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Make America Spank Again

I can’t put my finger on when exactly spanking went from being an effective means of disciplining your child to suddenly being a corporal punishment of epic proportions that perpetuates violence and emotional stunting. However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it probably happened around the same time kids became self-entitled brats with zero sense of ownership and respect.

Spanking is kind of like owning a gun. There’s that small part of the population that messed it up for the rest of us and gave it a bad reputation. You know the people – the ones that use it inappropriately or get overzealous and make the rest of us look incompetent.

To clarify (before the self-righteous banshees of the Mommy tribe come lurching at me), I’m in no way suggesting we should “beat some sense into our youth” – a phrase my senile 80-year-old dad likes to mumble whenever a toddler so much as sheds a tear or acts grouchy. Believe it or not, I’m actually pretty anti-beating, so let’s just go ahead and establish that there is a HUGE difference in breaking out the leather belt and giving a swat to the bum.

Is it a fine line? Yeah, maybe…if your purpose in hitting your child has more to do with releasing anger and less to do with teaching your kid a lesson. In which case, spanking is ABSOLUTELY a violent, counterproductive way to handle a behavioral issue.

And here lies the juxtaposition of spanking. Just like those few outliers have made it impossible for the rest of us to utilize guns, so have “trigger-happy” parents that spank.

So, here are my three rules for both spanking and gun-use that need to be established in order to make them more effective and less controversial.

Spanking Should Be A “Last Resort” not a “First Resort.” Hitting someone is never a good idea if there are other options. You wouldn’t pull a gun on someone every time you were pissed off (unless you’re a damn lunatic), so why would you spank your kid every time they do something wrong?

Kids are far more reasonable than we give them credit for. 90% of the time, talking to them or using other, non-physical punishments work perfectly well. Reserve spanking for when it’s REALLY necessary. Plus, the more often you spank, the less effective the action becomes. Your child won’t understand the gravity of the situation if they are getting whomped on the butt all the time, which completely undermines the entire purpose behind spanking.

The point of spanking is more to scare and less to hurt. If someone breaks into your house or tries to rob your place of employment, a gun is an incredibly effective means of deterring an assailant. If you’re lucky, just SEEING your gun will scare the person so much they’ll turn away and cease whatever they are doing. The entire purpose behind spanking is to teach your child that bad behavior has consequences and to prevent that behavior in the future. Whoop that butt properly once and you (ideally) won’t have to do it very often in the future. Just the threat of a butt whomp should be enough to make them think twice.

Neither spanking nor gun use should be used when you’re being reactive, angry, or emotional. Look, I get it. I have a three-year-old, and sometimes he’ll do something so outlandish that – when my nerves are shot – I actually have to stop myself from instinctively back-handing him. Yes, that sounds horrible, but I guarantee you that every… single… parent… has at one point had to stop themselves from being reactive. That’s kind of the whole point of the parent-child dynamic: we act like adults in order to teach our children how to follow suit. If our child is being emotional and reactive, it makes absolutely no sense to respond physically out of anger and frustration. That’s the exact opposite of what you are trying to convey. Before you speak, take a breather and decide if that’s the best solution. If it is, then commence.

Talk to them about it. When our kids are around guns, we talk to them about their purpose and seriousness. The same should be true of spanking. Hitting your kid without explanation is not doing anyone any favors. Whether you choose to explain before or after is up to you, but make sure they can connect the dots between their behavior, the consequence of their actions, and what they can do to avoid it in the future.

Simply put, America has got to get control over the youth of this country. When “free will” trumps respect of authority, teachers, and parents, we’re essentially putting the power into the hands of kids that haven’t developed real skill sets for the real world.

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8 comments

  1. Spanking “GETS THEIR ATTENTION”, and lets them “KNOW”, MOM MEANS BUSINESS, and they should
    PAY ATTENTION!!! You can scream your head off and they “tune you out”. It’s a “learned behavior, (which doesn’t take little ones long to learn”.)
    When they get a swift “swat on the back-behind”, so they “FEEL IT”, it’s “FELT”, and they “feel the wrath of mom”. Sitting on a chair is worthless for most kids. They’re off that chair in a minute and mom’s off doing her thing and forgotten about the punishment. ” Political correctness” is WORTHLESS and KIDS ONLY LEARN to “DISRESPECT” parents!!! (not saying “all” kids need spanking…..some respond to the tone of the voice, but MOST, DON’T!!)

  2. My memory of years gone by tells me a lot of the reason spanking has become an issue started about the time Dr. Spock said, “Don’t spank. You will warp the child.” and many began to believe that.

  3. Your first responsibility is to make sure that your child DOES grow up, if he runs out into heavy traffic with paying attention, the chance are excellent that your child won’t grow up.
    When My son was 10 I came home at 5:30 pm, on Mannheim Rd in the Chicago area, it is street 3 lanes in each direction, n/s arterial.
    Traffic is three abreast in each direction. The street can’t be seen for a mile or so in each direction I came down the st and in the distance I se this tall blonde mop of hair, walking down a lane marker kicking a softball. If ought back the sheer terror, until I could get over and block two lanes and pulled up behind him , edged left keeping him in front of me, until I was at the curb. The I point ed out home, away he went.
    I finally got around the block, got home. When I cot there he was sitting as close to his mother as space allowed. his mother was prone to yell at him and drop it.
    I motioned for him to stay where he was, then told my wife what had happened. She yelled at him for about 15 minutes and started crying.
    I said nothing just waited, when she finished I motioned him to me, and said bend over grab your ankles, then spanked him severely..
    I never spanked him anywhere but on the butt and only with my hand. Moral of the story first you have to have them grow up.

  4. There is no reason why one must discipline a child using physical means. If it’s not alright for a spouse to hit their counterpart, then it’s not alright for a parent to hit their child; it’s the same thing. Neither I nor my brothers or their wives ever used physical force and all of our children turned out just fine. I have been working with children all of my life in child care, foster care, and my own children. Never have I laid a hand on a child; I have had great success in disciplining (teaching) children.

    The “brats” that many people refer to are not out of control due to not getting physically disciplined; rather, it is because they are not getting disciplined at all, in other words TAUGHT, which is what the word disciplined means. And, one does not need to spank, switch, paddle, etc., to teach. The sky’s the limit when it comes to teaching without hitting. The key is starting early and being consistent. My daughter, for instance, tried throwing a tantrum and I completely ignored her. She never tried it again.

    A couple of other examples: 1) A child steals from his parent to buy baseball cards. The punishment? Make him give the cards to charity and pay back the stolen money through doing odd jobs. 2) If a child leaves her roller skates out in the rain and they get ruined? Too bad. They have no skates. This type of punishment is called “natural consequences”. The beauty of it is twofold: The parent doesn’t have to lift a finger and he/she never feels like the “bad guy”.

    If a parent or caretaker cannot come up with a non-violent way to teach a child without physical means, then that’s quite sad! Now, before someone brings up the ‘ol standby of “spare the rod, spoil the child” from the Bible, the rod in the Bible is referring to the staff used to GUIDE sheep. The staff or rod was not used to beat/hit sheep. The Bible is telling us to guide our children, not hit them. Furthermore, let’s take a look at another passage written by King David: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Clearly, King David did not think of the rod as an instrument of punishment.

    One of my favorite quotes: “Why is it that hitting an animal is called cruelty, hitting an adult is called battery, and hitting a child is called discipline?” — Anonymous

  5. Whatever happened to “Spare the rod .. spoil the child” from the Bible ?? What happened to “Tough Love” ?? Political correctness is destroying our children .. they need discipline early in life from parents that love them so that they don’t have to be taught by the hard cold world .. in prison for instance. Our laws need to be reformed to give parents more control over their children without fear of losing them to the State or some such nonsense. Some people are even losing interest in being parents because of the politically correct silliness that leads to spoiled unruly children (and yes, failed young adults). Our current situation with child discipline is endangering not just our families, but the whole human race.

  6. As an ADHD child back in the 70s, I needed to be slammed. I had no conception of delayed punishment (grounding, no allowance, etc) – by the time that punishment rolled around, I would have forgotten why I was being punished. That spanking was an immediate response that I understood. (An interesting aside – when I cried, the ADHD symptoms subsided for a while.)

    My mom and little brother would agonize about spamming me when I was getting out of control. But it worked – and I’m not “warped”, nor am I violent. I have talked to mom over the years, and assured her I hold no grudge for the near-daily whuppins.

    With my children, I popped my daughter a few times on the bottom, one swat from the wrist (no power, all noise), and she knew daddy was t happy – that tore her up worse than any spanking. (Plus her mom (my exwife) beat her and my son regularly, to the point they were petrified of the flyswatter! Yes, I tried to get Child Services involved – they refused.)

    Sometimes just a pop is all that is required. Mom also used to swat our mouths with 2 fingers when we said something she didn’t like – let us know what was said was inappropriate without any pain.

  7. My Grandmother gave me well-deserved spankings as a child when I needed them. I am not emotionally scarred and it was not abuse. My Grandmother never spanked me in anger. I was a rambunctious mischievous child. I am a well-rounded citizen to this day because someone cared enough to lovingly correct me when I’m wrong.

    The problem with most ‘liberals’ is they don’t like to be corrected when they’re wrong. They like to blur the line between right and wrong. And ANYONE (even racially harmonious POC who are Christians) who disagrees with them is a fascist and a ‘bigot.’

    Even God is a fascist and a bigot in their eyes because they can’t deal with the fact that God DOES NOT want men marrying men and women marrying women and working that which is unseemly against nature. Instead of taking accountability and considering changing their lifestyle, they resort to the easy way out of hating and attempting to shame all Christians and claiming the book of Deuteronomy is outdated. Yet they fail to read the book of Romans.

    God does not support ‘gay marriage’ any more than He supports White supremacy. ‘Liberals’ and White supremacist have many things in common. I honestly don’t understand why they bother fighting against each other. They both support abominations and attempt to twist the bible out of context for their own benefit. They’re both filled with hatred, biased and delusional on many levels concerning many social matters. They’re one in the same. God does not tolerate racism or homosexuality. Both groups need to get a clue.

    When people who don’t even understand the bible are trying to tell Christians what the bible ‘really’ is saying we know our society is heading nowhere fast. This is why I will always be a racially harmonious, God-fearing Christian who loves and follows ALL God’s commandments and laws. Not just the ones I
    like.

  8. Wrong and wrong to the comments!! Yes, I know I’m in the minority but I STAND firmly on my convictions of my own experiences and research on this topic. Spanking turns MANY kids into bullies! Why? The minute they’re out of YOUR sight they take everything YOU taught them about punishment (referred to as ‘HITTING’) and use it on other kids.

    I was raised with spanking – and yes my mother and grandmother had Dr. Spock’s book. They obviously didn’t read it – or believe it. What spanking did for me and my sisters was turn us into hitting machines! We constantly fought with hitting, pinching, etc. It’s what we were taught! As I got older, my Dad would give me the lectures and the whole time all I could think of was hit me already and get this over with!

    Having raised my two sons (now adults) as a single parent, I did so WITHOUT ever laying a hand on them! Away from home, they NEVER got into trouble in school — EVER. My youngest son was quiet and his teachers often told me he was the best behaved kid in the class when ALL the other kids were acting up. To this day, he will get out of potentially serious altercations without laying a hand on ANYONE — and vice versa. He has a temper but it’s NEVER physical. He’s far from a ‘wimp’ and his free time is spent skateboarding with some ‘rough’ looking characters. He’ll stand his ground but it’s called ‘diplomacy’ to be able to solve a situation without getting physical!

    My oldest son is a USMC veteran. He’s shorter in stature and is often the ‘target’ of those bigger guys looking for someone to pick on. They picked the wrong guy numerous times and his Marine training has been enormously effective. He’s one of the nicest and most intelligent young man you could ever meet. Neither of my sons are married or have kids because of what they observe in many parents today: Angry, defensive parents who think their brat could do no wrong and come from homes where ‘spanking’ is prevalent!

    Spanking does NOT teach a kid to ‘behave’! All you’ve done is use a ten-second smack to get them to shut-up. Spanking is the laziest form of discipline there is. You’re NOT teaching them anything — other than to be afraid of you! Time-out and taking away privileges is far more effective as long as they know why they’re being punished — by taking a few minutes to get down on their level (this means not standing over your child while you’re yelling at them!!) and telling them FIRMLY why their behavior is not acceptable.

    EVERY kid can be disciplined without smacking them around! The ones that can’t likely need outside intervention/counseling. Why would anyone want to smack a kid with ‘anger issues’? What does this solve?! Can you honestly say when ‘smacking’ your kid crosses the line with abuse? (I can just hear some of you saying as long as it doesn’t leave a ‘mark’ on them, it’s OK!).

    It takes a lot of patience to be a good parent. Put some effort into teaching your child right from wrong and not just slapping them around every time they misbehave. You’ll feel better about yourself and your child will respect you more for putting in the time and effort with them.

    FYI: I’m absolutely NOT a liberal – just a loving mom and my sons and I are very close.

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