Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spanking's Unintended Consequences

This weekend we saw a presentation at Voice & Exit by a couple who were striving to raise their child peacefully. I want to share two of their stories.

The first, their young daughter was hitting the mother. They couldn't figure out why and didn't know how to handle the situation peacefully. Friends and family suggested they swat her or spank her. They decided instead to remain curious and questioning about their daughter's behavior. With time and patience they learned their daughter was frustrated when Daddy was on his phone or computer, so she was hitting Mommy to get his attention. Once they figured this out they were able to resolve the situation peacefully.

The second story they shared. The father was spanked as a child and was one of those people who thought he "turned out alright". It was only after much introspection that they found unintended consequences to his being spanked that were still affecting him in his adult life. As a child he would get spanked when he told his parents he did something wrong, so he started lying about his innocence to avoid punishment. This conditioned him to be afraid to tell the truth when he made mistakes for fear of physical punishment. As an adult, he lied to his partner about truths he thought she'd find upsetting. Obviously, that only compounded the problem. Thankfully they were able to find the root of these issues and work through them.

Food for thought.

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