First of all… I do not judge. Anyone that knows me know that to be a FACT! So, if you spank, that is great! If that works for you and solves the problems and changes the behaviors the way you want to see them changed, then TA-DA! You mastered your art of parenting. And if you choose not to, no judgement here. If you choose t let your children be wild and never discipline them, again- no judgment here.
Let’s just say that my decision to not spank came about in a very non-conventional way. I get accused of not spanking because I am a democrat. (where’s that on the ballot?) That’s not at ALL the case. I have always had a no-spanking stance. I babysat for years and as a babysitter, you don’t spank the kids. (duh!) So, if there is a discipline problem you have to come about it in a non-conventional way. I can’t spank someone else’s kid but I can take their toy away, or make them sit in time out, or have them help clean up the mess. Okay you get the point- I already knew of other ways to discipline when necessary.
Then it was MY turn to decide as a parent if I would spank or not. For me, it really was a no brainer. Partly because of the non-conventional way I became a parent, and also due to the fact that my child was 2 years old when I became her mother. I felt like it would be too extreme to be trying to bond with my child, get her acclimated to being a member of our family, and then at the same time use my hand to discipline her. I’m just not into spanking. Not judging those that do, but me- it’s not gonna happen.
Anyway, there are some bad representations out there about parents that choose not to spank. Some assume that means the child gets away with everything, others think it’s laziness on the part of the parent, and so on and so forth. Choosing not to spank was an easy decision to make, but has made parenting challenging in many ways.
- There are no threats. There’s no “do that again and i’ll spank you”. Nope. Not for me. It’s more like “do that again and we legit will have to have an hour conversation about why we don’t do that, how that hurts others, etc.”
- There has to be creativity in discipline. It can’t be the same thing every time.
- The boundaries HAVE to be known and sometimes that is harder when you do not spank.
Today was a wonderful day as a family, but also a rough one. We NEVER miss church. That’s just never a thought we have. But today– we decided to just really spend some time as a family. I missed church and I missed seeing my church family, but today was about us. Just spending some quality (no i-pad or phones) time together. We spent time all 3 of us in the bed this morning being silly, pretending to be asleep, seeing who could do the best snoring impression (Ava wins) and just laughing together. We got up, got dressed and went to get breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Ava and I had fun looking at all the stuff in the store and Jere just waited patiently [or not so patiently] for food to arrive! 🙂
Then we went to Entergy Park. Ava got a new bike this week and she was anxious to try it on the trails. We got a good work out in, literally stopped and smelled flowers and looked at the lake. Hot Springs is beautiful and I am so fortunate to get to enjoy this beautiful town with my family. After all that working out we decided to head to Magic Springs to get our Season Passes. We were going to just get our passes and head home but Ava decided she wanted to go ahead and ride some rides. Sounded good to me!
As soon as we walked in the park… the complaining began. I’m hot, I hate these shoes[how can you hate chacos????], i’m thirsty, I’ve already ridden that, I don’t want to ride that, can we go, can we swim…and SO ON! After about 35 minutes of non-stop complaining from my child, I had had enough. So here comes Mama Bear. “Let’s just go. Forget it! We are never coming back! This is ridiculous.” Oh how I wish I could take those words back. They weren’t mean, per se, but they weren’t spoken out of love- they were spoken out of frustration. Jere and Ava went to ride a ride while I went to get drinks (and let’s be honest– I needed the cool off). When I met back up with them, Ava said “i’m sorry mom.” I told her thank you for apologizing but I plainly said “I’m still upset.” Then here comes the tears. I hate that. I hate that I made my child cry. I feel awful and I wanted to cry myself. We went ahead and rode our ride without much laughter, but at least a few smiles happened from both of us.
On the way home I had no choice but talk about it. We talked for 45 minutes. I told Ava how she made me feel when she was griping. I was honest with her. Age appropriate honesty, but still I was honest. I told her how it made me feel bad that she was being so negative. I told her about how I can get my feelings hurt just like she can. We had a heart to heart, shed some tears, hugged it out, and we are good.
Throughout this ordeal I couldn’t help but think that it would have just been easier to spank. And I told her that. She agreed that she likes the talks better but even according to her “spankings at least are quicker.” But here’s the deal– she didn’t deserve a spanking! Spanking her would have been me getting onto her without having to talk about it. Instead, I spent so much time trying to gather my thoughts so that this could be a productive talk and then we spent the time actually talking it out! We are good. She knows I love her, she was able to tell me what hurt her feelings and I was able to do the same.
Y’all- parenting is HARD! It’s so hard. It’s the hardest thing I have experienced, yet the best at the same time.
Whether you spank or not, that is up to you. No judgement here! BUT, I do encourage you to talk through it. Don’t just spank and never address the situation. You know when you have a new puppy and they pee but you didn’t catch them do it? You know that if you spank the dog or put his nose in it he has NO clue what is going on. That’s how spanking can be if you don’t follow up with a talk. Your child has a voice. They can tell you why they are upset. They can even tell you why they are a being a toot! Ava said today “I think i’m just tired”. Yep- she was! She came home and rested and now my house is more harmonious thankfully!! 🙂
Just remember this: Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
No matter how YOU choose to train up your child, do it with love, with listening ears, and with a heart that is looking toward the future. They won’t be little forever…
And if YOU know someone that doesn’t spank and you think they are nuts, maybe this can help shed a little insight. It’s not easier… it’s just different.