Sometimes, I wish I never used Google. Or, at the very least, search engines like Google had better filters. Because sometimes when you do research for something, you find things that just make your blood boil.
Like the article I discovered and am about to unpack. Go forth with trepidation, as this can get maddening quick.
The article in question was titled “8 Reasons to Spank Your Kids”. You can find a direct link to the article here if you really want to read it. I would stick with the Jezebel piece–as rage-inducing as the information it presents is–and skip the original, unless you want to be angry at humanity for the rest of the month. I wish I could say I was joking but I’m not.
With that out of the way, here we go. Again, you have been warned.
You have to love your child enough to be tough and do what is necessary to get the desired result. Parent first, friend second.
If an adult man hits a woman and says he did it out of love, society will call it abuse. If an adult man hits a child and says he did it because he loves them very much, no one bats an eye. It’s socially acceptable. But one is wrong and the other isn’t. One is abuse and the other is just harmless discipline. Think about that for a moment.
2. You want to be respected.
To be feared (in the sense of reverence) is to be respected. Your children should be weary of going against your rules. It also teaches them to submit to authority regardless of whether or not they agree.
My mother spanked me constantly. I feared her but I never respected her. If anything, I absolutely hated her and what she did.
My father rarely raised a hand against me. If I disappointed him, he let me know and I felt terrible about it. I respected him immensely. So tell me again how spanking will make a child respect an adult, as it didn’t work in my case.
3. You want to teach them how to make good decisions.
Our destinies are determined by decision-making. Children have the option to obey or face the consequences, and they need to know consequences hurt.
So making good decisions involves striking them. No matter how hard I try to make sense of this, I can’t. I will just leave it at that.
4. You want them to have self-control.
When you are aware of what is on the other side of making a poor decision, it is easier to exercise restraint.
Seriously? By losing yours?! How is hitting a child showing restraint in any fashion? “You know better than to slap your sister! Now I’m gonna slap the shit out of you!”
Yeah, that’s showing a lot of restraint. Sure it is.
5. You want them to be accountable.
Every decision has an outcome, good or bad. Just as your reward your child for the good, you must also acknowledge and address the bad.
Being accountable for a poor decision can also mean something non-violent. “No T.V.”, “No Xbox”, “No hanging out with your friends” can be a lot more effective than spanking. When my mother took something away, it had a deeper impact than slapping me. The spanking simply made me hate her. Losing a privilege made me think, “Yeah, I don’t want to do that again.”
Tell me again that spanking is so very effective in this regard.
6. You want to set standards.
Children need limits to learn how to grow up with restraint. They will never be able to do whatever they want. Teach them to live by the rules set in place.
Setting standards involves violence? I’m sorry but slapping a child because s/he pushed over a potted plant doesn’t show restraint. It shows that in certain situations, violence is acceptable and even condoned. Worse, when the child reacts violently, the violence against the child escalates. It’s a no-win situation here.
7. You see strength not weakness.
Western parents seem to assume fragility rather than strength. Spanking your child properly is not going to damage their self-esteem. Accepting mediocrity and dismissing poor behavior teaches them to indulge in being weak.
I’m sorry but WHAT?! What did I just read? I was spanked and my self-esteem is awful. No, there was no “bounce back resiliency” that the author believes that kids magically have. I was depressed as a child and often swore that I wasn’t worth two cents, that I was absolutely no good. I still have problems with self worth. I have next to none. My mother’s spanking did more harm than good; it weakened me rather than strengthened me.
8. It works best.
Some kids need it, period. When time-out, talking and taking away toys doesn’t work, you have to get that butt.
Let’s change that up a bit: “Guys, sometimes your wife just won’t wash the dishes or put out. When talking doesn’t work, a quick slap across the mouth will solve that problem. You just have to get to that ass in order to wake her up a bit.”
If anyone were to suggest that, there would be hell to pay for very obvious reasons. The author of a statement so monstrous would be shredded by the media and publicly condemned. But again, doing this sort of thing to your own child is condoned. In America, some circles praise this. But it doesn’t change what this is: violence. This reasoning makes no sense to me at all; I should know as this is exactly how my mother thought.
The worst thing about this list? It’s anecdotal evidence at best. Spanking has been studied and the results aren’t pretty. We’re seeing more negatives than positives when it comes to hitting children. You can list all the reasons in the world why you think it works but the science won’t back it up.
Or you can talk to someone who had to deal with it on a daily basis and hear their stories. You might be surprised at just how flawed your eight reasons truly are and how no, those reasons aren’t reason enough.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go blow off some steam. Next post will be something better, I promise.