So there are just some topics that either get you fired up for or against their stance. Spanking your child is one of those topics that is hard to define. Some believe that spanking your child is one of those must dos in order to have a healthy, intelligent, hardworking child (young adult). Others believe you shouldn’t spank your child ever. Now I am not here to take sides but instead explain the stances on both and let you decide.
We live in a society that has social media, camera phones, and other platforms. 20 years ago we didn’t have those things. So let’s talk about spanking your children. I mean is it realistic to think that spanking is just a way of discipline? That it is something that shouldn’t be bypassed? There are many studies that prove that spanking children has NO statistical proof that your child will become a successful doctor, lawyer or even the President of the United States. I believe as a father myself, that sometimes a swat on the butt is needed for correction. However, let me first say that there are different definitions of what spanking is and the being on the verge of physical abuse.
Some believe that spanking is grabbing belts, switches, or items that will enhance the pain and increase fear. There are others that believe spanking should be a couple of swats on the butt with your hand. Others believe that hitting your child in the face, back, legs, butt are all included in “Spanking” or discipline. As a father now, and having had been a kid who was raised in abuse I feel that I need to clarify the difference between abuse and “Spanking” your children. Spanking your children is okay in my opinion sometimes. Spanking, as defined in the dictionary is “an act of slapping, especially on the buttocks as a punishment for children.” Now I want to point out the buttocks portion of this definition. Many believe that slapping, hitting, grabbing are forms of spanking. Per the definition that would be wrong. Spanking was how most Americans were raised. When I was younger a swat on the butt when you were doing something wrong was just a way of life. As a child when you do something you were not supposed to you got a swat. So I am not against sometimes giving a swat. Let me say that many things contribute to getting to that point though. Like the age of the child, the mistake, and the potential mind space I am in as the parent.
So let’s talk about going the other route and avoiding spanking all together. Now I am not opposed to this because I believe there are other methods in which successful parenting can be operated and be prosperous as well. One of which I teach many parents often. Spanking cannot be the only discipline in which is operated or it will 100% fail. So there needs to be other methods and if you are a parent that struggles with spanking and want to avoid it and still have children that learn respect and grow into healthy, engaged children then I have an option for you that I will get into just shortly. As I said earlier I am not opposed to avoiding spanking. I was a child who was abused growing up. Slapped, hit in the face, punched, shoved, thrown down, kicked, hit with items I mentioned earlier. I know the damage that abuse causes to confidence, self-control and anger. If you don’t plan to use physical discipline then as a parent you need to have a strong back up plan. What is it that you use? Is it screaming, yelling, and threatening? I mean although not hitting, those reactions can be very damaging as well so what do you do? If you are the parent stuck in that situation of I don’t want to hurt my kid and I don’t want to scream! Well that’s tough! As a Dad I have been in those situations! I sometimes feel soft if I don’t spank and other times I feel like I’ve completely failed if I yell and or spank sometimes both!
As a dad, I want my children to succeed. I want them to be successful, bright, funny, world changing dream chasers. Now can I get this done without spanking? I don’t know, but what I do know, is that I have found a method that challenges both. Affirmation, it may seem silly to some but I began using it for 4 years and have seen leaps and bounds of growth in my own son. Instead of hitting (sometimes I do swat his butt once after explaining what he did and why I am going to and not in a rage or anger) I affirm him and the correct the behavior. I always try to focus on the behavior and not him as an individual. We are not defined by our mistakes and so if we always address the person and not the behavior we will eventually beat them down so much that they will believe the mistake is just who they are. So I affirm, then correct. If my son draws on the wall I say for example, “YOU ARE BOLD SON, but we don’t draw on the wall.” Now this is something that is pretty easy from afar but in the act is extremely hard to complete when we are so used to the other methods. Often times it’s as simple as affirming them every single day because we truly want our kids to believe what we say so being more intentional about what comes out of our mouths as parents is key.
So if I spank my kids, does that make me a bad parent? The answer is no, but if you don’t have a proven plan in place alongside that to mold your children’s behaviors it could get brutal in a hurry. Remember, if you don’t live what you preach to your kids they won’t respect you no matter how much pain you inflict on them anyhow; so it starts with us. If you choose to not spank that’s okay too! Again, have a proven plan in place not one from 1914 that 4 great aunts used because times have changed and so the methods in which kids learn is different. Look in the mirror, find a method that works while also building our kids up at the same time. You are not a bad parent, we just have to figure this whole parenting thing out together and help others along the way.