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I know I've touched on this in another journal entry, but I think it would be better to discuss it here instead of in the complaints forum. True, I don't know everything about psychology, I'm not an expert and I don't claim to be one. These are my beliefs and if you disagree, I respect that. Just do not go and troll in this journal accusing me of condoning beating or child abuse. I don't think I've ever blocked someone from my page before but I may start doing so if this journal does attract trolls and a bunch of extremely stupid comments like one in the forums telling other people to actually beat me.
I really don't like how so many people equate spanking with abuse. There's a right way to do spanking, and a wrong way. For me, well, I was a troublemaker. Not as much as my father was when he was a kid, but I still think I take after him a lot. The way I see it, spanking a child for disobedience and disrespect is like inoculating that child against a dangerous disease. When you take a child for a vaccination like for measles/mumps/rubella or polio, the doctor is gonna give the child a shot. Shots hurt. I hated going to the doctor 'cause I was always afraid I'd get a shot.
I also hated getting swatted. However, most of the time I deserved to get spanked. If I disobeyed and my parents just let me do what I wanted, then I wouldn't have learned to obey them. There were several situations where if I hadn't learned to obey, I would have done things that could get me injured, in trouble with the law or killed. Spanking and shots both hurt, and when administered the right way, will help protect a child from later harm. You have to explain to the child why you have to give a spanking, most of the time, and follow up with a hug to reassure the child that you love him and want him to grow up to be a proper adult.
There were times when the punishment went too far and I think it was due to my parents being scared that they weren't doing enough to discipline me. Like I said, I was a terror. They had a responsibility to raise me as well as they could, and I think they succeeded. I'm not perfect, but I haven't been getting in trouble with the law either. There were times I was terrified of going home 'cause I knew I had gotten into trouble at school for three infractions and I'd get spanked. But looking back, I realize that my dad wanted to make sure I didn't grow up thinking I could just get away with breaking rules and laws. Societies need rules and laws to function, and different children need different kinds of discipline to grow up into law-abiding adults.
Maybe alternative punishments do perfectly fine for most children today, but I think they wouldn't have worked for me because I was a total brat as a kid. Some countries have outlawed spanking, including careful swats to the butt, and I think that could be a mistake. I don't know everything, but I think children sometimes do need a few swats to the behind to get their attention. Not from teachers, not from most relatives or family friends, but from parents.
If you do spank your children, make sure you tell them why you're doing it, what they did wrong, and then afterward, let them know you love and care for them. Spanking is tough love when done right, and sometimes love does have to be tough.