Over at the Thinking Homeschooler the challenge is to write a post about National Spank Out day which happens to be today.
Once again I find myself in the minority. I am a person who feels that the occasional smack on the behind is effective. Both of my my children have received a few swats, and I believe when used judiciously they are a good part of a discipline toolbox. I stress that it is just one available tool. In fact I can't remember the last time either of my kids got physical punishment.
Here's an example of when a swat would have handled the situation. At the dance studio where my girls dance, there is a water dispenser. Every week it is a problem for one Mom. Her son (who is about 4) repeatedly goes to it and allows water to spill all over the floor. Every week I hear her say, "Now, E... we don't play with the water dispenser. Then she distracts him for a few minutes, but eventually he wanders back to it and the cycle is repeated. I guarantee that if that child knew that a spanking was even a remote possibility the Mom could say, "If you touch that water dispenser again you will get a swat," and the behavior would stop. Instead we hear the endless negotiation which still ends with a wet floor.
As I said, I know this position is not popular. Many people say that it inevitably leads to low self esteem or violent tendencies. As far as I am concerned that a load of crap. Yes, abuse (of any kind physical or emotional) leads to emotional problems. However, an occasional swat gets a child's attention and says I mean what I am saying. It should always be followed by a conversation to be sure the child understands where he or she went wrong, and I personally always end that conversation with the words "I love you" and a hug. Time will tell if I have created sociopaths with my discipline methods.
As a last note, this conversation always reminds me of the South Park episode on ADD.