Discipline: The Relationship Between Writing and Parenting

Last week I read a story about a child. This child was struggling in school. This child’s parents first punished him for not doing his homework and not paying attention in class by lashing his legs and then making him kneel on salt to aggravate the wounds.

This child’s parents told him they wanted him to do well in school and grow. They told him to do better and they enforced their words with pain and fear. They told him, “it is for your own good.”

Now, while this case is pure abuse, “it is for your own good” and “this hurts me as much as it hurts you“, are words common on the lips of parents who spank. Therefore, it is not hard to believe that the acceptance of small violences, like spanking, are what lead some people to abuse their families.

All power is abused in the hands of the wrong people. Spanking is power in the hands of a parent over someone smaller then them; their child. While many parents spank as a ‘last resort’ and in ‘controlled doses‘, the idea that it is okay to hit a child, gently or brutally, is an idea that I do not support.

Spanking is a punishment, not discipline. Discipline helps children learn. Spanking fosters many forms of dishonesty.

The difference between discipline and punishment

As writers, we come across typos and mistakes in our work. We take time to revise and edit. We do it over and over again on every new piece of writing. But we rewrite and we do it proudly because we know the end result is something to be proud of.

I believe the same concept needs to be applied to children. We all have patience yet we choose to use it sometimes in the wrong areas. Start putting the same intention you put into crafting a good piece of writing into teaching your kids.

“But kids are kids.”

“They need to be taught.”

“They do not know enough to learn the way adults do.”

Children learn every day without being spanked. The growing number of people who parent gently and positively are teaching and learning with their kids without violence. They are raising children who will change the world, because they have not been taught violence is the thing all people fall back to when they run out of patience or ideas.

Ultimately, we are fond of quick fixes and easy ways out. We are fond of the method that takes the least time. We love GPS: it gives us the shortest route. Spanking is also a short route.

Short routes do not give us time to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Short routes result in poor writing written hastily due to lack of time. Spanking gives no time to enjoy the people who are children.

Spanking, like bad writing, is also born out of ignorance. As a writer, I first turn to what I know. As a parent, what you know is how you were raised. You are most likely to raise your kids how you were raised. We do what we are taught, so it is important to pass on traditions and methods we want to continue to see in the world, not things we wish ceased to exist a couple generations down the line.

Conscious people, like my parents, remember their childhoods and remember that they did not like being spanked. They make intentional decisions not to spank their kids and they stick to their promises. These people are cycle breakers.

As with all my writing, I write when I am inspired and when I have something to say. If you are a cycle breaker or a gentle parent and you have something to say, use your voice. Say it. Write about it. Teach your children not being silent is a choice.

We all make mistakes. We all want to get to our destinations, but how we get there and how we teach others to get there is important.

If you are interested, you can follow me on Facebook for more gentle parenting quotes and advice from the positive parenting community!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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36 thoughts on “Discipline: The Relationship Between Writing and Parenting

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  1. I agree! I grew up in an environment where corporal punishment is the norm. While it helped in shaping the discipline we have, I think it is not applicable for today’s generation. Children should be made aware of their rights and responsibilities because they are the real things which will shape them as a person in a society.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Easier & more expedient is not always better – and I think you do a great job of illustrating that point with your post! You had something important to say – and said it in an impactful manner. I love the images & quotes too!
    Thank you Jaya!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like encouraging the kid to learn doesn’t need to involve violence. The learning experience won’t be as fluid. The kid will be learning in fear instead of want. It is important that the parent spends time to understand the kid. Or at least also talk to the kid and have them understand why it is important to learn. I just hope that as a parent, I will take the time to understand my kid. It is easy to spank and be done with it, but that can cause a lot of issues down the line.

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have always found myself feeling guilty of believing in ‘punishment’ for any indiscipline. But glad I realized lately that spanking is not at all the right solution. It only instills the fear not the discipline. Moreover dishonesty, lies, and lack of confidence appear as the unwanted by-products.
    Thanks Jaya for sharing these insightful thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely agree with you Jaya! When our little boy is causing trouble, it can be incredibly frustrating and stressful for us but we always focus on the fact that developmentally acting up is normal. He’s 2 years old. He’s still making sense of the world. And I think that’s true of children of all ages. When you’re a child so much is out of your control and that’s frustrating which results in acting out in different shapes and sizes. All completely normal.

    What isn’t normal however is for an adult who knows that violence is wrong to be violent towards their kids. That only teaches that violence is okay. It doesn’t teach kids how to do things differently. It doesn’t help or nurture or encourage positive behaviours. It only creates fear of doing something wrong.

    The idea of being punished for not living up to someone else’s expectations is horrific. All that teaches is that if you don’t always bend to meet other people’s expectations there will be negative consequences. And I think we all feel that to some extent in our adult lives whether we’ve been spanked as kids or not. That “lesson” still worms its insidious way in one way or another. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many of our insecurities stem back to the little things we were taught in our childhood. Things like the concept of negative consequences and the idea that violence is the thing to fall back to when all else fails end up, I think, as the roots for many bigger troubles in the world.

      Thank you so much, Hayley, for sharing your thoughts and experiences as a mother!


  6. I like the quote that differentiates discipline from punishment. It makes such a difference to understand the two. I’m not a parent, so my knowledge is limited there, but I do know that getting spanked as a kid had no value to me and didn’t create any change on a learning level for me. It just made me want to avoid pain not change my behaviour, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you can remember your childhood feelings; many people choose not to and I think that is one of the biggest reasons spanking is passed along.
      What you say about wanting to avoid pain instead of learning makes a lot of sense. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was raised by a father who didn’t believe in sparing the rod (to coin a phrase). So I was spanked if he felt I needed it, but it never progressed into a serious beating. While I’ve never spanked my own child, I don’t entirely disagree with it either. Sometime children are little savages and don’t respond to gentle reason or persuasion. Rather than let them run riot (and I think we’ve all seen instances of this in public), one short sharp smack can often have the desired effect. To be clear I’m not talking about a beating or calculated cruelty here, but children are small animals and I think sometimes Nature has lessons that we can learn from.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have always wondered how some kids end up being savages and I do not think it is just something that happens. Maybe their parents were not ready to be parents or did have good parents to learn from?

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts; I love different perspectives on the same matter.


      1. I agree, my experience of extremely unruly kids is that are suffering from something that isn’t being dealt with properly from attention disorders, learning difficulties, autism, physical/mental illnesses or something traumatic like bullying or abuse. In any case spanking doesn’t get to the root of the unruliness, it just forces it into silence.

        I think it’s easy to take the parent’s side when we’re on the outside looking in but it doesn’t show us the whole picture. It doesn’t give us the why. And I don’t think the why should ever be overlooked. I don’t agree with shaming parents for their parenting decisions but even more strongly disagree with shaming children. And that’s exactly what spanking is in my opinion.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. 😍 The ‘why’ is so very important! I connect so deeply with your thoughts on parent and child shaming; it is much easier for us, as adults, not to shame each other or ourselves, but it takes a lot of intention not to end up unconsciously shaming our children.


  8. I never experienced getting spanked but I saw how my father would hit my brothers with his belt. I felt their pain back then, and I never imagined the trauma if it had happened in today’s time. But here in my country getting spanked is something that every children experienced and they’re okay with it as it’s a form of disciplining a child, it’s so wrong though. It just makes a child scared of making mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You nailed it in the last line, Joana! One of the biggest things I think spanking does is make kids scared of going to their parents when they make mistakes and hiding forbidden activity from their parents. I think that makes said activities even more dangerous.
      Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Incredible post! Thank you for sharing this important message ! I totally agree with you that spanking is not acceptable to use as punishment to a child. We should be positively helping children to improve and learn!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s interesting to read your point of view!
    I was raised with spanking and definitely don’t consider my parents to be dishonest or abusive in any shape or form. It was never a “this hurts me as much as it hurts you“ form of punishment, and I wouldn’t consider all parents who spank their children to be abusers. Like you said, there’s a difference between disciple and punishment, and discipline is essential for a child’s development and stability. But there’s also a difference between a light spank and malicious hitting. I can definitely agree children can be raised without spanking, but as long as it’s discipline and no more, I think it’s ultimately up to the parent.

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ultimately, the choice is always the parent’s. I also agree that not all spanking is abusive.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts; I always love getting another perspective. 🙂


  11. Loved this post 😊 I completely agree with you and the way your parents disciplined you. Unfortunately I was spanked quite a bit and it did me no good!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. While I agree patience is an important quality a parent needs to extend in child rearing. I also believe there may be the exception when a spanking may be acceptable and can be a teaching too but not the kind of whipping and cruelty you described. A simple smack on the behind or two is sufficient to get across that point that the behavior is not acceptable. What you described here is extreme and it is not discipline, it is most certainly abuse. I raised two very stable, loving, mannerly and self-sufficient children alone as a single parent. Though rare, on occasion I did spank. It is not the spanking that harms them, it is the vicious, cruel, heartless and inappropriate whipping, just as a cruel verbal beating is abuse as well and can do as much harm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While I believe children can be raised without spanking at all, I am glad you shared your thoughts with me. Abuse, especially child abuse, is a sad, sad thing and I struggled to accept any soul could be so cruel for a long time.

      I believe abuse comes from the mentality that hitting children is alright when a person is impatient and downright cruel. At the end of the day, spanking is hitting a child. I know it is possible for parents to raise their children without spanking, even when others make an exception and spank, and I think that is one of the most beautiful things a person can do.

      I am glad your children have grown to be good people. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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