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at the risk of starting a fire here, do you think that spanking EVER works? - Page 3

post #41 of 87
Correct me if I misread your OP, luckylady: it sounded to me like what "worked" was sitting down and talking with your daughter about her anger and coming up with a constructive solution for when she feels overwhelmed with emotion. If I understand your post correctly, it's NOT the threat of spanking that has stopped the behavior, but a solution that the two of you came up with together. If that's the case, then I guess I would ask why you couldn't have bypassed the spanking step altogether (say, by leaving the room when your daughter was lashing out) and had the conversation earlier?
post #42 of 87
I have only read the first few responsed so far...but feel compelled to give my opinion.

This post struck a chord in me. I have struggled with similar issues with my child. It was all fine and dandy to say I wasn't going to spank and try to use reason etc. with just one child. No matter what she dished out, I always had ample time to focus 100% of my attention on her, and we were able to work things out.

Things changed, however, when another baby came into the picture.

Having a high energy, spirited, tempermental child is challenging...but when you see that child turn onto your defenseless baby, you realize that your view point changes. When my almost 2yo smacked the newborn baby on the head, my reaction was, of course, to do the same to her...which I did. She learned a lesson in empathy very quickly. I, on the other hand felt terrible about doing it. Did it work? Absolutely. In a perfect world, would I have ever done this to my child? No, absolutely not. However, we do not live in a perfect world. For weeks, my 2 yo would kiss the baby on the head, and say "ouch", and every time she did, my heart broke that I caused her to realize that hitting hurts. I still haven't forgiven myself...but I do know that that little 'lesson' was a shortcut to my ultimate goal of protecting the new babe.

It is easy to theorize that we will "NEVER" do something as a parent...but then things happen. We get tired, we get hungry, we get protective of our defenseless children. I have read, researched and discussed at length what kind of parent I "want" to be...but when the reality hits, I think it is important to realize that to err is human.

The op acted out of defense of her unborn baby, and should not be judged for this. In retrospect, it sounds like she has found a better way to deal with her dd....which is great. I, too, have found other ways to deal with my dd's actions towards the baby. I spend all sorts of time and effort in trying to teach them to play together, discussing feelings etc. I do not condone any sort of physical punishments, nor do I feel that it is right...but I also get really bothered when I read some of the self-righteous messages posted in this forum.

To the op...I think it took much courage for you to post your story. Good luck with your new baby, and balancing its needs with your dd's.
post #43 of 87
There are a lot of "oh no, I spanked my child" threads here at MDC. I don't remember ever posting to one of them. This one is worded in ways to suggest that it is sometimes a good thing to do. Other posters have since offered samples of statements to this effect. The title of the thread suggests as much. The title indicates that she's worried about flames not because she hit her child, but because she's asking whether hitting ones child might an effective means of disciplining. So... I get into the thread and see more of the same. Didn't read everything, but did see "I've tried everything else... NOTHING worked, until I spanked. . . " This was not set up to be the same as: I spanked dd and feel HORRIBLE about it. Let me come up with better solutions. It was set up as: "I tried every gd strategy imagineable for months and none worked. Spanked twice -- once out of anger and once in a pre-planned way -- and voila, problem seems to be solved. So gd mamas, at the risk of upsetting you, do you think that spanking ever works?"

That was the phrasing that I read. It doesn't inspire me to hold out my arms for a hug. I really don't think that it is appropriate here and the "at the risk of starting a fire" is a pretty darn clear indicator that the op realizes that she was not merely indicating that she's sad about what she did, but that she's questioning whether there are some situations in which it might be o.k. and effective (or at least was doing so at the start of the thread). This fits with her indication that the one spanking was pre-planned.
post #44 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzetta
When my almost 2yo smacked the newborn baby on the head, my reaction was, of course, to do the same to her...which I did. She learned a lesson in empathy very quickly. I, on the other hand felt terrible about doing it. Did it work? Absolutely. In a perfect world, would I have ever done this to my child? No, absolutely not. However, we do not live in a perfect world. ...I do know that that little 'lesson' was a shortcut to my ultimate goal of protecting the new babe.
I see mixed messages here. We wouldn't spank if the world were perfect, it isn't, so sometimes we resort to it and it works -- really well in your case, as it was a shortcut to protecting your new baby (which of course everyone wants). You indicate feeling remorse for this, but yet you're indicating how it worked wonderfully and taught just what you wanted it to teach -- and quickly, too. Kinda sounds to me like the moms who say "oh, I had to let her CIO, I NEEDED to get some sleep. It broke my heart, but it worked like a charm."

I agree with those who pointed out that there shouldn't be a discussion of whether something that shouldn't be an option works. I find it really disturbing.
post #45 of 87
Quote:
It is easy to theorize that we will "NEVER" do something as a parent...but then things happen.
Yeah I can agree with that to a certain extent as it relates to candy, or TV, or barbies, or how old they can be when they date, or curfews... I think we have all said things like that, then changed our minds once in the situation.

Hitting a child is not one of those things. I have gone almost 30 years without having to resort to physical violence with anyone, and I won't begin with my child.

I am sorry the OP resorted to hitting her child. I hope she never does it again. I hope that she learns more effective and gentle ways to handle situations where she and her daughter are stressed out or angry.

What I resent though, are posters in support of hitting a child "when nothing else works".... either you support it or you don't. I resent the "you just wait" comments or the "you only have one child" comments.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND REACTIONS.

I know I will never hit my child. How do I know? Am I perfect? Hell no. I know I will never hit my child because I CHOOSE NOT TO. It is a choice and it is not an option in our family.
post #46 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Hitting a child is not one of those things. I have gone almost 30 years without having to resort to physical violence with anyone, and I won't begin with my child.
Actually, sometimes it is. And I will respectfully suggest that the way you relate to your child is so incredibly different than the way that you relate to anyone else in the world that trying to compare the two is somewhat baseless. Without exception, every single mother I've ever spoken with have said they have never felt such intense emotion as they have toward and about their child. This includes not only the good stuff - love, tenderness, etc. - but also the anger... sometimes rage. I really hate the "you can't know until you get there" sentiment but, really, sometimes you just can't know until you get there. I certainly didn't. I was adamant that I would never hit my child. Ever ever ever. I was feeling like I was really succeeding as a GD parent. Then one day I was severely stressed and my 3-year-old spit in my face. I smacked him on the leg. It was a sudden impulse and my hand flew before I knew what was happening. It was so horrible that I bawled for an hour and my stomach still churns when I picture his face right after it happened.

I had never hit anyone in my life before and hitting was absolutely not an option for me. But I hit him.

Am I saying that you will hit your child? Nope. And I think it's great that you tell yourself that you won't because that inner dialogue is vital. I do think, though, that telling the world that you're absolutely certain you won't ever may be a little naive... and it also doesn't seem to serve much purpose in this thread.
post #47 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dal
I agree with those who pointed out that there shouldn't be a discussion of whether something that shouldn't be an option works. I find it really disturbing.

And I also agree with this.
post #48 of 87
I actually secretly love these types of threads because I think a lot of mom's ( me included) have been in the "ahhhh crap, I spanked my dc and now I feel bad" and I like to read the reasons why spanking DOESNT work in the long run and how there ARE other options....and the support you can get around here from the mom's who have used GD and has seen it work.....
post #49 of 87
I am not going to judge parents who spank because they are at the end of their rope, but no, I don't think it is an effective punishment in any case.
post #50 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Would crystal meth have *worked* to keep me awake during finals in college? Sure, they would have -- pills too or whatever....they would have definately given me the energy to pull all nighters and the edge that coffee never could. They just simply WERE NOT AN OPTION. It was not even something I would have considered. I think that is where people (imo) should be with hitting (people who desire gentle discipline). Choosing to even eliminate it from any of your options...that way after so long, it won't even be something that is considered for a second.
I love this analogy
post #51 of 87
I get the feeling that some of you have no idea what it is like to be repeatedly attacked by your child, on a daily basis. And if you think its because of your perfect parenting, then my hat is off to you. My dd has been a spitfire since day one, so I have no idea what it is like to raise a child who listens.

So before you give condescending advice to a mama who is struggling with a difficult situation, let me give you all a little insight.

My dd is very physical, very strong, and has some mild sensory issues. (Seeks excessive stimulation). She has strong emotions and a high pain tolerance herself. I get attacked almost every single day. She has hit me, kicked, me bit, headbutted me, scratched me, etc. She once started scraping at a scab I had yelling "Ow ow ow." In other words, she was trying to hurt me where I was weak. She will sometimes bite my nipple if I suggest nursie time is over - I've learned to put a finger in before I say anything.

She isn't scared of my disaproval. Getting angry at her amps her up, and she fights harder.

Yes, I walk away. And I walk away. And occasionally I put her in her room so I can cool off. But when I've been attacked for the fifth time in 20 minutes, at the end of a long day, the urge to defend myself rages. It is in these moments I want to spank.

I've never spanked, I will be heartbroken if I ever do. But I under what the OP meant when she said her protective instinct kicked in. Bad choice, yes. But it wasn't punishment, at least not in intent. It wasn't "You've made me mad so I'm going to hurt you." It was "IhavetogethertostophurtingmeNOW."

There *is* a slippery slope, as the OP experienced the next time she spanked. Because you do want to defend yourself.

So no, spanking is not an effective discipline tool. Hitting can be effective during a moment of self-defense, but I'd rather keep looking for ways to avoid the need to protect myself through physical violence, especially with my precious child. She may be a wolverine cub, but I love her to pieces.
post #52 of 87
I don't think the judgements are coming from the actual spanking. Truthfully, I have never seen a mama get flamed or judged on here who has said something like "I spanked and now I feel like crap...help me not do it again!" or something similar. In those threads I see a lot of compassion and understanding and help offered...

Where I think this thread is a bit different is that in my opinion, the way I read it, I interpreted the post to be saying -- "I strive to be GD but when nothing worked, I spanked and that worked. Are you sure it isn't okay to spank in extreme situations?" I know these weren't the poster's words, but that is how it read to me and, it seems, to some others. That is why I think there is a sentiment of upset in some posts, including mine.

I read some responses that are along the lines of "sure, we don't want to ever spank, but under extreme circumstances, it is effective and what else are we supposed to do if our child is hitting us first" and comments of that nature.

That sounds like advocacy and it isn't supposed to be a part of this board. The board is meant to be ANTI spanking...in every situation... not anti-spanking until your child hits you or drives you crazy then it might be okay if it stops the behavior.

I don't want to speak for anyone else, but those sentiments, or similar is what drove my responses.
post #53 of 87
[QUOTE=captain crunchy
Where I think this thread is a bit different is that in my opinion, the way I read it, I interpreted the post to be saying -- "I strive to be GD but when nothing worked, I spanked and that worked. Are you sure it isn't okay to spank in extreme situations?" [/QUOTE]

See, I saw this as a "I have always subscribed to the GD way of disciplining, but I spanked my kid twice, and, guess what? It stopped the problem when I hadn't been able to stop it with GD. Now what?"

Not an advocacy of spanking. A sort of shock that this entire situation has come about.

And I still don't think that anyone has said, "No, don't hit your kids unless they hit you." I know what I meant in my post was, "I'm not surprised that the urge to strike happened when you've been repeatedly assaulted by your child." What ARE we supposed to do when we can't get our kids to stop hurting us? It's a question, not an advocacy of spanking.

Namaste!
post #54 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
And I still don't think that anyone has said, "No, don't hit your kids unless they hit you." I know what I meant in my post was, "I'm not surprised that the urge to strike happened when you've been repeatedly assaulted by your child." What ARE we supposed to do when we can't get our kids to stop hurting us? It's a question, not an advocacy of spanking.
I agree, dharmamama. And I think that the answer to the question was that spanking does work to stop behavior. Which is scary, like many of the pps said, because if you are very frustrated and stressed, it's easy to resort to that. I totally understand where the op's coming from, I think the dynamic is the same with yelling or scolding, at least it has been for me. I also agree with Dragonfly, I have been endlessly surprised by my children and my reaction to them.
post #55 of 87
I definitely agree with captain crunchy and see everything that she sees in between the lines of this thread (without having to look very deep into them).

There is a lot here that is coming across as supportive of spanking. Here is another thing to consider. Imagine a mom who read this thread is having a HORRID day -- absolutely stressful. Child attacks her for the fifth time. Mom is thinking in her head: "OMG This has GOT to STOP!!!" She remember this thread and is desperate. It gives her the incentive not to restrain herself, but to spank. "Hey, I've heard that it works when GD options fail and I'm totally FED UP and DESPERATE." Just what a mom should take from MDC, eh? She can also come back here afterwards for some support to help her deal with feeling bad about herself for resorting to violence. But hey, it's so hard to control ourselves, especially when we have #2 to protect, and one or two occasions of spanking isn't apt to cause any permanent damage, right?!?

Dechen, I think it's wonderful that you've been able to avoid spanking your dd. I would bet that all moms here have a pretty good idea about just how stressful parenting can be. Even though Simon is not overly agressive against me or dh (unless we violate his space or otherwise disrespect him), I can imagine being pushed further and further. I would like to hear more about situations such as yours --cases in which moms repeatedly deal with the most spank-likely situations without resorting to spanking. What is it that helps you get through them without resorting to violence? Just the fact that there are moms in these situations who do not resort to violence needs to be emphasized. I can't stand the normalization of violence in mainstream culture, let alone here at MDC.
post #56 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dal
There is a lot here that is coming across as supportive of spanking. Here is another thing to consider. Imagine a mom who read this thread is having a HORRID day -- absolutely stressful. Child attacks her for the fifth time. Mom is thinking in her head: "OMG This has GOT to STOP!!!" She remember this thread and is desperate. It gives her the incentive not to restrain herself, but to spank. "Hey, I've heard that it works when GD options fail and I'm totally FED UP and DESPERATE." Just what a mom should take from MDC, eh? She can also come back here afterwards for some support to help her deal with feeling bad about herself for resorting to violence. But hey, it's so hard to control ourselves, especially when we have #2 to protect, and one or two occasions of spanking isn't apt to cause any permanent damage, right?!?
Sheesh, Dal, if a mother is rationalizing her spanking because a poster on MDC did it, then I don't think offering a few words of empathy to the OP on this thread is going to stop her. There's a world of difference between supporting spanking, and acknowledging the desire, and I would suggest you are reading a little too much between the lines. And it's VERY important to recognize the triggers that make you feel like you're going to lose it, IMO. It's all well and good to say that you'll never ever strike your child, and maybe you and Captain Crunchy are way, way different than me, but I like to feel prepared when I feel myself getting angry. I don't feel like I'm telling anyone it's just fine to spank when there's nothing else working when I say, "Boy, I know how you feel. I've really felt like that before, too."
post #57 of 87
From your OP i think you did the right thing.
post #58 of 87
My point was not that the "I'm sorry I spanked" threads are apt to lead to spanking -- though I do think they pose this risk insofar as they normalize it as something that frequently happens to otherwise good parents. My point was that this thread serves to leave moms with the impression that spanking works, and quickly too. This is apt to come at them in the heat of the moment, soooo, rather than muster their all to keep themselves together, they may instead bend to the desire to stop the undesired behaviour ASAP even if this means striking their child. The good moms at MDC do it, it works, so why shouldn't I do it? I'm pushed to the limits.

I agree that every parent needs to prepare for feelings that suggest throwing one's child out the window or doing things that are emotionally or physically damaging. The point in recognizing these triggers is to learn how to deal with them without harming one's child or one's own self respect. Nowhere did I suggest that I've never FELT like harming Simon or that anyone who has these feelings is evil or whatnot. I have never taken issue with the feelings that a person has. Sometimes people do not control themselves or otherwise resort to spanking. That is one thing and it bothers me -- a lot. That said, I stay out of those threads. This one is different.

Your reading may not see pro-spanking sentiments. Mine does see them -- and they are loud and clear (and not just the most recent lovely addition). Who is to say that women who are on the fence are not going to come here and see what I see, perhaps without having any disgust for spanking and without a commitment to parenting gently? How about the last poster, who came to MDC and found that -- ha ha -- here is evidence that GD doesn't work, at least not all of the time.

My point again is that MDC should not be handing out rationalizations or supports for spanking, and they are certainly included in this thread. Clearly not everyone is reading it this way, but it can also be, and is also being, read as supportive of spanking.
post #59 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dal
My point was not that the "I'm sorry I spanked" threads are apt to lead to spanking -- though I do think they pose this risk insofar as they normalize it as something that frequently happens to otherwise good parents.
I don't think that reading about gd parents who spanked is what normalizes it. I think what normalizes it is that it's how many/most of us were raised.

Quote:
My point was that this thread serves to leave moms with the impression that spanking works, and quickly too.
I think that most of us "know" that spanking "works," at least by the definition people in this thread have used. I think that, in this culture, the idea that spanking "works" is hard to escape.

Quote:
This is apt to come at them in the heat of the moment, soooo, rather than muster their all to keep themselves together, they may instead bend to the desire to stop the undesired behaviour ASAP even if this means striking their child. The good moms at MDC do it, it works, so why shouldn't I do it? I'm pushed to the limits.
I know that, for myself, what the "good moms at MDC" are doing is the last thing that enters my mind when I'm in "the zone." What goes through my mind is the way I was raised. And it's not even a conscious thought, it's just a feeling. I think that what we are battling down is how we were raised, not what some people we have never met and never even seen, just read about on some website, are doing.

And yes, I just had an epiphany in that although I don't think that an occasional spanking always and irrefutably damages the parent-child relationship, it does set up that imprint of how we are raised, which can be very hard to escape. I've never thought about it quite like that before. Yet another reason not to spank, but then again, not exactly the point of this thread.

I actually think that this thread is valuable precisely because it lets the cat out of the bag about spanking. Yes, it "works." We don't have to keep that horrible, rotten secret anymore. Now that we know that, what are we going to do with that knowledge? How are we going to deal with the desire to use that quick fix? How are we going to overcome our knowledge that yes, there is one thing that would stop the behavior right now? How are we going to beat down the desire to just GET THAT KID TO STOP? Saying, "I would never hit my kid because it's just NOT an option" doesn't address the underlying urge and, frankly, just sounds self-righteous.

So many times here I see people say the equivalent of "How could anyone ever hit their kid?" Well, now we have the answer. Because sometimes people lose the battle to surpress the urge to get their kid to STOP when they "know" that hitting their kid will get their kid to stop. Now that we know the answer to that question, let's work together to figure out what to do in those situations where THE KID WON'T STOP.

Namaste!
post #60 of 87
Deleted.

Pat
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