Today is National Spank Out Day – a day created to give attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior.
You know, just yesterday we were trying to get in the car to go somewhere important, and my oldest son was resisting big time. I started to feel this violent tendency – I wanted to just smack him! Get in the dang car already! Let’s be honest – doesn’t this happen to the best of us?
I told my husband how I was feeling and walked away for a few moments, took some deep breaths. That’s why I think this day is important. Because we need to support each other, and we also need to spread this important message. I wanted to share with you all some of the best Spank-Out posts around the web today.
- Redirecting the Impulse to Spank ~ “Let’s face it. Parenting is not always the beautiful, loving relationship we imagined – not all of the time. More often than not it involves power struggles and rudeness. Tantrums and tirades. “I want this,” and “don’t do that.” Pushing buttons, pulling back, and escapism … on our part as well as on the part of our children.”
- What is the Difference Between Spanking and Abuse? ~ “You know what is difficult? Trying to explain the difference between spanking and abuse to a child. My child doesn’t really understand where the line is drawn. I understand his confusion.”
- Babes and Boundaries ~ A Gentle Parenting Perspective ~ “Parenting is soooo tiring and frustrating at times. Sometimes you just want to sit a small child down and say, “Do you know how much easier your life (and mine!) would be if you’d just be REASONABLE?!?” But we know that wouldn’t do any good because the words ‘reasonable’ and ‘toddler/preschooler’ just don’t play well together. The thing to remember is that gentle parenting doesn’t mean parenting without boundaries.”
- What’s the Problem with Spanking? ~ “I don’t think parents like to spank. And the more often parents spank, the less rewarding parenting feels.”
- I Used to Hit My Children ~ “When I stopped hitting my children I freed my family from the shadow that violence had cast over us. I didn’t even know it had been there until it was gone. I LOVE the conversations that our spank-free life has encouraged.”
- My Children Need Me to Be Their Friend ~ “As a mother, I’m more than a friend to my children, but our relationship starts with friendship, and it’s a model of friendship I want them to carry with them throughout their life. If I never show them friendship, how will they know how to be a friend? How will they know what kind of friend to be? I’m so proud to call my children my friends, and I hope that one day many people will be proud to call my children their friends too.”
- What is Discipline Really About? ~ “I think as parents we get so caught up in the moment that we can lose our long range vision. Daily life with small children is so hard and we want someone to just tell us what will make our children do what we tell them to do – right away, the first time we ask them. It would just make our lives so much easier! And then Christians back it up as being a “Biblical” command and all of a sudden we’re justified to use whatever method works to get our children to comply.”
- To Spank or Not to Spank? ~ “I believe that God designed us to begin our lives as babies, totally dependent and vulnerable, because He intended the family to be the setting in which His love was modeled.”
- Setting Limits and Boundaries with Children ~ “The assumption is that if you do not spank or use time-outs you must be a permissive parent. I think in many people’s minds it’s either one or the other. I want to propose to you that there is another way. Not punitive, not permissive.”
- It’s Time to Change the Way We Parent Our Children ~ “At the moment of being spanked, punished or yelled at, the child feels fear and stress and is not able to process the “lesson” the parent is teaching. Because of the stress, he can no longer access the cognitive strategies he needs to logically process the situation. Instead he becomes dominated by egocentric thinking and feels unfairly treated, angry, filled with shame and misunderstood.”
- Parenting Through Regrets ~ “It can be a painful process to uncover information, insights or support later that would have been really helpful to gain earlier. What courage this takes! As we look back to those earlier times and the choices we made, or the choices we didn’t have, that we now regret, we need to be *very gentle and kind* towards our younger self.”
- A Rant About Spanking ~ I just don’t see it. Where does Jesus tell us to hit our kids? It doesn’t make sense.
I’m listing more resources here below – these are sites that will encourage you on your journey away from spanking and help you know what to do instead: