Soooo…can we spank our kids or what?

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An incident in a supermarket a few days ago had me thinking about that age old question every parent has to ask themselves at one point or another: “to spank, or not to spank?” Yes folks, that is the question.

 

Regarding this incident, a young lady was being terrorised by her son whilst she was doing their groceries. Let’s be clear here, I don’t use the term “terrorising” due to a mere lack of a better word. This kid was literally terrorising his mum. She would put an item into the trolley; he’d remove it and throw at his mum all whilst simultaneously screaming at her. Needless to say, after a while, she lost her patience (and a tub of mayonnaise) and resorted to whooping his little behind with a pack of spaghetti….which, I’ll admit, was kind of funny. But, I seem to be the only one who found it humorous as other folks around me appeared more mortified than tickled.

 

More than being tickled, the whole spanking episode (Spankisode? No?) had me thinking, will my kid be eligible for spanking? I mean, he’s 6 months old now so I guess it’s not too long before he reaches the age of the occasional “spankisode” (consider this term coined!). But here’s the thing, my partner was never once spanked throughout her childhood. Me, on the other hand, I was never not spanked (yes, I just spanked you with a double negative right there). So what becomes of our little putto? To be spanked or not to be spanked?

 

Over the years the arguments against spanking have grown exponentially and more and more parents are embracing this somewhat utopian (for the child) idea. My mum wasn’t one of those parents. I was spanked ALL THE TIME, both at home AND at school, and I turned out fine(ish). These days parents act like spanking is the equivalent of microwaving your child till he has a brain tumor. I disagree. In my opinion, spanking is just a tool, like many others, to help you discipline your child.

 

Remember the days when parents wouldn’t even mind other adults spanking you? If that ever happened, my mum would ask me what I did to deserve the spanking. I’d be like “Mum, Mrs Moyo from next door just hit me”…and my mum would be like “what did you do?” These days parents immediately call the neighbour/school to complain, sue, or press charges; ignoring the fact that their kid is a little nuisance.

 

Like I said, I was spanked all the time. But you know what? I was as naughty as American foreign policy. I deserved 99% of those ass whoopings. You know what the other 1% was for? Preventative spankings. Did you ever get those? When your mum would spank you for something you haven’t even done yet. Yep, my mum would sometimes go all ‘minority report’ on me and punish me for crimes I “might” commit. And all this whilst uttering what became her trademark catchphrase: “This hurts me more than it hurts you” :) Oh that crazy woman, how I love her so.

 

*just scribbling my parental thoughts*

 

PS: just to be clear, when I’m talking about spanking, I’m not talking about those monstrous excuses of parents who beat their kids to a pulp. That’s not discipline, that’s just plain old inexcusable ill-treatment and abuse of the worst kind.

8 comments on “Soooo…can we spank our kids or what?

  1. Nice topic! haa spare the rod spoil the child. We spank our kids. I was spanked and I deserved it. My brother and I were one year apart so we were a tag team and when one did something we both got smacked even though sometimes one was innocent. And for sure when we grew up you wouldn’t even go home crying if you were spanked by a neighbour for misdemeanors cos it would be compounded. Discipline is a process and different tools for different circumstances. We use spanking as the ‘We have warned you enough’ solution.

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  3. I was also ‘never not spanked’ by my dad. So imagine my surprise when 20 years later we’re ruminating on life (as my dad and I are prone to do) and spanking and he says ‘You know, I think that’s a hangover from slavery and colonialism. We’ve begun to believe that violence is the only/most effective way to induce obedience so we beat our women and we beat our children.’ As opposed to actively seeking consensus. That’s a near-direct (hence the slash) quote cos coming from my dad who’d clearly mellowed since my spank-filled childhood. And it really got my thinking.

    I went out with a dude who’d never been spanked as a child, and he was absolutely horrified by the threat of physical violence. It was a serious corporeal invasion, an aberration and while I sound dramatic, it was dramatic for him. I on the other hand was brought up to believe that brutalisation was the lot of the black body. Your parents’ ‘beats’ (as we called them) would be the golden era (at least they loved you and only spanked you when you deserved it!) before police brutality/skinheads had to be fended off.

    So to spank or not to spank is a question I grapple with (now, before the mini-mes) cos I think I would like my children to have that sense of entitlement to violence-free lives. Maybe spank them til age 3 or so, when their conversation levels are minimal and before they remember it?

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  6. Yvette says:

    Most parents spank they just don’t admit it. I was a little pill and I got spanked many times — with the belt and I had to take my clothes off. We will spank our kids the same way when they’re old enough, around 3 or so.

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