23 Feb 2012, 9:18am
Chronicles Of A Stay At Home Mom:
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  • Chronicles: Spank Debate

    **Another personal and highly opinionated post.  You’ve been warned**

    I feel nervous writing this.  I was raised to fear the government and its sticky hands, never to tell anyone that we were spanked and never to talk about our home life.
    Yes, I was spanked as a child, too much, in my opinion.

    A blogger buddy of mine asked if I would be interested in joining the Spank Debate.  She ‘changed sides’ and is now anti-spank.
    Now, we all know it is perfectly legal to smack your child, open palmed on the bottom.  I’ve seen moms in the stores swatting their children, moms on t.v giving their child’s bottom a smack, spanking is all around us.  Some parents take it too far though..

    Growing up, spanking was all the rage.  hah.  Spank this, spank that, spank hard, spank long, spank, spank, spank.  I remember one time, when spanking was still allowed in private schools, I was sent to the principle’s office for kicking a kid.  Before I went, all the kids whispered to me horrible stories about the big paddle in the principle’s office that had holes, 6 inches thick and nearly a foot long.  I about to peed my pants before I got there.  Thankfully, I was spared the horror of having to be whipped with the creature and rest assured, I never stepped out of line again.  Just the thought of getting a spanking deterred me.

    Not every child needs a smack to the buns.  It’s true.  I also don’t think spanking is a cure all.  It’s not going to correct every little poor habit from your child.  There are other ways to correct your child, you just have to learn your child’s discipline language.  I firmly believe you can actually raise your child to hate you if you overuse spanking.  Honestly.  But then, there are times when it is necessary.

    I remember reading one time about how to help calm a person who is panicking.  A smack to the face.  Just one.  It snaps them out and they realize they need to calm down, think and extricate themselves from the situation.  It doesn’t always work, but it’s the one proven way to get their attention, even if for a moment.  Now, I am NOT saying smack your kid in the face, what I am saying is that if your child throws themselves on the ground a swat to the buns might help.  Dr. Laura (I was a huge fan, didn’t always agree, but listened faithfully) would encourage parents to spank their children every now and then in desperate situations.  I remember listening, fearful for those parents, thinking, “oh my goodness, CPS is going to show up at their door and wait for them to spank their child because Dr. Laura said to, and then take their kids from them!”

    She wasn’t advocating abuse, I know this, she was just encouraging parents to use that one little swat to snap the child from their fit just enough to be able to talk or engage the child in conversation.  I’m a conversation parent.  My son and I talk to each other a lot.  He’s very comfortable telling me that he’s “frustrated” with me or “mad” or that he’s “not going to like me if I don’t” ….whatever the case may be.   I encourage him to tell me these things.  I think children should have a voice, it’s important; they are humans with opinions, feelings, thoughts, emotions and shouldn’t be ignored or made to feel insignificant simply because they are a child. Of course, he must not be disrespectful with his opinion, but he has permission to express himself.   I’ve learned so much about life through the innocence of my 5 year old and I owe him a debt of gratitude for that.  But, I would have never learned if I didn’t take the time to listen.

    My children aren’t perfect, Cylas can be rude at times, it bothers me, but he’s learning it from somewhere *big red flashing arrow above my head* and that person better learn to change because his character is being molded now. (yes, I can be rude and irritable.  hah.  surprise!)

    Here is the perfect instance where every other spank happy parent would have smacked their child, but, we chose to use this situation as a learning point:
    Cylas got off the bus yesterday crying.  I don’t like seeing my child in tears, and my biggest fear is that one day those tears will be the result of someone beating him up or verbal bullying.  My heart sped up a little and I asked him what was wrong.
    “John (I won’t use the child’s real name) hit me!  He keeps hitting me and pushing me and he won’t leave me alone!”
    Ohmygosh, I was so upset, I kept my face calm and told him, “Well, tell the bus driver!”
    “I did but he just says, ‘ok’. “  AHG!!!  My kid is being smacked around in the BACK of the bus and the driver isn’t doing a thing about it.  I left it at that, didn’t go into it any further with Cy, I knew all I needed to know.
    Later that evening, I confided in D what Cy had told me and angrily proclaimed that I was going to, “call the school and tell them to move my child away from that bully.” This kid happens to be a full head taller and some 5-10lbs heavier than my little guy.  D listened quietly, later that evening he and Cy were sitting on the couch talking about the incident.  It took my husband almost 30 minutes, but he slowly pulled the truth out.
    Cylas was NOT hit, the kid raised his fist to hit him.  Cylas was BUGGING the other child, provoking him.  WhAT?  My spunky little rascal?  HAH.  Oh, yes, the wool was pulled folks, right over my eyes, but papa knew better than to take the story at face value.
    He sternly advised Cylas to never make up stories, or we would have trouble believing him if something WERE to happen.  Cylas was humbled.  His worst fear is that we will not believe him.
    So, bottom line?  My son lied.  Stinkin’ little stinker.  He LIED!  And my husband saw fit to have a heart to heart with him which moved Cylas more deeply than a spanking ever could.  By the end, Cylas knew his papa still loved him but was disappointed that Cylas had chosen to lie.

    So, yeah, I don’t know what you would call our style of parenting, but it’s not the same as the way I was raised.

    Your style of parenting? ………. commendable.

    23 Feb 2012, 10:05am
    by Mommy Hobbies

    reply

    Aw, Deb! THank you…

    Yet another awesome post, Misha. Well stated and yes, as your other blogger friend said, “commendable”. It takes guts to raise your children how YOU want. Not your parents, grandparents, neighbors..yada, yada. My theory, the discipline should fit the crime. Spanking is not the cure-all. Yes, according to the bible, we are admonished to spank, but it also says not to provoke your child. If a spanking is causing anger, then it isn’t effective. I too, have learned much over the years. Knowing your child is the key. You are doing an awesome job, Misha. Your children will grow up and call you blessed.

    23 Feb 2012, 1:07pm
    by Mommy Hobbies

    reply

    Thank you so much! I know that I’m stepping out on a limb here, seeing as a lot of my family and people from back home read my blog and were raised the same way, but I stand by my beliefs of learning about my child and not just showering them with spankings because that’s what everyone else does.
    I actually worried to myself that you might be offended by my post :) But, I feel like I expressed myself quite articulately showing that I’m just looking for a balance. That’s all.
    Thank you for your support, Kim. That means a lot.

    Aw, Misha, you couldn’t offend me. But I understand why you would feel that way considering we have similar upbringings. I watched abuse happen (in another family) by coming through the door of “discipline”. I had to pause and rethink my approach. The children involved loved their parents out of fear. That scared me. There is a balance. It is called love. Love them enough to say no, and enough to say yes. Sometimes I think parents (gonna probably get in trouble here) use their authority to pamper their pride. Big mistake. OK, I’m done! Love you, Misha. I’m proud of you for taking a stand.

    Thanks for joining the debate Misha! I appreciate reading your thoughts on the matter and I love reading about how you thoughtfully parent two children. You are a great mother!

    I would like to say to those who are using the Bible as their basis for spanking or not spanking…please stop! The Bible also says that if you have a stubborn and rebellious son who doesn’t listen to his parents that he should be taken to the elders and stoned to death. I highly doubt we are going to start stoning our trouble cases because there is scripture for it. I may have to do another post on that topic because it is worrisome to me that we have so many Christians taking bits and pieces of the Bible and applying it incorrectly in their lives.

    23 Feb 2012, 5:51pm
    by Mommy Hobbies

    reply

    Thanks, Misty!

    Thanks for joining the debate! I thought your post was very well put.

    23 Feb 2012, 5:51pm
    by Mommy Hobbies

    reply

    Thank you! It was a little hard for me to write. I was really nervous but I think I was able to get everything in my head out in a non-confrontational manner. hah

    28 Feb 2012, 6:34pm
    by Carissa Jackson

    reply

    Misha- Another post that I so highly respect. Your values and views are so logical and point on. I love your train of thought and as others have said–commendable. You are absolutely right that spanking isn’t the answer to everything. But sometimes so very necessary. Bobby and I have actually discussed spanking vs timeout vs other forms of discipline. The key between couples- communication. If you and D aren’t on the same page, your kids will see it and as you said resentment is still a true emotion (even at a tender age). Thank you for being such wonderful examples and for writing such honest/sincere posts as these.

    Ps. I was raised in a spanking “ethnic” home. haha. The older I am now, the more it teaches me now (in regards to parenting/the responsibility I have to my future children).

    Thanks for sharing! Love you.

    28 Feb 2012, 8:31pm
    by Mommy Hobbies

    reply

    This subject is close to my heart. It was very, very difficult to write this, but I’m so glad I did. I know I have a long way to go as a parent and there are holes in my parental theories…but I’m making strides! Thank you for your love and support, Kissa :)

     

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