Friday, April 29, 2011

Why I do not spank

The attachment parenting frame of mind is one that shows conscious decisions in how parenting is done. Parenting is done with active thought process and one that is based on the deep connection between parent and child.

There is not a list of dos and dont's for attachment parenting: it is a "starter style" where parents see the basics of parenting as a bonding and important experience. It doesn't mean you can't have a baby sitter. It doesn't mean you can't use a stroller. It doesn't mean you can't use a pacifier. It doesn't mean you can't use a crib.

It does mean that you shouldn't consciously want to harm your child. Spanking is harmful. Spanking is wrong. Spanking should be avoided. Yes, we do lose our patience, even as attached parents. Yes, we do, at times, wonder what we *should* be doing. Yes, we strive to do what's right.

What's right is not spanking a child to show them a lesson, because the lesson that we are teaching is that hitting is okay. It creates confusion, because we tell our children not to hit, but then we do that exact thing.

Spanking creates a power struggle, because we spank to try to control them, when instead they may be looking for understanding and may not have the words at that moment to express their needs.

Spanking creates fear. When we hurt our children we teach the child that their parents, the ones who should love them, hurt them. Instead of creating a stronger bond, we're teaching them to fear our touch.

Spanking teaches a child to hide. When we spank, we instill a fear of pain, so the child learns to avoid the consequence (and the parent).

Spanking teaches a child to lie. When we spank, we cause pain. It is natural to avoid pain, so the child then, to avoid pain, lies when they do something the parent would not like.

Spanking is wrong. I do not see any point where it is okay. Please do not tell me that the Bible tells you to spank your child. Yes, the Old Testament has the whole "spare your rod" line, but few people follow every line of the Bible literally. Plus, Proverbs here discusses Solomon's parenting style when Rehoboam was a child.

Was Rehoboam someone you want your child to be like? Have you considered that when the Bible is the reason used for spanking? Consider this: Rehoboam, when he became king, rejected his father's recommendations. Instead, he turned to his friends for advice and was ruthless, unkind and not someone you'd like your child to grow up to be, I'm quite sure.

For Christians, the New Testament teaches love. There is a line in Hebrews that speaks of "discipline" but discipline does not equite to spanking. Here are some lines from the Bible that speak to not spanking/hitting/abusing your child:

Eph 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

1 Thessalonians 2:6-7 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.
As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,  7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.

So for those who spank, I ask, why do you spank? What do you feel you are teaching your child? That hitting is okay? If you're the adult? That mommy's touch is something you should avoid? That the thing you're doing is okay if you don't get caught? Please consider gentler options for parenting before you spank next time. There are alternatives.

For me, I don't spank because I don't want to teach my children that harming someone is okay. I don't want them to fear my touch. I don't want them to hide from me out of fear. Instead, I want them to come to me when they're fearful. I don't want them to hide because they are worried that I'll be disappointed. 


kieffer said...

spare the rod spoil the child. They know you are the parent, and it does not mean that they think its "ok" or will make them hit others. Yes, you are to control your child in their behavior. If you don't, you will never have control over them when they get older, and then they will do whatever they want.

Chrissy said...

I completely disagree with the 1st comment posted on here. The people in my life who have grown up with the least amount of respect for their parents, the people who rebelled the most and the people who have no relationship with their parents, are the ones who were spanked as a child. I was never spanked and I have a great, respectful and beautiful relationship with my parents.

I was abused and molested as a child by someone who was spanked and I whole hartedly believe that it partially because he was raised to believe that children aren't equal humans and don't deserve equal respect.

Children are people and they deserve the same respect that any adult deserve, if not more. Children are innocent, beautiful caterpillars that will grow into beautiful butterflies unless they are stepped on in which case they will always be broken and never grow into their full potential.

Look at how screwed up our generation is today. Parents of the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's who formula fed and hit their kids obviously didn't do a good job raising decent humans. It's up to us to raise amazing humans who will have respect fort themselves, others, animals and the earth.

Amanda said...

Kieffer, If you read my post here, you'll see that I don't want to control my kids. I want to teach them to intrinsically make the right choices. My right is different than your right.

ChewyMomma said...

Children are a gift and deserve to be treated as such. Just because we are bigger and stronger, does not give us the right to use physical force on them. When someone bigger and stronger hits someone who has no way to fight back, that person is a bully. Plain and simple. Spanking a child is wrong in every way. "I hit you for hitting to teach you that hitting is bad." That makes no sense.
Children deserve the same respect we expect to receive ourselves. If you don't want someone hitting you when you make a mistake, don't hit other people...including your children. They look to us for guidance. Discipline means to TEACH, not to HARM. And respect is earned. You don't earn anything when you hit your child. Certainly not respect.