Why do parents smack

Nikki - posted on 04/06/2010 ( 72 moms have responded )

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After reading a conversation about "why do parents not want to smack their children?"



I want to know why parents would want to hit their children? I am pretty open minded but I just can't seem to grasp the concept of hurting my child just to try and get what I want? Just interested because I was never smacked as a child and I am so grateful to my mum, so I never been able to understand the whole "it never hurt me" excuse. What reason's have you heard before? And most importantly why have you decided not to smack your children?

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Jaime - posted on 04/09/2010

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Spanking is about power and control whereas discipline is about guidance and communication. I disagree that parents spank because they are lazy and I say this because if a parent was lazy, they wouldn't attempt any kind of reprimand for wrong behaviour. I believe that spanking is a 'quick fix' to a behavioural problem that won't be resolved by physical force as it is most often attention-seeking that causes inappropriate behaviour (at least in young and elementary-school-age children). The choice to spank one's child is almost always derived from 'traditional' methods that were used on a parent or in that parent's family for one or two or more generations, claiming to be the most effective method of discipline. So in reality spanking hasn't been proven effective, it has been proven accepted until now. I think that's the real debate when discussing spanking vs. discipline...it's not so much to do with 'should a parent spank or shouldn't they?'...it has more to do with the knowledge that spanking is 100% ineffective and in many ways psychologically damaging (in some aspect) to a child/person. No one likes to be hit, slapped, spanked, tapped, kicked, punched, etc because it makes a person feel violated in some manner. Perhaps there are a lot of people that will swear up and down that they were spanked and they are perfectly fine, but then I ask: how many of the people that were spanked as kids and claim to be 'fine' have difficulty watching a violent show or movie? How many people flinch or become defensive when voices are raised? Even the slightest aversion to loud noise or hearing a snapping sound (similar to a spank) could be a small sign of psychological recourse as a result of being spanked or yelled at or called names...negative words and actions will almost always have a negative impact on a person--especially a young person because they are too young to understand rational thought and therefore too young to be able to learn coping mechanisms for how to deal with what is being done to them...some kids put up walls, some kids shut down, some kids lash out, some kids appear normal for all intents and purposes but have difficulty trusting others, or they have difficulty expressing emotions...I'm not a psychologist but it doesn't take a psychologist to understand the staunch ramifications that can result from what a parent might believe is a perfectly acceptable form of punishment for a child's wrong-doing. With that said, alternative methods of discipline have been implemented for years and are more readily and widely accepted by the newer generation of parents because there is so much more knowledge about 'positive behaviour strategies' and the benefits they have on a child's self-esteem, self-confidence, problem-solving abilities, etc... A child that is sent to time-out is not being punished...they are merely asked to sit by themselves for a period of time to reflect on their mood and their behaviour which is communicated to them in an open-family forum so that they understand they are not bad, but their behaviour is not acceptable. When a child is spanked the parent isn't labeling the behaviour, they are labeling the child with a physical punishment that can only teach them to fear the spanking and try like hell not to get spanked again. There is nothing learned from a spanking, because a child cannot associate their behaviour with the spanking, instead they associate the spanking with fear and try to avoid spankings in the future...as much as a parent might believe this is effective, it's just not the case. I was spanked as a child and it did nothing but make me feel worthless...I refuse to do that to my child. But it's not just spanking that has to be abolished, yelling and screaming or name-calling are just as ineffective and can be equally as damaging to the physical/mental/emotional self. I don't spank my Son and have only had to change the tone of my voice to help him differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour as he is only 13-months-old and only just learning that his actions have either positive or negative consequences. I would never say that a parent that spanks is a bad parent, because in many cases I don't believe it's true (there's always an exception to the rule). Parent's that spank are focused on one method as the 'solver' without realizing that it's not the discipline or the punishment that will solve the problem, it's the willingness of the child to learn and understand what is being communicated to them. Open communication will trump spanking every day of the week because even if all avenues have been exhausted, spanking will never, ever work as a last resort...consistency is key and even if a child has to be told 100 times, the only way they will learn and carry out positive behaviour is to be given the communication tools and TAUGHT how to use them.

Jaime - posted on 04/19/2010

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I think you brought up a good point Meghan. Alternative methods of discipline take A LOT of patience...you won't be successful without it because there will be plenty of repetition and plenty of strong will coming from your child.
Sara, it has to start with you. If you can change your attitude as well as your approach to a situation you might find that you are less scared or frustrated. I can understand you being terrified when your child encounters a dangerous situation and you want them to know right away that it's NOT a place they can go or an object they can touch, etc...but spanking won't teach them that. Communication is at the forefront of discipline and every additional method branches off of it. Get down on your child's level, look at them in the eyes so that they can see the worry on your face...speak to them in a firm, but controlled tone...it will take a while for them to understand the danger, but eventually they will connect the expression, with the tone of voice and the words you use. Give it a try and just be consistent.

Sara - posted on 04/19/2010

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OK something that you probably don't know about me, i am far from perfect i am a single mom of two my son was born just after my 16th birthday and my daughter was born after my 18th i am a young mom who had a lot of boundaries in my life a lot, if you guys really new me you would probably understand i thank you guys for being so supportive and for apologizing, but i do not justify i learned about that real young the first time i was in treatment, and well we also learned progress not perfection the only thing i can say is i was taken away when i heard the negative response to my personal answer to the QUESTION as to why children spank there kids i told my honest oppinion of what i thought was right and wrong and how i handled situations my self, i shared that to put out reasons to the question not to get attacked any ways yea i am not perfect and i try my hardest for both of my kids cuz if i could do it all over again the only thing i would change is my self, and well as i was reading some other remarks and responses to the question i noticed that Dana had done quite the same thing to some one else in this group well excuse me if i am not up to your standards but if you new me and where i came from in a perfect world you would probably be amazed that i was even the same person so in my opinion i have grown a lot and made better choices when it comes to parenting and if you don't believe me come live one day in my shoes and maybe you will understand why i said yea sometimes i spank my daughter mostly when she is doing something that can hurt her other wise i might smack her hand when she is being really ignorant, witch i am sure no one can ever say and be 100 truthful when they say they have never once in there child's life smack there hand or spanked there but!! i do forgive you for attacking me in a very unsuspecting situation i would just like it not to happen again because it is not a debate it is a adult discussion to help better ourselves and the decisions we make when it comes to parenting our children.

[deleted account]

Sara, I agree with Meghan. We aren't here to judge, we're here to help those people who are wanting help/support on raising their children without smacking. It isn't about whether you have smacked in the past, it's about whether you are willing to try not-smacking in the future.

Jaime - posted on 04/16/2010

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Sara, you are more than welcome to be a member of this community. The entire purpose of this forum is to help mothers learn and develop POSITIVE behaviour strategies as an alternative to spanking...because we believe that spanking is unnecessary! If you're going to start off on a negative note, then you are the one deciding what kind of attitude you will have about this group...that is your internal judgment. There has been one remark made that was emotionally-driven and the person that made that remark has since recanted and apologized for it...we're not about ostracizing mothers that have spanked or that do spank...if anything that's why we are here--to help you realize that the "occasional spank on the hand" is not necessary. Please feel free to share your stories with us and if you are truly interested in learning some alternative methods of discipline then we are here to answer your questions.

Thanks, and hope to see you around the discussion threads...

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[deleted account]

And with that, i think this thread may have done it's dash! Just a friendly reminder to everyone that we are here to offer alternative solutions to behaviour management, we are not here to debate about smacking (there are lots of those threads in other communities!). Let's keep it positive and helpful!

Meghan - posted on 04/19/2010

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You're right Sara, this isn't a debate. This group wasn't strated to debate on the issue. It was started for mom's to share their expiernces in discipling their children without smacking or spanking-Period! We have nothing to offer you except our advise and what has worked for us!

Now this may sound harsh, and I apoligize in advance (not my intentions, just trying to explain my train of thought) but I am a young single mom who has been dragged through the dirt aswell...I have had things happen in my life that would make people's head's spin-so I understand where you are coming from. At the begining of my seperation I was a wreak! I did think about spanking my son and thank God I was able to reationalize my thoughts before doing so-I have never laid a hand on my child! How is it his fault that I am angry or frustrated? I have to set an example for him and I personally don't feel that flying off the handle or smacking him teaches him a thing. We do a lot of talking and a lot of explaining and a lot of my day is spent picking him up and removing him from a situation. The one thing my son has taught me is patients!

I am FAR from perfect and that's ok! No human is perfect! We don't have all the answer's and what works for me isn't going to work for everyone else! In your above post it does sound like ou would like other tools and if I am reading that right, this group will most likely just give you ideas other means to LEAST try first!! I really truly hope you hang in there with us because none of us want to judge or alienate anyone else! And again like I said, I can 100% understand the frustration you feel being a single mother! It is hard!

[deleted account]

I don't think that we have any particular answers that you don't! I don't know how to explain it to you except to tell you a lil' bit about my childhood.......I was spanked, spanked often, sometimes with force.....sometimes without, sometimes with objects, other times without......the spanking escalated into more severe beatings as I hit puberty. Even as a young adult my father had hit me on several occasions. I know my story is extreme and it doesn't happen to everyone but that's just what happened in my life that shaped who I am as well as my belief system. I just don't agree with spanking and the thought of spanking my child makes me nauseous......I'm really sorry for getting personal but for me that's EXACTLY what it is! PERSONAL...... I don't think you're a bad person for spanking ur daughter AT ALL......I don't know how to get you where I am so all I could do was explain how I got here. Does that make sense? I can't force you to agree that spanking is wrong and I'm honestly not trying to. I think that just by being here and talking about positive behavioural solutions, is a huge step in the right direction! For me this community isn't JUST about behaviour problems......it's a group of mothers that are here to support me, listen to me, offer me advise to ANY questions I may have......if you have any problems, questions, concerns about ur child(ren) this is the place to ask if you want positive alternative solutions, positive feedback, which I believe you do! You're questions don't just have to be about behavioral issues!

Sara - posted on 04/19/2010

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well any ways its not a debate so how can you help me, what is it that you guys do that works so well, i teach my daughter alot of stuff just when i get scared she needs to know that she is not getting spanked when she occasionaly does or getting yelled at because im mad at her its because i am scared for her. so elaborate on what i need to do to get to where you guys are please because it sounds like you have answers that i obviously don't.

Jaime - posted on 04/19/2010

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Not at all Dana...I was referring to her comment about "progress not perfection"...just trying to reassure her that she has the right idea. I know you ain't perfect...lol

Jaime - posted on 04/19/2010

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I second that Dana. I have never spanked Gray or smacked his hand...I will admit though, that I have yelled at him (and this means that I too, am not even close to being a perfect parent). I will agree that some days are difficult and it's frustrating to the point where I almost feel like the quick fix is the only option---but I am also very quick to realize that it's not the best way. My son needs me to be calm and collected so that I can TEACH him why something is dangerous or why some things can't be touched.

Sara, no one is going to place judgment on you for your decision to spank or smack...what we will do however; is empower you to seek an alternative method and look toward a lasting solution for the dangerous or frustrating situations. You are a young mother, that doesn't make you an ill-equipped mother. You might have a longer road to travel to get to where some of us are, but you will get there...and we can help you.

The very fact that you are a part of this community and sharing your stories, tells me that you want to change and find a better solution...that's a step and you should recognize that it takes a lot of courage to admit when you don't always have the answer. Hell, none of us have all the answers...that's why this community is a collaborative effort.

We are all 'works in progress' and our goal is not to be perfect...so you were right in saying this. If our goal was to be perfect then we would cease to be able to learn, and it would make our efforts moot. Thanks for your candor and please let us know how we can help you.

[deleted account]

Perfect! I'm glad we're past it?! I just want to clarify one more thing......



witch i am sure no one can ever say and be 100 truthful when they say they have never once in there child's life smack there hand or spanked there but!!




I can and am HONESTLY stating for the record that I've NEVER smacked Roxanne's hand or spanked her butt! I can see why you might not understand that but it's the truth........smacking or spanking doesn't even cross my mind, I can't speak for the future or for your situation but I can and will say that about mine!

[deleted account]

I agree, I like the way you worded that Kimbeley.......it's not about what anyone HAS done, it's about what your disciplining goals are for the future! I really hope we're all on the same page?!



Sara: I'm not here to judge but unfortunately sometimes things can get heated when their are opposing views, which is why we need to be positive and constructive when posting comments and try to avoid the never ending debate about spanking. I'm sorry if you felt attacked by my comment the other day!? I was only questioning ur motives here because it seemed like you were justifying ' spanking ' your child and you don't need to to justify anything because it's not a debate.......I think we're all here because we feel that ' spanking ' is either inaffective or on some level wrong?! I didn't want it to turn into an ugly debate with you trying to justify ur past behavior.......you did what you did and I commend you for joining this group and sharing your stories but I just hope that you're here to genuinely learn about different disciplinary methods so you don't feel the need to smack or spank any longer!??



Meghan was right.....it's about PROGESS NOT PERFECTION! I really hope you decide to stay?! I apologize again if I upset you?

Meghan - posted on 04/16/2010

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Sara, it has nothing to do with being perfect!! This group WAS started so we can all discuss and support other means of teaching our children, not to judge. If you are interested in that, then please continue to be a member! I think the only we can all agree on is none of us wants to see debates on the issue.

Sara - posted on 04/16/2010

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well i dont hit my kid i spank her had ocasionaly and if you read my post it doesnt happen all the time but yea i thought we were supposed to help eachother not judge!!! so any ways yea. whatever i can leave the group if i am not perfect enough if that would better suit you

[deleted account]

Thanks Haley for being so understanding! I'm really glad you decided to stay! Look forward to seeing you around....

Jessica - posted on 04/16/2010

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Haley- glad you decided to stay. I don't think this group should only be for non-spanking parents- I think it should be for anyone trying to learn more positive approaches, even if you do or have occasionally hit your kids.

Jaime - posted on 04/16/2010

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Yes Haley, you're right about the objective of this group...I think sometimes our emotions can get the best of us--especially with a topic such as spanking. Glad you have decided to stay a member of the community.

Haley - posted on 04/16/2010

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I'd like to stay that's why i joined. I just think that maybe accepting people and progress they have made would be a more positive approach, even if they do still spank. Progression away from that is the objective of this group (i think). Anyways, I'd love to learn the ways of non-spanking. And its totally cool.

Trina - posted on 04/16/2010

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Honestly, I feel it is a bad habit that is learned. It is generational and passed down from parent to child. My husband's grandmother opened up and told me she was abusive to her children when they were little. She said she spanked way too much. Now most of his aunts, uncles, and father all have issues.

[deleted account]

Haley: I'm sorry if it came across that way......I do apologize! We would love for you to stay? I shouldn't have approached you in that way and I really hope you decide to stay!??



P.S. If anything I think you're extremely brave for being so honest! Sorry again!

Haley - posted on 04/16/2010

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You know I joined this group because i thought that maybe I would be able to learn some alternatives to spanking, and my intentions were to be honest and learn from you guys. However when Dana put me on the spot for talking about things that I have done in the past, and suggests that this groups is not right for me, i feel a little attacked. It is not an aggressive way to get me out. Rather a passive aggressive way and I do not like it. I am sorry that in order to put it all on the table I admitted to having spanked, however a group that makes one feel ostracized is not one for me. So thank you Dana. I will leave your group. I am sorry that I wrote something that you did not agree with. Wish granted.

Jessica - posted on 04/16/2010

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Thanks for being honest Haley :) I'm glad you joined to help find non-spanking ideas and support!

Haley - posted on 04/15/2010

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Well i think that being honest is best. I am not going to sit here and make like i have never swatted her, because I have. I don't feel that it was the worst thing to do, but likewise i feel that there are a million better things to do. I have recently found tactics that work. Like asking her to use her words, or having alone time until she "finds her happy face". I don't like spanking but i would feel like a fraud if i said i'd never done it. And yes I do like getting the tips. It makes me feel better when I can implement a new thing and it works! Also as she enters into a new stage, and becomes more aware that hitting is wrong i am no longer spanking. I mean how can you justify that hitting is bad if that is how you punish your them. In short, yes spanking is wrong. Yes i'd love to learn quick alternatives. and Yes It is guilt that makes me justify why i've spanked. It is not the worst thing a mother can do but i dont want to compare my actions to what could be worse, i want to compare my actions to what could be the best, and try to be like that. That's why i joined. New idea's and support :)

Haley - posted on 04/14/2010

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Right now my daughter is in the terrible two's. 90 percent of the time when she is throwing her hellatious fits, i grin and bear it. Walking out of the store, picking her up from where she has thrown herself etc. However there are times when she does get a swat on the bottom. I think that when she gets so immersed on her emotion of what she is feeling there is little that i can do to bring her out of it. This has only happened about four times. However, I have as a last resort swatted her on her behind to bring her back to reality. I seldom do this, and usually end up feeling guilty. I do not like to, however I am not the type that can walk away from a screaming child when i know that she needs me to help her deal with her emotions. (a suugestion was to leave them alone for a while). I am a good mom, and i don't use swatting in everyday matter; however it is one of my last resorts. The other is calling someone else so I can have a timeout lol.

Meghan - posted on 04/14/2010

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Thx Dana and things with my Dad are getting better. We hadn't talked until Joshua's 1st birthday and he really seems to have done a 180! It's a work in progress. But he may have been a crappy dad but he was always a great Pipi and I want Joshua to know him!

And oh geez, I can't believe the last 2 posts...God Forbid that woman support each other and offer other more positive suggestions huh?

[deleted account]

Ya, I was the one who gave that girl the link to our community and this other chick has been harrassing me clicking ' funny ' under ALL my comments even though I'm not being funny! Her name is Melanie al Daboos and she's driving me nuts! She clicked ' funny ' under my comment when I suggested for that lady who was on the fence to join our group for alternative solutions and support!



RAWR! I've left Melanie YET another personal message asking her nicely to STOP clicking funny, damnit!

Jess - posted on 04/14/2010

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I've been bad.... I may have opened a can of worms in yet ANOTHER spanking coversation.



A mother has said she doesn't want to spank anymore and was asking for suggestions.... great to see she got given a few links to this group YAY !!! But another women posted on their that as a child she was spanked and BEATEN and it didn't harm her, so she does it to her child and she can't see why this women should stop spanking! ARGH...... I couldn't help myself. I reframed from what I wanted to say, but Im sure its going to create a few comments !!!



Is it still child abduction is you steal these children for their own safety ???

[deleted account]

That's crazy Kimbeley! I think we've obviously come a long way because ' spanking ' is becoming more and more unacceptable BUT that just shows that we still have a LONG way to go yet!?



Meghan: sorry to hear about what happened with ur dad and ur ex but good job mommy for doing what's best for YOU and YOUR SON! I'm curious, if you don't mind me asking, how's ur relationship with ur dad now?

[deleted account]

Hahaha, in NZ I've actually heard police say that they hit their children! Hows that for enforcing the law!

[deleted account]

Spanking's illegal in the UK but people still do it...even in public because there's not much to police it and they can usually only prosecute if it's left a mark.

Meghan - posted on 04/13/2010

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Yeah I was hit a lot and screamed at by my dad. I remember walking home and just fearing what was on the other side of that door! So like you, in my adulthood I either shut down or get in a yelling match. My ex husband and I where constantly fighting and (although there where a ton of issues other than this) I couldn't handle the screaming anymore-esp infront of Joshua! Broke my heart everytime my little baby had to listen to us! I was a wrek after we split but this guest speaker (I posted a link to her website on the helpful websites thread) just opened my eyes!! As his mom, I have to teach him self control and offer him a safe place to fall..not that I walk around using a sing songy voice all day-he knows when I mean buisness. I guess at the end of the day I just really love knowing that even though he is young he feels some sort of respect from me and isn't going to have that pit in his stomach that mommy is going to have a snap show on him!

[deleted account]

Ya, apparently saucing is when a parent puts hot sauce, chili peppers etc on a child's tongue!? I saw an entire thread about it and was appauled.......I'll try and find a link to it so you can check it out for urself!

[deleted account]

Saucing??? I've never heard of that?
Making it illegal in New Zealand hasn't really seemed to do anything... all it's gotten is grumpy people who thinks NZ is turning into a nanny state. Funny thing is (for those of you not from NZ), it got such a negative reaction that a bunch of people starting collecting signatures for a referendum to get it changed back, they collected enough signatures so the government was legally bound to do the referendum... it was a huge result towards allowing smacking... and yet, the Government didn't change it back! Good on the NZ government (I think that's probably the first and last time I'll ever support politicians lol).

Rebecca - posted on 04/13/2010

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Dana: Like i have said before, i am SO glad where i am in our beautiful country it Is illegal! I'm really not looking forward to moving and seeing how things are there:(

[deleted account]

I totally agree.....whether it's yelling, smacking, spanking, pushing, SAUCING ( newest one brought to my attention ) etc. ......they're all a form of abuse!



That's a great analogy Meghan......makes me sad too! I was spanked as a young child and the ' beatings ' carried into my teenage years.......now I cringe when I hear anyone even start to raise their voice at someone else! My beau and I have had many struggles in our relationship because he doesn't understand why I feel threatened when, " all he's doing is yelling? ".......I either shrink away and start to cry or I SCREAM back at him......neither are productive and BOTH are a result of my experiences as a child!

Meghan - posted on 04/13/2010

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We had a guest speaker at playgroup and she was talking about yelling at your child. (i know that isn't what we are talking about here, but it kind of relates) She made us split into parenters and had one of us stand on a chair, and the other sit on the floor. The mommy on the chair then had to start yelling and pointing at the "child". I broke down into tears thinking about how scared a child would feel with someone who is so much bigger than them being in their face and being so agressive! Of course we all loose it sometimes, but to install fear into your child-I think-is the wrong way to go!

[deleted account]

Rebecca: People just ignore studies if they go against their beliefs......I think that until it's illegal to spank a child certain people will just continue to think it's ok and even then some won't care! I think it's appauling!

My heart goes out for all those children!

Rebecca - posted on 04/13/2010

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The most outrageous thing i ever heard was "when i did something wrong i would stop and think oh crap i'm going to get a smack for that, so i never did it again" To me, i would NEVER want my children to be scared of me! I'm not too sure why this person thinks that type of life was good but i feel bad for her kids in all honesty. To know that she wishes to instill that type of fear in her kids. I don't smack my kids because i was from ages 4-6 and it did nothing for me. My sister was also smacked and her and i are complete opposites...she was a runaway at 13, has 3 kids and has none of them in her care, is an alcoholic and is currently in drug rehab...so i don't believe hitting will make a child behave differently as we were both smacked and both turned out differently. However, i love that new studies are being done to show that smacking DOES have an impact on a child in this day in age so maybe people will wake up and see it doesn't need to be done. I feel people that hit their kids have no control or are too lazy to give proper reinforcing discipline.

[deleted account]

It gonna be a long journey but I think we'll get there one day? Hopefully while I'm around to experience all our hard work?!!

Jaime - posted on 04/12/2010

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Again, thank you. And I'm glad to hear that you were able to take your not-so-positive memories of discipline and turn them into positive parenting strategies to use for your own child(ren). I agree whole-heartedly that even the lightest 'tap' on the hand can get carried away--and often does, as was the case with you and your father. It's too bad that it took you threatening to call the cops, for him to stop the physical punishment and realize that what he was doing wasn't good. And like you said, "they did what they knew, what they grew up with and they didn't know any better"...so that's why I'm thankful to have resources like this available for parents to seek advice or just a moment's counsel from other moms during a particularly stressful situation or stage in a child's development. I am relieved to know that there is a strong following in favour of 'positive behaviour strategies' because it is exactly what is needed in order to reset the disciplinary boundaries, to eventually discard the notion that spanking is synonymous with obedience.

[deleted account]

Gray is very lucky to have you......keep up the good work mommy!

I have had a very similar childhood but unfortunately in my situation once the spankings as a child didn't work it continued into physical beatings as a young teenager......and I honesly wasn't a bad kid compared to most of my peers! I graduated with a 3.8 GPA and never missed a day of school......I was honestly a good kid! I think the problem for my parents came when " spanking " me wouldn't work anymore and I was older and became verbal abusive to them and everyone else.......it was habit for my dad to hit to discipline me and it got WAY carried away! I remember the day I threatened to call the police if he ever touched me again and something just clicked for him......unfortunately it was too late.....I was 15 years old and the damage had been done!

The way I look at it is.....I know how easily a gentle tap or smack can turn into spanking and eventually it CAN lead to more physical abuse so why even open that door? Thankfully I've learned from my parents mistakes! I don't think they were monsters either......they did what they knew, what they grew up with and they didn't know any better! You should have seen the look on my dad's face when I threatened to call the cops.....I think I could see the lightbulb go off in his head?!! LOL!

Thanks for suming things up so nicely......you should be our spokesperson!

Jaime - posted on 04/12/2010

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LOL...thanks Dana. I'm glad to have found this group, because I am a strong supporter of proactive parenting and developing strong, but positive, strategies to teach discipline to my son. I grew up in a large family (I'm one of six kids) and it was continuous chaos from the time we woke up until we went to bed. My Dad worked and my Mom stayed home with us (minus a part-time job in the evening that left my older sister and I home at the ages of 11 and 12 to care for our younger siblings), but she suffered the typical pitfalls of an over-stressed, depressed parent. My parents used hands, belts and spoons as their 'weapons' of choice when attempting to discipline us, and it was typical of parents back then to leave the disciplining to the absent parent, in an attempt to drive the fear of punishment as deep as possible for a desired outcome of obedience. I hated this about my parents. I remember specific instances; like getting hit with my Dad's belt when I was four because I went into my room and peed behind my bedroom door. I don't remember why I did it, but I definitely remember the belt. My parents weren't monsters and I don't hate them, but I was very afraid of my Dad for a long time and what child wants to grow up into an adult, fearing the disciplinary reflex of her father? As much as I have overcome these instances in my childhood, I still cower at the sound of raised voices and I have found in the past year that there are certain aspects of my parenting that mirror that of my parents---it scared me enough to seek a number of outside resources for stress management and parental support. I'm a single mom and I have very little family support, coupled with very little time away from my son, Gray, so it has been a challenge to really change my attitude and my approach to parenting. I knew from the word go that I would never use spanking as a method of 'discipline' because for one, I don't believe that spanking can even be considered in the same category as discipline. Discipline involves restraint and that is why it is so much more effective than spanking. A lot of parents believe that spankings are a way of taking back control of a situation, but what they don't realize is that spanking only serves to weaken that control. I think people need to change their thinking when it comes to the idea of 'having control'...because that in and of itself is the very point. To have control means to restrain yourself and find a way to express yourself in a way that brings about a positive and lasting result....surely anyone can see that spanking cannot accomplish this feat. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I stand by my decision to abstain from spanking, yelling, screaming or any other form of punishment that is psychologically-hindering to a person/child. I also find that the more I turn to positive strategies, the lower my level of stress is...and that can't be a bad thing!

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OMG! Jaime-Leigh Burns.......who are you? LOL!

I think I may just be in love with you?.....you are VERY well spoken and I think a HUGE asset to this group! Look forward to seeing you around.....

Jaime - posted on 04/12/2010

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I think one of the common themes I'm seeing with regard to spanking is the notion that "it's the only thing that works" which is usually prefaced with an account of trying a few different methods before resorting to spanking but finally falling back on the 'last resort'. I have put some thought into this, and although I can perfectly understand the frustrations that we parents go through when trying to effectively and successfully discipline our children, when it comes to behaviour we always seem to want a quick result. From the time our children are born they develop, learn, and communicate at their own pace, so it stands to reason that because they must learn discipline, it will not happen immediately. For this reason alone it makes sense to embrace behaviour strategies that focus on communication and guidance, because if we want our children to learn discipline then WE, as parents and as people, also need to be disciplined enough to be consistent in our efforts to teach them the behaviour we want them to learn. And for that matter, consistency doesn't end in childhood. Consistency is carried on throughout our lives, beyond the base stages of learning because when we hit high school or post-secondary and then eventually the job market, the one key strategy that is common throughout is consistency...and that is to say the effort that we use toward a greater understanding and an overall learning experience during different facets of our lives. When we are learning something new, it is virtually impossible to find a 'quick fix' solution that is successful. If a kid cheats on an exam in order to pass a class in which they have absolutely no understanding, all that will result is a delayed realization that they should have done the work in the first place--spanking is a perfect example of this.

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Sara: I'm not tryin to be rude but you do know ur part of a group called, " Positive Behaviour Strategies - Solutions WITHOUT Smacking ", right? .........ur entitled to have a different opinion and I'm sure we'd all love to be able to learn from you but I'm not sure why you JOINED a group that is clearly anti-smacking? Perhaps you're looking to change your ways?.......are you here because ur looking for alternative solutions to smacking?

Sara - posted on 04/12/2010

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Honestly i was spanked the appropriate when i was young, i do spank my daughter when i feel it is something that may harm her if she does it again, there are times when i smack her hand when i could have used something else but it seems she doesn't listen if i don't do it that way. Ive tried other things like reward charts, and changing the subject but sometimes it is the only thing that works, i don't like it and i only do it if it is the last resort.

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Thanks! Roxanne was actually 19 months yesterday! We don't eat spaghetti very often for that reason! LOL!

I agree with you, there has to be a balance......a happy medium!

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