Is Spanking Okay?As usual, facebook has sparked a gnarly conversation that has me thinking...
One mom posted, out of desperation, about her niece's horrible, abusive behavior towards her new sibling and her own child (the girl's cousin). I commented about spanking, with lots of exceptions and explaination.... I was immediately attacked for my views. I feel like I need to share that my view of spanking is very different from how I was spanked as a child. Richie and I do not believe that you should spank out of or while angry. It should be a last resort on the list of disciplines. It should be done with our own hands so that we can appropriately control the spank.
I was spanked as a child with various household items, mainly a leather belt. I squirmed, as most kids do, and my mother always spanked me while she was angry, which inevitably caused irratic swinging resulting in my legs and lower back behing hit. Of course, it was always my own fault because "If you would just be still and let me hit you...."
Have you been to Wal-Mart lately? Have you read the news lately? Have you been to a mall or heard how children speak to their parents and siblings? Often Richie and I comment on these behaviors with "If I had done that when I was a kid...." Always the implication was that we would have been given "the look" and would have surely been spanked upon arriving home. Though I am not an advocate for first-response-spanking, I do believe that many of the behavioral problems in today's kids could be prevented and solved if more parents spanked (the right way). I have seen parents appropriately spank in public, which usually renders a quite "way to go" attitude from on-lookers. I have also seen parents hit their kids in the mouth or swat them so hard it lifted them from the floor. I have, more than once, commented on the roughness of a "spank". Sometimes the parent walks off quickly, and on one occasion a man argued with me to the point that we had an audience! I told him, kindly, that if he didn't want his discipline methods to be publicly scrutinized then he need not do it in public...he needed to take his daughter outside or to a restroom. He was in my face before the ordeal was over. He was enraged to say the least.
I do believe that sparing our children of appropriate, solid, consistant discipline robs them greatly. I think it does them and our society a disservice. It seems that children are allowed to get away with more, behave more badly with less consequences and are encouraged to "do their own thing"...but at what risk?
When I was a kid, which was only 20 years ago, I was raised to say "yes m'mam" and "yes sir". I was given the stink eye by my mother if I didnt' say please and thank you while looking the person in the eye! I shook adult's hands when introduced to them. I was taught to be quiet while adults were talking, but not in the way that I was made to feel inferior to them. I knew my place just as I do now as an adult...if the conversation doesn't concern me then I have no place to speak. I was taught to be polite to everyone, to smile back, and to say hello if someone spoke to me. I was taught to be honest, and modest.
At what point did our generation become so lazy with our children? Did we not spank enough? Did we give them more than we had?