I have been doing a lot of research on spanking lately. Non biased research. From reputable sources, scientific studies, doctors, pediatricians, psychologists and the like. You know what I found? There are no reputable educated sources that endorse spanking as a good form of discipline. The only thing I could come up with that was pro-spanking was the book "Train Up Your Child", (that book by the way is being cited as a factor for 3 childrens deaths) & James Dobson the guy that writes "Focus on Family". These are hardly reputable sources.
I am a youngerish mom and I have only one baby who will be 3 soon. I am hardly an expert on parenting and I really don't think I know it all. I know very little in fact, I parent with my heart and I enjoy parusing parenting books that I take little pieces from. One of the things that stuck out for me in all my research is that even if there are 100 hugs to 1 spanking, that spanking can hold a bigger influence on your child than those 100 hugs. Can is the key word, its not a certainty of course but it is a risk. For me that is true. I believe all kids are different, nature has a lot to do with the children we raise. I was born very tender hearted. My parents were not big spankers, talking to my mom she argued I was only spanked twice. This puzzled me cause those hundreds of memories I have of getting spanked, apparently were all threats with no execution.
One particular memory that I carry is coming home after the streetlights went on, I was about 5 years old. I remember being 3 or so blocks away when the lights flicked on and I became terrified instantly. Thinking, "OMG OMG OMG It was an accident!"...I was in complete fear of my parents. I got home, they were mad but had stoic faces. My mother said I needed a spanking, I was bawling immediatly. Tears streaming down my face she went to my closet and pulled out my baton I used for twirling, a metal rod capped with hard rubber and ribbon out the ends. She bent me over the toilet and I had my head turned looking at her as she pulled the baton back ready to spank me.
Before speaking to my mother about this just weeks ago, I of course thought she went through with it, I thought I was spanked with that baton. According to my mother though, it was only a threat, my mom said right after pulling the baton back she said, "Are you gonna come home late again" and I sobbed "NO" and she never spanked me. My memory doesn't recall that at all, nor does it recall actually getting spanked. Apparently just the threat instilled this great fear I had.
This indicates to me that its true what the studies say, that even with a hug hit ratio of 100 to 1, you run the risk of the child being more influenced by that 1 hit than 100 hugs. It was true for me, and apparently I didn't even get hit. The act leading up to the unexecuted spanking was enough to scar me for life.
Studies also say that parents who spank are mostly likely to have had parents that spank. I believe this to be true, whenever I ask people they always argue that their parents did it and they are fine. Whats my excuse? I blame my tender heart. My parents spanked me and I wasn't fine. I mean ya im a good human and a sucessful adult but mentally my childhood was pretty fucked up. I just can't stress enough how terrified I was of my parents. I didn't act right because I wanted to, I acted right because I was afraid not to. Lots of parents say "Thats good! You supose to fear the consequences! Your supose to respect/fear your parents"...I dont believe that one can respect someone they are afraid of.
Lots of parents also say that they spank and their children arn't afraid of them. Well, my parents didn't think I was afraid of them either, only as an adult do my parents know that I was terrified of them. They were pretty hurt by it. My brother on the other hand was spanked a lot more than I was and after speaking with him, he is pretty neutral on spanking, he doesn't seem to think it effected him negatively.
This just goes to show, how different children are and as parents, its hard to read how well or badly they are taking something.
As an adult experiencing the things i experienced and knowing the feelings I felt, I don't want to risk having my child afraid of me. I dont want to give him the chance to remember a spanking over 100 hugs.
I didn't mean for this to get so long, I really didn't want to put any of my personal experiences in it. I began this only wanting to ask everyone:
What are your reasons for believing spanking is a good tool?
Im not trying to be a bitch, I really wanna know the thoughts behind a parent ignoring the opinions of millions of doctors to spank. What makes these parents believe they know more than the American Academy of Pediatrics?
Call me ignorant, I dont mean for this to be malicious. Im genuinely curious.
I have a co worker with three kids and he spanks, and him and I are able to discuss the pros and cons with civility and not offending eachother. In our discussions though, he has no pros, other then he find it the most effective. When I present him with the long term effects done by professional, his face kinda goes blank like a bomb went off, but he ignores it and still thinks the short term effects are most important and kinda shoo shoos the pros. He stands by the "My parents did it to me and im fine" arguement...So, I would like to know the rationality, the logic that goes on in the minds of parents that endorse spanking.
I was gonna put a little disclaimer that would've read something like, "Please keep this civil" or "No bashing"...but then I realized im one of the few women on this cite that doesn't approve of spanking, so it will be me that has to absorb the hits.