Long and probably unpopular response, but I gotta say it.
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I am suprised at the posters (a few, not all) saying that the OP should have been quieter about it, or left the situation or kept to herself etc...
*putting on my Tyvek flame-proof suit*
While I TOTALLY agree that spanking is wrong on many levels, I also see a touch of hypocrisy here with regards to parents' rights. Many MDC mamas complain about being criticized for NIP, for cosleeping, for babywearing, for choosing homebirth, etc. These are very non-mainstream ideas, and yet we (MDCers) constantly complain about being harassed with respect to these choices. And how do you feel when your parenting decisions are attacked? Angry! Bitter! Outraged!! You come to MDC and post a
rant and all the other like-minded mamas support you in your tirade!
Spanking is, like it or not, a mainstream parenting technique, and unfortunately, many parents resort to it. Those parents believe as fervently as you do not that spanking is an important part of discipline. While I find it revolting and stomach-churning, I have to swallow the bile and remember that *my* parenting choices are just as repulsive to some people. What if you were NIP, and another parent pulled their child aside and said, "oh, honey, some people are just so obscene to do things like that"? Obviously that parent is
, but how would you feel? Especially if your nursling was old enough to understand the comment?? I'm not trying to defend the spanker. I think the guy was a jerk and could have used a million other approaches to help his child with the situation. (I also think there is a difference between spanking a diapered butt and backhanding your wife. And I'm assuming he was "spanking" and not "beating" the child--that's a different bag of chips.) But, like it or not, he has a legal right to raise his kid the way he thinks is best. So do you. Would you like someone coming in and telling you that you could no longer cosleep, because it was dangerous? (That day might yet come, if the crib manufacturers have their way!!) What if someone tried to arrest you or take away your baby after your homebirth, because it was considered child endangerment???
I think you were right to explain to your child that you believe spanking is wrong. But I think that a$$ also had a right to assert his authority as a parent, even though I totally disagree with his method, and that you kind of crossed the line by saying it loud enough for them to hear.
All that said
, I think the mom was jerky for following you around and harassing you. Although, I must admit, if you criticized me loud enough for my kids and myself to hear you, I would probably tell you off, too!
I guess my point is not that it's OK to spank, but more that we have to be very careful about telling others how to parent-- lest someone come in and tell *us* how *we* should be doing things. There is a very fine line here, and it goes both ways. PS: hugs to you for having to deal with this situation in the first place.