Happy Spank Out Day! Thank you for helping to spread the word that there are gentler alternatives to spanking!
The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt — and there is the story of mankind.
-John Steinbeck, East of Eden, 1952
Some of my favorite quotes from Twitter and Facebook about gentle alternatives to Spanking:
A kiss. A kind word.
M from BoldLiving
All I can say is this — our children trust us completely. We are their world. When we spank, hit, or yell, we violate that trust and make them question their security in the world. If they lose their faith in us, how are they going to have faith in the world? What kind of people will they become if they learn in childhood that the world cannot be trusted?
I should note, I was spanked as a child. It wasn’t often, but I have very clear memories of it. I adore my parents, who I believe truly did what they believed was best. They did not come from gentle parenting homes, and their approach was far more gentle than what they grew up with. But there is no doubt in my mind that I experienced a feeling of alone-ness (is that a word?) as a result of these incidents when I was spanked.
I wanted to to add one more thing. The world is full of all kinds of people, and our kids will encounter so many situations beyond our control. I want them to know that there is a place of unconditional love and safety, where hitting of any kind is not going to happen to them. I want them to know that love does not involve hitting. When they go out into the world on their own, I want them to believe that such love is not only possibe, but to be expected from their closest friends and one day their husbands. I want them to give that kind of love and receive it. It’s a long path from a spanking by a parent to a slap from a boyfriend, but I want them to know what unconditional love is. I feel that when a parent spanks a child, no matter their justification or their own understanding of it as a discipline tool, they are influencing how that child will interact with loved ones throughout heir lives. A loving relationship (be it parent-child, spouses, friends, etc.), should be a safe and peaceful one. I hope I can instill that in my children.
…Ok, one more thing! LOL I love [Relevant Mom’s] (see below) response regarding faith in God. I don’t have that same faith in a single being or person, meaning church or Christ. However, I do have faith that the universe is a grand and spiritual place filled with people of all types, including the majority of loving, well-meaning people. Faith in humanity, faith in the universe, faith in the world…..by these I mean a belief that people are generally good, and that my children can and will seek out those people in life. They will learn that there are people in this world that are not so good, that are to be avoided, but how will they know the difference if the people they value most as children hit and yell at them?
K from Relevant Mom
Ok, hopefully I explain this well. I come at this from a different place. I avoid spanking not to inspire faith in the world or me, because both, no matter their intention are ultimately flawed, fallible, and conditional–they WILL fail my children. I am honest to their level of understanding about this with them. But that doesn’t equate to cynicism at all–I believe there is a place they can put their faith, and not spanking is one small way of helping them glimpse that. I avoid spanking to inspire trust in God, the only place that I can, and they can, ultimately place faith, in my view. I know this is difficult for those who know Christianity as “spare the rod…” to understand, and I’m not looking to argue my faith or understanding-it simply is, and has come and continues to develop through a lot of study-I’m merely explaining. As a parent, I feel my model is in Jesus, who I believe showed God’s ways in the flesh on Earth, and it is my job to show as much as I am capable His love, offered through me to them, with credit to Him, ultimately drawing them closer to Him (closer to me is a wonderful benefit, but *I* am not the center, because again I am flawed and unfortunately won’t always be here–they need a center they can ALWAYS depend on. I believe my children are God’s and I am merely loaned them and entrusted with their care to His purpose in the world). Therefore, I feel called to use Jesus’ tools…radical empathy, compassion, and acceptance. Modeling those tools for them to the best of my ability, ultimately supports their understanding that THOSE are the tools they also are called to use for themselves. There is a lot more to my viewpoint, scripturally, and otherwise, but really that is it in a nutshell. I know there are those who will say, but what about all the terrible, punitive God caused “xyz” that happened in the Bible, to which I say, yes, yes it did…BEFORE Jesus came, and EVERYTHING changed. Sharing another viewpoint.
My thought abt #spankoutday – I don’t spank my kid bc I don’t think it’s appropriate to hit ppl who don’t do what I say. But that’s just me.
I was spanked as a kid and don’t think it scarred me but don’t think it was necessary. It definitely made me more timid. #spankoutday
And a few quotes from my own kids:
When asked what spanking was, Nat answered, “It’s Spanish for ‘Hola.’”
Later, when spanking is explained to him, his response is, “Why would a grown up hit a kid? Grown ups love kids and kids love grown ups.”
Please stop by and leave some comment love on some of these posts for Spank Out Day 2011:
- Amber Strocel: Why I Don’t Spank (added May 1)
- Becoming Crunchy: In Honor of Spank Out Day…Just A Day Late (added May 1)
- The Path Less Taken: Gentle Discipline, So What Do You Do? (added May 1)
- BiCultural Mom: Why I Hate Spanking (new April 30)
- Dulce de Leche: Rotten Fruit (new April 30)
- Hybrid Rasta Mama: National Spank Out Day-Part 1 (new April 30)
- I am Totally *That* Mom: Spank Out Day USA
- Imperfect Happiness: The Great Spank Out (Spank Out Day 2011)
- Kelly Hogaboom: Non-Punitive Parents, A Starting Primer
- Mom Grooves: Spank Out Day!
- 3 from Hobo Mama: (new April 30)
- TouchstoneZ: Spank Out Day 2: From Here to There (added May 1)
Do you have a post that you’d like to add to the list? Please add your link in the comments section.
If you would like to participate, please comment below and check out my Great Spank Out page for ideas