to spank or not?

I'm watching an episode of Tyra right now and everyone is arguing about spanking. I was spanked when I was little. That was just what you did. I'm not a messed up, bad person because of it. Do I plan on spanking the boys? No. Here's my reasoning, based purely off of my own experience with being spanked:
  • You teach your children not to hit, yet you hit them? I feel it just sends mixed signals. Telling them that only mommies and daddies can just kind of confuses me and how are they supposed to differentiate?
  • When the boys get older, I think taking things away is a better form of punishment. Kids have so much stuff to entertain them, if you don't follow the rules, you get something taken away. Sometimes that has a much greater impact than a spanking. 
  • When they're little, I like the idea of having them talk to you about what they did. Children need to learn the ability to reason through things and tell you what they did wrong. Along those lines, I also like the idea of them brainstorming different ways they could have behaved that would have been better.
  • I understand in times where the child could have put him/herself in danger calls for a little more authority. I'm not against a strong and firm voice but I won't yell. I got yelled at a lot when I was young. I'm over yelling. 
  • A lot of spanking I feel, is out of anger. Many parents spank in the heat of the moment when they're frustrated with the kid. There isn't any talk of what they did wrong, the kid doesn't know exactly what he did or have the tools to learn a different way to act in the future. He just doesn't do it out of fear. I don't really want my kids to be scared of me. 
So what about you, did you get spanked? What are you doing or going to do with your kids? I'm not intending for a debate. Just wanting to see how people feel on the subject. I do know that spanking DOES work. I know kids can grow up to be well behaved, normal, functioning adults...it's just a matter of personal preference and your own parenting style. 

3 comments :

  1. Well said, Mama. I won't spank - and for the same reasons you laid out here. I took too many Child Development classes in college to spank. I know it's not as effective as positive reinforcement and logical consequences.

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  2. I totally could have written this post myself. I was not spanked, but my husband was and had a terrible experience with it. He was spanked well into high school which I think we can all agree isn't appropriate. I feel like I was perfectly well behaved - as was my brother - without spanking and that discipline does not need to be physical. We use time-outs and they are effective most of the time but I have to remind myself that 18 month old boys have short memories and reinforcement is key.

    Our choice not to spank has been a huge bone of contention with my husband's family. They have dropped subtle hints to us about their disapproval previously but on our last visit flat out told us that our discipline wasn't strong enough to be effective and we should consider "at least slapping them on the hand." This sparked a huge argument and I hope that your family is better able to support your parenting decisions.

    --Alex

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  3. High school? That's crazy! I've never heard of that happening. Logistically it even seems crazy.

    My family has been pretty supportive of all the "weird" things we've chosen to do, i.e. co-sleeping, attachment parenting, etc. so I'm hoping they continue to just keep their opinions to themselves and be supportive :)

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