I watched an episode of Tyra when the topic was spanking as means of discipline. At first, I thought it was an interesting topic, but found out that I couldn't handle it, halfway through the 1st segment.
On the show were 2 groups of mothers, one that is pro spanking and the other was anti spanking. I didn't know if guests on the show were briefed as to what the discussion was all about because what happened was a noisy fight over whether spanking is a good means of discipline or not.
Now, that I'm a mother, I realized that parenting, like religion and politics, should never be discussed openly if you don't want any more enemies. To each his own...One style may work for some, but not for everyone. And spanking is one hot parenting issue.
I have been spanked by my grandmother even for the slightest mistake when I was a kid. And I couldn't even call it spanking because I was brutally hurt, like my lips would sometimes bleed from the slapping. And because I experienced it, does it mean that I wouldn't want to spank my kid? ...or do I feel more violent and opt for forwarded spanking?
Well, it's not supposed to be either way. If you ask me if I ever spank my kid, yes I did! And will not hesitate to do it again if the situation calls for it. But the most important concerns about spanking should be 1. Why was it done? 2. How was it done? and 3. What the possible effects can spanking do to the situation.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO SPANK THE KID GIVEN YOUR SITUATION?
Spanking should never be done just because you're angry and can't control yourself, just like you would do to anyone who pisses you off. You are the primary example to your child/ren. You wouldn't want them to hurt other people just because they've lost control over their anger, would you?
Also, it shouldn't be done just because it's the norm and nosy people around expect you to spank your kid. Parenting is a behavioral research-observation-research process and you, of all people, know when spanking is really necessary.
HOW DID YOU SPANK YOUR KID?
I personally prefer spanking the kid on the part that made the wrong doing. What's important is to make the kid understand why the spanking was done. The way I do it, I warn her that if she continues the bad act, I am going to spank her. That way, it's my daughter's decision to continue the bad act or not...it's also her decision to be spanked or not. When it's time for the spanking, I do it calmly...like spanking is her punishment for wrong doing and not a result of my anger.
I also believe that it's not appropriate to embarrass your kid by showing the spanking to other people. Although the thinking that the embarrassment would cause the child not to do the wrongdoing again has some logic to it, I don't think it's the only way and worth hurting the child's self esteem.
WHAT POSSIBLE EFFECTS CAN THE SPANKING DO FOR THE SITUATION?
There are times when Ella would throw a tantrum after suddenly waking up at night. I wouldn't know whether that was because of a bad dream or whatever, but then she doesn't talk about it! And she can't be appeased by anything either! I know I'm almost at wits end during these tantrum fits, but will spanking cause a positive effect in that situation? Definitely not! She will not understand whatever lesson I try to teach her then because for all I know, she might not be fully awake yet.
It is understandable for us, even though we're adults, to loose our cool. We all have different temper thresholds. But we must keep in mind that the way we discipline our children can make or break their future. We must also consider the child's personality and consciously weigh if the child will be better off with or without spanking. The way I do it is I loudly count 1-10, not only to calm me down while I think objectively, but also to cue my daughter on what may come next if she continues her wrong doing.
People can attest to spanking, whether positively or negatively, but we must still understand how it could work for us and our children. Let me share with you how it affected me before this post ends.
As I've mentioned, I was excessively punished and embarrassed even for the slightest mistakes when I was a kid. I've turned out fine but there are a few things I've noticed. I'm afraid of getting people angry, probably because of the fear I felt whenever my grandma was angry. I never assert myself, probably because my grandma never accepted any explanation because as long as we're young, we will never be right. I always cared about what other people think and have low self esteem, probably because of the hurtful words my grandmother uncontrollably said when she was angry or the embarrassment I felt whenever I was spanked in front of other people. No matter how hard I tried to resolve such psychological issues, they still show sometimes because my heart was deeply scarred. Just imagine the things I could've achieved if I were not like this.
your every woman,