Coming home from work last week I had the pleasure of being stuck on the train with a screaming child for about 15 minutes. This little girl, who had to be about six yelled, screamed and ran around the train car totally dismissing her mother’s warnings and straight up acting the fool if mom even attempted to restrain her. A young woman sitting next to me whispered to me “She know she needs to beat that child’s ass. You know back in our day our parents didn’t play that.” To some degree I agreed with her, my parents didn’t play that and there was no way I could’ve acted up in private or public the way this little girl did…I knew better, and they made sure of it. On the other hand, I couldn’t relate to the child needing a beating because my parents never beat me. Long before Supernanny, my father gave me time outs as punishment. Instead of beatings I had to sit in the corner for a certain amount of time, read chapters of my books or a certain newspaper article and write a mini report on it, and of course, no TV, games, etc. This was my life. The sting of a belt was foreign to me growing up because my father found other ways to deal with my misbehavior.
However, not all children are made equal. I never had throw down tantrums on the train, my misbehavior was talking too much in class or talking back, nothing major. When my parents spoke I listened and when mother gave me “the eye” I straightened up with the uber quickness. But not all kids are scared of “the eye” and will act up until you have no choice but to beat their bad asses. As I get deeper into my child rearing years I wonder if I will spank my kids. I’m a clear example of sparing the rod and not spoiling the child, my parent’s decision to not beat me when they felt I misbehaved didn’t ruin me for life, so obviously it’s not entirely necessary to spank a child for every infraction. However what other option will I have if I’ve got a screaming 6 year old on a train who won’t listen to me or my stank eye and a simple time out is just not going to cut it?
Do you believe in spanking? Do you think it’s effective?