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Is being AP a whole pick and choose whatever you want and do away with the rest? - Page 2

post #21 of 137
post #22 of 137
FWIW, I don't consider spanking a parenting tool. I consider it an outward cry for help from the parent's child within. Some are doing ten times better than how they were treated, but are still not at the point where they can control themselves and overcome their inner demons. I honestly believe that spanking is the last resort of a parent who has run out of resources and support and good information. As a famous horse trainer once said "Violence begins where knowledge ends".

It's not something to villify parents about (as much as it raises my hackles to see it), but I also think nobody can really say that it's just "one tool". I don't think it's a tool, I think it's a symptom of inner conflict and lack of self-control on the part of the parent (and I don't mean that in a "you should be able to control yourself" way, but in a "you don't have the support, resources, you need" sort of way).

btw, asherah, great post! I, too, was reminded of the whole "you think you're christian but you're not" stuff that goes on amongst the various christian faiths.
post #23 of 137
You obviously did not read the rest of my posts on the issue. It IS judgemental of me, which I already acknowledged.

Ack, I read the first paragraph above Piglet's post and it appeared to be part of her post, which really didn't make sense.

With that in mind, I'll type out a whole new post.
post #24 of 137

Wheee Piglet68 agrees with me about something! Whoo hoo!

(I am affectionately TEASING here)
post #25 of 137
Can you spank and be AP? There was a huge debate about this years ago on an AOL forum after an article was written on Bella Online. I posted this article on another thread and it was pulled. So If you want to read it, I will mail it to you. I am not an advocate for spanking, but I sure am not the militant I once was about not spanking I once was.

That being said. I think you can be AP and spank and even allow a baby to CIO.
For some people spanking is a part of their religious beliefs. I know moms who sling, homebirth, breastfeed, cosleep, cloth diaper -- and are very intune with their children and spank.

I adopted a child with FAE and had SID. I let him cry it out. I really dont care about the judgement anymore, but when you have a child that cried 4-6 hours straight per day, you can only hold them so long, sling them so long, until you are a basket case. Once my son was allowed to lay in his crib (something I never used before) and cry, he would calm and sleep. He never was interested in cosleeping and he never calmed when I held him. Luckily I had this wonderful mom, that most people on this forum would despise because she is not AP at all and walks into the hospital begging for an epidural, would come to my house and take this crying baby to her house so I could have some peace. She would even let him stay there all night when she knew I would go without sleep for days and get really depressed. I still considered myself AP. It was difficult parenting this child based on "AP" rules and norms -- and still is.
post #26 of 137
Forget it.
post #27 of 137
A parent who spanks is not, at the time of the spanking, attached to her child. I can't see how that is even part of an attached relationship. Spanking is hitting, and hitting is abuse. Every. single. time. Hitting is not part of a loving, trusting relationship.
I understand that using the word "abuse" causes a lot of people to just tune out, but I can't sugarcoat it. Doing so, to me, invalidates the fact that a child has been hit by someone she trusts. I won't invalidate the experience of a child who has been abused in order to make the parent feel better about it.

I don't think that every parent who has ever spanked is a bad parent. I think that a parent who spanks is a parent who doesn't have a better way of coping. There are ALWAYS better ways of coping, and I don't expect everyone to automatically know what those are. As it has been pointed out, many people are raised in a home where spanking is the ONLY option. We learn by example.

There are legions of parents who have parented quite well without resorting to hitting, and even more who have, with help, found other ways to deal with what is perceived as misbehavior. Spanking is about the parent's frustrations, not the child's actions. The victim can never be held responsible for the actions of the abuser. There cannot be mutual respect and love when one party believes that he or she has a right to inflict physical pain on another for reasons that are often not clear to the person being hurt.

Again, I know that seeing the words "abuse" and "victim" get a rise out of people, but I think we have to stop stepping so lightly around this issue. It doesn't have to be about villifying the parent who is hitting, it is about protecting the child who is being hit.

In addition to the other site, this one also has good ideas for ways to discipline your child without spanking.

post #28 of 137
Cross-post-- Just to clarify-- I do not feel that my stance against spanking, and believing that it is wrong in any situation and is never acceptable is judgemental. I will never be tolerant of abuse, and I believe that spanking is abuse. I'll go so far as to say that I know it is. I realize that my initial reaction to people who say that they spank is where my problem lies. I have to be better at understanding why someone would spank, because it is a concept that is completely foreign to me. My mind always goes to the child. Spanking doesn't stop with the children, though, it stops with the parent.
post #29 of 137

Just a question..

I do believe that you can spank and still be attatched to your child.. So that is out there.. Not clouding anyone's judgement or trying to misrepresent anything..

If AP is all about gentle disipline why is the a seperate forum for it here?? Not that we are the be all and end of of AP forums..

Spanking IS a discipline tool.. Is it the best on?? No, but sometimes it works..

You can use a knife for a screwdriver.. You can use a wrench for a hammer sometimes.. Are they the best tools for the job?? No, but sometimes they are all you have to get you there...

Sometimes spanking is what you do until you get another tool to help you..

Warm Squishy Feelings..

post #30 of 137
Attached, perhaps. But in a positive way? I guess that depends on how you view the ideal parent/child relationship. If you think that a good parent/child relationship involves the child being afraid of the parent or understanding that the parent has the right to physically harm the child, I can see why you would think that.

Hearing spanking, hitting described as a "discipline tool" chills me. Sure, it is a tool. Just like emotional manipulation and mind control can be a tool. It doesn't make it acceptable on any level.
post #31 of 137
I think pynkie said it best. and i also said i don't consider myself AP. but i feel comfortalble here. and what does it mean when you are spanking you are not at that time attached? so, when i spank i'm detatched. all of a sudden i've lost touch with who my child is? sometimes you guys are so literal.
post #32 of 137
I'm curious as to why some of you spank instead of looking for other ways to cope with your kids. Another thread, perhaps?
post #33 of 137
Bear in mind, I am against spanking.

It is abusive at some level and doesn't even work in the longterm.

I've done a lot of research in this area and am completely against the practice.

Ironically the Bible doesn't mandate spanking and, in light of other gentle teachings, I would even say there would be an inclination against physical violence but the Bible is silent to the particulars but speaks gentleness philosophicaly.

But I think we need to approach others gently. I know Christian AP parents who do spank. I don't agree with them but they love their children, breastfeed, co-sleep, respond to cries but have been deceived into thinking they must spank to be good Christian parents.

As frustrated and downright enraged we can become over this issue think about how grieved G-d must be to have children suffer in His name!!

Debra Baker
post #34 of 137

I AM working on getting new tools

I do not ID as "AP".. I don't think I'm particularly "mainstream" either.. I am simply the mother of my children.. For good or bad at times, that is all I can be.. Me.. A mother to 3 boys..

The boys do at times get spanked.. There I admit it.. Ban this Sr.Member who is trying to be the best mother she can be.. I also admit that it isn't the best way to deal with issues.. I am working on finding better tools.. I am working on it every day.. Sometimes though, I've tried all the tools I have that are newly acquired and they just aren't working.. Sometimes the spanking works were nothing else is..

Sometimes even with new tools, you need to find even better ones.. Sometimes you grab the wrong tool out of the box and use it anyway.. I don't need a lecture.. I need support to know.. I am working on it.. I am getting better..

Parenting for me is a new growth experience.. I am learning.. I am working on being a better parent everyday.. I am working on new solutions.. I am working on getting better tools.. I am working on not spanking.. NOT because I believe it is abusive, just because I believe it isn't the best tool to use...

You can kil a fly with a swatter or a sledge hammer.. Both get the job done.. One does have greater impact.. I'm trying to find a flyswatter for the times that I need one..

Warm Squishy Feelings..

post #35 of 137

I would never ban you!

I consider myself a mainstream Ap mom. I have made certain decisions and I stick with those.

I spent last night on the couch with Goo because she has insomnia and DH needed sleep. Neither of us could let the poor girl go alone in her room just because she couldn't sleep and we needed to.

But, I am trying to figure out how to bottle fed when I give birth to Moo in a couple of months.
There, I don't breast feed.

I think the key of AP is respecting your child. Yes, even the best of us can grab the wrong tool and sometimes, it feels like it is the only tool in the box. I have twice this week had to tell DH to take Goo because I was ready to toss her out the window. Luckily, I have support with my DH and he holds me up when I reach into the tool box and vice versa.

To get back to the original question, treating your child like a person, not a posession is the key to AP in my mind.
post #36 of 137

Insight from one who was spanked

I was spanked as a child. My mom was trying the best she could, under the circumstances she was in. However, even though we were very close (attached) I still remember those times I was spanked and I ask myself: Why?

Actually, because we were close I think it hurt even more (not physically, but emotionally). Now I'm committed to not spanking my child. I will use time-out and remove privileges as a last resort.

I find now that I'm a mom actually harder to relate to my mom and more distant, instead of closer. I look at her a whole new way now. I thought there was no other alternative [to spanking]. She made me feel that way and told me so in the past. But now that I see more clearly I know 1) that I behaved very well as a child and 2) I think as a result of spanking I still (at 27) lack discipline when it comes to organization (my parents were very neat) and other things because it was forced upon me rather than instilled in me.

After reading all this you guys probably think: Uh oh, she needs therapy! But actually I have no hard feelings, I'm just worried about being a gentle disciplinarian (since I have no role model to go by) and about sticking to my commitment. It's very important to me. I'll be lurking in this area for a long, long time

And I guess I use AP in my parenting (I had an unmedicated natural birth, bf on cue, co-sleep, do not CIO and believe in gentle discipline).
post #37 of 137
How is spanking *not* abuse? I assume that when we are talking about spanking, we are talking about an adult hitting a child in a situation that is not self-defense and in which the child cannot defend herself. We call it abuse when one adult hits another adult, why is it somehow acceptable, or not abuse, when the person being struck is a child?
post #38 of 137
I was also someone who was spanked. I think what I got out of it was that I feared my parents. I behaved because I was scared, not because I was trying to please them, or doing it because it was right, I just didn't want to get hit.

Like I said up above I was a yeller. And one day after reading a book about anger managment, I asked my dd if I scared her, if she was scared of me.... she said yes. I was shocked. (I know that sounds weird, but I just spaced out that she might me terrified of me yelling) So I decided I had to stop. I want my kids to do what is right for the right reasons NOT because they fear me.
Sometimes when I feel like I am going to loose it, I leave the room: go to the bathroom, go outin the back yard. I cry I scream at the moon, whatever. Sometimes the "tools" of parenting are the ones you use on yourself. I journal my feelings at the end of the day. When I write out what I think my kids where doing to "get me" riled up, I laugh. Where they really trying to drive me crazy? No. They are just acting like kids.
I have made the choice to NOT do something. I understand now more than ever, that what I do as a parent truly effects how my kids see themselves. Yes, mom can loose it, but mom is learning to deal with that. Example: We where having a particularly stessful day. dd was on the computer and something happened to what she was writing... so she is freaking out, crying, yelling. My older son was in the carport skateboarding, and wanted to come in. BUT ds#2 was trying to get out... ds#1 acidentally hit ds#2 in the head with his skateboard. So ds#1 is upset cuz he knocked his brother in the head and ds#2 is crying cuz he got hit, dd is still freaking in the office. I try to get the boys settled, but ds#2 will not be consolded. I go to help dd with the problem, but somehow make it worse. I am about to loose it. Everyone is yelling or crying or both. I finally just snap.. I yelled for everyone to just cut it OUT!!! And then I started crying. They all stopped and stared at me. I was sitting on my bed, head in my hands jsut sobbing like a baby. I was thinking just get me out of here! They are making me crazy. The kids all got on the bed with me, we all talked I appologized for yelling, they appolgized for freaking out. and we just held each other for like 10 minutes.
I could have gone nuts... I felt like I was. The day had started out bad and was just getting worse. I could have been like my mom, she would have spaked us all and probably yelled alot more. But I want to use better parenting than that. Itry really hard to find ways that work better for my family, that are non-violent. Sometimes the "new tools" take a while to work, it has taken YEARS for me to put to use all I have learned, and anytime something new/better comes up I try to incoperate it in. Being a parent is a learning/growing experience... but it doesn't have to be a painful one.
Anytime I think about just swatting their butts or screaming like a mad woman, I try for just a split second to think how I would feel if that was happening to me. What if I was hungry, tired, whatever and I was getting crabby/sassy/demanding, would I like to be hit, yelled at or demeaned because of how I was feeling? 99% of the time I answer NO to that. and 100% of the time I say no to being hit.
Hitting is easy, I know form being hit and dealing with people I care so much about being hitters. My niece hits her kids (said her church said it was the right thing to do) and a month or so ago we where visiting her and her youngest was crying about something... I think she wanted another tic-tac... and my niece had had it, she told her she could either stop crying and be a pretty girl or she could get the woodenspoon and she could get a spanking. I felt sick. The girl shut up, but I thought... there had to be a better way. How would I have delt with it? I don't know. Maybe talked with the child, maybe I would have given them a nother tic-tac before it even became an issue.... I couldn't/can't say. It is just.. no matter how you justify it how you slice it whatever hitting hurts, not just physically but mentally/emotionally the child and the parent.
It is most important to be there for people who are trying to break the cycle of violence, I totally belive that. To understand that being judgemental doesn't make people open up it clams them up. Book ideas, websites, support groups whatever it take to stop the hitting.

post #39 of 137
No, outrage, lectures, calling people abusive, asking why they don't try something else, saying you can only see it from the child's point of view is definitely not helpful. I do try lots of things. Over and over and over. I worry myself sick. I stay up all night thinking. I read Dr. Sears, Barbara Colorosa, Kabat Zinn, Kurchinka Sheedy, etc. etc. I come here. I take Love and Logic seminars. If I resort to spanking it is because I am drowning. Parents need support, not criticism. Just like the children.

I am not abusive, nor am I detached from my children. I love them more than anything. I had them on my own from wanting them so much. They are wanted, loved, cared about. I want the best for them. I want people to like them. Sometimes they are not very likeable. I just wish I could hear how wonderful they are and what a good job I am doing and offered some *helpful* suggestions when things are not going so well.

And that whole thing about how co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, getting connected, in tune etc. makes discipline easier is a crock. Disciplining dd1 is the *hardest* thing I have *ever* done in my life, giving birth included!
post #40 of 137
Foo - must be something in the air...DD was up from midnight to four am last night. ugh.

It's really hard to criticize a technique or a particular practice without everybody who uses or has used it getting all defensive. Don't we have a 10 page thread about this somewhere?

Spanking doens't work, it's a band-aid. And maybe, in that moment, that is what the parent was faced with as an only solution. But I doubt anybody here who spanks/spanked thinks it's a great tool - I'm sure if they could they would do without it.

I don't judge or villify parents who spank. It *is* hard not to get upset, because spanking is really just wrong from the child's POV. But it also isn't some kind of moral judgement on the parent, either. As I said above, and as Sofiamomma has pointed out so clearly, sometimes it's all that is left to a parent lacking the resources to cope. That is nothing to be ashamed of, or to be mean about. But let's all acknowledge spanking as what it is: the last or desperate act of a parent who has come to the end of their rope.

And please....let's not insult true faith by claiming that spanking is a "part of religion". It's a perversion that doesn't belong in any faith that claims to be founded on love. That some people have twisted things to make it that way shouldn't warrent giving it that much credit!

asherah: LOL
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