Les Brown's radio show had many people call in this week about the merits of spanking and, of course, those on the other side of the debate as well. Good Morning America reported this morning that 20 states in the U.S. still allow corporal punishment in schools. Parents sign a consent at the beginning of the school year and then have no recourse when their kids come home from school with bruises and severe markings on their rear-ends from being punished by their teachers, coaches, etc...
I WANT TO SCREAM FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO THAT EVERY PARENT, TEACHER AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR HEARS ME!!!!
SPANKING DOESN'T TEACH KIDS ANYTHING CONSTRUCTIVE!!!!
Whew! I needed to get that out! My goal every day when I wake up is to teach parents skills in raising their kids that those kids will then learn from and become amazing adults as a result.
When is spanking ever applicable in adult life? When our bosses annoy us do we get to spank them? When our roommates in college don't do their dishes do we get to spank them? When our neighbors let their dogs poop on our lawns do we get to spank them? NO!!! So, what could our kids possibly be learning when their teachers or parents spank them? They may be learning that when we get mad we should hit! Or that using a paddle is a good way to make lasting marks on a kid's bottom. Our kids may also learn to become incredibly angry and resentful at authority figures because of the violent reactions to their misbehavior. From my perspective, these are not useful lessons, obviously.
What can parents and teachers do instead that will make a more positive impact?
When kids are acting out, they should experience the natural and logical consequences of their choices. For example, if my child is acting disrespectfully, we will leave the birthday party or she will be removed from the room until such time as she makes a different choice. I know that this sounds simplistic, but there are always 1,000 available tools OTHER THAN SPANKING that can teach our kids to behave better.
On Les Brown's radio show, some of the callers were saying that without spanking kids, they are likely to be undisciplined, entitled and poorly behaved. I beg to differ! When parents set appropriate limits and are consistent with those limits, kids grow up to be respectful, compassionate and well-behaved!
Here are a few of my favorite tools that can be used instead of spanking:
- Removal from the situation
- Loss of privileges when they show they cannot handle the responsibility that goes along with those privileges
- Lead them by the shoulders without a word to remind them of the toys they didn't pick up
- "Uh oh!" - when we need to remind them to use nicer words
- "Respectful ignoring" so we don't encourage bad behavior
- "Let me know when you're ready" - when they're not listening
- Use humor to diffuse a tense situation rather than escalating it
- Give them the words to say when they don't know how to say something respectfully
- ...and so many more!
Make a point to arm yourselves with as many parenting tools as possible so as to put spanking 1,000th on your list or remove it from your list altogether!!! Remember, your kids are watching and taking notes at all times!!!