Saturday, January 30, 2010

to spank or not to spank

dear emily,

this is going to be a bit tricky, because i know many people are very
opposed to spanking, but i wanted you to know how we handled it.

when our children reached a certain age and willfully disobeyed
us, they received a spanking.  our motivation was primarily their
safety.  when we said, "don't run into the street or touch the stove,"
they knew we meant it.

we also wanted to be able to take them lots of fun places and
not terrorize the people around us.  we have had waitresses
run after us and say, "those are the best behaved children i have
ever seen."  hard working people deserve respectful behavior.

the children were never, ever spanked for childishness,
accidental spills, or roughhousing, etc.   those kinds of deeds
received timeouts, removal of privileges, or simply cleanups.

i'm sure there are parents who have successfully raised happy,
confident, respectful kids, having never spanked them.  i just
don't personally know any.

i also know that spankings can quickly turn the ugly corner
to abuse, which is heartbreaking and despicable.

not long ago, when all the kids were home, i lamented that we
ever spanked them.  shelby looked at me in horror and said,
"mom, i hate to think what we would be like if you hadn't!"

"the Lord disciplines and chastens those He loves,"(heb. 12:6)
 is not exactly a refrigerator verse, but we don't get to pick and
choose the easy ones when we choose to follow Him.



myletterstoemily said...

now that i added the above post, this works. this blog is reminding me a
big of my CHILDREN!

GardenofDaisies said...

I can see that this could turn into a really interesting conversation... but why did you link to LIttle Red House's Mosaic MOnday with it? I don't see any pictures. Did something get deleted by accident?

myletterstoemily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
myletterstoemily said...

dear garden, i really don't know what i am doing half the time. i filled
out something at 'little red house' that i guess i shouldn't have. welcome
to my world! sorry you were led to believe i would have some wonderful
mosaic here. nope!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I have four (2 in college; 2 in grade school). We have never hesitated to spank along the guidelines you've presented here; in doing so, we've never had to do it much.

All have survived. Great topic for today's generation of young mothers. I think you've provided some great tips here.

I don't buy into parenting books, except for one that has guided me over the years.

"Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours" by Kevin Leman. Fabulous read based on "reality discipline." I found his thoughts to very instrumental to me as a young mother without much confidence in my ability to "shape" my children.

For what it's worth...


Anonymous said...

I believe every child is so different. I raised 5 without to much trauma. You have to discipline according to each need. Some need spankings some not much if any. Being sensitive to each childs needs and spirits and loving them with all that you have will help determine the discipline.

Shelby Rice said...

I think spanking saved my life. Seriously. I would have been a hell raiser :0)

myletterstoemily said...

uh, uh...not my sweet baby girl!

Freshly Found said...

I definitely believe in spanking! It is a quick, easy way to discipline. The parents set the boundaries and if the child chooses to step over, they bear the consequences. Of course it must always be on the basis of love and not out of control.

myletterstoemily said...

many moms have commented to my face or my email. here are some of their thoughts...

it is important to not think about breaking their will or spirit but giving a swift, expected consequence.

be very careful to never spank with your hands but with a light weight
wooden spoon or switch that can only sting never harm.

take the child into your arms or lap and tell them that they are forgiven
and do NOT bring it up again. it is over!

Cinnamon said...

What a bold post in light of so many women who want to be politically correct and not "damage" their children by spanking them. Those are the women that you see in the store with screaming children, that are demanding their toy! Don't you just walk by and think "somebody please spank them"..... live and learn :-)

Enjoying browsing your blog~ Cinnamon

Vee said...

Oh yes, I'm agreeing with Cinnamon above...OR the poor mother is so frazzled that she's a screamer. Time out is needed for all concerned.

I also laughed to read about not paddling with the hand, but with a light weight wooden spoon. One summer, I was digging my overgrown lilac bushes up and discovered the wooden spoon graveyard. And I wondered what in the world was happening to those spoons. Ha!

Aubrey said...

How I love this "bold" post and all its comments! I have never needed to spank Ella (knock on a wooden spoon!). A stern word is all it takes to correct her behavior right now. But my parents spanked my sister and me when it was called for. Like Shelbs, I think I would have been a hell raiser otherwise! :)

myletterstoemily said...

hey aubrey!

that's how isaac was, completely corrected by a stern word.

hans keeps telling me i need to be more specific about all
this. pretty sweet how much he enjoys the blog.

hugs and kisses to the girls!

Deb said...

you know if children receive spankings when they are usually don't have to spank when they are kids are 21 and 26 and didn't have to have a lot of spankings..they knew what we wanted from them...and what was expected of them...there is a big difference in spanking and beating...and there is a big difference in spanking with love than spanking with anger....great post...

merrybabies said...

yes, I'll have to weigh in--we choose to follow the same spanking guidelines and I've found it to be helpful. And I've found that I do so very rarely these days--what a blessing! And yay that my kids might be getting safer. :) love, emily

zach+kate said...

your post inspired me to write about spanking on my blog...thanks for getting the wheels your blog :-)

Bonnie Bonsai said...

Great intiative Lea. We should really be opened to this issue part of parenting.

As Zach and Kate said, "thanks for getting the wheels churning".

I myself have a funny incident with my children about this topic.

Not only the Book of Hebrews said about discipline, the Books of Proverbs got a lot to say about it too!

Glad to know you, dear Mother in the blogland. :)