I can’t believe what just I read in this article, that a father felt called by God (four times) to make wooden spanking paddles and give them away. He gives them away for free but charges $5.75 for shipping. They are two feet long and pretty wide!!
If you read the article you will learn of anti-spanking advocate, homeschool mother Susan Lawrence and the volunteer work through her campaign "Stop the Rod" she has been doing to get various spanking implements off the market. Hooray! I would like to thank Susan Lawrence for her work.
For the record I am against spanking and always have been.
I believe that the word discipline means “to teach”. My goal is to teach my children right from wrong. I believe in teaching children how to think for themselves and to do the right thing under their own guidance. I don’t believe in keeping a child dependent on the parent and having the parent just direct them and yell at them to do this or not do that. I want my children to know the reason why not to do something or why something should be done that certain way and so on.
I was raised with spanking as a punishment and with yelling as a normal way of being “talked” to (or should I say “talked at”). I was raised with the idea where the parent keeps the kid scared of the consequence for doing wrong and having fear as the motivator. I disagree with the philosophies that I was raised on and I don’t think they work. I therefore chose a very different path for my own parenting journey.
I am not a perfect parent by any means but I am trying my best to do what is right and best. I am trying to find the right balance between being an authority figure, a parent (not a friend), having rules and limits, and being kind, being a good listener, allowing my children to voice their opinion (respectfully) and to let them feel their emotions and to express them. Doing all that is not an easy task. Parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever done. Believe me on some days I ask myself why don’t I go back to work and get paid and do work that is less emotionally tiring?
My favorite parenting “expert” is William Sears M.D. and his wife Martha Sears R.N. A close second goes to Barbara Coloroso and Nancy Samalin. I tend to favor the Sears’ for babies on through older children. For specific parenting challenges and practical advice I have found the wisdom of Coloroso and Samalain very helpful.
I spent seven years as a La Leche League Leader volunteering my time to help mothers and babies breastfeed and also with parenting encouragement and support of older children as well. I am very much in support of “loving guidance” which is the parenting/discipline philosophy term that La Leche League uses.
The accusations that I have read on the blogosphere about me (in the past) that align me as a parent in the spanking sector are completely false. The accusers who said that don’t know me or my children. They also cannot point to any thing that I have ever written on my blog about my parenting beliefs or methods that would give my readers any idea that I am in the spanking camp.
If you feel you need more information on what we do, here is a list:
Time-out’s: okay when for cool-down, starting at age three or four
Natural Consequence: in favor, do these.
Loss of privilege: one warning given, then taken away on next offense (on same day), example: loss of TV viewing for the day
Parent yelling at child: hate it, try not to do it. It happens sometimes. Not done as a normal course of action or intentionally.
Other communication information: explain why something is not good, tell the reason behind it, show the logic and the reason, and make them realize in our family we don’t do things “just because” I’m the parent. I don’t make up stupid rules just to have some power over my children (by the way). Identify the underlying emotion, discuss it, then give the consequence---they don’t get out of consequences just by stating their case and making a “plea”.
There are many alternatives to spanking. As I said I was spanked as a child and I don’t feel it worked. I have horrible memories of spanking and see no good that came out of it. If you feel you don’t know alternatives to spanking please read a parenting book such as “The Discipline Book” by William Sears (covers ages birth through age 10). Dr. Sears also has a book for Christian parents, if you feel you need Bible quotes mixed with the parenting advice and if you wan an explanation of how he interprets “sparing the rod’. If you need more ideas, especially for kids aged seven through teens, read Barbara Coloroso’s books.
Anyway this idea of the two-foot long wooden spanking implement just makes me sick and I was so moved by reading the article that I chose to sit and blog this. So there you have it, those are my thoughts on “punishment”.
Also, this book "Love and Anger" is great because it drives home a major issue about parents handling their own anger and how it is our responsibility as parents to control and manage our own emotions and to do the right thing with our children. Acting out of our own anger is not right and much damage can be done when we do things out of anger (yelling or saying certain not good things included).
Here is the Dr. Sears book about Christian parenting which holds to "spanking is not advised" philosophy.
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