When did we decide it was OK to hit a child with a stick? I’m tired of hearing all about the famous football player spanking his child with a tree branch or some sort of stick-like device causing bruising, cuts, and bleeding, then hearing that there are actually people out there who think that’s OK. We have other football players coming to his defense, even going so far as to say that nobody is going to tell them how to discipline their kids, and that how you discipline your children is your business, not anyone else’s. I do think it becomes someone else’s business if the discipline you are dishing out is causing marks, scars, and bleeding.
First of all, this isn’t discipline. Where on earth do we send our children and allow them to get hit, spanked, or beaten? I can’t think of any parent who would send their child off somewhere and allow them to be hit, so why would it be OK for that parent to do it in his own home? If someone else can’t spank your kid, why should you be able to do it?
Our children are human beings. Even though we are their parents, we do not own them. They are not possessions. They have feelings. I think if a child is hit by his parent it sends the wrong message and not the clear message we truly want to send. We teach our children not to hit other kids, they are punished if they do, but then we send them mixed messages by disciplining them with spankings. How is that going to teach them right from wrong?
I don’t think spanking really solves the problem. I don’t agree with it. That’s not to say I’ve never been completely frustrated and wacked one of my kids on the butt a few times. I’ve done it. I’ve smacked both of my children on the butt at least a couple times in their lives. It was a stupid way to handle their behavior, and it was lazy parenting at best. At worst, it was me showing my children that I was bigger, I was stronger, I was in charge, and if they didn’t do as they were told, they would feel pain. I’m ashamed I did it, and I wouldn’t ever do it again.
I simply don’t think using corporal punishment works. Kids don’t learn anything from it, and I doubt it stops them from misbehaving again after they forget about the spanking in a few days or weeks; unless it’s done repeatedly and over and over again until it’s impossible for them to forget. And if that’s the case, well, that’s a problem.
We’ve got a famous basketball player telling people that it’s completely normal for people “in the south” to beat their children with objects. My guess is that the majority of the people living in the south would disagree with his assessment. I can’t imagine that everybody down in Alabama or New Orleans is spanking their children with branches.
I rolled my eyes reading the statement made by the aforementioned football player/stick beating man when he said that after speaking with a psychologist he now realizes there are other ways to discipline a child. Hmmmmm… So, you didn’t realize that before? You really thought, prior to your session with a medical professional, that the only way to reprimand your child was to hit him? OK dude. Whatevs.
From what I understand, the kid was four-years-old. Here’s what I’ve come to know, as a mother of two boys…
For just about any four-year-old kid I know, a time out works just fine. Ok, maybe you’ve got a real stinker on your hands, so we’ll throw out the time out and bring in the taking away of favorite things. That almost always gets those little villains. If that doesn’t work, you could try an earlier bedtime, no Sesame Street or Dora, or even no dessert after dinner for an entire week. That alone would have thrown my younger son into a complete meltdown and you better believe the kid would have shaped up right then and there. I know the no dessert punishment is cruel, but I think it’s better, and probably more effective, than the beatings.
I know not everyone will agree with my opinions here, but since it’s my blog, I’m going to write about what I believe.
What I believe is this…
The world would be a better place if we stop hitting kids, stop beating woman, stop abusing men, stop mistreating animals, and learn to be kinder to our fellow living beings.