New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-12-2013
Re: The spank debate...
My mom and my stepfather would both spank when I was a child (all of my cousins grew up in a spanking era as well). My mom would only do it if necessary and my stepfather was out of control with the spanking, he would use belts, a switch, wooden spoons, never just his hand.

With that said I firmly believe that it depends on the situation, the child, AND the parent. As a parent if you have the tendency to get frustrated very easily then I believe that spanking should not be for you because you will do it out of anger/frustration and may end up hurting someone and that is not okay.

The few times I DO think it is okay to spank is if you have weighed out all other options. The rule of thumb I follow is this:

Say the child did something obviously out of line but its their "first offense" like taking a crayon to the wall

1st Offense: Get down to eye level with the child and in a calm but serious tone and ask them why they decided to color on the wall. In my experience you'll get "I dunnnnoooo" then explain very simply to them why it isn't okay to draw on the wall and what the consequences will be if it happens again. In this situation I would have them help me clean up the mess or have them clean up their mess. If they start to get upset I try to reassure them they're not in trouble this time because its a learning experience and now they know why not to do it.

2nd Offense: This one is usually time-out in our house. I think it's important to follow through with the consequence you explained during the "first offense" because kids need to know what's expected of them and they need to know to take you seriously. Time-out is 1 minute per year old in our house (our kids have to be quiet and sitting with hands on knees before the clock starts, throwing a tantrum in the corner is not time out lol). As soon as the timer goes off, we get on eye level with the kiddo and calmly/firmly ask why they did it again? What do they think they need to do to fix the problem? And follow up what the consequence if there is a next time and always, always end with some positive reinforcement. Even when they're in trouble I think it's important to tell your kids how much you love them and how smart they are, etc. And make them clean up the mess again, this time by themselves and give it a thorough inspection when they think they're done, when they've done a great job cleaning it up tell them how good they did! My oldest likes to pull the "it's too haaarrd to do by myyyself moooomm" so I simply say welp, maybe when you do all the hard work cleaning it you won't want to do it again :-) lol (My grandma used to make us clean her kitchen or bathroom floor with a bucket of warm soapy water and a toothbrush! Talk about hard work :-P)

3rd Offense: If there happens to be a third time this is where I would spank. A simple "Pop" on the bottom (hand only) just enough to get their attention but not enough to hurt or be red by any means. To me, a spank is a fully clothed, one time swat, just enough to get their attention that you really mean business. Then they need to sit in time out, following with the talk and love and cleaning or whatever they had to do to fix the problem.

I cannot express how important it is to remain calm if you decide to spank because its not meant to hurt (in my opinion). I can count the number of times I've had to spank between my kids on one hand. I think there are plenty of other alternatives before spanking comes into play. I also believe that if you start disciplining and make sure your kids understand there will be consequences for their bad behaviors and making sure that as a parent you maintain consistent follow through from the moment they start movin around then it's easier as they get older. When my oldest started crawling my mom was on me all the time about teaching him how to put away one ball before he got a toy car out and as annoying as it was having her on my back about that kind of stuff but now that I have sat back and thought about it, discipline starts right there and if you start early it shouldn't have to get to spanking on a regular basis.

BUT like I said, every circumstance, every child, and every adult is different and the disciplinary consequences will vary for each. Very long explanation for my thoughts on spanking but hopefully it helps :-) I know it's hard raising kids in two households but I also think its important for all of the involved parents to come to a mutual agreement on a situation like this so the kids always know what to expect and the rules should be tab out the same in each house.

Good Luck!
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