Okay, this week's controversial topic:
Spanking: Yay or Nay?
Yes, indeed, this is a controversial topic! As a child, I was always spanked when it came to punishment. There was no sending me to the corner or talking about my actions. I was to pick a belt, spanked with an open palm or worse. Nowadays, this would probably be considered abuse. Because of this, I vowed NEVER to spank or hit my own children. Never!
So, here I am with two children and what do I say to spanking? I still think it's a horrible idea to spank a child. Have I spanked before. I have admittedly popped my oldest on the behind a few times when I don't know what else to do. I always hate myself afterwards and feel like a failed parent. In my own opinion, it has never worked. In fact, I think it showed him that anger and hitting was acceptable. Totally not my intentions. The few times I have spanked, it backfired.
Believe me, I know sometimes we are at our wit's end and have know idea what else to do, but there are definitely other ways to handle situations. They aren't as easy as spanking and may not be effective immediately, but I think they have a better positive effect over time.
Alternatives to Spanking
- Walk away for a moment. In the heat of the moment, it's easy to lose your cool. Walk away, take some deep breaths before punishing. You'll be much more level-headed.
- Use a calm, kind voice. Explain to the child why they are in trouble and why you are upset in words they can understand. When you do this instead of yelling, children are much more likely to listen and comprehend.
- Try to stay positive. Instead of saying, "For the millionth time, go brush your teeth", say "Please go brush your teeth. If you do it right now, we can read a book before bedtime." It gives them incentive and something they can work toward.
- Time Outs do work. Tell your child to go sit on his/her bed or somewhere quiet. They can reflect on the situation and also calm down themselves. This way they are also much more rational.
- Be consistant. This one is probably the most difficult and most important. This is where I have issues. Be consistant in your punishment. You can't laugh and let it go one time and then punish the next time. It causes confusion and will only make the situation worse.
So, what's your opinion? To spank or not to spank? What form of punishment works for your family?