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Why not spanking ? - Page 6

post #101 of 176

I'm not a huge linguistic or theological expert either, but when I was in college, I seriously considered becoming a rabbi and my understanding of the "rod" image supports CatsCradle's point. In the pastoral culture that was the context for these sacred texts, shepherds didn't use their rods to strike the sheep--the rod was more like a pointer to direct them when getting the herd to move where the shepherd wanted them to go (such as into an enclosure). (I'm guessing they might hav used the staff they also carried to defend the herd from predators.) Hence, the image of the rod suggests the guidance and direction parents give to their offspring rather than physical punishment. The text would then suggest that parents harm their children by refraining from their teaching role. 

post #102 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

I dont think saying that you think spanking is wrong is disrespectful to you. IMO, it's disrespectful to strike another human being for any reason whatsoever. In your opinion, it's disrespectful for me to say that I think it's wrong.

 

There is a whole list of stuff I think is wrong. Ill bet you have some things that you believe are wrong too. For example, if you made the statement : "I believe abortion is wrong". or "I believe premarital sex is wrong", or "IMO, RIC is wrong", or "I believe feeding your kids sugar all day is wrong" would you consider yourself to be attacking the people who have had abortions, engage in sex without being wed, circumcising their kids, or feeding their kids sugar all day long? (these are just examples, not saying you believe these things.) The point is, all of them are legal, and different people have different beliefs on them. Stating that you are morally opposed to any of these things is not disrespecting anyone.

I never said it was.  I just think that can be done without things such as "eyerolling" for example.  That is all.  

post #103 of 176

That particular bible verse has been used time and time again to justify parents beating their children. I roll my eyes at anyone who chooses to use that as justification for hitting their children.

 

The mere IDEA that if you dont hit your children then you "hate" them is so ridiculously offensive that I cant believe you would take offense at the eyerolling part.

 

Eta: my very own mother quoted that bible verse as she was slamming my head up against the mirror in the bathroom for dressing like a "whore" when I was getting ready for a date.

post #104 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post

I never said it was.  I just think that can be done without things such as "eyerolling" for example.  That is all.  

Well, I never eyerolled, mainly because that's not how I, er, roll. Although I'd have to say that an eyeroll is hardly the worst thing that can ever happen to you. If you are striking your children, and they're surviving it, surely you can survive an emoticon.

post #105 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarynsmom2006 View Post

Thanks for the response ... I am just trying to figure out the right path with my son. He just turned 6 in April. His father and I have been separated since he was 2. We haven't had the best relationship since, we have tried to get along and do what is right for my son, however some things have hindered that and gotten in the way. For the first 2 yrs, I didn't require his father to pay child support, but finally got to the point where I Had to have help. I was working a full time job as well as a part time and he was paying Nothing, and I never kept our son from spending time with him because my main concern since the day I found out I was pregnant has been my son and what is best for him ( well at least what I feel is best ). Long story short, when he was served with child support papers, he filed for full custody a week later, stating I was physically abusive to my child which was so far from the truth. Yes I believe in spanking, but it was rarely practiced then. He was the one from the start that said he would be spanked and I leaned more toward the other methods /forms. However he had met a new woman who happened to be getting her masters in child psychology and I strongly believe it was suggested by her how to raise our son. I work as a 911 dispatcher and work swing shifts, I have since he was 6 months old, instead of daycare , my parents have kept him and have had a huge part in raising him. Fast forward to today. Father is now married to the female and they now have an 8 month old little boy. He doesn't communicate very well with me in some parenting issues, instead sends "messages" thru my 6 yo as to what he and her think is not good or how things should be handled. My son is starting to become a tad more headstrong and more argumentative than he use to be. He isn't bad by any means, but I don't want it to get to that point either. I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall with him going back and forth between 3 places and so many different forms of discipline :/

Mama -- I think the most respectful thing to do on this thread is to turn it back over to your posts and see if we can help you. As you can see, even on MDC where there is a general philosophy against spanking in favor of gentle discipline, there are differences of opinion. I think if I were you I would let your child be your guide. I'm not sure from this last post if your DS's father has had a change of heart about spanking. Is that part of what's happening? As a child of a blended family I can tell you that I think good communication between you and your X will be really helpful for you and your son. I do think you can handle a slight difference in discipline style but ideally it would be nice if you and your X were roughly on the same page. 

 

I know you probably don't feel like there's much that can be done for how you and your X communicate, especially if he has a new baby and you are both probably very busy. I assume you have worked through the past issues over child custody? If so, maybe a friendly, "Hey, DS told me you do/don't use (blank) form of discipline in your home. I'm having some trouble with DS in the last few months, can you let me know what's working for you?" I think a little humility, reaching out and straight forwardness may be just what you need to get back on track with your X.  If that's oversimplifying your relationship with your X, may I suggest the single parenting forum for help with this? 

 

As far as your son's behavior from a GD perspective, I think it makes sense that he's acting out a little. A custody battle, new step-parent with a different way of parenting, a new sibling, new child care...plus, if he's 6 I assume school is still a new experience, somewhat. I think there's A LOT going on for him. I think behavior issues in his case can probably be solved by addressing some of these exciting new life changes, looking into child development stages of a 6 year old and perhaps implementing things like a good routine, lots of advance notice about plans, living arrangements and etc., (yes) good communication between you and your X and etc. Do you know what I mean? 

 

Also, when dealing with behavioral issues I think it's really interesting to post (here or elsewhere) just one particular incident and get some feedback about how others would deal with them. It's amazing what great ideas other parents sometimes come up with! 

 

Good luck to you!! 

post #106 of 176

Several concerns arise for me when people debate the merits of spanking.

 

I often hear people who've been spanked reporting things like "I turned out okay" or "I needed it, and now that I'm an adult, I'm thankful to my parents for teaching me right from wrong." (Of course, people say this about any discipline method--we tend to justify the way we were raised more than we tend to critique it.) I have to wonder what they mean by "okay." Obviously they learned that something they did displeased their parents, and perhaps eventually as they matured, they came to understand the relationship between a code of behavior, their parents' expectations, and their divergence from those expectations (represented as "disobedience," "willfulness," etc.) But did they really learn right from wrong--especially the internal moral compass that causes us to consider what the right action might be when some external authority figure is NOT around to punish misbehavior? Does one turn out "okay" if one believes that violence (even the "mild" violence of spanking) is a permissible way of expressing one's disapproval of a child's actions? Some "okay" people also consider fights between adults, and between nations, to be acceptable ways to address problems. 

 

How does one determine that one "needed" a spanking as a child? I agree that children need guidance and direction from adults. Children are wonderful beings, but they are also not yet mature enough to make safe or appropriate decisions in all areas of life--a capacity that grows as they do. I don't agree that guidance and direction should take the form of disciplinary acts that cause pain, humiliation, and/or fear of the parent administering the punishment. Children don't learn respect for adults from these methods--they learn fear and resentment. They don't learn ethics from these methods--they learn how to behave well in front of authority figures and how to avoid getting caught doing what they want to do when no longer under the public eye. 

 

Spanking and other forms of corporal punishment were common when less was known about child development--but I should also note that in many cultures, corporal punishment was rarely practiced. Previous generations of parents practiced these methods because this was all they knew and, as loving parents, they did the best they could. However, child-development specialists have taught us much about the way children think at different stages, and this knowledge can help parents to understand that what still gets labeled as disobedience or willfulness is developmentally appropriate behavior...that also happens to be frustrating, difficult, and annoying for parents (and is often the trigger for spanking out of anger when that's one's only corrective tool). That's why gentle discipline is a fundamentally different way of thinking about parent-child power struggles: it's not about obedience and compliance but about encouraging children's growth into persons of character while keeping them from harm as much as possible, and educating them in age-appropriate ways on how to be caring members of human society. This goal goes beyond "getting kids to mind." It's about helping them to cultivate their minds (their independent thinking, including internalizing a moral compass) and hearts.

 

On a personal note, I was raised in a non-violent household and never spanked. My parents focused on prevention of behaviors that are unpleasant to adults: giving my brother and me limited choices, having routines, avoiding over-stimulation, etc. When we were little, they redirected us from things they didn't want us to do. When we were older, we experienced the natural consequences of our actions and our parents talked with us about this. I feel that this upbringing taught me to be an ethical person, not someone who unquestioningly accepts and obeys authority with the assumption that it's always just. 

post #107 of 176

Dr. William Sears, the prominent attachment parenting guru, is also a Christian parent. He wrote an article for Mothering in which he addresses what the Bible says about spanking and recommends compassion instead of spanking.

post #108 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post

 

And I had no idea this was the gentle discipline forum, this thread shows up on the home page so I just clicked on it.  It's not hard to see that a thread like this would easily become a debate thread.  

post #109 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificMar View Post

I'm not a huge linguistic or theological expert either, but when I was in college, I seriously considered becoming a rabbi and my understanding of the "rod" image supports CatsCradle's point. In the pastoral culture that was the context for these sacred texts, shepherds didn't use their rods to strike the sheep--the rod was more like a pointer to direct them when getting the herd to move where the shepherd wanted them to go (such as into an enclosure). (I'm guessing they might hav used the staff they also carried to defend the herd from predators.) Hence, the image of the rod suggests the guidance and direction parents give to their offspring rather than physical punishment. The text would then suggest that parents harm their children by refraining from their teaching role. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by laheathyliving View Post

 The Bible tells us, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him."

 

Perhaps this is a thing better discussed in the Spirituality Forum.  Biblical interpretation of that verse, that is.  The term "shebet" (which has been translated to rod in modern languages) was used widely in Hebrew writings (much of which is the Christian Old Testament) to signify "guidance."  I'm not a scholar of Torah or any other ancient texts, but it is fascinating to me how language is interpreted sometimes into the literal, as opposed to the often poetic or parable nature in which it was originally intended.  But again, a discussion best suited in Spirituality.

This is how I took the "rod". As guidance, not a literal rod. And I don't think Christians are banned from Mothering and since they take the bible as the Word they may quote it as why they feel a certain way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

Dr. William Sears, the prominent attachment parenting guru, is also a Christian parent. He wrote an article for Mothering in which he addresses what the Bible says about spanking and recommends compassion instead of spanking.

I think all parents who are not abusive but do spank prefer compassion instead of spanking. I will look at the article. Thank you Peggy.

 

I didn't see which section this thread was in so I didn't mean to offend anyone who wanted to stay tunnel visioned on this topic. I just had seen it come up the last few days as soon as I logged so I thought I put in my 2 cents. I will go back to my TTC thread which is why I became a MDC member anyway.

post #110 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post

 

I think all parents who are not abusive but do spank prefer compassion instead of spanking. I will look at the article. Thank you Peggy.

If you prefer compassion over spanking, MDC is a wonderful resource.  In reading your posts I also wanted to mention that a big part of GD is about being knowledgeable about child development.  I think your child is quite young and you mentioned that you are around a lot of dangerous equipment.  You seemed to imply that you needed to spank because you child is often around the dangers of the farm. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that NO form of discipline is an adequate replacement for supervision at your child's age, especially on a farm like yours.  

post #111 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post

 

I think all parents who are not abusive but do spank prefer compassion instead of spanking. I will look at the article. Thank you Peggy.

If you prefer compassion over spanking, MDC is a wonderful resource.  In reading your posts I also wanted to mention that a big part of GD is about being knowledgeable about child development.  I think your child is quite young and you mentioned that you are around a lot of dangerous equipment.  You seemed to imply that you needed to spank because you child is often around the dangers of the farm. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that NO form of discipline is an adequate replacement for supervision at your child's age, especially on a farm like yours.  


I thought about that when I wrote that, that it might be taken as though she is not always supervised. I just meant in general as she grows up (now that she is becoming more of a toddler than baby) and has more freedom. I have only spanked a few times and I am not sure what the full def of spanking is but it has amounted to 1 swat on diapered and clothed bottom with hand as a last resort. I appreciate your respectful post and I will look into more of the GD resources. I can't think of any reasonable loving parent that wouldn't want alternatives to try.

post #112 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post


I thought about that when I wrote that, that it might be taken as though she is not always supervised. I just meant in general as she grows up (now that she is becoming more of a toddler than baby) and has more freedom. I have only spanked a few times and I am not sure what the full def of spanking is but it has amounted to 1 swat on diapered and clothed bottom with hand as a last resort. I appreciate your respectful post and I will look into more of the GD resources. I can't think of any reasonable loving parent that wouldn't want alternatives to try.

The GD forum is a great resource!!  I think that you will find that, if you are looking for alternatives you will find so many that you never need resort to spanking again. Thank you for your kind words. BTW, one of the easiest books I know of to recommend to all parents is one called, "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be". It's wonderful and very generous about accepting parents from all backgrounds and value systems. I think you'd like it. 

post #113 of 176

I was a high needs child and my parents tried their absolute best to honor my nature and me as a person. But they did not have the language and resources to understand everything that I needed, especially as I got older. They never stopped trying their best with me, but they did get tired after a while of how much I needed. This led to some unwise parenting decisions.

When I was a child I actually preferred spanking to other forms of punishment (such as grounding) because it was immediate and led to resolution. But the point is that punishment is punishment, and it doesn't really work in any form. I still ended up acting impulsively most of the time and living in constant fear of what my punishments would be. I got used to being almost perpetually punished, and eventually when I was older this did lead to defiance and deception. I also agree with previous posters that when the parents are used to using punishments as discipline techniques they will have to escalate over time. For me and DH (whose mother was WAY more authoritarian than my parents) it was not unusual for our parents to call the police when we were teenagers so that we would "know they were serious" about something.

That said, I also agree with the posters who said their parents were just doing the best they could at the time with the knowledge that they had. I was always a willful child and definitely ended up with more spankings than my other siblings combined, but in general my parents were careful to avoid physical punishment. But they replaced it with other punishments like grounding and time-outs that I found to be just as ineffective and hurtful. My mother was improving upon her parents' style in that they were very abusive to her and she didn't want to pass that on to me, and I know that she always loved me, but I don't think that the punishments helped me be a more moral or ethical person.

Luckily my parents also talked to me a lot. They respected me intellectually and we talked about all sorts of moral and ethical issues. They expressed to me what their values were, why they had those values, and they illustrated those values in their lives. These were the things that shaped my moral development and helped me to figure out what kind of person I wanted to be.

My parents weren't perfect, but they weren't abusive either. I was spanked and I turned out very well, but I don't think that that is proof that spanking or other types of punishment are effective tools. Like my parents, I intend to take the best of the way I was raised and leave behind the things that didn't work. This will include not ever hitting my children and trying to avoid parenting techniques that stunt moral development. 

I think that it is hard for us to sort through how the way we were raised effects our parenting, just as it was hard for our parents to do the same. For people who still have a good relationship with their parents, we sometimes find ourselves defending practices we know were wrong. But the point is that even if your parents were good parents (like mine) and even if you turned out "ok" (like me), that doesn't mean that everything they did was right. It is our responsibility as parents to take our experiences and new information and continue to try to do our best. For the people here, that means not spanking, which I totally agree with. But I just know that I'm going to do something as a parent that will warrant a future forum post by one of my children as to how wrong I was, so I try not to be too hard on my parents and thank them for what they got right (which is a lot).

post #114 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post

 

This is how I took the "rod". As guidance, not a literal rod. And I don't think Christians are banned from Mothering and since they take the bible as the Word they may quote it as why they feel a certain way.

I think all parents who are not abusive but do spank prefer compassion instead of spanking. I will look at the article. Thank you Peggy.

 

My apologies, maybe my post didn't make clear what I was trying to say.  I wasn't saying that one should refrain from quoting religious verses.  The post was more geared to my thoughts on the interpretation of such, which I think is best suited in the Spirituality forum, mainly because there would probably be more input over there and it is an interpretation question, in my mind.

 

That being said, it wasn't an attack or swipe at Christians.  Many, many people use that verse (or something similar to it) to support spanking...I've even heard professed aetheists use it because they think it contains some kind of over-all wisdom for human-kind.  That's how ingrained the concept is in our society.  It just seems to me that there are a lot of things written in the ancient verses that we, as a society, have chosen not to practice anymore.  I just find it curious that we hold tight to other concepts.

post #115 of 176
A shepard's rod is a defense tool. I learned that from a real shepardess twenty years ago. So not using it would be allowing attackers access to your child(ren).

Spanking is about controlling the child when the child is away from you. The example of the farm and the hazards, comes to mind. As well as how the child is dressed. Discipline and control are two different things.
post #116 of 176

It's true that we don't want to host members passing out spanking advice and advocating physical discipline across the forums. But we also want to respectfully reply to members who do post to say things like "spanking is not always bad" "spanking can be necessary" and "I was spanked and I turned out great". After all, there is a child somewhere behind that member's post because it is usually a parent or a potential parent posting it. Take her where she is and discuss it more. Perhaps she jumped into the conversation without reading everything. Or maybe she did read a little, or everything well, and is stuck on her opinion. Either way, respectful discussion has more of a chance of changing her thinking. 

 

Some members may not have the time or inclination to engage in such a discussion, and that's fine. Others can do it. We'll do it. Peggy's post shared some great information that addresses the member's claim to the Christian basis for spanking. Hopefully that will touch this member and get her thinking too. :)

 

Long story short, if we leave a post that is contrary to Mothering's philosophies and purpose on the web it's because we want to keep the door open to respectful discussion to try to introduce people to more gentle, AP and NFL ways rather than shut them down and kick them out of the discussion. And of course, reporting a post helps us see where that is not happening and we need to step in to do it. :) 

post #117 of 176

My kids are older now, but I never spanked.

 

The potential negatives consequences (listed upthread) of spanking made it unacceptable in my eyes, and I could not think of any positives that could not be achieved in a different way.

 

Why risk the negatives of spanking when you could get the results you wanted through methods that were far less worrisome?

 

OP, you sound soooo stressed - and it is undoubtably rubbing off on your son, and making any behaviour issues worse and seem worse.  I don't think you should spank (that is my opinion) but I can almost guarantee that lowering your stress level somehow (how is your support system?) will decrease his behaviour and increase your ability to handle it.

 

If you want tips on decreasing your stress level or on how to "hang in there" until you can figure out what to do, please ask!  Most posters want to help, and some can offer valuable "been there, done that."

 

Welcome to the newbies,

 

kathy

post #118 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificMar View Post

I'm not a huge linguistic or theological expert either, but when I was in college, I seriously considered becoming a rabbi and my understanding of the "rod" image supports CatsCradle's point. In the pastoral culture that was the context for these sacred texts, shepherds didn't use their rods to strike the sheep--the rod was more like a pointer to direct them when getting the herd to move where the shepherd wanted them to go (such as into an enclosure). (I'm guessing they might hav used the staff they also carried to defend the herd from predators.) Hence, the image of the rod suggests the guidance and direction parents give to their offspring rather than physical punishment. The text would then suggest that parents harm their children by refraining from their teaching role. 


This! 

 

I, too, fail to see hitting as the Biblical way to "disciple" a child. (As a Christian, I also have a hard time imagining Jesus teaching his disciples by turning them over his knee).  The New Testament carries many admonitions concerning respectful care of the vulnerable, and warns against harming "little ones."  Whatever Christians do to "the least of these" they do to Jesus.

 

MDC's spirituality forum has a thread for Christian mamas, and Gentle Christian Mothers is a resource website and forum for parents who do not spank or use CIO, etc, precisely because they are Christians.

 

Dr. Sears's The Complete Book of Christian Parenting might be another resource for the OP.

post #119 of 176

My mother spanked my sister and me and when I first started reading this site, I thought I had been abused as a child. My mom did have a lot of anger and depression, but I have realized that she was under a lot of pressure and it made sense. I don't hit my children in anger. I try not to use spanking at all, but I have spanked my son on his bottom with my hand a few times when he refused to listen or follow my redirection. I love my children. I nursed them until they were both 4. I use GD as much as possible, but on occasion I have spanked. I don't look down on people who do it anymore. I realized that my discipline with my son needed to be very firm after his father and I split up otherwise he was going to establish a pattern of disrespect and uncooperation. After I spanked him and talked to him about my feelings about spanking and his behavior, he improved. For me, it was a way of establishing a very strong boundary that words and gentleness did not get across. I recommend that parents learn to meditate and pray before dealing with their children, then they will have the appropriate discipline for the situation.

post #120 of 176

I would like to see this tread go back to how it started, honesty, openness, helping others find better ways to discipline.... I hung through and read it all, although some of the annoying back and forth arguing I skipped. I hung here because I wanted to post my own, but now I feel less interested in it, because of the nasty tone this thread has developed... But I'll try.

I have my own question, slightly different...

I am totally against spanking and I have never used it as a form of discipline, but I have slapped my older child two or three times in a totally impulsive way, where I had no time to think before I did it! It was not discipline, and I never told my child that I did it because you were bad, or because I love you and I have to... I was terrified by what I did and apologized my child, I wanted to make sure right away that what mommy did was totally wrong and I hope he can forgive me. It was horrible thing to hear a little boy crying and saying, it sure isn't easy to forgive. I hugged and hugged and I would beg for forgiveness and beg for God to make sure he wont remember it when he grows up.

Unfortunately it happened again. Another super tired night, putting kids to sleep alone as always, them testing your patience, then getting a kick in the face from the kid (he did it by accident although as a result of acting out) and totally impulsively I slap back!! it's horrible to see yourself repeat something you are so against.

So I don't need help to find other ways to discipline, because I have my other ways that work well, my kids are not bad at all, they have their freedoms, they know when I'm serious, and they respect me without being afraid of me. Thank goodness the few times I have slapped have not caused them to be afraid of me, or mistrusting of me.  I think I have made it clear that I am so sorry. But I still worry about the emotional harm that can do!! I sure would not want anyone in the world hitting my son, and I don't want him to accept it from anyone. So how do I stop myself next time?

The advice to walk away when you are angry etc I use aready. When I loose my temper, get mad about something, it's easy for me to breathe in and change the tone, and go on with a more constructive way. But the times I have slapped have been soo fast, I haven't had time to make a better choice!

I'm guessing I should do something in advance.... Advices have come up to the OP that I could use for myself and might help, like take care of myself and make sure I'm not too stressed and tired and taking it out on my kids. I'm not a single mom, but my husband works around the clock, so in my everyday life I am... I just don't have to also financially support our life.

I hope reading this long threat has maybe helped me... maybe unconsciously I have approved a slap and that is why it has come out. Maybe a deep thinking process to prepare myself for the next super stressed day, or chanting  "I do not hit" as if I was a 2 year old.... maybe I need that, or do I need a psychiatrist before my child is emotionally scarred from my impulses?

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