I don’t care how many kids you have, how frazzled your are, or how things were for YOU growing up…one thing I have learned over the years is that spanking is not okay. Before you decide to teach me a lesson, let me give you some food for thought:
Spanking promotes mistrust from our children.
Yeah, maybe your kid will think twice about stealing candy. After all, he remembers what happened the last time he did something naughty and got caught. But your kid will also think twice before coming to you to admit a genuine mistake he made. As adults, we are far from perfect…we have lived decades of our lives learning right from wrong. Our children do not have decades of experience under their belts to guide them. As they inevitably make bad decisions, they will hesitate before coming to you for an admission of guilt and subsequent advice.
Spanking promotes violence in our children.
Think about it: your kid got sent home with a note saying she bit another child. You decide to let her know–through spanking–that violence bestowed on others is not okay…is it sinking in? Using violence to end violent behavior does not make sense.
Spanking is lazy parenting.
Yep–I will own that statement to the grave. But hear me out before your blood gets to boiling too hot. I was a proponent for spanking with my first child (who is now twenty one years old). She was defiant and would not show that she felt the sting of the thrashings for whatever crime I felt she committed. So, I spanked harder and longer. One day after a particularly sound session, I looked at her swollen red and white skin and thought, “What the heck am I doing? I’m BEATING my child!!!”.
From that point forward, I decided to get smart about discipline. Dealing with a child who slams the door? Don’t spank…just take the door off the hinges for a week. No privacy = no more future door slammings. Another child won’t turn off her bedroom light when she’s not in the room? Remove the bulb. We all know what it feels like to lose power for five minutes, let alone a few days. Your kid has made you late to work again because she takes forever doing her hair? You guessed it: take away her hair supplies for a week. No spankings necessary.
What about the child that stole the candy. Surely a spanking is called for then, right? Wrong. One child is spanked and told not to steal candy again. Another child is told to march into the store manager’s office to admit his crime. He must face the consequences of having to admit what he did. Which child do you think learned his lesson more effectively?
I never spanked my children again after the first. I realized that as a parent, I had to be smarter, not spank harder.
CJ Heath is a mama of four and apologizes to her eldest for spanking her. She would also like to let her children know that she will not tolerate her grandchildren being spanked.