Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Hope you're all surviving your week. I don't know if I'm going to make it through mine. Having all three kids home is a true test of a mother's will not to commit violence against her children.

It's the fighting that's making me crazy. One of the boys starts arguing with the other. The screaming starts. Then the toddler gets involved just because she can. Someone hits someone else. The screaming gets louder. The scratching/biting/pinching comes into play (this is usually from the toddler as well, she's learning early to fight dirty).

Now everyone is screaming for me to do something, so I tell them they are all getting a spanking.

A split-second of stunned silence greets me before the next wave of shouting starts.

"That's not fair."

"He started it."

"She bit me/hit me/scratched me/pinched me." Pick any combination of the four.

"Spank him, not me. It was his fault."

Wah, wah, wah.

To quote Bill Cosby, "I don't care who started it. I'm a parent. I don't care about justice, I just want QUIET!"

So I get them all distracted with a TV show, or a game, or a toy, or a book. Whatever it takes to bring peace back into the equation. And it usually works for 10-15 minutes, until the next fight erupts and we start the cycle all over again.

This has been the last two days. We are headed to Mom's house tomorrow, and I hope the crazy will be somewhat diminished by Grandma's calming, soothing presence. It seemed to work while they were at Mimi's house over the weekend. So maybe it will work with Grandma, too.

Hope the rest of your week goes well.


1 comment:

Phoenix said...

People used to think it was necessary to "spank" adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is "spanked", but only if over the age of 18.

For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the genitals and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be sexually abusive, but I won't list them all here. One can use the resources I've posted if they want to learn more.

Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak,

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson,

by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at

Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
American Psychological Association,
Center For Effective Discipline,
Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.