Spanking is Lazy, Stupid, Unimaginative Parenting Out of Control?

Controversial I know especially in a day and age where every kid we seem to see is some out of control brat running loose in a restaurant, pulling things off shelves at a department store, screaming bloody murder in a movie theater howling they want this that or something else. But you have to ask yourself if smacking them into submission, tanning their hide, whipping them on the spot is any way to teach kids how to behave, any way to get the best out of them, anyway we want to act ourselves after all we are not Neanderthals, we are not animals, we possess the capability to think, reason, speak. Maybe we should use those on our children. Further it is soon found by even the casual observer that a staggering percentage of spankings are carried out by frustrated, frazzled parents who don’t know what else to do, who don’t have time for time out, who didn’t think through their shopping, trip errand running session, visit to a friend’s house before simply gathering up the little ankle bitters and heading out the door. Worse, those of the opinion spare the rod spoil the child gives them the right to hit their child no matter how minor the infraction, no matter what the extenuating circumstances. Unfortunately spanking parents are more likely to spank when angry, stressed about work, bills, relationships all things that have nothing to do with their child or that child’s behavior, more likely to spank for accidents incurred during play, split food or drink. Spanking quickly becomes the first form of discipline not the last, commonly the only one used; spankers can be characterized as control freaks who have no idea how to pick their battles, no concept of age appropriate behavior or expectation, no critical thinking skills in the area of parenting, no creative problem solving skills either on the subject.

Yes it becomes quite clear that spanking is in actuality stupid parenting doled out by parents who first and foremost need better family planning skills i.e. they have 4 kids all under 5, 3 kids all in diapers and can’t do much more than remember their own name. Parents who should have stopped after their first or second child, because it’s all they can handle, yet now have 4,5 or more, are typically the same parents who claim their children don’t listen but in fact the child does listen it’s just you tried to ply them with a silly excuse and it didn’t work. Example mother hanging clothes out on a clothes line says to child she doesn’t want outside at the moment he doesn’t need to be outside without shoes on, child(age 4) runs inside puts on his shoes runs back to his mother happily chanting he’d put on his shoes. The mother is now frustrated and angry she has to corral said child, likely to spank him, because she didn’t tell him the truth that he couldn’t go outside now, they would go outside after lunch or whenever, having a normal routine time for them to go outside and play. Run of the mill toddler behind and hand swats happen when parents haven’t properly toddler proofed their homes; case in point toddler messing with open 12 pack of soda left in living room floor, rather than move the item to more appropriate place parents were content to continually smack their toddlers hand. Same household CD’s, cassette tapes housed in cardboard containers designed for said items stacked all the way down to the floor in easy toddler reach; toddler continually opens and closes them as he is learning to use his hands because parents did not put their music collection up higher out of child’s reach even though one parent is 6 feet tall and they had a baby going to come along and do the same thing in less than a year. Other common errors, placing shiny, bright colored objects on bookcases where toddlers can pull up and grab them, leaving everything from drinks to phones to TV remotes even medications or cigarettes on coffee and end tables within their reach.

Too many refuse to do simple things like in their 2 parent household have someone watch the children and the other parent go to the grocery store, run errands to eliminate children ransacking grocery stores, driving their parents and other patrons insane with “I want,” until they are roughly school age and can follow directions, have the attention span to walk through a store for an extended period of time. Those who find they must bring their children to the store engaging them in what’s going on by having them help with the shopping so they aren’t running wild knocking things over, reducing I wants by letting each child pick a particular meal for the week, month, however often you go shopping; depending on how many kids you have one gets to choose breakfast items, one lunch, one dinner. To curb I want syndrome for items such as toys, clothes, movies and games from the time they are born limit them getting anything to Christmas, other gift giving holiday observed by your religion or culture, and birthday; allow them to look at the toy section for so many minutes if they listen, follow mom and dad through the store, do as they are told. When the I wants break out, remind them of the family rule while allowing them to see you taking notes of things they said they wanted. At their birthday, the approaching holiday check with them about the list you have, any other things they mentioned, if the list is long or you don’t want to buy them everything, ask them which items they want most, which items they would most like to receive; by the ones that are appropriate and you can afford.

Often parents paint themselves into disciplinary corners, creating unnecessary drama, stress, chaos by the way they choose to handle situations, their complete lack of understanding of ages, stages of development, possessing no clue on age appropriate expectations; said mothers and fathers will set the bar too high then punish when exorbitant standards are not met. They will bring a wiggly child to a friend’s home with books having no intention of reading to a child too young to read on their own as opposed to little toy cars or something they can play with while moving their body and not get in trouble, then will spank the child repeatedly for moving too much. Another parent took their preschool child to the store and viciously smacked his hand for throwing his shoe at someone; the larger problem, you’re dealing with a 3 year old who hates shoes and clothing, as per his age, compounded a blister on his foot. And instead of putting him in socks, no shoes, knowing he was going to be in the stroller the whole time anyway, taking his shoes with them in case of emergency, should he need to walk, as it was this family’s primary mode of getting around, his mother, not thinking, forces him to wear shoes then whops his hand when the shoes becomes uncomfortable and the removes it then throws it, per his age.Continually children will have meltdowns in public places because parents are out grocery shopping, errand running ignorant of it’s nearly meal time, it’s past nap time or they have been out over an hour and the child is overstimulated and needs to go home where they can get down and play relax in a comfortable, safe environment. Toddler, preschool parents have such a tough time dealing with their children because they don’t know how to transition their child from one activity to the next; they go from no you can’t have dessert because you  didn’t finish your lunch to, go take a nap in less than 5 minutes. And everyone from experienced child care providers to experts holding PHD’s say the reason your child is throwing a tantrum is because you are moving too fast; slow down give the child time to process what is going on.

Another audacious person was a guest in their friends home and proceeded to smack and put soap down a 3 year old’s mouth for yelling “no stupid” at his grandmother then calling the guest a bitch when she told him you don’t talk to adults like that. Apparently it all started when said 3 year old didn’t want to leave mashed potatoes on his plate instead trying to scrape them into the trash; where things get truly bizarre is they did not want him to eat said potatoes only leave them there so his brother could eat them later using the same plate. There are so many things wrong with this story aside from the person being a guest and having no right to touch another person’s child, she did not tell the parent what the child said or give the parent a chance to react to what he had done. The whole incident could have been better handled in the household as well; it is a strong case for family meal times being all at once and why weren’t they? No one tried to use their words and teach him how to better, more respectfully, phrase what he was trying to say, even though he is 3 and still learning to talk, no one tried to show him a better thing to do with food he did not want and had not touched i.e. helping him put it back in the pot or container it was in, something that teaches him what to ask for in a similar, future situations. In fact he probably was trying to scrape it into the trash because he had been taught that is what you do with your plate before putting it in the sink. Neither did anyone explain why they wanted him to leave the food on his plate. Further mishandling of the situation was putting the potatoes on his plate to begin with, since they were not going to require him to eat or at least try them, they were there solely to save on plates, so why couldn’t his parents, his grandmother, any adult in the house make the 3 year old a plate containing only what he was required to eat and when he finished put the potatoes on the plate for brother? That way there is no “catering to a 3 year old’ (one comment to the alternative presented in the online forum where the story was posted) it doesn’t degrade into a screaming match, there was no disrespect, no bad words, no smacking, no soap, no drama, no trauma. Equally disconcerting is our guest went immediately to physical punishment, both smacking and putting soap in the child’s mouth, seemingly lashing out, wanting payback for being called such a name, rather than explaining that it is a bad word, a word for adults and not for him to use. They had no concern for where he might have learned the word, because at that age it’s most likely something heard by the occupants of the home not daycare or TV, and had no conversation with any of them about it.

Vast numbers of corporal punishment episodes could be avoided all together if proper attention and supervision were given to children in the home; a 3 year old wouldn’t get the chance to shove large transformer toy in the toilet then having his hide tanned, had someone been watching him. One father described his 7 year old daughter as a manipulator who was a terror at home and wonderful in public. On a Saturday he told his 7 year old to clean her room while he proceeded to shower and dress; when he came out he found drawings on the walls and a still messy room. At this point he takes the child to her room explains he is going to spank her, apparently her first, to the tune of 20 whacks, child says she will be good; he points out she’s said that before and from this day forward he would spank her in wherever they were in public, in front of other kids. The father thought this story was somewhat funny or ironic because his wife had made an appointment with a counselor that wasn’t needed ever again. It’s an abject failure of parenting that he thought he could leave his 7 year old unattended for that length of time and something negative not happen, absolute wishful thinking she would do what she was asked knowing no one was watching to make sure she did. Considering it was her first spanking the number of “whacks” should have been limited to no more than 4 or 5, considering her age no more than 7; 20 is excessive and abusive on a child that young. A better training tool would have been to make her clean up the drawing mess, taking away all markers, pencils, crayons for one week letting her know if she did it again it would be for 2 and so on, then giving her X minutes to clean her room, after that time anything not put up would be taken away, providing she had clear places to put belongings away and was not expected to do as many adults do shoving things in any empty space, tossing various objects in junk drawers.

Spanking of older children even teenagers almost always denotes a lack of creative problem solving skills on the parts of caregivers, guardians. A horrendous instance 13 year old asks to go to friend’s house parent says no owing to having to take the younger sister, 9, to a medical appointment and the friend’s house being in the opposite direction; plus the parent did not like that the friends parents were not home. Kid sulks, says it isn’t fair, mopes for a while goes to her room slamming the door hard enough to “shake the house.” A few minutes goes by parent calls teen down to ask what the attitude was about. 13 year olds response to the question was to say her mother never let her do anything and to chill out because no one else’s mother was a miserable old cow like hers. Daughter went on to say that she didn’t know why her dad hadn’t divorced her mom that if she was him she would; at which point parent sends he back up to her room only to come minutes later and spank the teen for 5 minutes straight with her hand, send her to stand in a corner with her bare bottom showing, implying she was standing a main area of the house where everyone could see. Added to her punishment was a 6:30 bedtime, no TV, no computer, no going out, giving the teen no incentive to control her behavior as she’s lost everything she cares about. Now no one in the online forum agreed with the daughter’s comments but several called the described excessive, overkill, more about control than discipline, some even calling it fetishist, pornographic to parade a 13 year old around the house bare butted.

Possible perversion aside, looking at what this parent did it’s clear she did things poorly and ineffectively beginning with calling her child down from her room when she had already removed herself from the situation. Secondly she asked a profoundly stupid question, when she already knew why the teen was upset. She seems to have bated a teenager she described as getting in trouble 9 times out of 10 when she opens her mouth, making readers wonder if she provoked the fight to have a reason to spank her kid. Instead she should have left the girl in her room to sulk until she had to leave for the younger one’s appointment; or punish her for slamming the door by saying no going anywhere for a week, even something as simple as removing the door. They can’t slam what isn’t there, saying they will get it back when they learn not to slam things, afterwards just walking away. Waiting until later to have a rational conversation, reminding her gently of the things she’s gotten to do lately, privileges she does have along with ways the teen can earn more privileges. Likewise devising strategies that handle the underlying problems, both take the burden off the parent and give the teen independence, ideas like letting the teen walk, take a bus to the friend’s house, taking them to another fun activity while you take the other child to the doctor, so the teen doesn’t have to tag along, being on school vacation, taking the older child to the friend’s house later when their parent(s) would be home. Yet taking into account the tone of the piece it’s clear this parent was shocked her teen even asked for something at all and couldn’t be bothered to spend 2-5 minutes contemplating or discussing a solution. In another story same parent spanked both of her children for fighting, fights that originated from the younger one going into the older ones room and taking things without asking. Punishment spanking, as opposed to a more practical solution, telling the older one ok go into her room take whatever you want, but when she stops so do you; when the younger one comes whining, say well you do the same thing to her all the time now you know how it feels. Younger one stops, no hitting required.

All of these stories point to disquieting trends about spanking and spankers; people who freely admit to having no time for other forms of discipline such as timeouts; one parent described having to preside over, enforce lost privileges made them feel like a prison guard adding stress to discipline, pointing a multitude of parents who don’t want to put in any more effort into dealing with their children than it takes to hit them until they behave, scores calling it the quickest form of discipline. Others openly state they can’t stand the repetitiveness of non-spanking forms of discipline, forgetting they repeatedly have to spank as well, can’t stand the normal riggers, noise, mess, what they would term chaos, that comes with child rearing. Delivering statements like I’ve tried ignoring but when it goes on and on and is driving you crazy, you learn it’s not as easy as time out and taking away privileges, signaling they can’t cope so their child pays the price. Mothers and fathers shocked and offended that their child misbehaves in ways commiserate with their age, therefore spanking almost out of spite, revenge. Those same mothers and fathers who treat every infraction as if the world was on fire, they did something that would get them arrested, who refuse to negotiate, compromise with a child or teenager not on morals or standards of behavior but on things like bed time, TV time, curfews, going to friends’ houses, because they think it undermines their authority as parents and the fact that they are not their child’s friend and that they are in charge. They routinely treat their child/children a burden, inconvenience, something to endure, acting overly put upon when they have to raise the human beings they created, joining forum after forum bemoaning their life rather than living it, rather than enjoying the moments they can with their kids. This is the anatomy and legacy of spanking parents, nothing we should aspire to be.o the same thing to her all the time now you know how it feels. Younger one stops, no hitting required.

All of these stories point to disquieting trends about spanking and spankers; people who freely admit to having no time for other forms of discipline such as timeouts; one parent described having to preside over, enforce lost privileges made them feel like a prison guard adding stress to discipline, pointing a multitude of parents who don’t want to put in any more effort into dealing with their children than it takes to hit them until they behave, scores calling it the quickest form of discipline. Others openly state they can’t stand the repetitiveness of non-spanking forms of discipline, forgetting they repeatedly have to spank as well, can’t stand the normal riggers, noise, mess, what they would term chaos, that comes with child rearing. Delivering statements like I’ve tried ignoring but when it goes on and on and is driving you crazy, you learn it’s not as easy as time out and taking away privileges, signaling they can’t cope so their child pays the price. Mothers and fathers shocked and offended that their child misbehaves in ways commiserate with their age, therefore spanking almost out of spite, revenge. Those same mothers and fathers who treat every infraction as if the world was on fire, they did something that would get them arrested, who refuse to negotiate, compromise with a child or teenager not on morals or standards of behavior but on things like bed time, TV time, curfews, going to friends’ houses, because they think it undermines their authority as parents and the fact that they are not their child’s friend and that they are in charge. They routinely treat their child/children a burden, inconvenience, something to endure, acting overly put upon when they have to raise the human beings they created, joining forum after forum bemoaning their life rather than living it, rather than enjoying the moments they can with their kids. This is the anatomy and legacy of spanking parents, nothing we should aspire to be.

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About Natasha Sapp

Proclaiming an edgy voice of reason to America,while bringing back the common sense to social issues.

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