To Spank or Not To Spank...
Or...So this is why I'm crazy..
Dear Squirrely Girl:
I just read this article about spanking kids and I thought I would share it with you and see what what you thought. My mom and dad spanked all of us and I think we are better for it. Today's kids seem totally out of control. Parents seem too lazy to spank their kids are even bother to make them behave, but I don't want to see kids be beat or abused anyway. I guess I am a little confused and have a new baby on the way. Is there something in between?
"People who were spanked or hit as kids were between two and seven percent more likely to encounter mental issues later, said the research in the journal Pediatrics, based on a retrospective survey of more than 600 US adults."
Love the picture of the squirrel being held by the angel, so sweet.
Signed ~ A Little Confused
Dear A Little Confused (I have met your cousin "Confused A Lot" and you are much nicer)
The article was pretty interesting. If spankings make people a little crazy that would explain a great deal about me. Just kidding! By the time I came along Mama Bess and Daddy Frank pretty much said.."Aaaah...what the heck, we are tired."
But...what a great question! And wouldn't it be even greater if I could give you a perfect answer? But-- I can't because to be completely honest, I am still a little confused too about the whole "To Spank or Not To Spank" question myself. All I can really do is tell you my personal experience.
I have always been a pretty proud advocate of the "little time behind the woodshed does a body good" theory. I got spankings as a child and while I never really got that whole “this hurts me more than it hurts you" thingy, I did understand that when Mama Bess got finish giving me a little whippin’ with a switch-- (which btw, she never ask me to go get.. not once..ever...she knew I was too lazy for that)--- it broke her heart and she did it because she loved me and wanted to protect me from something harmful. And that is just the God's honest truth right there.
And something harmful was not always me running out in the street or not being in the house before dark or touching something hot. It was also being disrespectful, talking back, making a spectacle of myself and generally not “behaving”. I never got spanked because I didn't make my bed or broke something by accident or got on her nerves. She used spankings to discipline me because that was how she was raised to be disciplined. But when we know better we do better. Mama Bess once told me that the more kids she had the fewer spankings they got because the older kids warned the younger ones, "if you know what's good for you... you will just behave and be done with it." The most important thing Mama Bess taught me was whatever you use for discipline, be consistent. If it is okay for them to finger paint on your sheets when you are in a good mood, then you can't spank them for finger painting on your sheets when you are in a bad mood and never ever hit any human being or animal in anger. In her later years, during her last days she told me, "I am not sure you should ever hit a child at all, but if you ever do spank one, you better make sure you have loved them enough for them to believe you when you say it hurts you more than them."
I knew that about Mama Bess. I will come right out and admit that I have said, “a little fear is not necessarily a bad thing” but I realized after I had my own children, I didn't obey my mama because I was afraid of her. I obeyed her because I loved her and I didn't want her to be disappointed in me. I didn't want to hurt her. I respected this woman who I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt would fight a lion and grizzly bear for me. My mama disciplined her seven children based on how her parents disciplined their twelve children. Times and families change. I have wanted to walk up to a screaming, misbehaving. kicking, spitting child many times and say, "let's me and you go behind the woodshed for about 2 minutes and you will come out a different child" ---(hey..just being honest). But what the child really needs is to respect his parents, teachers, grandparents and others enough to know that bad behavior is unacceptable.
Bottom line 'A Little Confused' is this----we all have to make those decisions based on our own personal convictions. But I do know a child with the wrong discipline will be no better off than the child with no discipline and a child who is truly loved will get usually get what he/she needs the most. You asked, "Is there anything in between?" I think that shows you have a open mind and open heart to want to do what is best for your child. A very good place to start!
P.S. The Ninja Squirrels are suckers for new babies and say 'Congrats' and may guardian angels watch over you all!!
Signed~ Squirrely Girl