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.
A. If a child can't behave 6" away from mom, the child isn't allowed 6" away from mom. Tomato staking. It allows you to correct behavior BEFORE it occurs instead of punitive punishment AFTER it occurs. One is teaching, one is discipline. Teaching works. Discipline teaches the child not to get caught.
B. Child is corrected before he gets to the water fountain. "No, you may not have a drink, you have not shown me you can do it without help." Then you get the child a drink, because you're a responsive parent, knows the child will be wanting one, and you'll have remembered to bring a cup, preferably one with a lid.
C. Child isn't ready, isn't mature enough, to go to the dance studio and should be left with another parent, a friend, a babysitter, or mom should sit in the car with him. To teach him how to behave in public, she models what she wants him to do by reading a book and bringing him one, or a toy, or a snack, or a drink from home, but she doesn't allow him to run around unsupervised spilling water in a place of business.
Spanking? The mother needs the spanking, not the child. The child needs a parent.
Thanks for the reply. i had some thoughts on your reply.
A. "If a child can't behave 6" away from mom, the child isn't allowed 6" away from mom."
So your suggestion is that she physically restrain the child? I am not sure that is less punitive than a swat.
B. "you'll have remembered to bring a cup, preferably one with a lid."
Wouldn't it be nice if people in general were so inclined to plan ahead
C. "Child isn't ready, isn't mature enough, to go to the dance studio and should be left with another parent, a friend, a babysitter, or mom should sit in the car with him."
True, this is ideal, but... It's not practical. A parent is required to stay on the studio during the class. Also, not everyone has a support system that would allow her to leave him with someone. As for the toys and snacks... She has tried them, but it is much more fun to see the horror and excitement that dumping water on the floor brings.
"Spanking? The mother needs the spanking..."
I agree. By the time the child is 4 years old he should have a much better grasp of consequences.
Im my house if you make a mess you clean it up. Give that kid a towel not a smack.
I think that it sounds like you need to be raising puppies... no need to spank... it is not nice to hit.
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