Saturday, July 24, 2010

To Spank or Not to Spank

Before Anthony and I got married, as any smart couple would do, we sat down to discuss money, who cleans the toilet, religion, discipline, etc. We grew up in the same church, with a similar family structure, and I was pleased to find out we were on the same page, except when it came to discipline. As a child development major (and know-it-all), I was strongly opposed to spanking. In fact, when he said he wanted to use spanking to discipline, I took off my ring and chucked it at him (okay, I didn't chuck it, I placed it carefully in his hand). It's a nice ring, 'kay. That was enough to sway him, and I had my ring back in no time, with wedding plans in full swing.

Almost four years later, here we are with our "terrible" two year old, Landon. He's sweet, polite, charming, and most of the time pretty stellar, but he's also The Tantrum King. If I take his crayons away after coloring my freshly painted white coffee table (what was I thinking?), he throws himself on the ground, bashing his head, flailing his arms, and kicking his legs. This behavior is unacceptable, and not only that; it's dangerous. So is running through the parking lot, jumping on the bed, and standing on the kitchen table with a fork. As a parent, I feel it is my responsibility to make sure that rules are clearly set, and that I consistently use consequences to reinforce our rules.

So, guess what folks. Kali Matthews became a spanker. I have spanked Landon probably nine or ten times in the last few weeks. Now let me clarify, he has never even shed a tear because, let's face it, I'm still a little bit of a softy. But I can tell you, it's been more effective than all the redirecting, positive discipline techniques, empathy talks, and time-outs combined. Let me also say, spanking is not for every parent or every child. Some children just need a stern look to obey, but my Landon does not fall into that category. He's rambunctious, independent, determined, and stubborn. These can all be wonderful qualities when channeled correctly. So, I spank my two year old. Anthony does not.

P.S. Landon is wearing big boy underpants today!

P.P.S. Every time Landon gets hurt, he wants me to kiss it better, because in his mind, Mommy kisses have magical powers. Today when he got a spanking, he bent over and asked me to kiss it, which reminded me of the time he bit his tongue and asked me to kiss that. Here's the truth, my kisses cannot make everything better. Sorry, Lando, you're just going to have to shake that one off.

Landon and his buddy, Max, on our trip to San Diego last week.

Aren't they soooo stinkin' cute?


Mommy Madness said...

I also took all the child development classes and swore I would never spank. And I worked at CPS when I was pregnant with my first child (that's a great way to scare the crap out of a new mom). Anyway, I have adapted my "spanking" views, but I really try to stick to my main purpose. I try to never spank out of anger or frustration (doesn't always work) and I only spank once to get their attention. Sometimes I miss or barely tap so I actually do it again. My other rule is to only use my hand (unlike my parents when I was a kid who would use whatever object was within reach). I can tell you that the spanking will not end with "the terrible twos."

kalisarah88 said...

Haha, thanks for the advice. With FOUR kids, I'm sure you have lots of tricks up your sleeve. How is the baby, by the way? I'm sure the girls are loving him! I totally agree with you about the hands only rule. My dad spanked us with a belt, and it was traumatizing!

Jesse, Trista and Jaiden Wright said...

yeah Jaiden gets spanked too... nothing else works for him. but if two spanks dont work then if just goes on his bed until he is good and i get him out of his room... but since he is in a diaper it never hurts him... just his feelings! he is only like that with me though... Jesse just has to give him the "Jaiden" with a stern look and Jaiden turns back into an angel! wish I had that power!

EllieandEvasMommy said...

i too was super opposed to spanking... then we had ellie, who was born glaring at the world, and who growls defiantly when she's told not to talk back (scream) anymore. she is the definition of stubborn defiance! one quick spanking calms her down in a jiffy, and she soon is laughing and playing with us again. i don't think we'll need to spank eva though, she seems to be much more jovial and relaxed.