Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break pictures and Why I choose not to spank my children

You may have noticed, I am no writer.  I fill this blog with the pictures I take in hopes that it will be a sort of scrapbook for my family, both near and far, in the years to come when sleep is in greater supply and I have time to look back at the precious beginning of my children's lives.

But, I feel led to share with those of you who keep up with us here a few of my thoughts about the choices Dave and I are making when it comes to parenting our children.  Specifically why we choose not to spank.  These are really my thoughts, but I would venture to say Dave's reasons are at least similar to my own.  I'll throw in some spring break pictures for good measure so you don't get too bored.

1.  I believe in non-violence.  I would not hit another adult no matter how angry, frustrated, or desperate I became.  Not even if I was trying to teach them something really, really important.  Why wouldn't I treat my precious children with the same kindness and respect.

2.  Most of the time when I'm at the end of my rope with my children's behavior, if I walk away for a few minutes and get a fresh perspective on the situation, I realize that that either (a) I haven't properly explained my expectations, (b) I have let the children become too tired or hungry to be at their best or (c) I'm just upset about something else and I'm taking it out on them.

3.  Those times when my kids have really misbehaved, I have often realized shortly thereafter that they are getting sick.  I can't imagine how badly I would feel if I spanked a child who was acting out due to an illness.

4.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has spoken out against corporal punishment of any kind.  I trust my doctors advice about their physical health, and I trust it about their mental health as well.

5.  I want my children to know that they can come to me with any problem, or to confess any wrong without fear and know that, no matter what, their home and family is a safe place.

6.  Children are like mirrors.  They absorb everything around them.  I believe that children imitate our behavior for better or worse.  My children know that there is never, ever an excuse for hitting.

7.  There is always a consequence for bad behavior that will better teach good behavior than a spanking.  A spanking leaves an impression, to be sure, but writing a letter of apology to a friend your child has wronged is more likely to mend a broken relationship and teach important life skills that will carry them into adulthood.

8.  If I am ever mistaken, and falsely accuse one of my children of wrongdoing, I'm sure it will be easier  for them to forgive me if I have asked them to perform an act of service than if I were to administer a spanking.  After all, doesn't God ask us to be in service whenever possible?  You can't go wrong by asking your child to perform an extra act of kindness.  

9.  Being little is hard.  My toddler is simultaneously learning how to communicate, how to get around, what dangers lie in her world, and what is expected of her in many different situations.  Even climbing onto the couch to sit by her sister is a challenge.  I know that she wants to please me, and that she will learn the things I am trying to teach her if I'll only remain patient.  I also know that it will be easier for her to remain clam through the difficulty if I do.

Let me add, if you're still with me, that these are simply my thoughts on the matter.  I know so many amazing parents of amazing children who have made different decisions than I have.  Parenting is hard.  I am making mistakes every day and trying hard to learn from them.  Feel free to leave me your thoughts on the matter, but please be kind and respectful.   I know that this is a sensitive issue and I do not wish to hurt anyone's feelings or be overly critical of others' opinions.


  1. I think your points are very well thought-out, Laura: very clear and make perfect sense. I wish I could say I act rationally enough never to spank my kids. I don't (though spankings are rather rare occurrences at our house). I really like what you've said and I think it should be included in a book somewhere!

  2. Kristina, you are always so kind and encouraging :) Thanks for your words.

  3. I agree with Kristina.. Spankings are rare at our house and your reasons are pure and good. You are the most patient and wonderful mother and I don't seem to have that tolerance.

    I have learned to walk away and take a breather and think what was really so wrong with the situation that my kids just acted out and then decide what type of punishment I should give. (Whether it be time out, saying sorry and giving hugs and kisses, or when WORSE comes to WORSE a spanking.)

    I love how you have given me great ideas on how to have my children write a note to someone they have hurt, rather then punish them for it and the "apology" that is needed, never be said.

    You are amazing and as always, I respect your parenting more than you know.

    Love you.