I feel the need to clarify my post on Ray Rice, because if I don’t, this could come off as a little contradictory. My reasons against the publicity regarding Janay Rice were:
1. Janay was begging for the publicity to stop.
2. Janay was an adult that had the apparent cognition and understanding in forgiving her husband.
3. While I do agree that domestic violence needs to be discussed constantly and exhaustively, I think most “average” individuals will agree that it is wrong. The interworkings of the relationship (i.e. Janay staying) have room for speculation, but the act of dv itself has little.
4. Though there was a wealth of resources distributed with the Ray Rice ramblings, there was no science. I’m quite the inquisitor and I appreciate fact and evidence over dramatic flair.
Spanking, though, is a different side of the coin. Unlike dv, there aren’t right and wrong, at least in the eyes of the majority. Children are less in control. Children need us to protect them. That said, I think this article is great.
The “discussion” on spanking definitely has two well-defined sides. Generally, people are less likely to support the use of objects in punishment anymore (switches, belts), but there are many that agree with it as well. There are even more who advocate for hand-spanking.
Most of the arguments for spanking generally start out something like this: “well, I was spanked and I turned out fine.”
And while you’re sitting there smugly, thinking just that, read here.
First of all, that’s a generalization that isn’t stable. Who are you to judge fine? That’s the problem with abstract terms. Many individuals are 1) in denial of their psychological or mental health issues or 2) accepting of their traits with the argument that they are not mental health issues or 3) are unaware of their mental health issues. Of course, if you were not beaten to a bloody pulp, you might be fine. But you might not.
Spanking has the potential for long-term consequences. And, that in itself should be enough.
“There aren’t two sides. There is a preponderance of fact, and there are people who find it inconvenient to accept those facts,” Belkin wrote in a 2012 column.
Reporting on several studies on the topic for CNN, Sarah Kovac wrote, “The sad irony is that the more you physically punish your kids for their lack of self-control, the less they have. They learn how to be controlled by external forces (parents, teachers, bosses), but when the boss isn’t looking, then what?”
The bottom line: Stacy Drury, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Tulane University, told the New Republic, “physical maltreatment … has negative effects across mental health and physical health. That has been very well established.”
I can’t say I’m perfect in this battle. I promised myself I wouldn’t spank when she was old enough for time out, and just a little diaper bop wouldn’t cause trauma in the mean time. But, it becomes habit. I’ve been very conscious in keeping our disagreements verbal, but in doing so, I find myself raising my voice. A lot. And I’m trying to very extremely cognizant of my behaviors toward her.
1. I don’t ever want her to forget I’m on her side.
2. I don’t want to demonstrate inappropriate behavior. I am her model in dealing with conflict at school and among friends.
3. I want to teach her the golden rule. Yes, that means until she is old enough to grasp it, mommy gets the short end of the stick. But that’s okay. She will learn in time that we treat others with respect.
4. I don’t want her to think it is wrong to be adventurous, opinionated, inquisitive, and outstanding. Yes, I know telling her not to get out of bed for the seventeenth time is not going to stifle her curiosity, but teaching her (slowly but surely) how to follow rules will have a longer lasting impact.
I’ve never been good at patience. But I’m sure as hell gonna try.