New Step mom

Megan Elizabeth - posted on 02/14/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I recently married the love of my life. I really want to please him. But I was never spanked as a child. My parents considered it child abuse. Now he wants me to be actively involved in the discipline of my two new step daughters. He is a pro spanker. I am scared to death. any thoughts?

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Angela - posted on 02/15/2014

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There are other ways to discipline a child. Try the "Naughty corner" (time-out) or stern verbal reasoning. Do NOT raise your voice OR your hand to the children. Be consistent.

Shouting and Spanking are the sign of lazy parenting. They're used for the convenience of parents that are angry and can be utilized instantly - and frequently have instant results. But you will also have frightened children who may grow to resent you. The stepfamily relationship is a delicate one. Physical violence as a disciplinary tool can also create cunning and manipulative children. The stakes have just been upped and they'll very possibly avoid being caught next time! Or they'll decide NOT to do whatever it was that brought them a spanking - because they'll remember the pain of the spanking. This means that they avoid the transgression to avoid the physical pain of the punishment, and NOT because it was a bad choice of behaviour. It also affects a child's dignity and self-esteem.

And you need to make all of this clear to your husband. Very plainly and firmly. Don't wait for one of the kids to be naughty - approach your husband first.

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Angela - posted on 02/17/2014

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I understand that your husband and his family feel that physical punishment for children is warranted and won't be swayed from this. However, he has NO RIGHT to expect you to adopt this same method of discipline. He cannot insist that you spank your step-children when they misbehave. You need to tell him this. I would also advise that if he says you need to tell him about their transgressions so he can hit/spank them, you make it clear you won't be doing this. This is an issue that many people feel very strongly about (on BOTH sides of the debate). If YOU were a "spanker" and he was against it, then you would have NO RIGHT to spank the children regardless. Well parents and stepparents have rights as well as children. If you are uncomfortable with the prospect of meting out physical punishment to these children, it's not right that you're expected to.

Remind him that you were never spanked yourself and YOU turned out OK! (this is a common argument from pro-spankers - they say they were spanked themselves and it "didn't do them any harm!")

Good luck!

Megan Elizabeth - posted on 02/17/2014

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Your views are my parents views but not my husbands and his families. I am getting used to the culture shock. But making my parents views clear to my husband would have no effect because he strongly disagrees

Jodi - posted on 02/14/2014

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Just let him know that you are not comfortable spanking children, and you do not wish to take part in that. You shouldn't be forced to do something you don't agree with in relation to disciplining his children. Also, as the mother of a child who has been going to his father's house for years, if I heard that my son's father's partner in any way touched my child, I would be back in court in a heartbeat.

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