A big discussion that came up this week on another blog I follow was about spanking. Yes or no?
It seemed that parents are divided and heated about their positions on spanking. Studies show that spanking does long term emotional harm to children.
But I think that the definition of spanking isn't clearly defined enough to prove or disprove anything. There's "spanking" that involves belts and bare bottoms and then there's spanking that uses light raps on the bottom, sometimes clothed. Are these in the same category? Do they cause the same kind of damage? There is a whole spectrum of spanking. It's a hot button topic and open for debate.
I'm not a big fan of spanking. And depending on the child there are much better punishment methods out there. But Daddy and I do sometimes have to use light raps to cull the bad behavior. What do we mean? We never, ever bend Billy over the knee with bare bottom. Nope. Too far for us. If he is really bad- having been told "no" three times and been in time out and still continues the dangerous behavior- then he gets a rap. I usually call it a bum smack. Three taps on the rear in the diaper and fully clothed, nothing stronger than a pat on the back. In every instance it has curbed his behavior. And we follow up with making him apologize and getting a hug. This is a specific practice for a toddler too young to listen to words, too young to understand time out and too young to know not to run in front of a car.
Discipline is very important to us and we work on it every day. It's a constant struggle and we are always instructing Billy on what is right and wrong for his health, safety and social welfare. We work hard enough on it that getting a rap on the bum is something very rare around here. He knows better because we teach him daily. And he reinforces that knowledge by walking around and telling me what he knows is a NoNo.
So how do you feel on the issue? To spank or not to spank?