We don’t spank. We can’t conceive of an occasion where spanking would have benefited us or one of our children or affected positive change.
Mistakes, Poor Judgement and Spanking
One day, our two kids and I were discussing and trying to remember their biggest mistakes. A nail polish spill on the couch was one such unfortunate incident. Also, one of the kids really didn’t like being hit by the other kid. Lastly, they both agreed running in parking lots was also a terrible idea. It was a fun discussion and we laughed together at their mistakes and/or poor judgment. I then asked them if they felt that any of those incidents warranted a spanking. Our two are well aware that some parents spank and one of our kids was even spanked by a relative once in a store. They thoughtfully considered the question.
Spilling Nail Polish
In discussing the first incident, the kids said that spilling the nail polish on the couch was an accident and that spanking was overkill as the child was objectively mortified. Luckily it cleaned up brilliantly. If the nail polish hadn’t cleaned up, I would’ve been bummed, but it really would’ve been my fault. I allowed my kid to paint nails next to a nice piece of furniture. In that moment, I didn’t set the situation up for success and show what that would look like. We both got sloppy, but in the end, I’m the one to blame.
In the case of one child hitting the other, the older child was being hit by the younger sibling. She said she would probably stop telling us (parents) she was being hit if she knew her brother would be spanked because she told on him. She just wanted him to stop hitting her, she didn’t want him to be hit! Younger brother did stop hitting. Better communication didn’t take long it just took consistent intervention and guidance.
Running in the Parking Lot
As for running in the parking lot, spanking will do nothing to help a young child hear if they are deeply consumed in thought. Children are not great at processing information while they’re deep in thought but this is also true for adults. Teach and repeat but don’t expect more than they are developmental capable. Tell them you are going to stay close to them so they can continue in their thoughts or conversation. Protect them as if you were their personal angel because you are. I do NOT trust drivers unconditionally just because of laws. Drivers get distracted by calls, texts, and other drivers. They can be in bad moods, late, stressed, or tired. The sun might be setting and blinding the driver. It is up to us to stay right next to our tiny imaginative people.
Kids Conclusion on the Value of Spanking
My kids could come up with no good reason for spanking. They said if we spanked either of them, they would not feel safe coming to us with mistakes or problems.
My Conclusion on the Value of Spanking
Our youngest was 4 years old when he was spanked by a relative while we were at a grocery store (without my knowledge or permission). My baby came to me sobbing and trying to hold it in at the same time. The violation made him both embarrassed and secretive. He was so sad, angry and distrustful that he couldn’t speak to me about it for minutes. I don’t ever want to see either of my babies that sad again. I can still remember his sad adn confused face- it was truly heartbreaking.
Respect, Communication and Making Children Matter
Adults aren’t always right. And kids aren’t always wrong. We are open, honest and respectful to our children and they interact with us similarly at their level. It’s not perfect, but our boy and girl are unafraid, confident and independent.
Kids need to learn the words (tools/resources) needed to express their emotions. They need time to process their emotions before they respond. Communication does not include yelling, judging or belittling. Heck, we know adults that struggle with these same communication issues. Our kids grow their inner dialogue from us, their guides and mentors. It seemed like forever, but our kids soon began to express their emotions verbally rather than physically.
Our kids have spectacular ideas, make wonderful contributions and question everything – okay, that last bit sometimes gets old. Our people trust us. We have never lied to them, but that doesn’t mean they stop questioning. As a family, we talk through opportunities that impact their lives: job, moves, trips, education, large purchases. Our kids offer up wonderful insights and contributions. We are better for their contributions.
Kids are capable of so much more than they are given credit, Kids can be clever, loving, tolerant, and forgiving especially when shown love, respect, tolerance, and forgiveness.
Please check out my favorite parenting books if you want to explore this topic further! Thanks for stopping by.
xo – Bar