Tuesday, July 3, 2012

To Spank Or Not To Spank - Tough Question

I was perusing the internet this morning, reading about Andy Griffith and all (sad day) and just checking up on the news - when I came across and article about spanking

Mental Effects of Spanking

While I am very grateful that more and more information about this surfaces, it's also tough for me to contemplate. On the one hand, you always hear that you should parent in a way that you are comfortable with. Especially with spanking - it is a personal family decision that everyone must agree on and stick with.

On the other hand you have extreme opinions going both ways - spanking is necessary and commands respect vs. never EVER, EVER hit your kid, no matter what.

Well, according to the article, it leads to instances of mental illness, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, etc. Granted there are more than likely a number of life choices that accompany individuals who NEED excessive spankings along the way which contribute to these "downward spirals." But I have to wonder - if you could give your kid a leg up in a world possessed with Prozac, wouldn't you?

In our house - we spank for safety and in severe cases, respect.

We spank when Aiden runs into the street, gets into something that could potentially harm him, etc. It's swift, it builds a negative reinforcement and it promptly ends a potentially harmful behavior from happening.

It gets tricky when we talk about respect spanking though. When Aiden was really struggling with speech - he and I had some major breakdowns in communication which on occasion, led to hitting. While I recognize that he was often frustrated and had no other way to express himself, that behavior in a toddler can't be allowed. They are manipulative little guys - the wheels are ALWAYS turning, if he gets away with it once, you're done.

So he gets a spanking for respect. However, this spanking doesn't come immediately. The rules: 1. Never spank when you are angry. 2. Don't punish a behavior with the same behavior.

Instead, he has to think about it, this part is much worse than the actual spanking. The waiting for Mommy to settle down before I get my spanking is the worst kind of time-out. But the good side is, he is well on his way to apologizing before it's time to get his punishment, and by the time I feel in control enough, I am already over it and he really gets a minor swat. Like I said, the waiting is the worst part.

For what it's worth, parenting is a bunch of personal decisions - but it's important to make those decisions with a lot of thought before hand. (Get it? Before hand...)


Lori Wildenberg said...

You are a good Mama with a healthy approach to raising your son!

Britt Cormack said...

thanks Lori! We use your advice everyday!! Did you get my email??