Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's Time To Stop The Pain!

Today is National Spank Out Day which means all those opposed to violence against children and spanking in general come together to try to bring an end to the pain being brought to our kids. It's a day we stand up for our children against people like the Pearls (Doc provides the most info hence the link) and say "You are wrong"! By the way, anyone who thinks hitting their children with a piece of plastic tubing is okay needs some serious help. It hurts, I know because I did an experiment last year by trying it on my own arm. Unfortunately that blog is gone but the lesson isn't.

I am a survivor of childhood abuse myself. I was beaten by an ex-stepfather every chance he got. His mother also liked hitting me in the head with a hairbrush and I was slapped in the mouth (not tapped but SLAPPED) by my mother anytime I said something she didn't like. In those days, spanking meant you had to go pick your own "switch" off a bush, peel the bark off it, and then be beat with it. Whenever my mother wasn't looking the sadistic bastard would beat me from shoulders to thighs until he broke the skin. Sometimes it was being hit between the shoulder blades with a 2x4. Of course, then there was always the belt or the electrical tape covered "Big Bertha" aka paddle from hell.

Tell my mom? No thanks, how do you explain your fear and misery to someone who thinks using a belt and special paddle is okay? Besides, he would have just beat both of us more anyway. I hold many things against my mother but I can't blame her for not being strong enough to protect us when she couldn't even protect herself from the man. I do thank her though for finally finding the strength to get us out of there.

I don't hate on people who have spanked (a light tap on the bottom that is) in the past. It's how most of us were brought up and a mistake most of us have made at some point with our own kids. I was pushed to feel like if I didn't "pop" the kids' butts when they were little then I was a bad mother. Even the very few times I did it I was left (and moreso them too) feeling horrible and everytime I even thought about doing it the fear of "Will I become an abuser too?" would haunt me. After a run in (physical) with my own mother I found the strength to parent my kids MY way and everyone else be damned! I'd rather have little heathens than make my kids damaged goods like I am.

If you spank your kids please consider finding an alternative form of discipline. There are so many other less damaging ways to teach our kids right from wrong. The child you hit today may very well become the adult who hits tomorrow and the cycle will continue. As I said, I don't hate and I'm not bashing you for spanking. I'm just asking you as someone who has been there to think about what you're doing.

When a man hits a woman (and vice versa) it's abuse or domestic violence. When an adult hits someone of the same sex it's assault. When a parent hits a child it's discipline. What makes our children worth so much less? Why do we have the right to protection and they don't?

Please don't comment that children who aren't spanked become wild. I have two older children that are great examples of the exact opposite. Children who are not spanked feel safe and they don't grow up to fear objects like belts, tree branches, wooden spoons, hairbrushes, and etc. Children who are not spanked feel respected as human beings. Spanking only teaches children fear and how to become numb to physical and emotional pain.

The problem with our kids today isn't that they don't get "whipped". The problem is we as parents are failing to put them first (I don't mean by not being SAH parents so please don't think that) and the really stupid crap in life second. Would you behave if you felt like Monday Night Football mattered more than eating at the table with you? Would you behave if weekends partying were more important than a snuggle and movie with you? Think about it.

So today, please show your support for National Spank Out Day. Whether it's with a post of your own, displaying a logo or two on your blog, or just telling others around you that there are other choices. If you spank our kids then maybe today would be a good day to start over. Every little bit helps.

As adults we have the ability to choose how we respond. As children they have a right to be protected.

5 comments:

St. Amy Jane said...

kids shouldn't be smacked, hit, or any type of assault. I'm so sorry for what you had to go through. I was beat one time with a belt by my step mom. the stupid %$#%#...

I smacked my daughter on the leg one time and have kicked myself in the ass for it ever since.

Lill said...

My mother whacked us frequently, like most moms did back in the 50's and 60's. I didn't hate her for it, but it's hard to be close to someone who hits you, so we never were as close as we could have been. My kids know that I might raise my voice once in a while (which isn't cool either, but it's human), but no way am I going to hit them. I'm bringing up human beings and sometimes we have issues, but we work it out without hurting each other.

Lill

Jo said...

Thank you Lill and Amy for commenting. Alot of people have read this according to my statcounter but I think it's hard for them to know what they should say (which is of course whatever they want to).

I'm sorry for both of you too but also so happy for your kids to have such great and understanding moms. Way to go!

Frankie said...

I'm a day late and a dollar short...I would have posted this on spank-out day, boo on me.

Great post.

momof3feistykids said...

Excellent post. I spanked my son once (a little tap on the bottom). Though it wasn't the worst parenting mistake I've made - by far - I felt very bad about it. It is difficult to overcome society's conditioning on this issue. Spanking is like a religion in this country.

I can't say how much I admire you for the way you've overcome what you went through growing up. If I had gone through these experiences, I hope I'd be half as strong. ;-)

By the way - I love the new header on this blog (I haven't been here in a while). VERY cool. ;-)