To hit or not to hit: Should this still be a question?

To hit or not to hit: Should this still be a question?

Is there a way to avoid spanking kids? Find out here.

My friends and I would share stories about us getting spanked when we were children. We look at them as fond memories because now that we’re adults, we don’t have any resentment towards our parents.

Definitely, there are those who feel traumatized by the spanking they received when they were young. I won’t be too bold to say that unless a child is abused, then there wouldn’t have any negative feelings towards the parents.

I remember hating getting spanked, but I can confidently say I don’t remember hating my parents for it. This is perhaps because I understood why I’m getting spanked and it was often after my mom (I don’t remember my father ever hitting me) had told me repeatedly and yet I still chose to do it.

It’s a fine line

I know it’s not easy to keep my temper in check when my kids misbehave. I often cross the line between letting my anger over an issue I’m going through and getting upset over something my kids did.

As much as I hate to admit it, I have let my anger take over once too many times. I know what it feels like to be blinded by anger, frustration, and disappointment over my own issues. If I were to raise my hands during those times, there will be no stopping me from hitting my kids. This is why I’m a loud mom.

I know that raising my voice is just as harmful, but I tend to resort to it lest I start to hit my children. To my own pathetic consolation, I tell myself I would rather yell and nag for 30 minutes than reach for the cane.

I realize that not every parent can do this. We all deal with stress in different ways. It’s often hard to parent while I have many things on my mind. No matter how much I tell myself my kids are not misbehaving on purpose and it’s my authority to teach them right from wrong, often the Band-Aid solution of yelling at them offers temporarily relief.

I didn’t know how much of an angry person I could be until I had kids. I don’t know how much of this is the product of my childhood. Maybe it's just my impatience in reasoning with my kids.

While I don’t resent my mom for spanking me when I was little, I’m not naive either. I don't discount the underlying reason for my quick temper. It was probably because I was spanked in my childhood.

It’s a long process

I’m glad I realized my mistakes in being a loud mom when I still only had one child. We really wentthrough a lot in my journey to being the mother he needs.

I regretted the times he received the harsh end of my temper. I could never truly forgive myself for the times that I did spank him. In retrospect, all those episodes could have been handled differently.

There are many scientific studies conducted to find out the adverse consequences of spanking your child. I’m not going to deny any of those studies.

However, I am still old-fashioned.

As much as I hate hitting my kids, I’m a strong believer in spare the rod, spoil the child. I think we’ve all heard someone said before, “I was spanked when I was a child and I turned out fine.”

I don’t hold this as a correlation because as I believe, everyone turns out differently no matter the similarities in childhood. But who’s to say that a person couldn’t turn out just as fine if he or she wasn’t spanked as a child.

How do you then stop yourself from hitting your kids? Tips on the next page!

Stopping myself from hitting my kids

I practice several steps in order to stop myself from hitting my kids in a fit of anger. I didn’t get used to these overnight or even a week. However, I find them effective in helping me parent my kids the way I want to.

Educating myself

I don’t deny the scientific studies on the effects of spanking. But personally, I don’t take them as gospel either.

I read as much as I could to understand how violence has negative effects on children. I understand that any form of hitting is an act of violence. However, I also believe how sometimes, physical punishment makes the gravity of the situation more obvious than just reasoning.

Always reason first

I don’t resort to yelling or hitting my kids when they did something wrong the first time. In fact, I often give them several chances because I want to make sure they understand why something is wrong.

As much as I’m angry with them for jumping off the table or climbing up the curtain, we would talk about why what they did was wrong. I would acknowledge their mistakes because I don’t want to invalidate their feelings and reasons for doing something.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Try and try again. It takes an average of three to five times for my kids to be able to explain to me why what they did is wrong. At this point, I take it that they have understood things well enough to know they couldn’t do it again. This method works for me because it also reminds me of how I’ve talked about it before. I just have to be patient until they get it.

Check points

My husband and I made a deal that if either of us start to sound like we’re about to lose it, the other person should call out, “Check!”

This way, we would realize that we’re crossing the line from being reasonable to ready to bite our kids’ heads off. When either of us calls out this word, the other would take a step back to calm down so we don’t end up yelling.

If my husband is not around to do this, I tell my kids to say it if they feel I’m turning into a monster mom. This way, they too would feel involved in trying to resolve an issue between us.

If all else fails

There were times my kids would still do something that was specifically forbidden. They get spanked for these, but not before talking to them.

We don’t associate our decision to spank with anger because we don’t want our kids to think that anger should end in violence. Rather, we tell them how disappointed and frustrated we are.

It’s probably just as harmful to associate disappointment and frustration to spanking them, but we believe that we have paved the way for this not to happen so my husband and I are okay with spanking as a last resort.

I know people have different views when it comes to spanking their children. Some parents vow to never hit their children and use reasoning all the time. There are those who perhaps share my values and principles. I honestly think there is no right or wrong when it comes to disciplining our kids as long as it doesn’t border on abuse.

It takes as much discipline and effort for us parents to educate and know ourselves in order to draw the line as it takes for our kids to learn discipline and manners from us.

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Written by

Jaja Shah-Mohen

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