Running a close race with religion and politics, discipline techniques for children is a pretty taboo topic of conversation in mixed company. These days, there is such an influence of media over our parenting styles and discipline tactics.
As I child, I surely received my fair share of spankings and can remember hearing rumors of a paddle used on naughty children in the school principal’s office. Before I had children of my own, I was never against spankings and thought I’d eventually resort to spanking as a discipline tactic with my own kids. When the time came to truly implement discipline, I found myself on the other side of this discussion and much to my own dismay, I have and hope to continue disciplining my children without the use of spankings.
My decision to discipline without spanking was an easy one for me for many reasons.
We live in a world where physical violence and abuse is a topic frequently present in media, on TV, and in our communities. I do my best to shield my young children from these violent influences and want them to always feel safe and protected as members of our family in our own home. We teach our children to respect one another, their friends and teachers; physical aggression is not acceptable. In our home, we strive to create an environment of mutual respect and trust. My husband and I carry this forth in our everyday lives and expect our children to do the same. I never hit my children and expect that they will never hit me.
Trust me, my children are not perfect, and they have thrown their fair share of tantrums during which I sometimes completely lose my cool. We implement a time-out system which allows us all to cool off and resolve our differences peacefully. My temper can be short, and in those stressful moments had I chosen to utilize spankings for discipline, I sincerely feel that my temper would result in possible physical injury to my children. I’ve also found that by giving myself and my children an opportunity to calm down when angry, I’m better able to parent with a level-head and use these frustrating situations to teach life lessons.
With both kids, we’ve gone through phases where they have resorted to physical aggression to relieve their frustrations. As a toddler, my daughter was a biter. My son who is currently in the midst of toddlerhood has, at times, hit when he became frustrated. When reprimanding my children for undesirable physical aggression, correcting them through physical punishment in the form of a spanking sends mixed messages and is pretty unfair.
How can I teach my children that hitting isn’t ok, if mommy hits them back???
As I mentioned previously, I was spanked as a child (sometimes even in public) and certainly would never consider myself abused, but that was 30 years ago. Now we live in a different age, and it seems that everyone is quick to judge and form opinions about our parenting techniques. I’ve read countless articles about well-meaning parents who make quick decisions that are hastily judged by someone else. Disciplining my children in public with spanking is just not an option. While I accept that some families use these tactics to enforce rules, I know many who are not as open minded and would be quick to judge and potentially report an “abusive parent.”