Spankers can’t defend themselves...ironic?
All the uproar, all the arguing, all the threats and accusations...you can find spankers anywhere on-line stating: ”The biggest problem with the world today is that we can’t spank our kids anymore or we’ll go to jail.” or “If only we could still give our kids a good ass beatin’ when they need it, all our problems would go away.”
Then there are the latest polls that say “90% of American parents say they spank their kids.”
Well, if all of that is true, then I’m confused...
If 90% of American parents spank their kids, then why aren’t 90% of American parents in jail? And if the overwhelming majority of parents DO spank...then why do we still have problems? If 90% of American parents spank, then why aren’t 90% of American children well behaved, respectful little angels as the beliefs of these parents would suggest?
So I set out to find the answers. I invited professionals and/or experts on both sides of the corporal punishment coin to weigh in and voice their opinions and facts on my radio show. But a funny thing happened, only the anti spankers replied. So, I put out another, more specific request asking for ONLY people who could defend spanking and its benefits on a non biased, non judgmental radio show (thinking that would help them feel more accepted)...and guess what happened...yup, nothing! Not one person stepped up to the plate to defend the spankers who apparently make up 90% of the parenting population of the USA.
So, I conducted a little poll of my own. I started asking those parents in my community and online who actually admit to spanking, “How do you define spanking and how often would you say you actually spank your kids?”
What I learned was sad...but not shocking.
What I learned was that one (yes 1) of the parents I spoke with actually uses spanking as a tool in their “discipline toolbox” so to speak and even in that case, the parent admitted to using that “tool” two times in the child’s lifetime, so far. ALL of the other parents I spoke with described reactive things like a swat on the bottom, a smack on the hand or mouth, a “good whack” when the child gets “out of control or mouthy” or in an extremely rare case, “the belt” when the parents threats don’t work or when the child completely humiliated or frustrated the parent.
What I did NOT find was that 90% who spank as a regular form of discipline. Nor did I find even one parent who could defend their spankings as an effective, long term, positive discipline technique... in fact, in every case but the one, the spankers argument was angry, boastful, defensive and in some cases even hostile, yet none of them could tell me how their children were any better behaved than my kids and not one of them was willing to come on my show and admit to or defend it.
So, based on my “research” here’s what I believe to be the truth about spanking:
I think the recent polls are bull. I believe a more accurate result would have been that 90% of American parents have lost their temper and smacked their kid at one time or another as a reaction and that is not the same as using spanking or corporal punishment as discipline. But because we cannot admit we screwed up or lost it, and because it probably happened to us as kids, we give it a socially accepted label and we defend it.
But here’s the truth, we all make mistakes, but polls and statistics like these allow us to turn those “mistakes” into what society should accept as "normal" so that we as parents don't ever have to feel guilty or bad. Well guess what, the reason we feel bad about hitting our kids is because it’s something to feel bad about! Once we begin to set the model of being honest with ourselves and others and acknowledging our mistakes...perhaps we would find that our children are capable of forgiving us and following our lead by being the respectful, compliant little angels that would apparently, make all the world’s problems go away.