Lucy - posted on 06/28/2011 ( 268 moms have responded )
I see this swirling debate going on as it has for years. I will tell you why I think spanking is both appropriate and necessary with most children.
My daughter is 13 and she is loving, well behaved, emotionally secure, in control of herself, and most importantly, respectful of others and herself. Isn't that what you all want for your kids?
So let's get real. I spanked. I probably spanked her a half dozen times in her whole life, and not since she was maybe 6 years old. I remember the first time she got a swat, she was just a toddler, maybe 15 months, and we were in the drive way getting loaded in the car and off she darted for the street, "NO!" I said and she squealed with glee at her freedom as she headed into the road. I caught her up just in time and I swatted her diapered butt, firmly told her no, and scared the funny right out of her. The next time I can clearly remember she was intent on playing with an electrical outlet. But more than just safety issues, what's also VERY IMPORTANT is your child respects you and listens to you. So, I did not allow what many parents do and later regret, the time when your child points a finger at you and says defiantly "NO or I won't", and everyone giggles at how cute the little bugger is, that's not cute later, trust me. The result of a swift and sure swat on the behind was that my daughter knew if I said no it was not up for interpretation as to if she was going to obey or not. I did not spank temper tantrums, I ignored them, walked away. I never spanked mistakes, like spilling something, I ALWAYS lovingly embraced and cuddled her afterwards and explained I loved her very much and was sorry I had to spank her but that she was going to listen to mommy, and that was all there was to it. Parenting is not a democracy, and if you treat it that way you will have many battles later in life.
Of course you'll hate having to spank them, that's what proves you love them. We all wish they'd never do anything to warrant punishment but get real, that's what we humans do, and your job as a parent is to teach them very young that there are rules and breaking those rules equals getting punished because that's how life works. And be consistent, don't allow it one time and spank another.
Anyone who says spanking a child's bottom with your open hand is a abuse is simply wrong. It hurts nothing but their pride. It gets their attention and their respect for your authority. My daughter was spanked mostly between two and four years and then we were done with that. She had figured out that defying me was not working well, and she quit. The other day this subject came up and she couldn't remember ever getting spanked. She's a great kid, and I'm responsible in part for that, and I'm proud of her.
Love your kids. Be the boss, not the buddy.