“Go get my belt.”
Those were the most dreaded words ever spoken in our house. It meant someone was going to get the belt, an extension cord or a switch from the plum tree in the backyard, one of those tools of discipline, liberally applied to their hindquarters.
These days we struggle with spanking, meaning that some folk believe in the saying, “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” others believe that hitting a child is abuse, period, and still there are others who believe that spanking within its limits is acceptable.
There are a couple of problems I have with spanking. For starters it seems to me that there are some folk who go to far. They spank to relieve their own frustration and rage, and that’s when it becomes abusive. More importantly hitting doesn’t teach an alternative behavior—the lessons learned after a spanking is next time don’t get caught.
So I checked in with what the American Academy of Pediatrics endorses as acceptable methods of discipline:
- Natural and logical consequences – meaning let the chips fall where they man when your child makes the wrong decision.
- Withholding privileges.
- Time outs.
However when they surveyed random members from the Academy the results were very interesting:
- 31% completely oppose spanking.
- 53% generally oppose, but feel that an occasional spanking can be effective.
- 13% favored limited use of corporal punishment.
- 1.5% were unsure.
Were you spanked as a child? Do you spank your own children? Is it acceptable to hit another person in order to control them?
What do you think?
– Aunt B