I have to say my two cents on spanking a child

[deleted account] ( 17 moms have responded )

The subject was closed. I assume their were some vitriolic posts both pro and anti - spanking agenda.

First off, I taught elementary for 16 years and studied post graduate child psychology for 4. So I am going to try to come from a solid educated opinion rather than how much this kind of post sickens me. Kudos to all you who pulled up the laptop with a bowl full of popcorn and kept your 'mouths closed'. Wish I could.

Secondly, I wonder - how many of you - pro or anti - have actually studied early child psychology and the basis or history of what we call early child psychology today. My guess is that you have very strong feelings toward what FEELS right FOR YOU. Unfortunately you are turning your feelings against your community and that it wrong.

Before I get into this, I wish we as a society could really get a few distinctions down. True conversations or arguments are for the betterment of all, not for the elimination of most and the exaltation of a few as we see in TVs so-called reality shows. And we, as women - especially as mothers - will never see a world for us, our daughters, or our daughters' daughters that is truly an equal world until we can learn to get past all of our passive aggressive manipulative BS and discuss issues and disagreements in a cooperative manner.

So saying, I can only share my personal experience and my life's view as a result of who I am through time. I hope you disagree. I hope you find your own patterns and way of doing things because a homogenous culture is a sick culture.

So here's my story. Two years, and almost four months ago, I delivered by natural birth the most beautiful baby in the world. As did most of you when you had your own. Could I conceive at that time that I would spank my child?! Ever?! Certainly not. I will do anything necessary for my child. But that beautiful little girl got bigger. And bigger. When she was 4.5 months she weighed 25 pounds and we could not find her original chin, ankles or wrists. She was still adorable and wonderful and did I mention miraculous? At eight months, 30 lbs and 30 inches tall - she was walking, talking (babbling) ,extremely intelligent, engaging, and loving. Could I conceive of spanking her in the future? Certainly not my beautiful girl.I would and will do anything necessary for my child.

At one year, I gave her a little tap. It broke my heart. It went against all my training and I cried my heart out to my pediatrician who cradled my sobs and gave me kudos for working on actually disciplining my child, bless her. But I delivered that tap because she was manhandling a pet and would not stop or be distracted. Did I mention how physically and willfully strong my baby is? Well she is.
And since then, a spanking which consists on a varying amount of force delivered ONLY to her diaper/training pants ensconced bottom.
Does it hurt her feelings? Does it make me feel like a lousy mother? Does it work? You bet.

Yes. Spanking a child should be a stop-gap measure. The child is in danger. The child is placing someone (or a pet) else in danger. OR the child is a leader who must learn to slow down and follow first. Should a child smaller than an average two year old be spanked. I don't know. The experts say no. Yes. When I spank I feel like hell and I should feel like hell. Feeling like hell is a natural emotional reaction. If I felt joyful, vindictive or nothing, that would make me a psycopath!

And the experts. Toddler years, the schools, the counselors....yes learn from them. But they are going to teach you what is IDEAL not what is REAL about parenting. I've seen published and proven behavioral theories disproved in one clinical class! I know that most of us who are geared to counseling and psychology as a profession are awakened through our training to all our own issues. This is good, because we can consciously avoid trying to project our problems onto another. But, as you know if you are truly a humane human, it is VERY VERY difficult - like Ghandi difficult - to avoid projection one hundred percent of the time. From this I have learned to truly look at my counselors and understand that they are human. They mean well, but what informs their opinion? Here's something out of left field: Could our past 20 years of a societal 'no spank' movement be due to a group of psych majors who were beaten and in turn were trying to keep children from being beaten muchless spanked? Its hard to tell. Snowballs become avalanches very easily.

Are you disciplining your child without spanking and its working? Wonderful. Good parenting! Fabulous and I hope I and others like me learn from you. But then again, maybe you are lucky. Life may have presented you with a biddable child who has very early reasoning skills. Are you being truly honest with yourself about the amount of discipline your child is receiving and how much infuence you have on his/her formational behaviors? Who knows? Only you.
And on the spankers side; Are you disciplining your child with spanking and its working? Wonderful. Good parenting? Fabulous and I hope I and others like me learn from you. But then again, maybe you are spanking out of anger, laziness, or ignorance. Are you being truly honest with yourself about the amount of discipline your child is receiving and how much infuence you have on his/her formational behaviors? Who knows? Only you. And this is my point, ladies. Unless we can pay somewhat objective attention 100% to our own child rearing practices and at least a few other moms, 24/7 for at least a few months, taking into consideration each individual child's needs and personhood - which is IMPOSSIBLE - there is no WAY you can judge another mother as right or wrong for something as TRIVIAL as spanking or not spanking.

Can't we just pat the poor wretch, who confessed to spanking her child on another post and hurting about it, on the back and tell her its going to be all right? She cares about it so that alone makes her a good mom with lots of potential? Is it really that difficult to stand by each other and agree to disagree but to support each other all the same? Ladies? If we can't our society is going down the tubes.

Sincerely,

Margot

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Amie - posted on 11/23/2011

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Um - crappy parenting, is crappy parenting. Also, for generations (I say this, because I've heard the same words out of so many mouths of so many ages) the argument that "this generation" is so entitled, so spoiled, have it so easy, blah blah blah is SO over used.



What people don't want to realize is that you don't need to spank to discipline. Spanking is not discipline, it is punishment. I don't punish my children, I discipline them.



It sounds like semantics but it's not. I don't need to harm my children to teach them. Their emotions or their body. I don't need to harm them.



I have 4 children, none of them have been spanked but they do listen. They understand why they must listen, as much as can be expected for their ages.



Did it take longer and more patience to teach them without spanking them? Yup.

Did I want to spank them because they would not stop XYZ? Yup.

Did I almost lose my mind before they got to their point of clarity? Yup.



I still wouldn't change a thing about how I have and am raising my children.



Edit to add: That last question I posed and answered is exactly why I will not raise my hand to my children. Every parent can claim that they don't spank in the heat of the moment or when upset - it's not a claim I will ever believe. It's just not. You get upset or alarmed because of XYZ - you're not in a calm and rational state to even form the words and move them from the situation, the response is to strike the child.

Jenni - posted on 11/24/2011

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"Could our past 20 years of a societal 'no spank' movement be due to a group of psych majors who were beaten and in turn were trying to keep children from being beaten muchless spanked? Its hard to tell. Snowballs become avalanches very easily."

Or we're just progressing as a society. From a past when we use to hang 10 year olds for stealing. Allow orphans to work deadly jobs and husbands were allowed to "discipline" their wives by spanking/hitting them.

I don't spank my kids because a bunch of psychologists got together and told me it's wrong. Thanks for giving us so much credit as free thinkers. Which I find fascinating because not spanking as a punishment in today's society is still vastly deviating from the norm. I made the decision not to spank long before I became a parent. Long before I read anything on child behaviour, discipline, child psychology.

I made the decision, not because my parents beat me. I don't even recall them spanking me more than a handful of times. But because I remember how it made me feel. Not in a psychologically damaging way. It just took away my self-blame and put it on my parents. Instead of feeling bad for whatever action warranted the spanking. After the spank, when I was told to sit and think about what I had done. I just stewed over how angry I was at my parents for violating me physically. It made my negative action null and void and their negative action the focus of my blame. It also taught me it was acceptable for "bigger people" to hit "smaller people" when they do something bad. Namely my younger brother.

So why don't I spank? Yeah... it's not because a bunch of abused psychologists got in a room together and hammered out a plan to convince parents spanking is wrong.

It's because it does NOT teach children the lessons I want my children to learn. I don't want my children putting the blame on me when they make a bad decision. I want them to learn *why* it is a bad decision (not just because of parental repercussions) and feel the *real* consequences of making a poor decision. I also don't want them to learn that physically violating another person is ever acceptable. There are always ways to problem solve and develop strategies for conflict resolution without becoming physical in the enlightened society we live in, or at least striving towards.

[deleted account]

Jodi, I respect your position. My opinion is based solely on the fact that a true adult parent does know where to draw the line. Insisting that a 'spanking' is a beating is refusing to acknowledge that there is a distinction between the two. We get it Jodi. You do not approve of spanking and that is ok.

I taught for years and saw abuses that would curl your hair. The far worst of them were the silent abuses, though. So in my educated opinion, the debate over spanking is trivial whereas finding true abusers and reeducating/reforming and or removing them is the crucial issue.

[deleted account]

But I delivered that tap because she was manhandling a pet and would not stop or be distracted. Did I mention how physically and willfully strong my baby is?

Could you not remove her from the pet/situation?

[deleted account]

But I delivered that tap because she was manhandling a pet and would not stop or be distracted. Did I mention how physically and willfully strong my baby is?

Could you not remove her from the pet/situation?

Oh no, DUH, I didn't think of that! Yeah, I could have gotten the cat out of the strangle hold and risk having my baby's face scratched up!

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[deleted account]

As far as the rest of the posts; if your aim is to disect, analyze, and leave the remains in public for everyone to walk over....thank you so much. And apparently I need humbling. I will remove my post and my presence from this community. I do not wish to associate with the judgemental vindictiveness of it. And boy do I seem to be drawing it out.
Everybody go watch your next episode of Housewives...I have better things to do than to be ripped into chunks. And don't forget to take out a nice big piece of self righteous pie because you deserve it! Obviously you can dish out the humble pie. =O And happy Thanksgiving. I will be playing with my beautiful laughing, happy and healthy daughter.
Let everything that has been said reflect most and reveal the most about the sayer. Goodness, I would rather be smacked than have some of you mouthy know it alls as a mother!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/24/2011

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Jenni "If you want to spank. Fine. It's your decision and I'm not here to judge. But all I have gathered from your post is that you're trying to convince the rest of us that it's moral and acceptable in order to appease your decision... maybe in an attempt to convince yourself you're doing the right thing, since you must know it'd be in vain to try to convince us it isn't. There's that projection you spoke about. "

Well put, that is what I was trying to say....you said it much more clearly than I did.

Jenni - posted on 11/24/2011

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"Yes. When I spank I feel like hell and I should feel like hell. Feeling like hell is a natural emotional reaction. If I felt joyful, vindictive or nothing, that would make me a psycopath!"



Here's a challenge for you. Think of another action in which you feel like "hell" after, aside from spanking, that is considered to be the right thing to do. What *other* situation or example can you think of that makes you feel "guilty" or pulls on your conscience like that and is still considered morally justified.



I can't think of any other action that would make me feel like "hell" and still be morally just. What other times would our consciences be telling us it's wrong, wrong, wrong... and it's acceptable to ignore those feelings or justify to ourselves that it isn't?



It's like the old adage of a man stealing bread for his starving family. You can sympathize with it. But you can't ignore the fact that he's still stealing. He may feel guilty for it, but feel he has little choice... the truth is; there's always a more moral choice. It may not be as much of a short cut to solving the problem. But the thing about "doing the right thing", it rarely is a quick and easy fix. I'd rather work hard with my children than take the quick fix.



If he choose to work hard at finding employment or creating his own business. Sure, it's going to be much harder... his family will endure much hardships in the meantime. But the fruits of his labour will be far more sustaining. He will be able to feed his family in the long term, rather than in the short term.



If you want to spank. Fine. It's your decision and I'm not here to judge. But all I have gathered from your post is that you're trying to convince the rest of us that it's moral and acceptable in order to appease your decision... maybe in an attempt to convince yourself you're doing the right thing, since you must know it'd be in vain to try to convince us it isn't. There's that projection you spoke about.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/24/2011

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WOWZA! That was hard to get through.

Are you a professional psychologist???? Is that what you practice? Child psychology? I can respect your training, to an extent. I can appreciate what you are saying...to an extent.

My sister has her BA in psychology. Does that make her a professional??? Nope....but she sure acts like she knows everything.

My friend has her Masters in psychology. I have asked her before if she could help me on some situations. Her answer "Marina, I can talk to you as a friend about this, but I am not qualified to speak as a psychologist"

Humble pie goes a long way.

We all do what we feel is right, but posting an autobiography about reasons you feel compelled to spank to make you feel better about it really does not help. Some of us feel spanking is wrong, some of use excuses for why it is right. Point is, no one is ever going to fully agree on spanking.

Amy - posted on 11/24/2011

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Do you still teach? And if so how fo you discipline your students because I'm 99% sure it's not acceptable to hit a student so when you find yourself with students who have the same will as your daughter what do you do then?

Katherine - posted on 11/24/2011

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Are you disciplining your child with spanking and its working? Wonderful. Good parenting? Fabulous and I hope I and others like me learn from you.





Are you implying that if it works do it?

Kellie - posted on 11/24/2011

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Personally this reason for Hitting a child is my fave out of all the OP wrote

"OR the child is a leader who must learn to slow down and follow first."

Um so we hit children for being leaders to scare them into submission now do we?

Jodi - posted on 11/23/2011

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I'm also curious about the "poor wretch". Is this the woman who made it clear that she thought most unspanked kids turn out to be worthless human beings? That nonjudgemental poor wretch?

Jodi - posted on 11/23/2011

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I was making the point that it isn't a trivial topic. But obviously my point fell flat :)

Tinker1987 - posted on 11/23/2011

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This is a touchy subject but i will say this...what about those kids that werent spanked or diciplined well,that are running wild and harming and possibly killing other people. Kids that get away with everything and turn into brats turn into bad teenagers and adults. i was spanked a few times as a kid,and i dont have any hard feelings about it. I find this generation of kids and teens to be HORRIBLE.simply beacuse their parents are all useless they dont dicipline and they let their kids be spoiled...not all of course but the young crime rates have definetly gone up,at least where i am from. if parents are killing their children by spanking then they obviously need therapy for not being able to keep their anger in check.or shouldnt have been able to be parents in the first place.

Jodi - posted on 11/23/2011

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Spanking is trivial...m'okay. Tell that to the kids who died from it because their parents didn't know where to draw the line.

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