To Spank, or Not to to Spank... That is the question

Spankings are one of those conversations that no one really wants to have. However, disciplining is mentioned in the Bible, an age-old reference for many. In my opinion, there are so many afraid to speak on it because of the many laws that have changed over the years and parents are just plain "afraid" to spank their children. As a mom of four children, I have had my share of disciplining children by spankings. Statistics have shown that children need structure and stability in their lives in order to grow and develop. This does not mean beat them every time they do something wrong, but a nice little sting on the bottom or hand is a friendly reminder that the behavior they are displaying is not acceptable.

One of the set backs with disciplining, in my opinion and from my experience with different parents, is that parents don't start at an early age with disciplining their children. They look up one day, and they have a 3-4 year old falling out in the middle of the floor having a tantrum in the local mall or store and they are embarrassed and want answers as to why this is happening. It's simple: when the behavior initially began, it was disregarded and never handled appropriately. Children should learn early on that for every action, there is a reaction...cause and effect. "If I do this, then this will happen". We have to start speaking with our children in the womb. I'm sure many of you parents have heard this, right? It is very beneficial that we set the tone for our children at an early age. From infancy to about age 3, facial expressions and a very stern voice, when necessary works wonders. It's not that you want to make your children afraid of you in the literal sense, but you do want them to fear disappointing you. Does that make sense?

The key to disciplining is consistency. There are some things, that as parents, we can overlook, but there are things which should not be overlooked and should be addressed immediately. Not listening and following directions is something that should never be overlooked. If you say you are going to do something, do it. This will teach your children that they can count on you, depend on you, and it is consistency. If you scold them for doing something, always scold them for that behavior. Don't let it "slide" because you don't feel like exerting the energy at the particular moment.

When you speak to your children, do not stand over them. They already know you're bigger and taller; stoop down to their level and get eye contact with them and look them directly in the eye when you speak with them. Use facial expressions to show disappointment, gratitude, and pleasure.

Language. Use lots of language with your child/dren. The most frustrating thing for a young child is the inability to express themselves properly. Toddlers often find themselves stuck in the developmental stage of Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt (Erikson), meaning, they want to be independent but find themselves struggling because they lack the "words" to say (in a sense) "I got this Mommy" so the inability to say what they feel leads to shame and doubt. As parents, it's our job to give them that confidence, the language.

I will post more on this subject, I just wanted to spark your interest and hear from you as parents. Tell me, what are your strategies when it comes to disciplining your children?

Until we chat again...