Have You Ever Hauled Off and Spanked Your Child?

Whether you did or didn’t ~ what did you learn from the experience?

post pic 4-1Jacquie loses all vestiges of her humanity and wallops the living daylights out of …this topic ~

A photo released to the press a while ago sparked pseudo-outrage when it showed a very angry nanny grabbing the arm of one of the cherubic Gosselin sextuplets.  ‘How dare she abuse those angels!‘ the headlines screamed.  What?  Have we all gone so mad to think that a grown up has no right to discipline a misbehaving child?!  It got me to thinking about the many times I needed to discipline one of my kids and, thank heavens, I’m so glad I didn’t have cameras following me around back then.

I used to call Emilie, my firstborn, my practice child.  When I had her I had no idea how to deal with a kid, especially one as stubborn and determined as she was.  I’m not really happy to report that I did fall back on the swift swat on the behind on a few occasions when she was young.  It did the trick, sent an immediate message and got results.  By the time my other two kids came along I was a lot calmer as a parent and knew what I was doing to a much greater degree, and so spanks didn’t seem the best way to deal with behavior issues anymore.  A look, or the tone of my voice and consistency in my behavior worked far better.   I can’t really remember if I’ve ever even given my youngest, Samantha, a spank, though she may have a better memory than me in this regard.

If I were to do things all over again I probably wouldn’t be able to say I’d never resort to physical punishment again. Well, let me clarify… I never did the “wait til your daddy gets home” trip.  If I saw an infraction that needed immediate remediation I took care of it myself.   I always felt that a small wallop on the butt was more about sending a message of disapproval than about administering pain (at least they way I handled it) but I’m sure there were a few times the kids felt it!  I probably had good reasons, but thinking back I do wish I could have managed without ever laying a hand on the kids…in a perfect world, right?

I know they haven’t been scarred by getting a few timely, well-deserved whacks in their childhood.  I do feel sorry for the parents nowadays trying to raise kids, fearful of  having child protective services crash in and take them away if they so much as grab an arm in public.   One of my husband’s favourite stories is of how his mother would chase him around the house with a section of Hot Wheels track.  I shudder just to think of that 3 foot long strip of flexible plastic whipping the 10 year old backside of my dear, gentle Gavin.  We also get a good laugh out of the image, too.  The experience obviously didn’t maim him for life and he’s a pretty stable guy considering…  : )

Let me end by saying that I DO NOT abide by anything that comes close to feeling like child abuse!  That’s a totally different topic, though I imagine some of you out there will counter by saying something like ‘what’s the difference?’  Fair enough.  I’m speaking as one reasonable adult to the next.   You’ll have to trust me when I say I do know the difference and I think most rational adults do, too.  This is just about my experiences as a parent.

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie pulls back her arm, releases and lands a big one right on target~

I was spanked occasionally as a child.  It never felt like a big deal to me because I always knew I had it coming and because it was never extreme.  I’d been warned, but I had to cross the line every now and again to test the strength of that line.  It’s something kids have been doing since the beginning of time.  Unfortunately these days I think parents are confused about what is “best”.  There are so many opinions out there.

I parented much like my parents parented me.  I spanked occasionally if the line was crossed.  However, I felt it was very important to take time out to allow my own anger to be taken out of the equation.  I don’t believe it is right to spank when you are still angry.  You are supposed to be teaching a lesson not taking out your own anger on the child.

One of the biggest lessons I learned parenting was that being consistent always produced the best results with my son.  It may not always be easy to follow through on the punishment but if you are consistent and do what you said you would do/not do/take away/etc then eventually they believe you the first time.

I have a really hard time watching young children out there acting out of control and disrespectful to their parents and to other adults.  I cringe when the parents of these kids softly beg their children to behave.  Who’s in control?  I worry it’s because they are afraid, as Jaquie said, that protective services will accuse them of abuse and so they do nothing.  And the child learns pretty quick that they have the upper hand.  On the other hand I certainly don’t want to witness parents whacking their children angrily and going too far.  I just don’t think the extremes of either of these scenarios works.

I really can only speak about my own experience both as the child who had a spanking or two or three in her life and as the parent who had to deliver them occasionally.  Neither was enjoyable but the lessons were learned.

TracyTracy reaches out to touch someone…without any guilt what so ever~

Yes I’ve spanked my kids!   At least once or twice for sure, never hard, or in public because they didn’t need to be.  Kids only need one at an age when they can remember it and then your golden for about 5 years after that. (kidding)  There comes a day when your kids look at you when you have steam coming out of your ears, like you have steam coming out of your ears, you fumble your words and they mock you and laugh and then that form of discipline comes to an abrupt end.  I still remember the day my Mom came down the hall threatening ‘the white handled hairbrush’ to both my brother Chris and I, she just looked silly, we both looked at her like “Really? Are you serious?“  I think we might have been 12 !  If we had joined forces we surely could have taken her!  We laughed because she just couldn’t pull it off, her smiling eyes gave it away, we all started to laugh.

There have been times when I have wanted to reprimand other peoples kids because they were completely and utterly out of control.  Either the parents have given up or don’t want to be judged in a public venue, understandable, but a cop out as far as I am concerned!  TUNING YOUR KIDS OUT DOESN’T WORK FOR ANYONE BUT YOU! Do something that shows your the adult and they are not in control, please!  Keep in mind that the one person in the entire Universe who doesn’t believe in spanking or punishment will be the one standing next to you ready to call family services.  Take one for the team!  I think there should be a rule that if you tune your kids out in public it is left up to the next closest adult in proximity to be allowed to wallop the little creature!

to spank I remember waiting until my Dad came home once and only once, I was horrified.  I started to cry even before he entered my room.  Poor Dad, I think it’s unfair to make Dad deal with something after the fact because you couldn’t at the time.  I had the BEST childhood any kid could ever ask for.  My Mom and Dad were the best in the entire world, they were caring, loving, patient parents that I couldn’t have imagined living without.  Unconditional love surrounded us and I felt safe, warm and loved everyday by both of them.

The way I chose to discipline both my kids when they were young was to take away some of their favourite things.  I also used the “naughty chair” but was always amazed that my son would sit in it willingly.  It used to crack me up.  I only remember really being upset once, I took every toy out of my sons room until his behaviour changed.  I have a thread of guilt left about that. or not to spank

Finding the right discipline is hard, I didn’t believe my kids should ‘fear me’.  I felt like the time out was more for me than them.  When you do feel like your going to lose it, leave the room and take a time out for yourself to put everything in perspective, hard I know when your child has just sharpied the carpet, it does work.  On the flip side I don’t believe in letting kids run your household, they need boundaries and look for them…forever!!!

Now that my kids are older, when they bug one another I put them to bed 15 minutes earlier each time they do.  It only takes one night of them hitting the sack at 6:30 pm and they think twice the next time.  It makes for a quiet night for you and your partner, win win!