October 24, 2013 at 9:20 pm , by Nick Shell
2 years, 11 months.
Back before you were of disciplining age, I was no skeptic of parents who refused to spank their child; in fact, I passionately mocked the idea of discplining without spanking.
I vehemently disagreed with Super Nanny’s approach.
“Time out? Yeah right. Like that does any good,” I would think to myself.
I believed that “non-spanking” was part of a liberal media agenda which led to uncontrollable children and even, overall, a higher crime rate for the adults who were not spanked as kids.
Then I changed my mindset. I stopped looking at opposing groups of people as “wrong” or “right,” based on their opinions. I stopped feeding into the polarization of America, based on our divided cultural leanings and preferences.
(Even to the point I now think Republicans and Democrats are equal. I realize it’s heresy to both sides to say that, though.)
But it’s true that I use to totally stereotype parents who didn’t spank their children.
I assumed that if a parent didn’t spank their child, they definitely didn’t effectively discipline them. Or it meant, in theory, they didn’t really discipline them at all.
Something that always kept me close-minded to the concept of discipline without spanking is a Bible verse (Proverbs 13:24) that I had always interpreted in a preconceived way:
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
I always took that to mean “the rod” (or the paddle, etc.) exclusively equalled discipline. In other words, I thought it would be impossible to properly discipline a child without ultimately resorting to spanking. But now, I read that verse differently:
My interpretation is, “It’s better to spank your child in an effort to discipline them, than to not discipline your child at all. But the main thing is, that you do discipline your child- not necessarily how you discipline them.”
Therefore, I totally don’t care how other parents discipline their children. I used to, but I’m way over that.
What I do care about is how I discipline you. And for Mommy and I, that means not resorting to spanking. For us, that’s what we feel is right for our family.
Again, I have completely neutral feelings about how other parents discipline their kids. I have no time to think or care about that. None of my business or concern. Complete Libertarian approach.
What got me thinking about this is that a couple of days ago another blogger on Parents.com wrote an article and posted a video that I totally agree with:
The video explains 5 alternatives to spanking that Mommy and I apply:
1. Ignore attention-seeking behavior.
2. Pay attention to good behavior.
3. Redirect your child.
4. Teach consequences that make sense.
5. Use time-outs for serious offenses.
I love you, therefore I discipline you. I just happen to be one the parents who believes spanking is not the most effective long-term way to carry out that discipline for my own child.
That doesn’t make me a better parent in any way, but it does make me a version of myself I had never seen myself becoming, before actually becoming a parent.