5 04 2011

Believe it or not, I am an expert in this field.  No degrees, just plenty of steady employment.  I had six children, the first four in five years.  So that set me up for learning discipline the hard way.  I recently read a column in the newspaper about to spank or not to spank.  And then the columnist asked for comments.  Well, that was too much for me so I sent in my comments.  But I never heard anything from that.

I spanked my first two children.  That was the way it was done then, period.  Everyone spanked their children.  No one had ever thought of doing it any other way.  I was spanked, my siblings were spanked.  And I never saw where it hurt any of us particularly.  We grew up in a well ordered, normal household with lots of love and lots of laughter.  Normal was our middle name and we were all very happy people.

But then, Dr. Spock and ‘I’m o.k., you’re o.k.’ came along and people began to discuss this.  Fortunately for me, I could not afford to buy Dr. Spock’s book so I was saved from being a complete basket case.  I just had to wing it day in and day out.  My husband had also been spanked, only he was spanked much harder than I was.  I usually had to go out and cut my own switches off the bushes when I was old enough.  One day I put my hand in the bush and straight into a hornet’s nest.  I didn’t get spanked that day.  But I probably deserved one anyway.  I was always pretty sassy and sometimes did not mind at all.  But that was then and now I am the one in charge.

As I said, things began to change.  For one thing, I had more children and so had less time for spankings.  That made a big difference in my life.  I was usually telling my children to hurry up and get in the car so I didn’t have time to spank as we left the house.  My mother never had to contend with any of that driving or organizing or being involved like I did.  She just raised children, kept house and cooked.

I had a neighbor who had 4 boys.  She quit spanking her children because she got tired of the bruises on her fingers from the brads on their jeans.  So, you see, whatever works.  And I think that is the complete and whole answer anyway.   Whatever works in your household is what you should do.  I don’t think spankings are necessary if something else works.  I found that if I slapped the table with the ruler, I accomplished just as much as I would have if I used the ruler on the kids.  Got their attention; they knew I meant business; and they minded.  This is the result I was looking for anyway.

Time out had not come along in my day.  Thank heavens.  I probably would have lost a child who was in time out and I forgot where he was.  One of my grandchildren got in a fight at preschool.   He had to sit in time out.   When his time was up, he got up, hit the child again,  and then went back to time out.   I did make my child sit in a chair one day because we were moving and she kept getting in the way.  The other two younger ones thought that seemed like so much fun that they quickly sat in a chair, too.  Everyone was very happy.  Worked.

By the time the teen years came along, we had managed to instill enough discipline that we didn’t have much trouble anyway.  That is the whole point.  Instill that discipline early in life and then you don’t have to worry so much when it comes to driving and dating and drinking and all those temptations that come along.

By the way, all of mine turned out just great.  So whatever works is what should be done.  But no reason to hit on your children.  Something else will work just as well.  Think about it.  More another day.  I have lots of experience this field.