I agree that there is a distinction between angry and abusive hitting, and a more cool, calm, matter-of-fact consequence-type spanking, but I don't think that the distinction makes either one of them acceptable. Here's why. With the latter, there are still messages being communicated nonverbally. Unspoken lessons learned. Something along the lines of might-makes-right. I'm bigger than you and can administer physical pain in order to affect your behavior and bring it more in line with what I want it to be. Or teach something I want you to learn. And I don't trust you to learn it any other way, so I will use the pain of this socially-sanctioned hitting to change your behavior or teach you. There's still that violation of the child's personal bodily integrity.....I guess it depends on the kind of relationship you want to have with the child throughout the course of your lives, not just in these early and often-difficult years. For us, it is of ultimate importance that we are THE safe-haven for our child; we are to be trusted, not feared. We want to be respected, but want to earn it with authority that does not use hitting.
I wasn't raised that way. I was raised in OH so different a way. My parents actually wanted to put fear into us. "Wait until your father gets home" was a common statement.
But I understand how you'd say you didn't view your home as violent. I don't think that's what people are saying here, anyway....I mean, spanking is hitting and hitting is violent, but the occasional violent act wouldn't necessary make "a violent home." That feels like a leap, although I can't say why exactly.
Anyway, I'm tempted to say "to each his own," but I can't really. That wouldn't be fair to the very small and dependent people on the receiving end of the spanks. Those little folks can interpret hits from their big giant all-powerful parents in so many ways, from "but I deserved it" to "I'll get THEM back, just you wait..." "but she's supposed to protect me, not hurt me" to "I can endure the pain; call it the cost of doing business" to "I must lie to get out of being spanked...." You get my drift. It's just too risky. Why even go there.
That's my opinion. I didn't always hold it. Like I might have said before, we spanked our son one day, several years ago. One day he was "so impossible" we resorted to spanking. And that was the very same day we stopped, once we realized that (a) it made the "misbehavior" worse [we learned later it was SO NOT misbehavior at all; we had just been so very clueless and out-of-tune with HIS needs that day] and (b) it was just so very very profoundly sad to think of hurting that sweet little boy's body, even if it was "just his bottom." That child who I brought into this world and am devoted to protecting. I am so thankful that we were quick learners on that day, rather than repeating the practice over and over.
Thanks for listening. Sometimes I write and write on these posts, because not only am I answering the discussion but it's helping me to clarify and understand my own opinions and actions better.
Originally Posted by mommy212
I was spanked a few times as a child, and I would never, ever describe my home as violent. I had a loving family and I was not terrified of being struck or making a mistake. I wa sonly ever spanked for direct disobedience. I am not pro-spanking but I don't consider spanking to make a violent home.