You’re in for a treat! Our Favorite is weighing in this week! -JBHarris
I felt this question in the depths of my core. I, too, joke about my beatings and am cool with my parents, but definitely have residual effects from the “trauma”. When I learned that I was entering motherhood (after the tears of shock dried up), I immediately went out, bought a notebook and started to write down my ideas of parenting. In this notebook, I listed my “Do’s” and “Will Nots”. Spankings were top on the Will Not list. I vowed that my seed would never know what physical harm produced from my hands would feel like.
Two key factors played in this decision. One was of course because of the trauma that I still to this day feel about how I was disciplined as a child. The other was because I look at spankings as a generational curse that has been passed down and embedded in our community from slavery. Yes, everything does go back to slavery with us! Deal with it. Our ancestors were lashed with whips and leather straps as a way to correct behaviors that were deemed insubordinate. This has been passed down for many generations, but it stopped with me when my turn came.
This decision forced me to be creative, become a better communicator, all while also forging a friendly dynamic with my child. I enforced alternative discipline such as taking away things, punishments, extra homework assignments from me (book reports, and essay papers). I’d also set standards, extra chores, or not allowing her to go somewhere she was looking forward to. Sometimes just an in-depth conversation of the why’s. The biggest lesson learned throughout this: spankings are the faster and easier way of doing things–and are not as effective as many believe. Yes, they instill fear wrapped in a false sense of respect, but they don’t get you the trust of your child. Now, I know there are some kids that do need a ‘bop-bop-boop’ upside the head here and there. Just don’t let spankings/beating be the first and only go-to when disciplining.
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