David, I never once spanked my own daughters but to be honest I've never been sure if that was a mistake, specifically when they were small.david henman said:...perhaps, but it is still your conclusion, not mine.
we can go around and around on this all day, but i am still curious to know why people think that striking a child is a good idea, much less a better idea than seeking a clear understanding between parent and child through verbal communication.
The reason I say this is because when a child is small its brain is not developed enough to properly understand an oral argument. Yet it is vital that the child immediately respond properly to a parent's voice in the advent of danger!
Let me give a "ferinstance" here. Suppose you are trying to get your kids into the car (like trying to herd cats!) and your 4 year old walks onto the street in front of an oncoming car. The first thing you want to happen is for your child to immediately stop when you call to him! Better yet, have him immediately come back! At the very least, he should respond appropriately to give you a chance to retrieve him from the danger.
At that age, is there any point in having a nice "talk" in such situations?
When a child is just developing using a swat or two (NOT indiscriminate walloping!) will immediately make a point that the child will remember. Not as a conscious choice but as a reflex. Until the child has achieved enough years I would think that he CAN"T make such conscious choices!
I differed to my wife's beliefs when the girls were so small but frankly I was often terrified to take them out on the street! My girls DID act as if a loud call was merely a preliminary to a "discussion" and I kept an iron grip on them to make sure they didn't stray into danger. By the time they reached 6 or so it was no longer a problem. They were advanced enough to understand when I explained a danger.
Commanding instant obedience in such situations is the OBLIGATION of a responsible parent! I was lucky that we were never in a scary situation but if heaven forbid one of my children had been hurt or worse you can be certain that I would have not been proud to simply claim that "At least I never spanked them!"
I also find it curious that many advocates against spanking talk as if spanking were synonymous with abuse! I just can't accept that reasoning. Abuse is merely a cruel and violent act. A spanking is a conscious choice as a means to correct a child's behaviour. If one can't see the difference then I don't believe that one could think deeply enough to judge another parent.
What's more, I've been blessed with great kids! I know other parents not so fortunate. Kids are born with differing amounts of talent and brain power. So are parents, for that matter! There are some very obvious failures committing repeated break-ins in my neighbourhood. Would judicious spanking have been applicable in such situations?
I dunno, but what the parents DID do has resulted in obvious failure...