I saw this article recently that said 80% of parents smack their kids. I was pretty shocked, I never imagined it would be so high. I read some of the comments- NEVER read the comments! It was ugly! Some people blaming the other 20% for not smacking their kids, saying this is the reason kids these days have no respect or manners. But with the kids not being smacked being the minority that doesn’t really make sense. The most common statement being “my parents smacked me all the time and I turned out fine” while that may be the case I fail to see how be smacked by your parents can benefit you in any way and maybe you turned out ok in spite of your parents smacking you not because of it.
I grew up with 2 young single parents, low income all the rest of it. My parent’s both worked full time, my mum also studied full time and had me to look after day to day. My parents didn’t use smacking as a form of punishment and I turned out ok too! I learnt to solve problems by communicating, learnt to deal with anger by walking away and learnt to deal with feeling overwhelmed by asking for help.
I do not smack my child, I never will. I fail to see how I can teach my daughter the consequences of her actions by smacking her, no matter what her actions are. My daughter has to deal with consequences of each of her actions depending on the choices she makes, just like life. You show up late to work, your boss isn’t going to bend you over their knee are they? No you will get a warning and if you continue to do so you will lose your job. That is the consequence. Consequences are different depending on the action.
I will not teach my child violence, there is enough of that in the world. I do not have the right to hurt her. I do not own her or her body. If I was to do the same to my husband, mother or any other adult, it would be assault. So why would I do this to my child? The rate of child abuse and domestic violence in this country is appalling and something we all need to take responsibility for.
I will not teach my child to fear me, I want to be the one person in the entire world my daughter can rely on, no matter what. I will not teach her to be scared of my reaction if she breaks something as a child, or gets herself in a bad situation as a teen. My child will never think I will physically harm her if she does something wrong. To me my parents disapproval or feeling like I had disappointed them was far more frighting that getting smacked!
To those people who think a child needs to be smacked in order to learn how to behave or be respectful, I will tell you about my peaceful home, there is no fighting, their are no tantrums, there is no hitting or kicking or damaging of property. My child understands there are rules to keep her safe and to help our family. Every morning my daughter gets up, makes her bed, gets dressed and opens her curtains without prompting, without tantrums and without tears. She does it because it is her room and if she wants to enjoy it she has to look after it. If she trashes her room, leaves toys laying around or doesn’t look after her things she won’t be able to enjoy them. I do not replace things that have been broken because they have been left lying around, she has to deal with the fact that it is broken because she didn’t take care of it.
I will not teach my daughter the hypocrisy of me being allowed to smack her but for her getting in trouble (or smacked) because she has hit, smacked, bit, pushed someone else. I will teach her that we use our words not our hands to settle disagreements and if our words aren’t working we ask someone else for help. I will not teach her that because I am bigger and stronger than her that I have more rights than she does or that I have the right to hurt her.
I am not a perfect mother, I get cross, I get frustrated and overwhelmed. I raise my voice sometimes when I shouldn’t and then feel bad about it and apologise. My daughter feels all the same emotions as I do, sometimes she does things she shouldn’t. She feels bad about it and then apologises. I am teaching my daughter to see me as a person with thoughts, feelings and emotions, which is just how I see her.