I haven’t had anything inspire me enough or stir me up enough in the past few days to blog. That is, until this afternoon. It started innocent enough. A friend posted a link to an article of a study against spanking and why she liked it and I shared my opinion in support. Then, there was a very defensive post, pointed at me, as if I singled this person out, and I don’t even know the guy. I even apologized if I offended him. I got a snarky comment back so it was obvious I hit a nerve. Ah, the spanking debate…
Really, is there anything left to debate about? I have yet to see one study saying that it’s ok and doesn’t do any damage. If you are familiar with Alice Miller, she explains why it continues to be a somewhat ambiguous subject among parents. Particularly among those that were spanked, in turn spank their own kids and continue think that it’s not only acceptable but are thankful of their own parent’s abuse. I tend to appreciate her works, being raised by an abusive step-parent, and a father who would spank with a belt, bare bottom, military-style every time no one would admit to really dumb things like who ate the chocolate chips. To me, it is never ok to hurt a child. I teach my children, hurting someone else is called assault and people go to jail for that. It’s not that I want to scare them but I want them to know what the societal boundaries are and not only that “it’s not nice.”
I think the problem lies in not only getting through to the parents that still think it’s ok because they are subject to a neurosis because they were spanked, but the problem also lies in giving parents resources and ideas of what to do instead. When parent's don't know what else to do, they resort to doing what they were shown was the way to handle it because they are more afraid of what would happen if they did nothing.
I have learned a lot in my 13 years of parenting and I know how challenging parenting can sometimes be. The most important lesson I have learned is to always check with your emotions when it comes to your kids. If you feel like you are going to do or say anything you would never say to another adult, then you need to calm down and think a little more. My best way of working out an issue like this is telling my child what I’m not happy about and why, and that I will have to talk to their dad about what else I can say about it. This has been working amazingly well since I am lucky enough to have a husband that is on the same page as I am in striving to show respect to our kids even when it comes to some tough issues that come up. The issues just get more complicated as they get older so you need to find your own peaceful method of dealing with things.
I will post some great sites that suggest different ways of parenting through conflicts and none of them will be the “tough love” garbage that a lot of us had to grow up with. Click on my Recommended Resources the tab above and check back periodically as I will try to add more as I find them. You can also suggest resources using the form at the bottom of that page.
As a Parent Coach and Mentor, my passion lies in empowering parents to make the best decisions they can for their children and their families as a whole. As a well-trained coach, I can be your facilitator and accountability partner for long-lasting, meaningful change that has a permanent, positive impact for your family. By focusing on the values that you hold most important in your life, I can help you create and maintain the type of parenting relationship you want to have with your children, now and into their adulthood.
I am a homeschooling mom of four children in Massachusetts. I am also the author of a book called The Herbal Beverage Book, which can be found on amazon. When not coaching, writing or spending time with the family, I enjoy Hayao Miyazaki films, new and classic Dr. Who episodes, anything related to American history and a great glass of mead.
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This blog is a collection of thoughts, articles and perspectives I have at any one time. While I am pretty consistent in my beliefs, life changes and evolves along with experiences. You may feel a connection with me through my writing yet I never want any of my readers to misunderstand that the connection you feel is with a perspective I have shared and not me as a person. I am continually humbled that I am able to connect with my readers, and I hope to continue to be able to for many years to come, but it doesn't make us connected in any way beyond this. If you connect with what I write and know me as an acquaintance, this in no way reflects that I have any knowledge of you, your situation in life or that I am writing with you in mind. It is merely that I have shared a human experience that most likely very many others have had has well. This also goes for anything I post on my Twitter account, Facebook Page and Facebook personal page. I wanted to make this disclaimer as clear as possible so you know that any misunderstanding you choose to have is not my responsibility.