on spankings. I think it did very well for me. Taught me early. I had a healthy fear of my parents...(gasssspppp, you were afraid of your parents?) simmer down. We will get into that more later.

Let me get onto what lead to this post.

I was reading over at another blog, Clover Lane. ( it is where I got the following post.) Let me start by saying this...the thoughts and ideas in the post below are strictly that of the blog owner at Clover Lane and are not necessarily my personal opinions and they do not necessarily represent the views of my Husby and/or how we will raise our children. It is merely a tool to see another side of the proverbial child-rearing coin.

*deep breath*

Now let's continue...this is what she had to say...

"Awhile back, I wrote a post about childbirth, and prefaced it with saying it's one of those subjects, that if brought up in a roomful of mothers, can make everyone squirm in their seats. There are a handful of these subjects...and we all know what they are...that possess the ability to hold in their grasp strong opinions, emotional past experiences, and heated debates.

I will warn you right now...this is not a happy, go-lucky post.

Recently something hit me hard that I just have to talk about. I have been reading a very inspiring, touching book by a Christian author about motherhood and the strong vocation it is. When I bought the book from Amazon, a few recommendations came up below my purchase for other books by different authors...as in, "You'd like these too"...I clicked on one I had heard suggested before...one of those books I believe is "making the rounds". I checked out the ratings...and found it was pretty much divided between one star and five stars. I was surprised...just because I had this assumption that it was a beautifully inspiring book...the title and the picture, the premise...but when I checked out the criticism, I was shocked. Apparently there was an entire chapter on spanking! Like in...it's good! Complete with how-to's, age recommendations, an explanation on "why" it's so necessary...seriously, sick stuff in my opinion.

Call me naive, but parents still spank? And there are popular books NOW that condone this behavior? In 2009? WHAT???!!! When I read what this author wrote about this form of discipline, I seriously felt sick to my stomach. And it takes a lot to make me feel that way. I just felt so "icky" the rest of the day...that this author, as a grown man, as someone who can influence parents, can actually believe what he is writing...as a parent, he sees this method "turn out" good? And that there are some of us moms who actually discard our gut feelings, what we KNOW is right and turn our inner spirit away from our children, towards someone we don't even know...and listen to this garbage?!

Let me tell you something I KNOW FOR SURE:
Spanking will NOT make your children behave better. MAYBE at that immediate time and place, it will make them stop what they are doing out of pain and fear. MAYBE it will make it look, to you and to others, that it "worked". But be prepared...if you practice this form of discipline regularly, in more ways than one, you will create a ripple effect of emotional damage that you can never ever fix.

If you are spanking it the name of religion...in the name of Jesus (as this seems to be a "popular" reason)...you are doing the opposite of everything he has ever taught. Can you see him physically hurting a child? Raising his hand towards a child? In the name of ANYTHING? That's laughable. I've heard it before...the old "Spare the rod, spoil the child." Well, I don't care WHO said it, WHEN they said, or WHERE it's found in the Bible...it's wrong. Yes, if that's what whoever wrote thousands of years ago really did mean that we should HIT our children, I am telling you, it is WRONG. If you spank in the name of Christianity, you might want to revisit Jesus Christ and everything he has ever stood for. He treated and talked about children as if they were GOD himself...the closest thing to pure innocence and goodness as you could ever get.

Absolutely, discipline is necessary in raising children. LOVING your children IS disciplining them. LOVING your children is NOT physically HURTING them. If you have to HIT your children to make them learn, you are NOT parenting correctly in the first place.

How to LOVE/DISCIPLINE your child:
Children need your attention. They need to trust you, and to know that you love them. They need your instruction in words. They need to model behavior. They need you to know their limitations...I'll tell you when I've felt the urge spank a child (and we all do!), it's because I've made the wrong choices! Not them! I've expected too much of them, I've skipped a nap, I haven't been consistent and clear in my expectations, I've dragged them on too many errands, I've stretched meal times too long! I've been too busy with other things...material things, worldly things, things so much LESS important than a spirit of MY child. Break downs happen because of US. If your child's behavior stinks, look at yourself good and hard....change YOUR behavior, change your lifestyle.

Spanking is the "easy way out". It's a quick fix. It's a way of "training" a child, without doing the work. But we all learn....quick fixes all come back to haunt us right? You might see a change in behavior, but NOT in the behavior you want...everything you are trying to "train" against, will show up...anger, aggression, mistrust, dishonesty...the list goes on and on. After all...you reap what you sow.

There is NO right way to spank. There is NO "proper procedure" to follow. I've read spanking is acceptable if you don't do it in anger, and if you explain WHY you are doing it. That's more twisted than ever in so many ways. "I'm going to inflict physical pain on you, because you just hit your sister? I am not angry, but I just want you to hurt." It doesn't take an intelligent person to figure out how backwards that is!

Sometimes you might hear, see or think, "Geez, what that kid needs is a good old spanking!" I guarantee that what that child needs is EVERYTHING but a spanking! I think in the older generations, NOT spanking is associated with overly permissive parenting...where the child rules the roost and any behavior goes. Yes, there is a prevalence of that today...but I can assure you, it's not a result of not hitting the children...it's a result of parents being unwilling to spend time teaching their children the right way to behave. Unstructured environments, no bedtimes, no regular meals, no predictable schedule...the list is long. It's called lazy parenting...and it has nothing to do with the prevalence of spanking...they are one in the same in a way...the easy way out.

What's the hard stuff?

Attention, love, change of scenery, a good healthy meal, a good nap, a good book, consistency, hugs, a stern conversation, a calm environment, a clear set of enforced rules, a time out to refocus, strong parental relationships, a long walk, some fresh air, a loving grandma, a safe home....the stuff that takes a heck of a lot more time than hitting them does. The stuff that takes a piece of you...your LOVE, your SPIRIT, your TIME."


Now...are we all still here?

That's alot to take in...and yes, it is a very strong opinion pitting against spanking. My personal feelings are as follows...everyone say April's personal opinion...

I was raised being spanked. I knew that it effected how I made my decisions. I had a healthy fear of my parents and it did cause me to think twice before making a poor decision, talking back or outright disobeying my parents.

With that said, I have always known I would spank my children as a form of discipline, but as I have gotten older, I would have to be honest and say it doesn't seem so cut and dry. Now my thoughts (even before children) are...how young is too young? Would I use a belt or my hand? (I was raised on the belt) Do I try other methods first or go straight to spanking? Would I spank in public? (which the thought of honestly raises the hair on the back of my neck) Do I even really want to use spanking as a form of discipline?

It's alot to think about.
I don't necessarily agree that spanking causes emotional damage like mentioned in the post above, however...I can see that it may cause different reactions depending on your different children. One child may learn well with the spanking method, while others may learn and be effected more by another approach. Obviously, I do not agree in beating your children or spanking out of anger. Those things are very detrimental to children and to your relationship with your children.

None of us enjoy seeing a child throw a fit, how do you deal in those situations? Where in my head, spanking may only make the situation worse. Or what about repeat offenses. There were plenty of times growing up where I got spanked for lying...initially I would think, try something else the spanking isn't working. How long do you try? There are endless situations and I am sure endless answers...
So, I wanna know your thoughts. How did you come to the decision in how you will discipline your children in your family? Tell me your stories.

Please participate in the poll below. If you do not see your answer, please leave a comment on the poll. You can also just leave your comments on our post.
*please know this, any rude or inappropriate comments will be deleted. Please discuss this with respect for each others opinions. We are not here to figure out RIGHT FROM WRONG, I believe each family needs to pray about this decision and they are solely responsible for their own actions.*

Would you ever spank your child?
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Blogger Mom said...

We did use spanking as form of discipline. We rarely used our hand. We had a wooden spoon with a frowny face that we called Mr. Not Nice. He was displayed in our kitchen. One swap from Mr. Not Nice meant you had really done something big time wrong. Mr. Not Nice never left a mark and was always followed by a discussion of the circumstance and a big hug and kiss!
I was not spanked as a child...I was never disciplined for anything. That is an entirely too long of a story to get into. Aaron was spanked but not so lovingly.
We also never used the word "punishment"...I didn't want to "punish" my kids we always used "discipline."
I know it is a touchy subject.

Rebecca said...

I was definitely spanked as a child, and boy did I need it. I too believe in spanking, but I believe that a hug and a serious talk should follow so that the child understands you still love them.
My son is EXTREMELY stubborn. I do time outs in public because any nut job could call social services on me, however, time outs don't always seem to work. I've tried talking calmly to my son repeatedly when he is doing something wrong, but he just stares at me in open defiance and continues to do whatever it is he is doing. Thus a spanking helps get his attention that mommy means business. You really can't take a toy away from a 2 year old because (at least with mine) he doesn't have any favorites that would affect him. I do believe that once a child is old enough to have that special toy or privilege, then spanking is no longer necessary. I also ALWAYS use my hand. I got the belt on me once or twice, but totally disagree with it because you can't tell just how hard you are hitting as you can with your hand. I don't always spank though. I use time outs and spankings as a pair. I have found, that if you spank too much, then the child becomes used to it and it is no longer effective. Just one last thing, what that woman in your blog said about spanking and it being more your fault than the child's because of your neglect of lunch, nap, etc on time is BULL!!! Yes a child should have a routine, however, you cannot always meet that exact routine because LIFE HAPPENS. I am trying to teach my son (when punishing him during these times) that life does not always go as planned and just because the shopping took a little longer, does not mean that he can start throwing a fit and screaming at me. If I did not instill this in him, he would then expect his meals, naps, playtimes, etc... to be exactly when he wanted them and that everyone should just cater to his every whim. (And just so you know, I'm not talking about when I've had him out for 2 hrs past his nap...I do know that being upset comes naturally with being tired. I am talking about when you are just a half hour behind schedule and the child is totally fussing for not having their own way.) Thanks for reading my comment. Sorry it was so long, but I obviously have a lot to say about this :)

April E. :) said...

Rebecca and Blogger Mom...thanks so much for sharing your opinions!

Brittany said...

I totally feel the same way as both of the other ladies. I know that for my daughter who is one she does not understand danger or that things can hurt her. So telling her no a million times to not open a drawer full of kitchen utensils just does not cut it. Instead a smack on the hand is really the only way that I know to get her attention. I am sure people will tell me to baby proof our home. But I can't baby proof everything. There are some things that when I tell her no she understands and won't do it again, but sometimes a smack on the hand needs to be given. I don't think she fears me or doesn't love me. I feel like her actions are quite the opposite. And eventually she will reach an age where she is responsible and then we will only spank if it is called for. When a time out or taking something away did not do its job. This is a touchy subject and we all have our own opinions and our own way of dealing with things. But I THINK because I am just starting out in this parenting realm that each child is different and needs to be disciplined in different ways. My parents had to spank and constantly ground my sister. For me reading the 10 commandments was enough. We are all different.

Marie Blackwelder said...

I was a product of spankings.. I got the hand and the belt. I believe in spankings, open hand spankings to the body. Anything to the face or with a closed hand is abuse in my opinion. A spanking sometimes for some situations is the only thing that works. Because open defiance should not be tolerated at 2&3 years old if I can't control it now I won't be able to control it at 13. My new struggle is fighting a spanking won't work. In the words of Bill Engvall " Caitlin don't ( bite, pinch,slap) Josh (then I hit or etc.) "well duh mom here's your sign! You can't fight spanking with spanking. It is up to us as Christian mothers to be discerning of those situations that require spanking, and doing it not out of anger or frustration. It is also up to us to know what works for our children and their particular personality, it is also up to us to be one step ahead of our children. Kids today grow up so much faster than they did at our age so we need to be thinking ahead for what to do when spanking or any other form of discipline won't work anymore.

Cory E. :) said...

HMMMMMMMMM. That is all I have to say.

megsnbigd said...

I accidentally voted, "no, never". We do spank from time to time though I don't remember the last time. I can follow up with an email. There is much to say...

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