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We are regular church-goers and I get regularly told that I need to spank Emma. I've been told about all the Bible stuff about spanking and that I'm just being emotional in not wanting to spank. But something in me doesn't feel right about spanking. And my dh has a bit of a tetmper. I don't really feel like he would hurt our dd, but I think spanking could lead to accidental hurting. Anyway, I'm not entirely convined I shouldn't spank. I see all the other kids in class with Emma, her age or younger, who behave so well. Emma is a good baby and a lot of fun. Until she is told no or something is taken from her. I get kinda embarassed when she throws these tantrums. But what concerns me more is when she repetedly does unsafe things, like climbing on the couch and running across it, nearly falling on her head. I don't want to totally control her. I just want a little obedience. ANd less fit-throwing. Any ideas?
 

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I am not conflicted about spanking (meaning dh and I have both vowed we would never spank our dc), but feel for your frustration. I'm sure you will get lots of support and ideas here. I get so many ideas for gentle discipline just by reading through the posts here. In fact I rarely need to post my own questions because we all go through similiar things with our dc and there are many wise mamas here with good advice. I take it and adapt it to my situation.
There was a thread just a couple before yours about spanking and the bible too! So that might be a good place to start since you are being pressured at your church?
I always get centered in my desire to do gd when I read this forum, but I know many great books are also recommended here.
Good luck.
plantmama
 

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A few things:

First:

Quote:
Gentle Discipline Forum Guidelines

Welcome to Gentle Discipline. This forum has a specific aim: to help parents learn and apply gentle discipline methods in raising their children.

Quote:
Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.

Hitting is never the best way to teach a child. Even in the case of real danger - as when a child runs out into the road - you can grab him, sit him down, look him in the eyes, and tell him why he must never do that again. The panic in your voice will communicate your message much more effectively than any spanking. You can be dramatic without being abusive.

'Natural Family Living' by Peggy O'Mara

Please appreciate that this forum is not a place to uphold or advocate physical punishment of children. Personal preferences for and encouragement of use of physical punishment are inappropriately posted here. Posts of that nature will be edited by the member upon request or will be removed.

Please feel free to discuss your problems and needs with the intent to learn more about Gentle Discipline.
As noted this forum is not to defend why not to spank, but to provide alternatives, food for thought, support for gentle discipline.

Second, some possible resources for you to consider:

anti-spanking resources sticky: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=231751

Gentle discipline book list:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=115037
 

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Here are the hard and fast truths.

You will never get perfect obediance with any discipline method.

Almost all children who are spanked are spanked more than once. In ohter words, spanking does not insure obediance. Children who face beatings are probably better behaved when they think that they can't get away with their behavior but they are much worse behaved when they think that no one is looking.

My children are extremely well behaved. You CAN expect obediance from children and still not have to ever punish them, let alone physically. But it is just not very productive to expect this from a baby, which is what your dd is.

For your dd, at such a young age, the best, really only, discipline method is physical intervention and redirection. If she starts to tantrum remove her from the situation. Do you really think that spanking her is going to make a one year old well behaved all of the time?

I think part of the problem is clearly that you think that if you don't spank her there is nothing you can do. That is so not true.

Try reading "The Secret of Parenting" by Anthony Wolf for a punishment free way of "being in charge" of your child.
 

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you could check out gentle Christian mothers too. (I think it's just www.gentlechristianmothers.com)

here's a list of alternatives to punishment - http://www.mothering.com/community_t...unishment.html

you could check the book Grace Based Discipline

So your daughter is only a little over a year old right? My ds was born 10/22/04 I really cannot imagine him be obedient...he's just a baby. I think you'll need to wait a bit for that, and just work on not being embarassed because it's normal toddler behavior. Let her get tantrums out of her system, they will end faster that way and she'll release some emotion. As far as safety, be consistent in rederecting and maybe find a way to keep her from the unsafe thing if she won't leave it alone...
 

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You wouldn't think it was okay to hit anyone else (your husband, your parents, your friends) so of course it's not okay to hit a child.

Personally I would never want my children to be obedient. I want them to trust me and listen to me, but never blindly obey.

-Angela
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JoyofBirth
I've been told about all the Bible stuff about spanking
The Bible is not pro-spanking. See http://www.parentingdecisions.com/childdiscipline/

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoyofBirth
and that I'm just being emotional in not wanting to spank. But something in me doesn't feel right about spanking.
Don't ignore how you feel, mama!! You intuitively know that striking a small helpless human being in your care is wrong.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JoyofBirth
Until she is told no or something is taken from her. I get kinda embarassed when she throws these tantrums. But what concerns me more is when she repetedly does unsafe things, like climbing on the couch and running across it, nearly falling on her head. I don't want to totally control her. I just want a little obedience. ANd less fit-throwing.
I might have some ideas for less fit-throwing. A baby as young as yours can usually be distracted pretty easily, so it would probably help to avoid saying "no", which usually just results in setting up a power struggle which results in a fit.

How about this:

"Sorry, Emma, [object here] isn't for babies, let me trade you for [my keys, this toy, the measuring cups, a pen and paper, whatever is nearby] instead."
or
"The couch doesn't like you to run on it; it's afraid you'll fall and hit your head!" as you set her gently back down on the floor.

Also, why do you want obedience? What kind of an adult do you envision your child being? Is obedience really that important? Or can you just think of ways to keep her safe?
 

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There are lots of practical ideas on my site.

The good news about gentle discipline is that it's not formulaic. It doesn't offer a generic "what to do" that is applied to every challenging behavior. You are free to match the response to the child and the behavior.

Gentle disicplie is virutally limitless in ideas on how to stop, start, redirect, engage, elicit cooperation, and enforce rules. Even in this forum, there is a wide variation in approach and a wide variation with comfort levels regarding parenting style and tone.

Not spanking does not have to be not parenting. There are lots of great resources for discipline. Every parent should avail themselves of them.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JoyofBirth
...that I'm just being emotional in not wanting to spank.
Of course you are! You are lead by one of the most emotionaly charged feelings - love and I think it is wonderful. And isn't it one of the feelings that is highly supported by church?

You are rightly concerned about safety, but at this little age children do not posess enough self controll to correctly estimate the safety of any given activity. Spanking or any other punishment will not make them all of a sudden take a leap in their development.

Just like many pp's said - redirection and avoidance the situations where safety might be an issue.

As far as other kids behaving so well... I know I should not assume, or jump to conclusions, but I remember being terrified of making a wrong move or a sound in presence of adults for fear of being spanked or ridiculed. I was very well behaved!

I almost went down the same road as my parents, but then I did a lot of thinking of what is it I want my kids to be? What do I want to be in their life?

Do I want my kids to learn to do what I say, because if they don't the "or else" will happen? Or do I want them to learn the reasons for doing things? Or do I want them to do what I say because if they don't *I* will be embarrassed/judged by others?

I said to myself - "of course I want them to learn the reasons, but they are too little to understand". "Well" said my other self "if they are too little to understand, then why do you think that spanking/punishing them will make them grow up faster?" "As far as other's judgement - well, let your ego suffer a little bit
" (again, here takling to myself, not you, cause I went through a very similar thing)

So for now I am concentrating on rasing self-confident and thinking for themselves people, not obedient ones.
 

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Discussion, modeling good behavior that you want them to emulate, playful parenting, working together to find a way to get what you both want, more talking, and etc are the things that work for my family.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HappyHSer
The good news about gentle discipline is that it's not formulaic. It doesn't offer a generic "what to do" that is applied to every challenging behavior. You are free to match the response to the child and the behavior.

Gentle disicplie is virutally limitless in ideas on how to stop, start, redirect, engage, elicit cooperation, and enforce rules. Even in this forum, there is a wide variation in approach and a wide variation with comfort levels regarding parenting style and tone.

Well said.
 

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The title of your post reminded me of Peggy O'Mara's article in issue 127 of Mothering, entitled, "Instead of Hitting". Here is a quote from it:

Quote:
Well, if we don't hit ..... what are we supposed to do?
She has been on both sides of the fence because when she was a new mom, she did spank, until she learned better ways. The article also addresses some people's view on the bible promoting spanking. I'd highly recommend the article!

http://www.mothering.com/guest_edito...place/127.html

I actually left a church that I had attended for 3 years. My dd was barely 2 at the time and I started getting some of the same crap you are getting. After 2 years, finally started attending a church again. It is an Evangelical Free church, and there are folks there who believe in the spanking crap, but the pastor DOES NOT, so it makes it tolerable for me (he promotes the book, Grace Based Discipline which is absolutely anti-spanking
) I personally wouldn't want my child to learn about her Heavenly Father in a place that promotes parents inflicting pain on their children. I have heard, and think it can be true, that people base their internal views of God on their fathers.

It is funny because I am attending a woman's Bible study, and there are women there who I suspect spank their kids. So at every opportunity possible I pipe up and compare the given scripture to how God treats us or Christ treats others to how parents could treat their children. The week we discussed Grace was great.


In one section of our study guide it asked questions like, "Can you imagine Jesus doing XYZ? And I was like, "Can you imagine Jesus hitting a child?".

Best wishes with continuing down the Gentle Parenting path - it is the best for you and for your dd!

~Tracy
 
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