Saturday, July 27, 2013

Why We Don't Spank

Why don't we spank our children? Well, we used to. We spanked Josh (8y) until he was 6 years old. I don't think I ever planned to spank him, but as he got older and had a will of his own, his own wants, his own plans, his own expectations, I didn't know how to incorporate that into our lives. I had a job to be at each morning, errands to run, chores to do, and I needed him to cooperate with my schedule. I had never learned peaceful techniques or armed myself with tools for encouraging cooperation, so I used what I knew from my childhood- fear and punishment.

It didn't work. The older he got, the less effective spanking became. His behavior may have been compliant for a while, but eventually the same behavior repeated. The punishments had to escalate to 'keep him in line' for any period at all. After reading and self-reflection, I now understand that fear of punishment doesn't encourage positive changes, it only encourages more care in not getting caught. Internal motivation is the key to positive change.

After much research and soul searching, we have many reasons why we do not spank the children. We teach them no one has the right to touch them without permission, in any way, especially not to hurt them, even us. Spanking would violate that principle. Spanking teaches that "might makes right", that if you are bigger or stronger than someone else you can force them to do whatever you want. Spanking does not encourage cooperative problem solving, communication, empathy, compassion, or negotiation, all of which are vital to healthy relationships.

I don't want our boys to think it is alright for violence to be part of a loving relationship. I don't want them to ever hit their partners or children. I don't want them to think it's alright if people they know hit their partners or children. I don't want them to make any decisions out of fear of me or Papa. I want them to be internally motivated to do well, not acting based on external factors. I want for them to be respectful people, and so we much model how people respect each other to them. I want to have a loving, connected relationship with them when they are grown, without any hard feelings or harsh memories between us.

These are the reasons we don't spank.

No comments:

Post a Comment