*Quick disclaimer* I absolutely believe there is a HUGE difference between spanking and abusing your child. I have to write that first because I know some people think it’s the same thing, which is RIDICULOUS! We use spankings ONLY when warranted and don’t use it as our first response. Spankings are rare, but I’m not ashamed to say we practice that method when needed.
This blogpost is in response to a photo of a quote that I saw the other day on Facebook that said, “I’m afraid of a world run by adults who were never spanked as children and got trophies just for participating.” That was an immediate “like” and I ended up “sharing” on my page. My thoughts on that quote are simple: People. Put your kids in line and do it NOW. Give them the gift of manners and respect. Oh, and please teach your kids how important it is to try hard to win, but also to lose with grace and dignity.
I get a glimpse of our future every time we are at the park, store or anywhere else children are with their parents and frankly I’m scuuuurred. These children as young as 3 and 4 have the audacity to speak in utter disrespect to you without an ounce of fear. Why is it allowed? Because parents are afraid of their own children, which I find pathetic and infuriating. They’re afraid of the work that will be involved with disciplining. “Yes mother of so and so, you will actually have to get up out of the chair, stop your discussion with your friend, go over to your child, grab them by the arm and take them to a private area and *GASP* discipline your child. Why? Because your child just spoke to you like you’re dogcrap, that’s why. And he thinks he can because you did nothing about it as usual.
A few weeks ago at church my pastor’s full hour long discussion was about spanking. The entire time throughout that hour I wanted to stand up, throw my hand in the air and yell, “AMEN!!” He hit the nail on the head when it came to WHY our children need to get that reminder. If they don’t have that little ounce of fear that their actions could result in a spanking, what’s going to stop them from doing it or thinking that it’s perfectly asseptable (spoken like Supernanny) behavior? Nothing.
The argument that spanking shows your child that hitting is ok is insane to me. Really? I have to say that the kids I know who are not spanked are the ones that are the most physically violent. What’s stopping them? A loooooooooooooooooooong winded discussion on how bodies need to be respected and when you kick, it hurts their heart and blah, blah, blah. They stopped listening to you after you said, “Honey, when you kick…” So what did they learn? That if they kick, there is no consequence other than cuddling with mom explaining something about something.
We do time-outs still, but I know that time-outs only go so far. Yes, they work when you’re not in the privacy of your own home or if it’s just a way to say, “I saw/heard what you did. I don’t like it. Don’t do it again.” But that’s the extent of what it teaches. The problem with timeouts for me is I tend to forget about my children so I get the, “Mom, is it time yet?” Ooops. WITHOUT apologizing for forgetting them, I pretend nothing is wrong with their 10 minute sit on the stair because honestly, what’s the harm in giving them extra time to think about what they did….or learning to be innovative by picking at the carpet and making a game out of it, which is what happens after the first 30 seconds. “Roman. I asked you to stop bouncing the ball in the house. You didn’t stop. Not listening to me is disrespectful. When I say something, you listen. Understand?!”
A spanking happens very rarely in our house nowadays so if and when they get one it’s devastating and makes an impression. That’s the point, right? My spankings don’t hurt and I’m fully aware of that…but my kids simply just don’t like the idea that they did something wrong/dangerous/disrespectful enough to warrant one. They also know that a spanking will also be accompanied with a call to their dad. They have both gained so much respect from him that they already don’t want his disapproval. Thank God for him.
I hear so many parents threaten a spanking over and over and over and OVER….here’s the deal, if you’re at my house and your kid is acting like a little turd or speaking to either of us rude and disrespectfully, you have my 100% permission to go anywhere in my home to take care of the situation. Don’t worry about what I might think because I can guarantee you that my thoughts are envisioning doing it myself.
In the words of my pastor, “When they are children, you MAKE them respect you so that when they’re adults they will WANT to respect you.” If you let your kid run all over you what are they learning? They can do whatever they want, whenever they want to whomever they want. And thanks to your lack of discipline, your kids are now on the road to being those crappy adults that make everyone’s lives miserable.
Another thing society is starting to teach children is that “EVERYBODY WINS!” Um. No. Please don’t give my child a trophy if they didn’t earn it. Don’t make up the end of the game to where no one wins or loses or that everybody wins and gets a prize. This is not the way the real world works people. In real life, there are winners, losers and everyone in between. We have to teach our kids to strive to win, but be okay if they don’t. It’s perfectly fine for your child to be upset for trying hard, practicing at something and doing their best….but coming in second place. They’ll move on and work harder at it if it’s something they want bad enough. Am I right?
Now I say this knowing full well that my kids are young and I have not a leg to stand on when it comes to how they will turn out as adults. BUT for now I don’t have to worry about how they will behave to adults and other children. And if my kids turn in to crappy adults I will eat some humble pie right in front of you and hang my head in shame.