by Mama B
How do you feel about spanking kids?
Answer to Spanking Kids by Kristina Miller:
My book is purposely vague on spanking because...
1) While I don't believe spanking children is morally wrong,
2) There's almost always another way, plus it can get out of hand.
I know there are situations when the quickest and the most efficient way to get a younger child (age 7 and under) to refocus and get back on the right track is with a spanking, or sometimes just the threat that a spanking comes next if the behavior doesn't stop immediately. This is the case when a child gets into a spiral and can't get out and physically does need to refocus.
It's not that the spanking hurts the child, or that you're hitting hard with the intent to injure so they "remember" it. It's about redirecting and refocusing. It really truly can be helpful in that context, and sometimes literally nothing else will work. Children who can get hyper-focused and locked into an obsessive thought or a rage spiral can be helped tremendously by an appropriate "spanking." If your child has a tendency to spiral, you know what I mean!
But usually, especially with older kids, it is completely unnecessary and there is a better way. Especially if you are trying to teach your child not to hit or not to bite or not to be disrespectful, it can be hypocritical to spank, especially if they are old enough to understand that irony.
I don't recommend it for most normal kids, nor do I recommend it for older kids. Even with kids locked hard into a particular behavior, there are other refocusing techniques you can use to snap them out of it. And sometimes that is all they need. But usually it does have to be physical, such as taking their hands and physically making them clean up a particular mess, or something of that sort.
You will find lots of suggestions and alternatives to spanking kids in my ebook. The whole program in general should keep kids from getting to the point where a parent feels like they need to spank in the first place. In my line of work, we obviously need to get children to a very high level of discipline (sometimes starting from a very low level of discipline and multiple behavioral or emotional problems) because they can do dangerous things. In Martial Arts, the children are taught to fight with weapons and no padding, or do wristlocks and sweeps, throw partners, kick or punch other students without hurting them, and teach others. We never use spanking to discipline. At home they need to be responsible for cleaning or doing chores, doing their homework, etc. There are plenty of other tricks in the discipline toolbox that work to reorder a child's habits and behaviors. :)
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