Spankings as discipline

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Development/Milestones: Babies

It's one of the reasons I refuse to spank/beat/whatever-word-you-like my kid, and to be honest, it's the same reason I don't think anyone else should, either. Who has the temperament and self-control to be trusted never to cross the line between discipline and abuse? You? Are you sure about that? I'd want to be pretty sure myself, but that's just me.

I read the above in a blog post by the always-talented blogger and now Fancy Published Author Rob Rummel-Hudson and it perfectly articulates my feelings on spankings as a form of discipline.

To me, if a transgression is spank-worthy, I've probably already passed the point where I can trust myself to dole out an appropriate (if there even is such a thing) physical punishment. If my toddler has committed the sort of crime where I feel a spanking is the only option to truly drive home my message, well, I don't think I should be hitting him while I'm in that frame of mind. Because I'm probably furious. Or terrified (ie, he's just run into traffic). Or frustrated because he's not listening, or reacting because he's just purposefully done something to anger me.

I remember an incident not too long ago when I was trying to get him into his pajamas and he was cranky and resisting and thrashing around and he kicked me more than once, until I just lost my temper and took hold of his legs and gripped him too hard while yelling at him to STOP! KICKING! and I could feel myself wanting to smack him. To smack my little boy -- for being tired and grouchy and 2.5 years old -- it hurts my heart and shames me to even type that.

I believe in discipline and I'm no wuss about making my kid unhappy if that's what the situation warrants (being given a time out, for instance), but I don't want to resort to hitting him. I don't want him to get the message that that's how we resolve problems, for one thing, and I don't want to feel out of control when I'm dealing with him.

Tell me, how do you feel about spankings?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.