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.
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.
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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
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