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Hoping not to take up spanking

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  • Hoping not to take up spanking

    We are blessed with an amazing funny creative very physical high energy/"high need" boy (Izaak, 2yr 7 months) and a sweet tempered on-the-GO baby girl (Ellyzia, 7 months).

    Is that enough gush?

    We are feeling pretty good (most of the time) with gentle discipline (discussing, repeating, guiding, showing, repeating, redirecting, warning, repeating, counting, removing, repeating, etc.) when the issue at hand is not an emergency/safety one (getting dressed, throwing toys, teeth brushing, sharing, etc). We are having a hard time knowing how to deal with things that need immediate unquestioning obedience. i.e.
    "out of the road RIGHT NOW!"
    "do not step on baby sister's head - EVER"
    "do not play peek-a-boo with a pillow over sister's head - EVER"
    "put down that chef's knife you just grabbed out of the dishwasher, no, don't run away shrieking and laughing this is NOT a fun game!"
    Thankfully we don't usually have to deal with anger or aggression issues, but those would also fall under the "emergency" parenting I am talking about.

    With our daughter we just scoop her up and remove either her from the danger, or the danger from her. But now that our son is older that usually doesn't feel respectful of his person-hood, but then neither does reverting to what our parents did with us - anger, shouting, grabbing, man(child)handling, etc.

    I am frustrated and talking with my husband about changing our current non-corporal punishment philosophy and becoming "spankers" thinking that it would be better for our children to be afraid of a spanking than fail to listen to us when it is really important.

  • #2
    So do you mean that your husband (or you) thinks that spanking will limit any truely dangerous thing happening to your children?

    I know my kids my not always listen, even when it's serious but when I turn on the 'mommy YELL" and say "Street ---DANGER" then "side walk sidewalk side walk"........the 2 yr old knows what he should do. I think that is scary enough. Even a child who is spanked or swatted at for an infraction needs that to happen alot untill they 'know' physical harm will result. Who deserves repeated physical harm?
    To imply that causing physical hurt (spanking) to limit hurt (knives..falls etc) seems questionable at best.

    Did your husband grow up with spanking? Why does he think this will solve the issue? Connection Parenting by LEO has some great journaling parts in it to reflect on our own upbringing and how it can effect how we parent. Maybe that would be good for him (and you)?
    I will look for some article to post later for you. Hands arn't for hitting!


    • #3
      I hear your frustration, I do...toddlers are exasperating and need constant guidance and direction. BUT...spanking will not make your children listen to you. It will make them afraid of you. It does nothing towards solving the problem of impulsive behavior.

      Which, in your case, that's what it is--impulsiveness. Your kids are very young and are not developmentally capable of using self control. They are insticntcively trying to explore the world...they FEEL and they DO....they are trying to figure out how they fit into the world. If they get smacked for doing things thiat come naturally to them, they will not feel a sense of belonging and significance.

      For a child who is under the age of reason, the most effective discipline methods are prevention, distraction, & redirection. Even in the instances of safety, like you mentioned, it is up to parents to be on top of their children, ready to quickly prevent or make things safe again. It's not about expecting instant obedience from our children when we say something (children are too emotional & instinctual to instantly obey), nor a remembrance of the last time we told them something (they do not have the cognitive development yet to stop, think, remember what Mom said, and plan accordingly).

      This requires so much patience on our parts! It is so so hard to be the mother of a toddler, especially an active, energetic one! But children are not born knowing what to do & how to act, we are the ones to teach them...this does not mean we can't use emotion in our voices when we are helping to correct a situation. I think it's essential to let children hear our concern and worry when something is not safe. And equally important that our discipline not be hurtful towards our children...for the sake of our relationship.