There have been so many times that I've wanted to start a post and then didn't. There have been many "topics" I've spent a lot of time researching lately. Most of them have to do with Christian parenting. What is it? How can I be a better Christian AND mother, showing my son a Christ-like love? Its an issue I deal with daily. I recently found a website called Gentle Christian Mothers. This seems to be most like what I'm aiming for. They have many forums where other moms with similar viewpoints discuss topics and encourage one another. I've spent a couple of night being up too late reading these posts. :)
There are some topics that I've spent a lot of time reading about lately. One of them is spanking. I'll eventually do a whole post on my view of spanking (in one word: DON'T). I know this will not sit well with some people, maybe a lot of people. Oh well. I'm getting used to being a bit "different" with our parenting, lol. Perhaps one of the hazards of having been a history major is that when I write about an issue, I feel the need to back it up with references. Something like spanking and why I believe it is NOT a Christian way to parent children is a hot topic. I do not mean to offend anyone. And trust me, I realize that I have not been a mother nearly as long as a lot of those reading this. I get that. But I also know what I feel is right for me, for our family. So even though this *is* my blog, I'm not trying to upset others. So if you don't like what I have to say, well, don't read it. :) Pretty easy, eh? (I'll admit, I have a problem with not wanting to ever offend anyone.)
It seems as though many of our friends and family members believe in spanking. Some of them I think have actually thought it out and decided that its best for them. I don't get it...at all. I've tried. I've listened and watched it as its acted out. And it still leaves me cringing. I feel terrible for the child. No matter what they've done, the sight of a child being spanked really bothers me. I mean...really? People believe that striking a child, even on the behind, is teaching them a lesson? Huh. Maybe I'm missing something. Sometimes I'm just perplexed to see spanking as the choice for discipline. Sometimes it takes everything in me not to say "Are you freaking kidding me??!?!"
Let me be clear. I absolutely believe that children need to be disciplined. Discipline and punishment are not the same thing. I have high expectations for how my child will act and we are just at the tip of the disciplining iceberg. Children MUST have guidance, boundaries, and consequences for their actions. I know of some people who don't spank, but also don't discipline their children at all. There's no excuse for that, either.
And some people I think spank because they don't know what else to do. They were probably spanked as a child and think 'hey, I turned out ok so it must work.' (Excuse me while I go bang my head on a padded wall.) you know what, I was spanked as a child too. Not hard, and not often. I don't think I turned out "ok" because I was spanked or in spite of being spanked. I can hardly ever remember my mother spanking me and I don't ever remember my dad doing it. I know that they did what they felt was best and I completely respect that. But that doesn't mean I have to do it the same way.
And I think some parents spank because its easy. I mean, come on. It would be waaaay easier for me to spank Oliver every time he started up the stairs by himself. Say (or yell) "I said no!", spank on the behind. Done. Its much more time consuming to re-direct and it takes much more self control to be a calm, gentle disciplinarian.
Either way, most parents that I personally have come in contact with that spanks does not seem to have a good understanding of child development. The reasoning they give for why they spank always leaves me with "But, don't you understand..." on the tip of my tongue. Most of the time I just bite my tongue.
It just makes me sad to see children spanked.
Ok, my first anti-spanking rant is about done. I know some of my friends and family that will read this spank their children. I still love you, you know that. :) As a Christian, I try not to judge, this is just a hard situation for me not to. Hey, I never said I was perfect. I know some people who I consider to be awesome parents, but that spank their children and *that* always leaves me perplexed.
We all have things we are passionate about. Maybe its breastfeeding. Maybe its being a stay-at-home-mom. Or maybe its being a working mom. I have a few different ones...babywearing, co-sleeping (or the "family bed"), being a stay-at-home-mom...and as we all now know..anti-spanking.