Smack In The Middle:
Spanking Is Lazy Parenting..A Follow-Up
Recently, I wrote an article that appeared here on Good Enough Mother, in which I explained my views on spanking. What a firestorm! It was the second-most viewed article on the site and it created some interesting and healthy debate across social media.
I’m writing this follow-up because after the article appeared, two women sent personal messages to me on Facebook about it. I do enjoy a spirited and intelligent debate, but I was a little dismayed that both of them took me to task for not spanking my children and assured me that they will be completely wild in a few years. They both implied that I should start spanking them now.
They seemed pretty angry with me, but based on our discussions, my assumption is that at least some part of them feels guilty about spanking and the article brought that inherent guilt to the forefront. Both women said they spanked, but they didn’t really like it.
I get that the topic of spanking raises a lot of strong opinions and no matter where you stand on it, someone is judging you for it. We are all raising our children the way we see fit. I’ll be the first to say I’m not a parenting expert, but I stand by my opinion that spanking is lazy parenting. I actually took the term from my father. Once my sisters and I were adults, he admitted that he wished he and my mother had used other forms of discipline. In retrospect, he felt that spanking was an expedient means that allowed them to get back to whatever they were doing, whereas alternative discipline took a lot of effort and time. I understood his point that much of discipline–and parenting in general–is inconvenient. We’re human, so it’s natural to look for the quick and easy way to get things done.
These are some of the arguments the women who corresponded with me gave in favor of spanking and my thoughts on why they don’t stand up: