*shamelessly rips off photo*
So after seeing this post and having a short debate with my friends over the integrity of physical discipline, I just want to throw in my two cents on the topic. I have a feeling that it is a bit unpopular.
I have to get a few things out of the way that apparently aren’t completely obvious to most of this blog’s followers;
There is no set right or wrong way to discipline your child. What works for one child will not necessarily work for another. Every person, parent, and child responds to stimulus differently. You cannot hope to try and put every situation under one opinion.
Now, first I just want to say that in a general, cookie-cutter answer, my idea of discipline for a child involves taking the practices of many different forms. Not just spankings, not just yelling, not just privilege revoking and grounding, a mix of them. Of course it also depends on the child, the situation, the intensity of the punishment, and how responsive they are to such treatments. A completely flexible ideal.
But I wanted to share why I believe that spankings produce respect. (Not pro-abuse. It seems a few people had trouble separating the two concepts. The most spankings do is leave a reddened bottom and a stinging feeling. Abuse leaves much more than that.)
The conversation I had with my friend was Privilege Revoking vs. Spankings.
In a very short hand summary of our debate, with privileges being taken away, you act good because you get something in return when you do— your stuff back. That instills the idea that you should be rewarded for being a decent person. With spankings you act good because it prevents further spankings. You don’t get rewarded for being a good kid, you’re taught that that is just how you are supposed to act. You’re taught that you need to be a good person because when you aren’t, bad things happen.
For a kid to understand that, it needs to be taught on the most basic of levels. The pain of a spanking in that moment is significant for a 5 year old, you know? It’s going to make them really think about their actions, and think of them within the guideline, ”How will this hurt me in the long run?”
This is like the basis of respect. It turns into,
"How will treating this person in this way effect me in the long run?"
Sure, you can make the argument that taking away privileges makes them think the same thing, but it’s not going to be thought through as thoroughly (as thoroughly as a kid can think something through) as with the incentive of physical pain.
I realize that a lot of people will be incredible put off by causing their child to feel physical pain, but you spanking your kid’s bottom is gonna hurt a lot less than them falling and scraping their knee on the playground at school. Sitting down might be uncomfortable for a while, and they’ll moan because 1) it stings and 2) they got punished, but it’s hardly as bad as a lot of people make it out to be.
Not only that, taking away privileges and groundings more often than not involves shouting, on either the parent’s end or the child’s end, and that, I believe, is much more damaging than a spanking. While the pain of spankings goes away after an hour at most, the pain of yelling or just saying certain things to your child can stick with them their entire life. Repeated spankings are only ever going to be bad in the moment. A lot of people say that the fear caused by spankings is damaging, but any sort of discipline is gonna invoke fear in a child. Yet I always knew that my well being was safe in either situation because spankings are not abusive. Even as a 4 year old I still understood that my parents loved me and would care for me, always. Repeatedly shouting can cause emotional trauma in your child that spiritually damages them for a large chunk of their life. This is coming from someone whose gotten the belt on more than one occasion. I’m not gonna lie, I did grow up with anger issues. But if you want to talk statistics, those came from my parent’s divorce and a lack of father and mother figure in my life. Not spankings. I could deal with a spanking. What I couldn’t deal with was the fighting happening between my parents, and the angry, hurtful words that were shouted in my childhood. Using words as an alternative discipline is much more damaging than giving your child a whack or two on the butt, because you are attacking their already fragile mental state rather than their physical state. Yes, their physical state is fragile, too, but mending a mind and mending a body are two vastly different concepts.
To teach a child something as important as respect, you really have to start from the ground up, and spankings are the most easily understood form of teaching that. As a child you inherently understand pain. What you don’t understand is a concept of right and wrong, and when anger is being directed at you or not.
I apologize for the incredibly long post this turned out to be. I’m open to mending my opinion if any one else has something that they want to through in.