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Why not spanking ? - Page 2

post #21 of 176
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies ... and thank you for not attacking me lol. I have been told before I'm crazy or irresponsible ... I breastfed my son until he self weaned, he was 2. Ex's family thought I was nuts to go past 8 months. I was accused of being negligent because I refused to have him vaccinated, this is actually being used against me in the court issue actually. Anyway I know I'm not nor will I ever be a perfect parent, no one is. I just want to look at all options on every subject and go from there which I feel is best. There are several good points on here and I hope no one thought I meant people who don't spank their kids raise brats who are unruly, I was speaking from the few experiences. I just don't know what to do honestly. It's so hard with him going back and forth and I work swing shifts, 12 hrs. I have so much on my plate it seems and sometimes I just wanna crawl in a hole and get away because I feel incompetent. I want to do what's best for my son obviously. I guess maybe I'm just overwhelmed right now with work , we just moved into a new place abt a month ago and court is coming up. I feel like I TOO often take my frustrations out on my son, not spanking, but yelling then I feel like a total jerk afterwards greensad.gif. Being a mother much less a single mother is NOT easy for sure !!!

post #22 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarynsmom2006 View Post

 greensad.gif. Being a mother much less a single mother is NOT easy for sure !!!

 

I hear you. Do you post in the single mother's forum at all? It can be really helpful. We all (single or not) have bad parenting moments. Don't be too hard on yourself about it.

 

I can tell you that consistency (as far as discipline and dealing with your children goes) can be a lot of work at first, but it makes for so much less work (and happier, better behaved children) in the long run. I have a feeling the cases you are referring to were families where no discipline (aka permissive parenting) was being used.

 

Best of luck to you. :)

post #23 of 176

I have a friend that was physically abused as a child. Do you think she ever acted out in public or challenged her father? Heck no! She was terrified of him, so on the outside I'm sure it looked like she was a "well behaved child."

 

There was a time when I used to spank my oldest DD. I didn't know any better and just didn't know what to do. But one time after spanking her I lost it. I sobbed and sobbed because I felt like a terrible person. The look she gave me as she ran off to her room was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen. I vowed to never put my hands on my kids like that again, and I haven't.

 

I spent hours upon hours reading and figuring out ways to do things differently. I am so glad that I did. I wasn't easy and definitely not what was "normal" to me, but I did it because my children are worth it.

 

Also, as an adult, its not okay for me to hit someone because I am mad at something they did. I would go to jail because it's assault. Why is it okay to hit your kids?

post #24 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemombian View Post


 

Also, as an adult, its not okay for me to hit someone because I am mad at something they did. I would go to jail because it's assault. Why is it okay to hit your kids?

This. Exactly.

 

Why is it that when a grown person hits someone their same age/size it's called assault (whether the person deserved it or not) but when a grown person hits a child it's called discipline? That has never made sense to me. It really bugs me when people talk about it being their "right" to spank, because I dont have the "right" to haul off an hit another adult no matter what. You can't legally physically assault anyone other than your child for any reason- even if they are terrible people.

post #25 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemombian View Post

I have a friend that was physically abused as a child. Do you think she ever acted out in public or challenged her father? Heck no! She was terrified of him, so on the outside I'm sure it looked like she was a "well behaved child."

This is so true and I know from personal experience.

post #26 of 176
I agree with a lot of what prior posters have said.

Before I had DD (2 years old now), I knew that we wouldn't spank, but I didn't feel particularly strongly about it. DH and I were both spanked as small children, we both have good relationships with our parents. In particular, I think my mom was/is an excellent parent, so that colored my perspective. While from my reading and observation of my friends and family (some spank and some don't) and kids around me, it really didn't seem like the best parenting tactic and thus was not something I wanted to do myself, it wasn't like spanking was something that was bad -- it was just that GD would be better.

After I had her, I really cannot imagine hitting her in any way -- like before I didn't feel strongly about it, but now I seriously cannot wrap my head around it. And she's challenging, believe me. It would just feel so wrong on a gut level. I'm not sure if I'm expressing this very well at all, but more than anecdotes or research or parenting books or what my friends and family are doing or anything else, what it really boils down to for me is that feeling. I cannot look at her and think spanking is something I should do.

What's particularly sticky is that hitting is our biggest behavior challenge. I suppose this is inborn behavior greensad.gif She'd never watched TV, never been to daycare, as far as I know (and I think I can be really pretty sure) she had never seen anyone hit anyone else ever, and yet we went through a rough patch of her hitting us and the dog and every once in a while another kid greensad.gif that started pretty early -- like 14 months. It peaked, and she's mostly stopped, but we still do have to deal with it occasionally, and it really is not okay to hit, and it's especially not okay to hit those smaller than you. I think that goes for me as well as for DD.
post #27 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

This. Exactly.

Why is it that when a grown person hits someone their same age/size it's called assault (whether the person deserved it or not) but when a grown person hits a child it's called discipline? That has never made sense to me. It really bugs me when people talk about it being their "right" to spank, because I dont have the "right" to haul off an hit another adult no matter what. You can't legally physically assault anyone other than your child for any reason- even if they are terrible people.


Yep. Would you slap a friend who was having a bad day? No way!

Quiet your child, remove them from the public eye and stop any destructive behaviors by putting yourself between them and whatever it was they were doing. There's time-outs.....distraction and all kinds of ways to make your kid behave better if you have any creativity at all. Folks who spank tend to have just one tool in their parenting toolbox.
post #28 of 176

As a psychology doctoral student and single mother I can relate to this question on a number of levels.

 

I was raised in an atmosphere in which spanking was the only way to correct a child. I have never hit my child and never will. I always thought I would raise her as I had been raised until I was pregnant with her and so protective of what I ate, etc to ensure she was growing strong and healthy. At that point I had a paradigm shift. How could I ever cause physical harm to this child?

 

There have been many, many excellent comments here. I also find it to be a human rights issue. Why is it illegal to hit adults but not illegal to hit children? Interestingly, the US is one of the only UN nations to not ratify the UN Rights of the Child.... In many nations hitting children has been outlawed.

 

I disagree that it is a matter of opinion. The pscychological research finds that spanking leads to anxiety, rewires the brain to be stressed and anxious, leads to worse behavior espec in "problem" children, leads to children using physical violence as a means to solve problems and more. Of course occasional spanking might be mediated by other more positive behaviors but that does not mean it has no negative affect at all. The simple fact that a child is being physically harmed by a parent who says they love them - and often that the hitting/harmful discipline is equated with being a loving parent - is sending harmful psychological messages.

 

As for behavior. I would far rather my child misbehave in front of me so that I can see where her character and development are really at than for her to be afraid of me. That being said, there is no reason for kids to "walk all over" a parent that does not spank. Unfortunately spanking is usually compared with the absolute opposite extreme of permissive parenting. There is a very wide and diverse range of positive parenting techniques in the middle!

 

My mom gave me a horrible time for not spanking - until she noticed that my sister's kids who are spanked acted terribly when my sister was too pregnant to keep up with spankign them. When kids act out of fear they don't necessarily internalize the moral or charater messages (such as we don't hit). Instead they obey only to avoid punishment.

 

One thing that has not been mentioned but for which there is extensive anecdotal evidence are the sexual side affects of spanking. There are a growing number of people coming "out of the closet" speaking up about how they were sexually stimulated as children through being hit on the buttocks. For some, this trauma has ruined their adult sex lives.

 

Two side comments: it is common for children around 6 or 7 to become more outspoken as your son is. Secondly it is developmentally normal for kids around age 2 to hit. Kids that age do not have the impulse control to stop and say "Oh wait, I need to use my words instead!" Sometimes hitting is a way to get attention; other times it is a way to express frustration. My daughter did this as did all of my friend's children - and not one of us spanks. We just consistently picked them up immediately and said "We do not hit!" Then "Would you like a turn with that toy?" or whatever it appears that the child wanted. Then we would help the child to say please or whatever. With consistency of this at the 2 year or so mark it is eventually ingrained and the hitting gives way to courteous children.

 

Depending on your state and county, the spanking and vax could be deal breakers on keeping custody so do your research! I wish you the best!


Edited by Attached Mama - 8/5/12 at 4:25pm
post #29 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarynsmom2006 View Post

Thanks for all the replies ... and thank you for not attacking me lol. I have been told before I'm crazy or irresponsible ... I breastfed my son until he self weaned, he was 2. Ex's family thought I was nuts to go past 8 months. I was accused of being negligent because I refused to have him vaccinated, this is actually being used against me in the court issue actually. Anyway I know I'm not nor will I ever be a perfect parent, no one is. I just want to look at all options on every subject and go from there which I feel is best. There are several good points on here and I hope no one thought I meant people who don't spank their kids raise brats who are unruly, I was speaking from the few experiences. I just don't know what to do honestly. It's so hard with him going back and forth and I work swing shifts, 12 hrs. I have so much on my plate it seems and sometimes I just wanna crawl in a hole and get away because I feel incompetent. I want to do what's best for my son obviously. I guess maybe I'm just overwhelmed right now with work , we just moved into a new place abt a month ago and court is coming up. I feel like I TOO often take my frustrations out on my son, not spanking, but yelling then I feel like a total jerk afterwards greensad.gif. Being a mother much less a single mother is NOT easy for sure !!!

Hang in there, Mama! You're going to make it!!

 

I guess for me, I view resorting to violence of any kind as uncivilized and cruel. The reason why I don't hit my children, or anyone, is because I am an adult and should be expected to control myself and my anger. That's all.

 

As for the behaviour thing, your mileage can vary from family to family! My parents never spanked their children and always had well behaved kids, and we were all quiet and over achievers in school. On the other hand, you can end up with unruly kids, too! So I guess it has nothing much to do with the spanking and much more to do with who you end up with.

post #30 of 176

I don't believe in spanking for several reasons:

 

1.  It's not very effective.  As a child, I didn't view it as a particularly effective deterrent.  I learned far more from the natural consequences of my actions, than the spankings I received.  All spanking really did for me is inform me that my parents were really really angry.

 

2.  I know from experience that you can accomplish discipline without every laying hands on a child.  There are a lot of other ways to elicit the kind of behavior you want without harming anyone mentally or physically in the process.  Daycare workers and teachers cannot rely on physical means of correction, but are able to manage entire classrooms full of children. 

 

3.  Like most forms of punishment, kids get desensitized after awhile, and you have to "up the ante".  Progressing any further down that road takes you very clearly over the line.

 

4.  Natural consequences of behavior are very effective teachers for most people.  After all, we learn from our mistakes.  Random manufactured consequences (like spanking) are less effective at teaching.

 

5. You can compell respect, or earn it legitimately.  You can earn the respect of your children without having to demand it through violence...and as some other posters have mentioned, this kind of "respect" evaporated as soon as they were out of their parents' houses.  I personally would like to have the respect of my child for life, not just the 18 years we're legally required to spend quality time together. 

 

6.  For people who have been relying on physical punishment as a primary form of discipline, adolescence gets real interesting...because suddenly their children as strong as they are.

 

7.  It takes a clear head to do discipline well.  If I am mentally in a place where I feel like I want to hit and yell, I know that I'm not in a "thinking" place, and therefore should pause before doing anything else. 

 

8.  I think of discipline (whether at home, or in the classroom) as an opportunity for teaching and modeling good problem solving skills (aka learning opportunities).  By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have figured out that there are more and less effective ways of getting our needs met.  And most "behavior" that you see in kids is really just an inefficient or immature way of trying to get a need met.  So when you start getting unwanted behavior (hitting, arguing, yelling, whining, etc), it's an ideal time to teach a child that there are better ways of accomplishing things.  However, if your first reaction is to "punish the behavior", you lose the valuable opportunity to teach the child a more proactive way of accomplishing what he or she really needs or wants in the first place. 

post #31 of 176

You're right that spanking does result in immediate compliance, but it also results in a lot of negative consequences like depression, mood disorders, and increased aggression. A new study on physical punishment and mental disorders just came out recently.

 

Most of us spank because it was done to us or because we don't know what else to do. I wrote a blog recently about alternatives to spanking that helped me when I gave up spanking.

post #32 of 176

As a child I was spanked often with a hand, belt, the absolute worse a long thing rubber tube that thanks to my brother mysteriously disappeared.  If I(we) made too much noise, the wind

blew the wrong way, bad grade, it rained outside and we hung up our clothes in the bathroom.  Anything she construed as being defiant.  If she felt that we didn't learn our lesson the first time she made the beatings were intense.  What did I learn from all of this??????  How to NEVER go to her for anything.  I never feared her I hated her (still do.)  I never learned any lesson but what I did learn is whenever anyone yells, argues that something bad will happen.  As an adult I completely shut down when yelled at,  I can't argue with my DH I'm literally paralyzed in fear that I will say whatever he wants to hear to stop him.  When people are angry bad things happen. 

 

As a mother I struggle each and everyday to not hit my DS.  When I feel that rage I completely stop, walk away or say words like "Mommy is not happy right now."  All to stop that feeling of hitting my sweet sweet DS. 

 

What I've learned is that it's ok to be frusterated/angry/upset by your LO.  They don't know any better they are learning.  Never take anything they do personally.  We constantly have to teach them.  They will never ever be perfect little angels.  Toddler's misbehave it's a part of life.   
 

post #33 of 176

Here's my take:  pain avoidance is just that, pain avoidance.  Mice and rats modify their behavior to avoid pain, but that is the only reason for their behavior modification.  Humans are living beings and do much the same thing.  The problem with spanking or any other sort of physical punishment that induces pain is that it doesn't teach morals or a value system.  Behavior modification via physical punishment works in the short term because people are afraid of pain.

 

Case in point, I was spanked and belted as a child.  What I learned to do was sneak around so I wouldn't get caught.  I learned to lie better, be more stealth in my indiscretions.  No one talked to me or had any kind of heart-to-heart on why what I was doing was wrong.  I simply got punished.  So I simply learned to avoid punishment by lying more, avoiding people, etc.  My only goal was to escape pain, because pain was the only consequence.  I had no moral compass until much later in life.  

 

I didn't turn out "good" because I was spanked, I turned out good because there were people along the way (other than punitive parents) who made me realize that there is a whole moral arena out there that requires one to be "good" because it is the right thing to do, not because doing bad will result in punishment.  I hope that makes sense.

post #34 of 176

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

You're right that spanking does result in immediate compliance, but it also results in a lot of negative consequences like depression, mood disorders, and increased aggression. A new study on physical punishment and mental disorders just came out recently.

 

Most of us spank because it was done to us or because we don't know what else to do. I wrote a blog recently about alternatives to spanking that helped me when I gave up spanking.

 

I was just coming here to share a link to that study.  

 

I also think that spanking is a form of bullying and it completely severs the attachment between parent and child, so it's not "just" the considerable damage to the child's psyche.  If you're an attachment parent, if you're all about nurturing the connection with your kids that will one day enable them to be well-adjusted, autonomous human beings... then spanking is the opposite of that.

 

Here's a good quote from the High Needs Attachment Blog about that:

 

 

Quote:

The use or threat of physical punishment will heighten alarm in the child, and thereby increase defendedness.  A child who is continually in a state of alarm will erect a multitude of defenses against these feelings, and will become developmentally stuck.   For development to occur, a child needs to feel secure and at rest – both of which will not take root in a highly punitive environment.

 

And here's a bit from Parentmap that synthesizes Elizabeth Pantley and Alfie Kohn's views on spanking:

 

 

Quote:

Spanking is also ineffective discipline, according to Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Discipline Solution. “Hitting a child typically immediately stops a behavior because of shock, fear or pain. But most children turn around and repeat the same behavior — sometimes even the same day!” More importantly, Pantley says, “Spanking does nothing to teach a child to develop inner discipline. A child’s focus is on the spanking itself, not on a review of the behavior that led to it.”
 

According to Pantley, spanking teaches children who are frustrated and don’t know how to handle a problem that the solution is to hit someone. For parents of preschoolers who try to prevent their children from hitting, this can be a confusing message.


Both Pantley and Kohn agree that the most important reason to avoid spanking is because spanking gets in the way of a healthy parent-child relationship. “Children look up to their parents as protectors, teachers and guides,” says Pantley. “When a parent breaks that pattern by hitting a child, the relationship suffers.”

 

I think the evidence is overwhelmingly against creating a punitive, fear-based environment for our children.  And certainly it is counterintuitive to hit our children if we are trying to foster attachment/connection and teach them lessons about how to handle mistakes and big feelings.  

 

There's also something to be said for treating kids like actual human beings.  I always ask myself:  "Would I do this (hit/speak this way/punish/etc.) to my grandma?"  If the answer is no, then I don't do it to my kids, either.

 

I think a lot of parenting is really about mastering our own emotions, and it's been the hardest part for me for sure.  It's trial by fire and it's intense--but it's up to us to model how to handle feelings and mistakes and "bad" behavior.  What are we teaching our children if we hit them when we don't like how they are acting?  We have to find another way.  (Peggy's link about alternatives to spanking is a good starting place.  Be wary of the time-out!  Some experts say it's worse than spanking in many ways.)

post #35 of 176

I have to say, this is such a fascinating conversation... although I'm not hearing much in the way of support for spanking. I'm curious if there are any mamas out there who think its ok.

 

As for me, I was most certainly spanked as a child but in addition to spanking my parents were big on making sure that I understood that my actions had consequences (whether positive or negative). After every spanking (that I can remember at least) my parents sat me down to talk about what had happened and why I had been spanked and to reassure me that they loved me. On the flip side, they did their best to praise me when I did something responsible. And as I grew I was probably one of the more responsible among my friends. I'm sure more of that had to do with the talks we had but I can't completely dismiss spanking as part of an effective parenting strategy in my childhood. I think every family and every child is different and there is no one solution to every situation. That said, I'm not certain I would actually spank my child and not because I think it's a horrible thing to do but more because I'd rather focus on other types of behavior modification.

post #36 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by yurika47 View Post

I have to say, this is such a fascinating conversation... although I'm not hearing much in the way of support for spanking. I'm curious if there are any mamas out there who think its ok.

 

As for me, I was most certainly spanked as a child but in addition to spanking my parents were big on making sure that I understood that my actions had consequences (whether positive or negative). After every spanking (that I can remember at least) my parents sat me down to talk about what had happened and why I had been spanked and to reassure me that they loved me. On the flip side, they did their best to praise me when I did something responsible. And as I grew I was probably one of the more responsible among my friends. I'm sure more of that had to do with the talks we had but I can't completely dismiss spanking as part of an effective parenting strategy in my childhood. I think every family and every child is different and there is no one solution to every situation. That said, I'm not certain I would actually spank my child and not because I think it's a horrible thing to do but more because I'd rather focus on other types of behavior modification.


would you support a husband hitting his wife? What if she deserved it? What if he told her he loved her afterwards?

 

What about hitting a disabled person? What if this was the only way they learned to behave appropriately?

 

This was acceptable in Western societies not long ago. Still is in some parts of the world.

 

Children deserve the same respect as other members of society. They shouldn't have to earn their right to physical integrity by behaving in a certain way.

post #37 of 176

i think its most important what ever you do to follow thru. i will use time out and spank onlywhen life threat...like running into RD.
 

post #38 of 176
Spanking is violent. I don't want or need to be violent with my children.

Studies show that spanking is no more effective than other methods of discipline. If its not more effective then why do it?
post #39 of 176

I don't have much to add to what the PPs have already said, so I'll just share my own experience.

 

I was spanked as a child.  I was very well-behaved and compliant.  So, I guess, it "worked."  It also taught me several important lessons:

 

1.  Whatever you do, don't get caught.

2.  Your parents are not on your side.  Don't trust them.  Communicate as little as possible with them.

3.  You and your siblings need protection from your parents.  You can try to protect them, but you will fail.
 

I was very compliant until I left for college.  I never did anything my parents would think was wrong unless I was absolutely certain I wouldn't get caught.  When I went away for college, I was no longer afraid of them.  They had no idea how to parent me once they could no longer threaten and control me, because it was the only tool they had.  And when I needed help, they were the last people I would have considered talking to because there was no trust in the relationship.  I knew they loved me, but I felt like we had an adversarial relationship.  I want a very different relationship with my children.

post #40 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddle View Post

I don't have much to add to what the PPs have already said, so I'll just share my own experience.

 

I was spanked as a child.  I was very well-behaved and compliant.  So, I guess, it "worked."  It also taught me several important lessons:

 

1.  Whatever you do, don't get caught.

2.  Your parents are not on your side.  Don't trust them.  Communicate as little as possible with them.

3.  You and your siblings need protection from your parents.  You can try to protect them, but you will fail.
 

I was very compliant until I left for college.  I never did anything my parents would think was wrong unless I was absolutely certain I wouldn't get caught.  When I went away for college, I was no longer afraid of them.  They had no idea how to parent me once they could no longer threaten and control me, because it was the only tool they had.  And when I needed help, they were the last people I would have considered talking to because there was no trust in the relationship.  I knew they loved me, but I felt like we had an adversarial relationship.  I want a very different relationship with my children.

 

This is very well put!  I have similar feelings toward my various parents.  It is not how I want my own children to feel.

 

I really don't think there is any situation that calls for spanking.  For me or for anyone else.  It feels like a human rights issue.  I would stand up for anyone being bullied by someone bigger and stronger.  We are everything to our children.  They are helpless and vulnerable--please don't hit them.  There is no reason.  There are so many better tools at our disposal.  Behavior modification is a dated concept, anyway, and no one wants to live in a punitive environment. 

 

I haven't read yet one good reason to ever hit a child, which is, I think, because THERE ISN'T ONE.  Especially not if you call yourself an attachment parent.

 

Yurika47, you probably won't find a lot of support for spanking here.  Traditionally, Mothering speaks out against things like crying it out and physical punishment.  

 

mleawicks, why hit a child that's already scared after doing something unsafe? 

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