- Family and Parenting»
Should We Spank?
A few days ago, I saw a news segment where a mother was putting hot sauce on a young child's tongue, then, giving him a cold shower. My skin crawled, and I can't get the image out of my head. How or why would anyone think that his method of discipline is an acceptable form of punishment, ever? Even spanking children to discipline them seems less cruel.
Is spanking a child better? Many parents in our society today use spanking as an acceptable form of discipline. Is it? Here are a list of reasonable reasons why people spank their children and my own experiences in this area.
Spanking Children: Reason #1
Often I have heard this argument for spanking, "I was spanked as a child, and I turned out okay." Just for the record, let me say, we all think we are 'okay.' Alright, a few of us don't, but, since I have heard this argument for spanking so frequently over the past 35 years, I am going to guestimate that 95% of us think we, ourselves, are okay. I guarantee you that there are people that look at us (you and me) and think, "You are totally screwed-up." So, the "I'm just fine," argument isn't valid.
Spanking Children: Reason #2
The second most common reason I have heard for spanking children is because it says to in the Bible or Koran. In fact, both holy books justify this as a necessary means of disciplining children. In fact, both books even go so far as to tell us to kill our children for various reasons, like disobeying . All religious people pick and choose the verses in their holy books that they want to use in their lives to justification for just about anything. This removes responsibility for your actions. Just admit that you live by a certain set of rules and standards and have adapted holy verses to support them.
Spanking Children: Reason #3
Some people spank their children because they don't like them. Their intent is to inflict pain to give themselves the satisfaction of having done so. They don't want their children to be a part of their lives. For example, my son-in-law's step-father used to randomly say, "Okay, head to the bedroom for a spanking." He made them get naked, then, hang from the top bunk bed while he hit them with a belt--about once a week.
A Book on 'No Spanking'
I was the parent who was spanking my child because I was spanked, and I turned out okay . One day, in 1975, when I was watching the Phil Donahue Show on television, Phil interviewed a man who wrote a book about raising your children with love and without spanking. At the time, my first of 5 children was 2-years-old. I smacked her with my hand on her butt at least once a day to discipline her. So I thought, "There is no possible way a child could be raised without getting spanked." I bought the book about 'no spanking' just out of curiosity. I couldn't imagine that what that guy wrote could actually work.
Experimentally, I decided to try the 'no spanking, just love' method. It was a big step into the unknown. My entire family and everyone I knew thought I was crazy! To my surprise it seemed to work! I remember once when my youngest two were ages 7 and 9, someone asked me how I discipline them. I was a little embarrassed because I couldn't remember the last time I had to. We were in a loving family relationship where we were honest and trusted and respected each other--as crazy as that sounds!
My Daughter Teaching Art
How lucky was I to have seen that television show with the book author who advocated raising children using love instead of spanking? I learned a better way to raise children from how I was taught. Like all families, we had some bumpy teen years, but we got throw them. My grown children are all responsible, hard-working members of society. I recommend using love, honesty, and respect to raise your children. Let spanking children to discipline be a thing of the past for you, too. Don't just take my word for it. Read a few books on the subject yourself.