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Rexanne.com Spanking Poll Results:
Voters – 233
Percentage of readers who do not spank their children: 37%
Percentage of readers who spank their children: 62%
I am completely against flogging. I know almost twice as many of you hit your kids as don’t. At the risk of alienating 62 percent of my subscribers, I cannot in good conscience keep my opinions to myself. 😉
I feel like we have evolved enough as a society to understand that violence begets violence. Hitting is physically violent. That’s the whipping. I don’t think spanking children teaches them to care about their parents or caregivers any better than other forms of constructive discipline. If it is unacceptable to hit an adult, what makes it acceptable to hit a child? Given that the parent or caregiver is most likely three times the child’s size, doesn’t this bring up bullying issues?
Many of the comments left on the flogging survey mentioned a biblical reference: “Spare the rod, pamper the child.” When we consider that the Bible was written thousands of years ago, we must also consider that we may have advanced to the point where biblical interpretations probably should not be taken as literally as they once were. I do not believe that parents should whip their children into submission, any more than I believe that criminals should be stoned by the masses, as was the custom all those years ago.
Many parents (myself included) have neglected to replace spanking with another solid form of discipline. Refraining from spanking our children does not negate disciplining them. We have created a generation of children without boundaries in our eagerness to adopt a kinder, gentler parenting style. While I am absolutely delighted that many parents have chosen not to spank their children, I am saddened by the lack of respect for authority in so many children today. Without boundaries, children are insecure, always testing the limits…begging to be cornered for their own safety. By eliminating physical punishment, we need to find a healthy substitute.
Another comment often mentioned in the spanking survey had to do with spanking a child “for love.” I think this means that the father is disciplining his child because he loves them. Yes, by all means, discipline your child when necessary. My only request is that you consider not raising your hand or your voice to get it. My methods were to remove a privilege, after a warning. It may not be the best way to set limits for kids, but it works pretty well with my daughters…most of the time. 😉
An interesting comment was from a mother who said she only spanked her child when the child was totally defiant. Well, you know, I wanted to consider that option for about two seconds! When my older daughter is defiant, my immediate instinct is to hit her…but I don’t. Now she’s an inch taller than me and almost taller than me. Not a good time to start beating his ass. She either laughed at me or gave me back. Neither option seems conducive to maintaining authority! As tempting as that option sounds, it’s not the answer. If we want to grow as a people, we need to adopt more humane methods of teaching our children to behave.
The comment that bothered me the most was from parents who said they don’t spank their child “right away.” They inform the child that they are going to spank him while the father goes elsewhere to “calm down” before handing out the dreaded punishment. Sorry, this one makes me want to. To me, this is a method of psychological torture. Imagining a small child, probably a boy (or a teenager reduced to a child’s fears) in this situation breaks my heart. If I were a child, patiently waiting for a whipping, I think I would seriously consider running away. Why stay for a father who is going to return, irrationally calm in the face of my utter terror, and let them hurt me? I don’t think that’s a good idea, no matter the circumstances. I’d rather see a parent hit a child out of sheer frustration, as in the situation with a defiant child, than brood over it for a while and then do the deed. I’m sure I just contradicted parenting advice that many of you have heard from experts. These experts don’t value an inch of my life. I can’t imagine a competent child psychologist would think this is okay.
I am 100% committed to a no flogging philosophy. I think spanking will be outlawed in most countries within a few years. This practice has been a traditional tool of discipline for too long.
Please, my dear readers who do not share my opinion, please consider the alternatives. Many parents lash out, simply for lack of a better solution. There are other solutions. It’s not always easy, I know. Spanking is probably the easiest method of momentarily whipping a child online, however, if we are armed with alternative options that actually work, we will be better parents.
Copyright 2000 – 2005 – Rexanne Mancini
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