This post was written for inclusion in the Second Annual Spank Out Day Carnival hosted by Zoie at TouchstoneZ. Spank Out Day was created by The Center for Effective Discipline to give attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior. All parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to refrain from hitting children on April 30th each year, and to seek alternative methods of discipline through programs available in community agencies, churches and schools.
Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
There are a lot of choices in life, and when you're an adult you have both the privilege and burden of making all of life's decisions for yourself. While you're still a child, though, there are a lot of things that get decided for you. I know from experience how hard it can be to not have as many rights as other people, which is why your Papa and I do our best to give you as much freedom, choice, and control as is practical and safe in any given moment.
|You get to choose how to use your hands, |
just as Papa and I choose how to use ours.
Papa and I choose to teach you by example: with compassion, empathy, understanding, and most of all, with unconditional love. That means we love you all the time, no matter what.
Some parents decide that the best way to teach their children when they display undesirable behaviors is to spank them. Papa and I both were spanked by our parents when we were children. We have chosen not to spank you.
Spanking is not a very effective form of discipline, but even if it was, Papa and I still wouldn't do it. We wouldn't do it because we believe that hitting is wrong. We believe that violence begets violence, and it's a choice each of us has to make: to perpetuate the cycle or to end it. Hear this, Daniel: it's not alright for anyone to cause you physical pain without your consent—especially not people who love you.
Your body is your own to do with what you want. You get to decide when and how people touch you. You get to say "yes" or "no" to any physical contact, and you can expect others to respect your request. You also get to choose how you will use your body to touch others.
Above all other things, I want to teach you love. I want to show you love in every moment, even—no, especially—in the difficult ones. Those are the times when I'll be there for you most intensely, most steadfastly. I hope that through using my body to show you love (and not pain) you will know best how to use your body to show love and respect for others.
It's your choice, Daniel: how you use your body. I hope you'll choose gentleness, kindness, connection, and respect. I hope you'll choose love.
On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the handy #SpankOutCar hashtag. You can also subscribe to the Spank Out Day Carnival Twitter List and Spank Out Day Carnival Participant Feed.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- What Spanking Taught Me Meg at MommyStoleTheSugar explains the spankee's perspective and how it has affected her disciplining choices as a parent.
- A Memory of Spanking Wolfmother at Fabulous Mama Chronicles explores her own upbringing and how it has affected her and why she is changing the way she relates to her children.
- Redirecting the Impulse to Spank Amy W. shares at Natural Parents Network about her experience redirecting the impulse to spank, and encourages all parents to respond with sensitivity and redirect anger before it becomes harmful.
- Perspective is Everything Patti at Canadian Unschooler learns to heal from the trauma caused by the childhood death of her sister, and gains a deeper understanding of her own mother's love for her as a child.
- Remembering and Recharging Emily at The Other Baby Blog shares how she refocuses her mindset during high-stress times.
- Does spanking work? Megan at TheBehavioralChild lists the five reasons why spanking doesn't work.
- Love is All There Is: A Spank Out Day Post Tree at Mom Grooves shares her thoughts about needing to find a way to discipline her 5 year old that could give her daughter the boundaries she is craving while still treating her with only love and respect.
- Discipline isn't SOmething You Do; Discipline is SOmething You Have Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children questions how parents can expect their children to show self-control if they, themselves, do not exhibit self-discipline.
- No Spanking, No Yelling, No Time Outs....What's Left? Sheila at A Living Family shares that though spanked as a child herself, she has made efforts towards an alternative approach to setting limits.
- Forgiveness is possible; loving others in a way that works for us Kelly Hogaboom finds that if we are to raise our children in a humane fashion, we must first recognize our own humanity.
- Dear Daniel, (On Discipline and Love) Amy at Anktangle writes a letter to her son about the many choices we have in life: how we treat people, how we parent, and how we use our bodies in the process.
- Spanking: A Day to Consider Our Muddy Boots recognizes that some see a difference between abuse and spanking, and maybe today is a day that we can consider some other perspectives and utilize available resources to make different choices.
- Mutual Respect Sithyogini at Very Nearly Hippy learns how mutual respect between parents and children leads to peaceful parenting.
- What Is the Difference Between Spanking and Abuse? You know what is difficult? Trying to explain the difference between spanking and abuse to a child. Dionna at Code Name: Mama can understand the confusion.
- I Hit My Kids and Now Begins The Real Work To Heal The Honesty Conspiracy hosts this powerful, anonymous story about how it's never too late to start on a different approach to spanking.
- How To Talk To Parents About Gentle Alternatives To Spanking Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares some useful ways to discuss the often divisive issue of spanking.
- Spank Out Day: 3 Untruths and 11 Alternatives to Spanking MudpieMama at Positive Parenting Connection breaks down 3 of the biggest myths about spanking and shares a list of effective gentler discipline alternatives.