Another homeschool alum sent me a message after a debate on my Facebook page after I posted an article about spanking.
I try to address questions like this in a balanced way, no matter how I feel personally.
Here’s her message:
Hey Eleanor! I saw that you posted an article on spanking children on your facebook, and I wanted to comment on it, but I seemed as though the comments were getting a tad heated, and I didn’t want to add to that fire. (slightsmile emoticon) So I thought I would just PM you. If you would like me to post this on the thread, I can, I just thought you might like to have a chance to “screen” me first!
Anyway, I read the article and comments on it and thought of this article I read previously: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/effective-biblical-discipline/effective-child-dis
And wondered what your thoughts on it are. I have to say, I was raised in a spanking family and my personal experience is that it establish clear boundaries for me and helped me respect my parents even more for a variety of reasons: I knew it hurt them when I disobeyed, I knew they were trying to teach me right and wrong, and I knew that they never, ever, spanked me when they were upset or angry. As an adult, I worked in a daycare where, obviously, we could not use any form of physical punishment and it is certainly possible to discipline children effectively without using spanking. I guess I’m curious what you think about this article particularly because I struggle with the Bible’s seemingly clear declaration that parents should use physical punishment for discipline as opposed to the world’s very negative view of it.
Yikes, that was wordy! Did it make any sense at all? Lol hope this finds you well and settling into your new apartment quickly!
Here’s my response:
Hey, I just wanted to apologize for not getting back to you quickly. I was busy with trying to move and all the rest and I wanted to give thought to this.
I have several friends who were spanked and do not feel like they were abused. This makes sense to me, because their spankings were only a few swats to get their attention.
I grew up in a family where my parents could explode without warning and often my younger siblings were just spanked without explanation. The reason for the discipline wasn’t communicated to them and we weren’t told that our parents valued us and didn’t think we were bad. We weren’t also given positive affirmations and we didn’t feel secure in our parents’ love.
So that, I think is where the difference comes in. I don’t think that the Bible says that we have to spank our children? That’s not how I interpret those verses.
I would have a lot of difficulty with spanking my children and would avoid it at all costs. I think some children can be spanked and not have the negative consequences or be traumatized by it. But I would rather avoid it if at all possible, because of my past.
Hope you are doing well. 🙂