To spank or not to spank

When my kids were younger, I used spanking as one of my forms of discipline. But I never did find it to be an effective way to teach them what they were doing was wrong, and it sometimes felt like a step backwards. Plus there was that inevitable feeling of guilt as the parenting movement steered towards positive discipline and away from using spanking to guide kids.

I began to research different ways to deal with misbehavior.

When the kids were older, I admittedly strayed in my resolve to guide my kids positively. I wasn’t spanking, but I would call my form of discipline anything close to positive. Seriously, if you don’t make a conscious effort to keep things positive, it’s easy to stray from – and it takes a ton of work to not cross the line from positively guiding to totally being taken advantage of by kids who are getting away with everything. Instead of being a guiding force with their future in mind in every action I made with them, I instead screamed like a banshee and took their most cherished items whenever they made me mad.

The result? My son, who was grounded more often than his sister, was constantly in trouble, and would only get in more trouble as he argued against every form of punishment. And I would run out of things to take from him and end up suffering more than he did when he grew bored with nothing to do.

I stumbled on a new form of disciplining him by giving chores for infractions rather than stripping his room of all his favorite things, which I wrote about HERE. It’s funny how some readers took issue with this discipline, especially when this has always proven to be the most effective in stopping the behavior immediately without making things worse. There is less arguing going on, and there are always chores that need to be done. And the anger either of the kids feels is worked out through a little elbow grease in whatever they’re cleaning.

CNN recently wrote an article on the very same subject, citing different mothers’ examples of non-spanking methods in their ways to discipline their children (if you look towards the bottom, you’ll find my own opinion included as well). Some of the recommendations include practicing different scenarios, praising good behavior, giving kids the chance to have the floor in discussions about behavior, keeping your cool, and doing what works best for each of your individual children. You can read their article HERE.

What has been your most effective way to guide your children away from misbehaving? Do you agree that parents should avoid spanking their children? Or is spanking getting a bad rap?

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One thought on “To spank or not to spank”

  1. We all behave. It is a form of communication. For children who do not have words for feelings or needs, challenging behaviors are used. Parents who take the time to understand the message /reason for the behavior are less likely to engage with power struggles with their child. When a behavior is understood, a solution or a strategy to teach a new skill can be used. Children need to know the rules/expectations and be reminded of what we expect them to do. Giving children clear choices such as, ‘you can help me set the table or you can read a book.” It is clear and by giving a child a road map, it supports expectations. Best wishes to all parents.

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