Originally Posted by annabenedetti
I think you'll find if you ask, that quite of few in the "spare the rod" school of thought, think that spanking does include spoons, belts and switches. In fact, there may be some here at TOL who might weigh in on whether or not it would, but I've certainly read it elsewhere.
I'm one of those. I absolutely oppose using an open hand to discipline a child. It's far too personal and it's a sure bet your child will associate a raised hand with punishment. That's rather horrid, IMO. (see below)
I think there are good reasons why it's better to use an implement of some sort. Primarily because it isn't you
. My husband uses a belt. And he doesn't use anything else. Because it's not something you go waving around or handling in front of your kids very often. It never "shows up" until it's time for a whoopin', so I've never seen my step-son flinch or get nervous because he had his belt in hand. He doesn't normally take his pants off in the living room, after all.
An open hand is something else, though. If your child associates that with punishment then every time you wave a hand around or move it in so much as a unintentionally threatening manner, your kid's going to react with fear.
For a split second they're naturally going to think, "What? What'd I do?! Why am I fixing to get popped?! I didn't do anyth-...oh, never mind. They're just reaching for the butter. Whew!"
Considering how avoidable that is there really isn't any excuse for it. You just make sure whatever you're using for discipline is assigned
to that task. The child knows exactly what that item is and doesn't have to wonder if you've switched up to that other thing you happen to be holding in your hand right now. Then it's okay for them to react with fear to your taking hold of the thing because, if you are, then you're actually going to discipline them with it.
Originally Posted by annabenedetti
One caveat: I didn't have kids who would say things to me that merited a slap in the face. Perhaps there is someone who will come along and say their child said all sorts of vile things to them and a slap was the only way they could get their attention, that sort of thing. So I'm trying to just give my POV without saying I know what it's like to be in someone else's shoes.
Same reasoning here. Not only are you using your hand but your applying it right to kid's face
. That your self
we're talking about. Get a swat on the butt is one thing...but your face
I remember talking to my husband way back in the day about this topic. Wasn't exactly convinced on the whole spanking thing back then. Not at all. But I do remember that he said he used to lightly "pop" his step-daughter on the lip when she back-talked her mother. And then one day he raised his hand for something or other and she flinched
(Now, you can guess why that story resonated with me. I would flinch all the time when I was kid. If my dad even moved
too quickly I had a mild panic attack. Yet I've never seen my step-son show fear of his father at all, unless he was actually going to get a whuppin'.)
But his step-daughter flinching freaked him out and he never used his hand again. And by the time he had his son he'd read enough books and whatnot on the subject that he immediately adopted a "switch". A physical object that wasn't likely to pop up and accidentally frighten anyone. It didn't come out until everyone was already aware a whuppin' was about to go down. If you reacted with fear then...good! Because you're about to get a whuppin'! You should
Still and all, having said all that, I can probably count how many times my step-son has been spanked, that I'm aware of (including incidents before
I came along) on one hand. Because I've hardly ever seen him do anything to get
one. We keep the rules in our house simple. He can probably sit down and make a (short) list of things he'd have to do to get
He's fifteen now, though. You can guess how many I expect he'll get in the future. And not so much because he's too old but because he was raised up correctly and just doesn't do anything that would require one.
Now, was spanking entirely necessary for him? I can't help but say we've just got a good kid here. I can't attribute all of that to proper discipline or the environment we've provided. I'm sure a lot of it is just that he happens to be a good kid. We could have used all those other passive techniques. Redirection, time-outs, etc. But I just don't think they're as effective. They're all entirely manipulative and they carry with them a real sense
of manipulation. The child has to feel
their being manipulated, don't you think?
It's hard and it hurts but I'd rather a child in my care know right where the boundaries are and be confident of what will happen if they cross that line. I think it gives them all the power in determining whether they'll get a whuppin' or not. They never have to worry that they might get a spanking "by surprise" one day, one they didn't see coming. It makes the consequences real and it just makes a deeper impact.
And, above all, it much more firmly assures them that those boundaries are there. Something I can't stress enough as incredibly important to a child. Perhaps as important as being loved in the first place. It's one thing to know you'll get a time out if you act out. It's quite another to know you'll get a spanking. I'm sure as I can be that knowing you'll get a spanking provides much more security to a child than negative reinforcement could even pretend to.
All my humble opinion, and born entirely out of my own personal experience and observation, of course.