As a mother of five, my parenting philosophies have evolved over the years as each one of my children passes through the terrible twos, threes, etc…
As a young, fierce, independent-minded university student, I had whole-heartedly decided that spanking in all forms was an ineffective and morally wrong way to discipline a child. I secretly judged parents for giving their naughty, disobedient kid a whopping on the backside for misbehaving. “Why can’t they just talk to the child logically and explain how to act appropriately?” I thought I knew it all.
With nosey neighbors peering into our inner world to get a glimpse of our parenting (or lack of) skills- remember how the media descended upon Kate Gosslin for giving her kid a little tap on the tush!- and unspoken threats of legal repercussions from child advocacy agencies, many of us are afraid to effectively discipline our own offspring.
Primarily, a distinction between spanking and physical abuse, which carries a negative connotation, must be made. The spanking can be used by parents of small children as one of their many tools used to discipline the negative behavior. Verbal warnings are not easily understood by such small children.
The intensity of the “tap on the rear” depends upon the particular child’s personality and level of sensitivity, I believe. I have a little girl that is extremely fragile and with merely the “threat” of a spanking, she straightens out. I have another child that needs a solid slap on the butt to “pull it together,” and an in-betweener who melts when I barely touch his behind.
I have two boys; one age 5 and the other 3, who are very physical together. They play and fight passionately like two lion cubs chasing after one another all day long to the likes of a Tom and Jerry cartoon. After about 5 laps around the house, the destruction commences and my home tumbles down in ruins.
With so much unbridled energy whirling around, one always ends up crying. I sit on the sidelines suggesting a million times that they should calm down yet they pay me no mind. Only when I threaten to “tap their rear” do they seem to get the message. Does it work? Absolutely.
Clearly, when a child gets older and is able to decipher between right and wrong and understands consequences, more effective ways of discipline exist.
Let’s leave this part of parenting up to the discretion of the parent(s) or caregiver- after all it is a private well thought-out matter.
Just like Cher slapped Nicholas Cage in the movie Moonstruck and proclaimed, “Snap out of it!” A little smack on the rear can go a long way and get a child to come around!