Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Being a new mother I seem to get a lot of advice, which can be helpful, but is also very frustrating when it's from people who are insistent that their way is the BEST way. I also get advice (because I'm an adoptive mother) from those who think that my son is just a stand-in until I get "the real thing."

Each week I will post a new question. I'd love it if you'd play along and offer us new mothers your pearls of wisdom.




Kris said...

You know, I have no problems with spanking. BUT only have after all other options have been exhausted to no avail.

The problem with spanking that I have is that it does not help the child know what is the appropriate behavior. It only punishes. I reminds me of a story from "The One Minute Manager" book. It's about the dog who gets spanked with the newspaper then thrown outside every time the dog has an accident in the house. (punishment followed by "you do that outside" thinking) The dog learns that after having an accident in the house, to clear the area, but still doesn't get house trained using this approach b/c he doesn't know what the desired behavior is.

Consequently, we don't spank. Megan is so soft hearted, that we have yet to even have to use time out. I'm fairly certain we won't have to spank, but one never knows.

Kristi B said...

I can only speak from a child's POV, since I don't have kids yet. My parents NEVER spanked me. I think my dad might have spanked my brother a handful to times. My punishment was being sent to my room. Since I am a people person, that was the worst punishment ever!! I hated thinking that I was missing out on something. My brother hated being spanked. It made him think he was a bad person, which of course he's not.

Melba said...

I was just talking to a friend about this. I think there are a few rare times when it is appropriate to spank...but overall I think there are better and just as effective methods of disciplining a child so that spanking is unnecessary.

The situation we were discussing was one where her three-year-old daughter ran away from her in a busy shopping plaza, and ended up at the edge of the street where a car was coming. My friend said that was a terrifying experience, and that if her daughter runs from her again, she will spank her. I honestly have to agree with that, because the child's safety is at issue...and clearly other methods are not going to work when your child is running in the other direction, directly into harms way.

By and large, I think spanking is pretty much unnecessary. I think most children can be reasoned with, and disciplined in gentler, more effective ways. That being said, I was spanked a time or two growing up, and I'm no worse off for it!


Connie said...

OK, the Neanderthal parents are chiming in here. Mark and I do spank the girls occasionally, and I do think it is AN effective tool, particularly for your more stubborn kids. However, you don't want to overuse it just because it works. The tricky thing about spanking is that you CAN'T be (very) angry yourself, or it is just like an adult temper tantrum...not cool in any forum.

TXMom2B said...

I spank Andrew (9 months) immediately when he does something that could lead to physical pain, like messing with the plugs. Of course I have plug covers, but I don't want him going there anyway. I say "ouch" really loud, in the hopes that he will associate dangerous things with pain and fear--because it is painful and scary to, say, get electrocuted. Same thing goes with running into the road, diving off of furniture, etc. I plan on using a time-out for defiance once those days arrive.