Thursday, July 26, 2007

To spank, or not...

I just got back from taking Annie for a second ultrasound; doctors were a little concerned by Ian's weight, but as it turns out, everything is normal. As I was driving, I was listening to a radio talk show about spanking vs. not spanking. Annie and I choose not to spank or swat or flick, etc. I'm not going to try to convince anyone to do as we do, but here are a few of my reasons.

Personality - Each personality test that I take renders the same result: Intuitive, sensing, feeling, thinking, etc. Even though Silvi is only a little over two, there is no question that she possesses many of these personality traits. There's simply no reason to spank someone with this predisposition. Silvi is so aware of her surroundings and actions that if I am completely "present" (this is key) with her in a heated power struggle, she senses it and we can usually resolve the issue without too much grief.

Patience - Don't misunderstand me. There have been times when I wanted to swat Silvi on the butt for continued and wanton disobedience. Often it's just because I'm impatient and want her to stop doing whatever it is she is doing. I'm tired or grumpy, etc. If I take a minute to remove myself from the room and screaming, I calm down and can regroup. She's only a toddler, after all.

Presence - It's hard to be truly present. Especially for a daydreamer like me. But when I do completely participate with Silvi in her frustration and struggles, she seems to sense this and it helps to diffuse the situation.

Persistence - How many times do you have to say not to cross the street without looking both ways? If Silvi does run out into the street, will a spanking help her not to do it again? I don't know since I don't intend to ever spank her. I just can't reconcile how physical pain (spanking) will teach Silvi better than loss of freedom or privileges. I'll keep teaching her until it becomes part of her.

I don't believe that my desire not to spank Silvi or Ian stems from any weakness on my part, rather from an attempt to fully engage my kids as they learn about responsibility and boundaries. Kids who are spanked seem to struggle with just as many issues as Silvi does; they hit and are possessive and act up. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. Some kids need to be spanked. I just hope that those that choose to spank do it for the right reasons. And I hope that my choice not to spank serves Silvi, Ian and those around them well.

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