To Spank Or Not To Spank

Strangling Wayne

Confession: I have swatted Fia a time or two. I hardly consider it “spanking” as it wouldn’t kill an ant. It’s not something I planned. It just came instinctually. Which perhaps I shouldn’t admit?? But it’s not when she tantrums.

When I swat Fia it’s because she is pulling Wayne’s tail. I yell at her to stop and she doesn’t. I try pulling her away and she grips his tail harder. This all happens in a matter of seconds and I know Wayne is about to lose his cool. Which would leave a scratch or a bite. So I do the lesser of evils. I swat her bottom, physically unpeel her fingers from his tail and yell “Fia, stop it.” At least this way she won’t have a scratch. The swatting is basically the distraction that causes her to let go. She doesn’t even react to it like a “spank.” No tears or whining. She just goes on to the next thing.

Like I said, it’s only happened twice. Maybe three times?? But does that put me in this “bad parents spanking” category? I don’t think so.

Parents has an article that talks about why the American Academy of Pediatrics says not to spank. Under any circumstances. But it’s more related to spanking when they tantrum. When she’s super upset, the last thing I would want to do is spank her. That to me doesn’t feel instinctual. It feels mean–and seems like it would only fuel the fire. I’m also lucky in that, so far, (knock on every piece of wood around), she doesn’t have huge tantrums. When they happen, they last for about 2 minutes. Max. I usually take the tactic of ignoring. Then she’s over it.

I’m curious: What do you guys think? And does the urge ever overcome you to swat your child, like I explained in my scenario?

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