Spanking has made the news with the alarming pictures of Adrian Peterson, the NFL player who used a switch, or a tree branch, to spank his son. Spanking is NOT a form of discipline. Before you can discipline your child, you have to get their attention. They must be totally focused on you and what you are insisting they do. Very often the child is out of control and refuses to listen. That’s when a simple “pop” on the behind with your hand can be used to get their attention so they will listen to what you have to say.
Spanking (multiple hits) in it’s original form is an action that continues until the child “seems” to be in submission. The problem with spanking is that the parent can slip into anger and aggression because the child may not submit as quickly as the parent wants. When the spanking is over, the child hasn’t learned the intended lesson – but instead views the parent as an aggressor that only wants control. Some people who spank also use paddles, switches or other devices. Only the hand can determine if the pressure on the behind is right. I never recommend more than one pop and never on any other place than the behind. You only want to get your child’s attention. If you do pop more than once, your hand will feel the same sting as your child. I only used this method once or twice on my children. After that, they knew by my voice that I was serious and that they had a lesson to learn.
Submission should never be the ultimate goal. True discipline captures the attention and heart of the child. A “pop” on the behind must be followed by a lesson that inspires and helps the child understand what you want done and why you want it done. Real discipline will bring you closer to your child and will inspire him to work with you on proper goals.
Without the lesson, the insight, the assurance that you are in the journey together – the child learns nothing.
Yes, Parents must have control over their children. I am appalled at parents who allow their child to run wild. But…control must be transferred from parent to child by many years of logical parenting.
My book Discipline Exposed – surviving fried worms and flying mudballs will give you all the instructions you need to control your child with love. Temper tantrums will be erased and replaced with calm logical parenting that will grow your child into becoming a productive mature adult.