“It Teaches Them to Listen”
I’m gonna change my approach a little here, start making these things short and sweet.
So this first one of those will be on this idea here: that a pat on the bum reinforces what we’re asking or telling a kid to do, that a smack is supposed to improve a child’s hearing. So a couple of thoughts:
Will anyone who’s done it say that it worked, that their kid learned to listen after the first pat, maybe the second, or the tenth? (Consider that if we only did it a few times, we probably wouldn’t feel we have to justify it, because rationalizations are for ongoing situations more than one-off mistakes. If I patted my kid’s bum once or twice, I might be more willing to say it was a mistake, not have to justify it.)
It teaches the exact opposite. Put yourself in the child’s place. If Mom is going to go upside of your head or your backside when she really means it – then why would a kid ever listen? Clearly, words are meaningless, powerless things, when Mom or Dad are serious, they’ll use more than words. So that becomes the measure of when we have to listen to our caregivers: words are just noise. When we are actually supposed to listen, they’ll make us feel it.
Spankings teach that talk is cheap. If you want communication, don’t destroy it with violence, no matter how mild.
And when you meet someone who doesn’t hear you when you talk and won’t listen until you stand up and get physical? That’s not “life,” and it’s not “human nature.” That’s that pat on the bum.
July 18, 2015