Spankings? Right or Wrong?

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything; this is not because I lack things to say, but because I have failed at making time to say them. This post will be sort of all over the place; I apologize in advance for that.
Over the past few months things have been forever changing in my life. Two big events took place over the past few months, my daughters 1st birthday and my sudden change in Majors/career path. A lot of people do not understand my emotions for having to change my major; I have been dead set on what I wanted to do since I was in 10th grade & then next thing you know I had to reevaluate my choices. (That story is for another day.)
I am in a class called Sociology – Marriage and Family; the course is fairly interesting and we seem to always have engaging discussions of very different topics. Recently one of the discussions was over spankings. I realize this is a very controversial issue. The discussion left me questioning my decisions in how I disciplining my daughter. Although I may be judged I would like to share where I have stood on this situation for a while. (Please keep in mind, as I research and study more about human behavior I am a little perplexed with my current decisions!)
My daughter is only 1; I believe this is an age way too young for a spanking, which I read is defined as a swat on the bottom with an open hand. That is not generally how I would define a spanking. My definition was created from my childhood experiences. If Kenzy is to misbehave she is generally told “No No,” “stop,” or anything along those lines. I try to explain to her why she should stop or why she can’t mess with something in the best way I know how to a 1 year old! However there have been times I would pop her hand if her misbehavior was constant or she could potentially hurt herself. If I was to pop her hand, it’s just hard enough to get her attention and then I tell her why she was popped. (Not that she really listens.) I understand there are some people that may believe I am ruining my child because of my methods to discipline.
I would really love the opinion of other parents and grandparents on spankings. Are we expressing that we love our children less? Are we confusing them by using a physical form of punishment? Is punishment not the object when I child misbehaves constantly? Should we be focusing on reinforcement, reinforcing the good behavior of the misbehaved behavior? Are parents not reinforcing good behavior with the use of punishment or spankings?
Sure there are all types of studies provided from psychologist and other researchers regarding this matter, but I would like the opinions & ‘what worked best for you’ stories. I understand this is a touchy subject for most, but being open and honest helps everyone evolve

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