Today is National Spank Out Day. I know spanking is a lazy discipline method because we used to spank.
When Kiah was 2. Looking back I feel terrible. Throughout my parenting journey I learned that children do not do things to manipulate us.
Thinking back, she was doing what every other two-year old does…..being two!
Children don’t come into this world with motives to trick us into taking care of them.
CHILDREN ARE INHERENTLY GOOD!
Up until about age five, I think it’s very hard for a child to express themselves. Even after that age, as I’m learning with my now seven-year old.
I’ve said this before….it’s hard for adults to find the words to express ourselves sometimes. We have a hard time dealing with anger and disappointment, yet we expect a child to know how to handle those same emotions. Discipline means to disciple and disciple means to teach. Do we really want to teach our children that spanking, hitting, popping, smacking is the solution? Do we really want to break their spirit in this way?
It is our job as parents to help our children learn how to deal with those overwhelming emotions.
We’re showing them how to deal by hitting them. Make no mistake, spanking is hitting. You wouldn’t want your grown child to stay in a relationship with someone who is hitting them would you? Then why do we hit them when they are young and say it’s out of love? That message doesn’t even sound right.
Then there’s the argument “Children are not adults” That is absolutely correct.
Children are not adults, but they are human beings like you and I.
That means they should be treated with the same respect you would show another human being. I know how easy it is for your first reaction to be to raise your hand at your child. Especially if that’s the way you were raised. Hitting when your child hits another child, or you, and then saying “we don’t hit” sends the wrong message.
Kids aren’t being spanked for their emotions either. Babies as young as 8 months old get a swat on the hand or butt for touching something their parents told them not to. Spanking doesn’t help to solve the problem. It helps to create one. Children learn to be sneaky so they don’t get caught and then spanked. It immediately shuts down the lines of communication. It creates distrust between the parent and child.
Talking with your kids about their feelings and explaining is a great form of discipline. It’s not always easy, and you can’t reason with a 2yr old.
What do I do when I’m reaching that breaking point with my kids? I’ve yelled, and that’s not a good discipline tool either. More and more I’m learning to breathe, and walk away for a few minutes if I need to. It’s not always easy, but it’s easier now than it was 5 years ago when I started.
I made the decision to take spanking out of my parenting tool box. I’m glad I did. I still get frustrated with my kids, but now I have better tools to use with them. I started by learning about normal child behavior. I read up on alternatives to spanking. I asked questions to friends that didn’t spank. I made the decision to stop spanking.
Here is a link with articles to alternative discipline methods.
Please know that I’m not preaching to anyone. As I said, I used to spank. I still yell, and have a several other not so great parenting qualities. I’m speaking from experience. I see how much better my relationship is with my children since making the decision to stop spanking.