We Spank Our Children

Something snapped a few years ago and there was no looking back. When Casey and I first got married and we began having discussions about children, the subject of spanking arose. Casey was dead set against spanking, and I was dead set for spanking. Turns out, neither of us were right.

We both grew up in homes, like many other kids from our generation, where spanking was a common form of discipline. I don’t know how often Casey was spanked or if that was the reason she was so dead set against it as a form of discipline for our girls, but I know how often I was spanked. And that’s the reason why I support it.

I was spanked a lot as a kid. My mother has apologized over and over again for the amount of punishment. I never understood why she was apologizing, and at one point, a few years ago, I told her it wasn’t necessary. I needed and deserved the spankings I got. I was a bad kid. I knew how to push my sisters’ buttons and I did it frequently and purposefully.  There was nothing that my mother could have done to stop the constant teasing except for spanking.  I was terrified of being spanked and that was the one punishment that swayed my behavior.  Any other punishment? It was no big deal. Bring it on.

Thus, that was the mindset I had going into parenthood: my children will be spanked. Once Addie was born, something changed. I didn’t think there was any way that I could spank my daughter.  It just didn’t seem possible, and it still doesn’t seem possible now. Casey felt the same way after Addie’s birth, right up until Addie turned five years old.

There came a point with Addie where we could not curb any of her bad behavior.  It didn’t matter what we threatened her with. Time out? Sure, two minutes later she’ll be back to doing the same naughty things. Grounding and taking away certain toys? Sure, she’ll just find something else to play with and she’ll continue the naughtiness. No TV? Don’t even bother. We even threatened her using Santa, and that was a no go as well.

Casey and I felt like we were at our breaking point. We were completely lost and started to feel like the situation was hopeless. Then one day while I was at work, Casey called crying. She said, “I just spanked Addie.” I was shocked. That’s the type of decision parents should make together, not just on a whim.

Addie had made Casey so angry that morning, that Casey felt like the only options she had were to spank Addie or verbally berate her. She chose to spank Addie because she felt it would be less traumatic. She then googled how to resolve any lingering issues that may have followed the spanking. (Casey explained the experience here.)

I was a little upset about it at first, but I soon learned that it was the right decision. Addie’s behavior changed dramatically. She began listening to us and we haven’t had to spank her since. Hopefully, we never have to again.

So yes, we spank our children.

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