We never did slap our kid around or anything like that, but I had originally planned on no spanking at all. Then my son hit toddler age, and I had trouble getting him to behave. My ex-friend Richard convinced me to spank, and to do it as hard as I could, and unfortunately, I listened.
It didn’t do one bit of good. The only thing that ever really worked with my son was to take away things he most wanted if he misbehaved.
After breaking off relations with Richard and his wife (for psychologically abusing me and constantly causing drama), we also stopped spanking, period. That was about three years ago.
If you read the comments on pretty much every Internet article/blog post about modern discipline, you’d think that parents not spanking/slapping their kids are causing the downfall of society. That kids run wild because nobody spanks/belts/slaps them anymore.
But I’ve seen kids who are constantly spanked/slapped/screamed at, running wild anyway (Richard’s kids). I’ve seen well-behaved kids who are raised without harshness.
And the older generations complained about MY generation (X) when we were young, too–even though most of us got spanked or even belted as kids. In those days, it was still okay to use a paddle or a wooden spoon!
Nowadays in America, according to statistics, most parents do still spank their kids. So–If most of the kids are getting spanked, then where are all the non-spanked kids who are supposedly running wild? It must be the spanked-kids who are running wild, then!
Or maybe it’s all imaginary–the same complaints older generations have made about younger generations since the dawn of time–and kids behave no worse than they always have!
Also, violence breeds violence: If you abuse a child, you teach that child to abuse, or to find a spouse who abuses. Why is it assault to smack your wife upside the head, but okay to smack a child (whose head is much smaller and brain much more vulnerable) upside the head?
Abused kids of today often become the criminals of tomorrow, whom society must then deal with, so it is indeed society’s business when kids are abused. It is indeed your business if your next-door neighbor is smacking his kid around.
While I hesitate to call a short, quick spank on the well-padded butt “abuse,” especially since most parents still do it, I do intend to raise my child without violence of any kind. I believe I have apologized to my son for spanking him in the past and following Richard’s bad advice.
He is high-spirited at home. What brings quick compliance? “No computer tomorrow!” The thought of spending a whole long day without playing Minecraft or Roblox, brings him upstairs quick. But I read that children often push the boundaries with their parents because they’re more comfortable with them. The real test is how the child behaves for teachers and other authority figures.
Another thing you hear is, “Teachers have trouble controlling their classrooms because parents don’t spank anymore.” Well, they DO still spank, so it must be some other reason.
And my kid sure isn’t the one causing the problem. Every year, we hear what a wonderful boy we have, how good he is in class. Every year, the teacher says, “He’s such a nice boy!” “He’s a nice kid!” “He befriended a girl who has trouble making friends.” “He’s brilliant!” “His test scores are far above average.” On Thursday, during parent-teacher conferences, we heard it all again.
He also takes after me: He’s quiet, though he talks all the time with his best friends. He has also naturally matured since second grade (he’s in fourth grade): He works well in groups, works hard, focuses (he used to be easily distracted), LOVES math (does math problems for fun!), loves to read, reads all the time.
I got paddled, and went to an elementary school where I once heard teachers paddling some poor kid, but I sure didn’t work that hard in school in 4th grade, or do my homework!
And I was a well-behaved kid otherwise, so I didn’t get paddled in school, but just having to put my name on the board was humiliating enough.
(Everybody got spanked or paddled, yet most of my classmates got in trouble more often than I did, and even gasped when I had to put my name on the board, so don’t say the paddling made me well-behaved. No, it was natural temperament.)
At the beginning of the year, my son had some trouble remembering to do/bring in his homework. So I gave him some tips, and told him that I would have to take 50 cents off his allowance every time he brought home another late slip. We also had to tell him because of a problem last year, $1 off his allowance every time he gets to school late.
Guess what? Ever since then, we’ve had no trouble with forgotten homework or tardiness. 🙂 [Update 12/23/14: So far in fifth grade, he has been remembering homework with no trouble, and his tardiness has also sharply dropped off.]
No violence, but still “hitting” him where it hurts: his allowance. We do not have to threaten violence to get him to study. We do not have to threaten violence to get compliance in other areas.
And it’s paying off.