Lately, with the heat being unbearable in our area and me being 8 months pregnant, going to the park and playing outside much has been extremely difficult for us. I make sure I let them exercise whether that is with a video or just dancing to music and have been trying my best to allow them to burn their energy however they need to. Despite all of that, my sons’ behavior has been challenging to keep under control. It has been a real test for me to not spank them (well, at least the 5 year old) but I am trying to make a strong effort to do this.
This is a parenting decision that I have come to be strong in enforcing due to how I view “spanking” or “beating”. Sometimes it can be hard because people in my circle aren’t necessarily fond of not spanking their children and feel they have to enforce their rules. But all I hear is “force”. To me, spanking is not a means of discipline or “enforcing” your rules, it is a way to control the child and have them fear you.
People argue that if it is not done in anger that it will serve its purpose and getting your child to do what you want them to do or expect them to do but still allow them to know that you love them. I find that incredibly hard to believe. How can you hit someone you love without anger? Then, what bothers me all the time is when my son comes to me and asks why it’s not OK for him to other people when they do something wrong. Do I say it’s because I am your parent and I love you so I am only doing that to make sure you do the right things? That’s exactly what I have said in the past and I had to ask myself…does that even make sense? Would I want my husband or friend to hit me because I was doing something that would eventually lead me down the wrong path? Of course not. So why should it be OK for my children?
I have found that removing spanking from my methods of discipline has changed the way my sons treat me already. Whereas they usually didn’t listen to me and at times, seemed to completely ignore what I was saying, now they actually follow my rules and give me less defiance. I was told that the reason they didn’t listen in the past was because I didn’t beat them enough but I know now that that is not the case. Deciding not to spank my kids has changed their responses from, “Ok, ok, ok, I won’t do it again this time” to “Ok, mom” in just one week.
Trust me it is definitely not easy to make this decision but I have found the reason it’s most difficult is because I had a problem with controlling my own temper when things didn’t go my way. Spanking, for me and others, was a means of getting my demands heard and executed quickly but I realized it was doing the opposite in what I wanted it to do in terms of building the character that I want my sons to have as adults.
I’m aware that this is a very controversial topic and I will probably be argued down by many of my friends and relatives but I know it is the right thing to do for me and my sons. It will be a journey to make it a daily process but I am determined to turn things around for my family.
Give me your thoughts on this? Are you for or against spanking?