Do you believe in spanking your child as a disciplining technique? Do you spank your kids? I’ve threatened it lots of times. I may have even tapped my daughter’s tush once or twice but it just never felt right. It felt wrong. I’ve written about whether or not you should spank your kids many different times on various different outlets and my opinion has always been that you probably shouldn’t spank your kid but it’s YOUR kid so it’s really up to you. Parenting is a touchy subject and I remember how pissed off people got when I said that cry it out was like abuse. I never truly wanted to offend anyone’s parenting technique; not on purpose. The other day a photo appeared in my FB tread and it’s been sitting with me and bothering me ever since.
You either don’t know how or don’t want to use your words. You’d prefer to get angry, get frustrated and hit rather than dealing with bad behavior and sorting it out. Hey, I get it. I do. I have moments when I would love to spank my girls. Sometimes they behave really badly. They talk back and they don’t listen and sometimes I am just too damn tired to argue and grabbing a belt or a switch would make that all disappear. One good, swift smack would probably stop them out of pure shock and awe.
But as a child who used to get hit often, as in it was the primary source of discipline, I can tell you that your child will fear you. They will not respect you and they will avoid being caught doing bad behavior and lie if they are caught. It is not a deterrent to stop bad behavior. It is a deterrent to being honest with you. Your child will learn to fear you and hate the feeling of fear. Your child will be afraid of you. Your child will not trust you. And you can spin it anyway you like, spanking is not going to get the result you want. It will not teach discipline and promote good behavior, it will make your child afraid to get caught doing something wrong and there is a difference.
Don’t bite your brother but it’s okay for me to hit you. So, I am here to recant any wishy-washiness that I may have ever led you to believe that I have on the subject of spanking. It is never all right. It is always wrong and if you spank your child, you are most certainly not disciplining them in any meaningful way.
You are teaching them that physical attacks are okay to deal with your anger. You are teaching them that they can’t trust you. You are teaching them that you are mean and angry, that they should fear…not respect you. By spanking your children, you are undermining your own authority. So don’t spank your child. Love your child. Discipline your child when you are calm and thinking clearly because responding to bad behavior when you are angry only leads to bad choices that will inevitably damage your relationship with your child.
Think back to when you were a child, if you were spanked, was the feeling you felt when being spanked fear or respect? I know for me, when I was spanked, it was fear 100% of the time. Not once did I think to myself, wow, I respect my parents so much for sticking to their guns and punishing me with physical pain.