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#1 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't been here for a while and I know I will probably get slammed for even asking this but .... Why is everyone totally against spanking for discipline ? Just curious on everyone's views and opinions. 

 

 

Thanks  :)

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#2 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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I don't equate spanking with discipline.  I can discipline my kids without spanking them.

 

I am a GD convert so I remember the days when I didn't think it was the worst thing to spank your kid.  Now, I really do.  In my heart of hearts.  I hadn't really been in a position to spank my child very OFTEN so it wasn't really "in my face".  We did a lot of redirection, etc. and so it wasn't a common event.  We had plenty to turn to first, but spanking wasn't off the table.  

 

But then life got stressful and the kids got upset and misbehaved way more and my patience was nil and the incidents happened more.  And I really saw that they were emotionally hurt when I did it.  Not in a manipulative way, but really, really hurt.

 

Well, their behavior got to be SO bad that I read a book that pointed out that kids act based on one of two emotions: love and fear.  When you look at it that way, you realize that you're hitting them when they're scared.  Wow.

 

Once I overhauled my view on the whole thing, my kids behaviors changed.  Fast.  In a good way.  And I quickly realized that the spanking was more about my own lack of patience and my own inability to put my kids feelings and emotional well-being first.  But then, I didn't see their negative behaviors as fear-based (because they're not obviously fear-based) I saw them as vengeful, manipulative or angry.

 

And then I saw something somewhere (a photo meme or something) that pointed out that if my kid were older, doing it would be illegal; and for me, I really wanted to respect my child as a person.  A little person.  And I wanted them to respect themselves as little people.  I can't do that if I treat them like... well, I don't know what I would have in my life that I would hit and it would be a productive thing.

 

That's my perspective.


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#3 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 10:01 PM
 
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Spanking isn't discipline, it is a reaction to frustration, anger, and/or lack of better ways to deal with a situation. Hitting because you don't know what else to do teaches kids nothing except to hit when they don't know what else to do. It isn't a punishment that tends to be used right away so it tends to be done so it typically either takes away any incentive for a child to behave or is used on a child no longer misbehaving. It is something many parents don't want to actually follow through with so kids learn to only listen when there think their parent will actually follow through. I prefer a gentler and more effective approach that can be used consistently without feeling squeemish about following through.
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#4 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 10:06 PM
 
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I'm just curious to know why you're asking?
 


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#5 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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 :/

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#6 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 11:21 PM
 
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I was raised by a mother who spanked me quite often.  I never learned anything from those spankings, but I did fear her.  A child should never fear a parent.  I have always felt that raising a child with respect and kindness teaches respect and kindness.  Violence teaches violence.  Once I was grown and my mother and I had developed a working relationship we were able to talk about the spanking and she regrets it... I don't want that for me or for my daughter.

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#7 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been around several kids who were disciplined both ways , spanking and just talking/explaining ect. and quite frankly the children who were spanked were more well behaved. It seems as tho the ones disciplined by other forms walked all over their parents. The parents called them "high spirited" etc , I personally disagree with the explanation. The other post was part of why I am asking , and like I said , just trying to get several opinions and viewpoints on it. 

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#8 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess it's mostly a matter of opinion. My husband now was disciplined "old school" so to speak, his father spanked him quite frequently , and his 6 brothers and sisters. They have all turned out to be good people. My husband is a police officer and has been for 15 yrs now. His viewpoint now is that he has more respect for his dad than anyone else he knows because he taught him right from wrong ... 

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#9 of 176 Old 08-01-2012, 11:54 PM
 
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I think there is a long continuum with smacking on one end and permissive parenting or no discipline at all on the other end. We do not hit our child and my DH and his former wife did not hit their now 30yo who is a delightful woman.

We choose not to hit for several reasons

-. We see it as a human rights issue, it's not ok to hit adults therefore there's no reason why it's ok to hit children

- smacking relies on fear to achieve its effect and we don't want to develop our relationship based on fear

- there is some evidence to show that, for some people, it has long term consequences in terms of depression and/or anxiety disorders later in life

- there is also some evidence to show that it isn't a very effective form of disciPline anyway and just encourages children to hide their actions to avoid punishment

We only have a 2yo so our strategies won't be the same as for an older child but we try to tailor what we do to her level of development. So, for the moment it is distraction and redirection and empathising when we have to say no. We try to create an environment where we don't have to say no too often but she doesn't walk all over us. We don't allow her to destroy things, write on walls or eat ice cream three a day. All of which she has wanted to do at various times :-)

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#10 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 12:17 AM
 
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My parents did, and they were extremely abusive, but no one knew. Outsiders thought we were the perfect family, but my mother spanked even for what she imagined others could have thought about me, I was never safe. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Today, I have no contact with my parents, would be overjoyed if I never saw them again, and I do my best to keep my children safely away from them. There is NO WAY I'm doing the same to my kids. By the way, DH is also against spanking, but that doesn't mean we're letting them walk all over us.

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#11 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 04:35 AM
 
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It may be helpful if you look at things not as a "me versus him" situation, but see the child as a human being worthy of respect, just because he is. Not because he behaves in an appropriate way, or because he conforms to some standards of behaviour. If you see him as doing his best to please you, but sometimes lacks the means. For example, ds teases dd; my first reaction would be to yell: "how many times have I told you etc. etc. !!" But then I realize it's snack time and they are acting up because they might be hungry.

 

I believe spanking works with many children (in the sense that it stops unwanted behaviour) in the moment, but at what cost! It affects the child's self-confidence, trust in the parent, the relationship between the two. And there are other ways to discipline (not punish), which are more work, but worth it.
 

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#12 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 06:44 AM
 
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"It's not okay to hit."

 

How can I teach my child that very important lesson, if I cant even abide by it myself?


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#13 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

"It's not okay to hit."

 

How can I teach my child that very important lesson, if I cant even abide by it myself?

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#14 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 08:48 AM
 
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I have never spanked either of my children or hit them in any way (I make this distinction because I know plenty of parents who say "Oh, I would never hit my kids...but I do spank them.")  A spank, by definition, is a hit.

 

Other posters have made lots of good points that I won't reiterate, but as a public school teacher, I have sat through lots of child abuse prevention plays where a group does a presentation about "good touches and bad touches."  Oftentimes, the big message is that nobody should touch any of your body that is covered by a bathing suit (ie:  genitals and breasts).  Yet, many people think it's just fine to spank on the bottom.  Quite a paradox.

 

I don't spank because it's not fair for big people to hit little people.  I don't spank because hitting is not okay.  I don't spank because it's mean and bullying.  I don't spank because I don't learn rules better by being hit, so why would I think doing it to somebody half my size was a good idea or an effective teaching strategy?

 

Think about this:  if a husband said he spanked his wife once in a while, but only when she really needed it, would you think that was okay? Of course not.

 

It's a human rights issue.

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#15 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 09:56 AM
 
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I have been around several kids who were disciplined both ways , spanking and just talking/explaining ect. and quite frankly the children who were spanked were more well behaved. It seems as tho the ones disciplined by other forms walked all over their parents. The parents called them "high spirited" etc , I personally disagree with the explanation. The other post was part of why I am asking , and like I said , just trying to get several opinions and viewpoints on it. 

 

I will posit that the kids that you've been around are behaving because there is an adult there and they are behaving in order to avoid being spanked.  I would say a better assessment would be when the kids were around just other kids with no adults around (which is difficult to assess without hidden cameras, lol)  - how do they act THEN? 

 

It depends on your goals.  If you want an obedient child who doesn't misbehave in public and doesn't challenge anything you say, then maybe spanking is the way to go (though I've never really heard of a kid spanked only once in their lifetime, so I am dubious of how much it "works" anyway).  I don't want that.  I want kids who are going to think about things, and decide right from wrong on their own, and not be afraid to negotiate or argue back in the face of something they think is wrong.  That means that they're going to test me, because they have to practice somewhere.  I may complain about it, but in the end it's really what I want.  I don't want obedient children who grow up into obedient adults (or rebellious adults from backlash).  I want thinking children who grow up to be thinking adults.  For instance - my kiddo, who is not always terrifcally behaved, twice in school last year stood up for other kids who were being harrassed when teachers weren't watching - stood right up to classmates and defended the other kids.  THAT is the kid I want.  And if that means they sometimes stand up to me, or don't listen to me every single time, then so be it.  I'll take being obnoxious sometimes to get that. 

 

FWIW, I don't consider all spanking abusive.  I think it's a lousy (and sometimes creepy) way to parent, but I think there is a definite difference between garden variety spanking and beating.  I don't agree with either, but think one needs a parent to learn better techniques, and the other needs the parents to go to jail.

 

My kids are 6 and 8.  They challenge me a lot of the time.  They are not perfect, and neither am I.  As they mature, they are more civilized in public. It is, in fact, working out like it was "supposed to", though sometimes in the heat of a challenging moment I wonder if it is worth it.  I'll tell you:  IT IS.


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#16 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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#17 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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For me, it just never felt right.  I just couldn't spank her.  She's grown now, and I made this decision before the internet, and before it was "popular".  

 

I've never had any problems using a more casual discipline with her.  I made things accessible to her so she was successful without help.  I allowed her to make mistakes and hurt herself.   She had lots of freedom to explore and learn things the hard way.  

 

She could do something wrong or bad, and not have a consequence as long as she could figure out how to fix what she did.   

 

I have a daycare in my home, so, I also had seven other kids here at the same time, and I have never used time out, or spanking or anything.  (I have lost my cool and had meltdowns before though..i'm not perfect)  

 

Anyway, I wasn't really spanked as a kid, and I turned out OK, so it just felt unnatural to spank someone else.

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#18 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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To expand on what dkorovikov said about how research does NOT support the use of spanking, and actually shows that it's damaging, here is an excellent, to-the-point research report: http://www.phoenixchildrens.com/PDFs/principles_and_practices-of_effective_discipline.pdf

I second what others said about spanking does NOT equal more discipline, and the lack of spanking does NOT indicate permissiveness. I think spanking is the lazy way out. I believe most people have the urge (especially if they were spanked themselves) because, yeah, kids can make you feel rage--no surprise there! But acting out your rage on someone smaller/weaker is irresponsible, and makes you a poor role model. It's mean. It doesn't actually help anything, just hurts everyone involved.

It makes me happy that you are asking this question and thinking it through! So many people never even stop to question the patterns they've been taught, kwim?
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#19 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 10:34 AM
 
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It's teaching them that it's okay to hit people when you don't like what they're doing. It promotes violence. It also teaches them that it's okay for people touch them in ways that hurt them. It also creates too much confusion. (It's only okay to hit smaller people than you but not people your same size or bigger. Hitting family is okay but not people outside the family.) With my kids, I tell them it's only okay when it's truly in self-defense. Also, if you hit your kids, you really do lose a lot of trust and respect that they could have had in you. It's just not worth it.  

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#20 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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It's teaching them that it's okay to hit people when you don't like what they're doing. It promotes violence. It also teaches them that it's okay for people touch them in ways that hurt them. It also creates too much confusion. (It's only okay to hit smaller people than you but not people your same size or bigger. Hitting family is okay but not people outside the family.) With my kids, I tell them it's only okay when it's truly in self-defense. Also, if you hit your kids, you really do lose a lot of trust and respect that they could have had in you. It's just not worth it.  

Oops! I must've hit quote instead of edit. Sorry!

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#21 of 176 Old 08-02-2012, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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 !!!

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#22 of 176 Old 08-03-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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 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. :)

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#23 of 176 Old 08-03-2012, 07:38 PM
 
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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?


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#24 of 176 Old 08-03-2012, 09:49 PM
 
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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.


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#25 of 176 Old 08-04-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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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.

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#26 of 176 Old 08-05-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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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.

  reading.gif, mama to Amelie (May 2010), early loss (October 2011), and James (September 2012) vbac.gif

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#27 of 176 Old 08-05-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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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.
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#28 of 176 Old 08-05-2012, 04:15 PM
 
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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!

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#29 of 176 Old 08-05-2012, 04:29 PM
 
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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.

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#30 of 176 Old 08-06-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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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. 

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