PARENTING 101: DISCIPLINE-Does Spanking Work?

mothers and sons

mothers and sonsHe raises his hand, she cowers!  She raises her hand, he cowers!  Sounds like a peek into a home filled with domestic violence (I will touch on that later), but it’s not.  It is a parent “disciplining” their child.

Don’t be touchy!  Instead, wonder why thoughts of domestic violence is the first thing that comes into your head.  Ask yourself why is that not okay in a relationship, but okay if it is a parent doing this to a child.

My stance on this topic should be obvious.  I don’t believe in spanking.  My controversial view has lead to many discussions.  Even in my child psychology class, I had to shut my teacher down when she gave statistics showing that “black parents” are more likely to “whip” their children.  By the time I finished with my point of view of “non-whipping”, most of the class was floored.  “A black parent that doesn’t whip their child, where they do that at?”  In my household.  Just like I raised my son to not accept so called “statistics”, I taught them that same valuable lesson.

One would say that whipping is the only way a child listens and that is what is wrong with “teens” today.  However, I would argue that spanking does not guarantee that your child will be good and not get in trouble.  The only thing it does guarantee is that your child learns that violence is an acceptable way to express your anger.

From my recollection, I caught one spanking in my childhood.  I took some pennies off my parents dresser for the ice cream man and caught a “whipping” I still remember to this day.  Needless to say, I never did that again.  Now one could say the “whipping” was effective, I would say I was emotionally traumatized and so was my parents.  They did what they were taught as discipline, but they realized that it was not the right way to handle me (yes I displayed some drama behind that whipping).  From there, discipline turned into reading bible versus or going to my room.  If you have ever heard children outside playing but you couldn’t play, you understand my five-year-old pain.

Growing up, my son was a pretty good child, a little spoiled but good.  I knew whipping wasn’t the way to go after I attempted to whip him, but he cowered from me.  That hurt me to the core.  Not only did it hurt me, but the look on his face was pure fear.  That was not the relationship I wanted with my son.  I wanted respect, not fear.  His punishments instead included taking his television and time out in his room.  It also varied between writing sentences to punishment book reports.  As he got older, I would take his cell phone or put it on restriction.  Mostly, we talked, talked and talked.  I would allow him to explain why he thought the behavior was okay and I would explain to him why it wasn’t.  If you shut your child down when they try to express their opinion, how do you expect them to be able to communicate effectively as an adult?  I encouraged “talks” and continue to teach him to disagree with facts, not emotions.  This fostered a close relationship with my son, taught him manners, and confidence.  He open doors and says yes ma’am/sir to this very day.  Parenting win!

We had a conversation about this article.  I wanted to make sure everything was accurate with what I thought I accomplished and what I actually did.  He told me he remembered being “popped” (cringe), but never whipped.  He also said he didn’t think whippings were good because it made a child fear their parents not respect them and I always taught him to fear no one except God.  Parenting win again!

Even a beaten dog eventually will bite!  Think about slavery and the “whippings” dished out by overseers.  If “whippings” were effective there would have never been slave revolts, right?

Let’s say spankings are 75% effective and guarantees that your child will be “perfect” and never get in trouble.  If you are in that 25%, you basically beat and instilled fear in your child for nothing.  I know some people who got whipped and turned out okay.  On the other hand, I also know that some of them don’t have relationships with their parents and ALL of them remember the whippings.

Food for thought: If spanking doesn’t stop the behavior, what is the point of it?  It satisfies your need to lash out at your child for behavior at that moment?  Sounds a lot like what people say who “beat” their significant other.  If you think anyone who has gotten a “whipping” has not been in trouble, talk to a few ex-convicts and play percentages.

Explore more effective ways of discipline, it may just save your relationship with your child.

As far as mine goes, he graduated high school in May, he is working and learning about investing while he waits on his ship date for the military.  He has never been in any kind of trouble and he has no kids.  He’s not perfect, no one is, but he is by all accounts a great young man! Any questions?


Peace and Love,

Valencia Griffin-Wallace

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As a wife, mother, business owner, and new vegetarian, I aim to help others to grow outside their comfort zone. I'm one of those people who knows a little about a lot and want to share it. I am a straight, no holds barred type of person. I give real advice and tips using my own life as an open book of experience for others. "Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new" -Albert Einstein