Spank This!

by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

 

The other day I was at Target (shocker!) browsing through an excellent selection of eight dollar tank tops. They were the extra long style which I happen to need since I am in possession of a serious muffin top, yet I insist on wearing low rise pants. So I was pretty engrossed in the tanks when I couldn't help but notice a woman pulling a dawdling toddler along by the wrist. Apparently the little guy wasn't thrilled to be leaving the purse section across the way from me and he was letting his displeasure be known.

 

The mom sort of pulled him in little jerks, you know the move, while giving him a sharp, "Come on! Now!" I felt her pain, truly. My twins have been extra tough lately and I've felt all kinds of aggravated at having to deal with them defying me in stores, the car and other people's houses. It's enough to make me not want to take them anywhere except that they aren't much better at home so it's kind of a no-win. But then all of a sudden, the mom whipped her son around and smacked him on the butt so hard the "thwack" noise went right to my gut. The little guy dissolved into crying and wouldn't get off the dirty Target floor, which enraged him mom even more. "Get. Up." she growled at him through gritted teeth while looking around to see if anyone was staring at her son's bad behavior. Then she sort of pulled him up by the wrist, spanked him again and said, "We're going." And he went.

 

All of a sudden I felt so pissed off. And I tried to see it from her side and not be judgmental. But I was. This wasn't just a swat on the butt due to losing all patience and impulse control - well, maybe the first one was - but once you hit your kid twice, you're a Spanker.

 

I don't believe in spanking. You might. A lot of people do. So just me saying this may piss you off. There may be some automatic party lines drawn between the "don't mess with my civil liberties" libertarians and the "greater good" liberals. I don't care; this is my opinion.

 

People shouldn't hit their kids for so many reasons -like it doesn't work. Sure Spankers will tell you that it does; they'll say that once you give a kid a spanking they learn immediately not to repeat the offending behavior again. But studies have shown that spanking doesn’t change behaviors, in fact, it oftentimes makes it worse.

 

Dr. Phil says on his website, “When you spank, you introduce chaos into your child's world. This tells him or her that violence is acceptable, and it's an OK way to react when you're mad.” If you’re anything like me, when Dr. Phil talks (or jots something down on his website), you listen.

amy-armywife
11.03.12

As a new mom I'm not sure if I'll be a spanker or not. As a child raised by my Grandparents I was spanked and often since I was a "strong willed child" but they always explained why I got the spanking and told me that they loved me so I never felt betrayed and I learned that whatever it was that I had done shouldn't be done again.

squeakere
07.05.12

There are myriad other ways to discipline (i.e. teach) your child, other than hitting them. Are you really arguing that the only way to teach your child right from wrong is to pound them?

sfoster711
12.20.11

I highly recommend "Setting limits for your stron willed child" by Robert j macKenzie. it has helped me from spanking many times! Can't recommend it enough especially if you have boys!

Erinv15
08.13.11

No child should ever be hit in anger. Period. But I'll agree not to judge you for taking parenting advice from Dr. Phil and giving your 2.5 yr old access to a scissor in exchange for you not condemning the rest of us for making our own choices in how we discipline our children.

awesomesauce
07.12.11

The fact that you qualified your anti-spanking stance with Dr. Phil ruined this article for me. That's the same guy who tells people with panic disorder to "get over it".

Um. Yeah. I'll get right on that.

mom2graceb
05.24.11

Couldn't agree more. My husband and I come from "spanking is the only way to discipline" households and we made a conscious decision to discipline thru means other than spanking. As a child, the spanking only made me feel worthless, at the mercy of an angry father, embarassed and I can't recall a single incident that precipatated the spanking, but just the hitting itself. Sure I have a hard time discipling my very willful, naughty 4 yr old boy, but he responds well to time outs and losing toys, treats for his actions. As a parent, I feel much more in control meeting out appropriate discipline for his actions (or lack thereof). I have a friend who "hits" her 2 yr old boy with a wooden spoon. One day, in my home, she asked for a wooden spoon and rather get into a debate with her, I just said I couldn't remember where the location of our spoon. No way was I going to help her in spanking her child.

scwelty
05.06.11

I agree that spanking, in general, represents a lack of ability to reason and teach "coping with life as an adult lessons." But, it has its place. I won't spank for lapses in behavior but hand and butt meet for serious lapses in safety judgement. My son is pretty well-behaved and sticks by me. But, as soon as he strays off the sidewalk and onto the road without a hand or steps in the way of something dangerous at the park, my hand and his butt meet hard. It suprises him and shocks him and embrasses him. But, he gets the point. Spanking sucks but sucks way less than meeting the front-end of an explorer driven by a latte sucking cell-phone maniac not looking for little people. Sometimes he forgets because he's having fun playing in the yard and running after a toy seems like an extension of that fun....these spanks remind him that you can never put down your guard in certain situations and always have to be careful.

mfelter
03.01.11

When my 4 year old son would throw a huge fuss and not stand in the corner for time out I stood directly behind him facing the corner also - creating a little nook so he could not escape and told him we would both stay there until he calmed down and took a time out and we could talk about things. Only had to do it a couple of times. Once at the Mall - we got stares but who cares - you get through it and he learned that time outs really do help everything and everybody calm down. Staring at the corner is boring... and embarrassing if it's in public. Standing in the corner works much better than spanking - it creates a little world where things don't get out of hand.

ang9544818
02.21.11

Wow, you people really are delusional. If you don't discipline your kids and make it known that if you do something wrong, you will get punished then how is the kid supposed to learn right from wrong?

ajsmomma09
02.21.11

Great article!!! I'm ashamed to say this but, I am a spanker. I can't stand it!!! You're so very right that it doesn't work. On the other hand what do you do when your strong willed 3 year old won't go in the corner for time out?! How about some tips for punishment that may work?? I've been dealing with this for awhile and would LOVE to find other ways to get my point across!!!