(This post was inspired by Catherine @ Her Bad Mother and all of the rumors floating around about Kate Gosselin's "child abuse".
I grew up in the south in a family that didn't mind to spank. I remember running laps around the dining room table trying to escape the grasp of my mother. I really did. I remember the spankings, and I remember that most of them were only enough to let me know that I had been spanked. I don't remember any really hard spanking, and none of them stick out in my head as being any worse than the others.
Spanking was a part of my childhood. If I didn't follow the rules, and if I didn't mind my mother and grandparents (mostly grandfather) then I got a few swift taps on the hiney. I don't see anything wrong with it. I'm not talking about all out beating your children folks, so let's not take this the wrong way. I'm talking about spanking. It has been around for many many generations, and probably for longer than history can record. It is a way of disciplining children. It works.
No, you don't smack them in the face. (I know how badly you want to sometimes..)
You don't beat them until they are black and blue.
When I say spanking I mean a couple swift taps to the buttocks or upper thigh. Does this sound cruel to you? Oh well, I guess that just means we're different, and that's okay, too.
I have seen some parents who all but beat their child(ren) in public. This doesn't seem very effective to me, and I do think that in cases such as this that the proper authorities should be alerted.
It is more effective for me to use the "If you don't straighten up, then you're getting a spanking when we get home" technique. This usually always brings out proper behavior, and there have been very few times when I've had to follow up on this statement.
I will go ahead and tell you that my 4 year old has been spanked maybe 3 times in his life, and all three of those times it has been by me. I have tried other methods. I have tried time outs, and discussions, and taking away privileges, but nothing is as efficient as a good old fashioned spanking. (Keep in mind, nothing too harsh..)
At the age of four he has started behaving worse than ever, which leaves me thinking that maybe the spanking should have started a little bit sooner.
I do know that our parenting styles reflect alot of how we were parented, and all of that varies tremendously from family to family. Just because one family disciplines by spanking and one disciplines by time outs, that doesn't mean that the former is abusive. There is a line that has to be crossed before it is considered abuse in my book.
As parents we are all different, but I think we could at least agree to disagree.