Friday, January 7, 2011

Spare The Rod.

*Disclaimer: This post is in regards to MY beliefs on spanking and interacting with children. I am well aware that I am not a parent and have no plans of being one in the near future. However, I cannot be bothered with the people who love to say, "You can't talk about parenting issues if you don't have kids." I talk about whatever I want. If you don't like it, you've been warned. :)

While blog-cruising the other night, I came across a World Star Hip-Hop video of an uncle who had apparently caught his teenage nephew "faking his gangsta" on Facebook. The uncle was obviously pissed, as he explained to viewers that their family isn't about that "gangsta" shit, and proceeded to pull out a belt and whip his nephew several times for his indiscretion. You can check the video out here.

I went on to read through the comment section as I normally do, and reactions to the video ranged from kudos to the uncle for his actions, to amusement at how completely humiliated the young boy must have been. I was not amused by the video at all. To be honest, I found it to be contradictory that this man was chastising his nephew for pretending to be "gangsta," and chose to teach him a lesson by spewing profanity and using violence. In my opinion, that seems pretty fucking gangsta.

Of course, I felt the need to speak my piece on the video. I mentioned that I had been spanked just a few times as a child, but my parents decided to stop spanking me and my two younger siblings. I stated that I have no plans to spank when/if I have any children, and that there are alternative methods to discipline children.

I got an immediate rebuttal from another poster whose argument is that there are just some bad-ass kids out in the world that "need" to be spanked. She mentioned that she was a bad kid, and had come in contact with other bad kids in her lifetime who would have benefited from a beating or several. She then told me that I was condemning other people's beliefs, and went on to say that it was "asinine" to say that no children should be spanked.

I countered by using myself and my siblings as an example again. My sister and I have always had fairly laid-back personalities and never required much supervision, but my brother was one of those "bad" kids that most people think "needed" to be spanked. He got into everything imaginable, and I'm pretty sure he drove our parents up the wall when we were younger. However, my mother still found different ways to discipline him when he acted out. She found different ways to discipline ALL of us when we acted out. I remember being in the 2nd grade and giving her attitude about whatever it is that 2nd graders get attitudes about. At the time, I was obsessed with reading Goosebumps and The Babysitters Club novels. Because of my attitude, my mother decided to take away my books. In a desperate attempt to negotiate with her, I requested a spanking rather than being stripped of my favorite reading materials. That was a no-go, and the books were taken until I got my act together.

As I got older, the punishment for misbehavior intensified. And I'm not talking about the bullshit punishment that a lot of kids get nowadays, where they sit on the couch for about an hour mean-mugging everyone until Mom and Dad get annoyed and send them off to play. I'm talking about 24-hour lockdown, where I would do nothing but sit in a room staring at the walls. There was no TV, games, music, Internet, books, NOTHING. If I mouthed off about said punishment, that got me an additional day tagged onto my sentence. Yes, that's what it felt like. A prison sentence. Once again, I would have preferred a swift slap to the face or a couple belt whippings, but those were not options in my house.

There ARE other ways to discipline children; you just have to be creative about it. I think most people choose to resort to the "tried and true" method of spanking because it's simple. Little Kayla takes a toy from her younger brother, he starts crying, you pop her on the butt a few times, and she sits in a corner whimpering for the next half hour. But what is that teaching her? It's teaching her that any time someone does something you don't like, you hit them. And we wonder why there is such an issue with domestic violence, and violence in general, in the community--especially in the African-American community. Most people's opinions seem to lie on extreme sides of the spectrum: you either spank your kids, or you let them do as they please with no repercussions. I don't believe in either one. Too many times I've seen parents who spank their kids, then send them off to play video games, hang out with their friends, and get on their cell phones. It has gotten to the point where spanking is simply a formality; kids know the drill, so they take that whooping, then go about their business. Spanking is a quick fix that is all but forgotten once the sting of the belt fades.

I could say even more, but I'll stop there. Let the blog attacks begin.


Poppy said...


Just kidding, I agree with you 500%I dont think spankings work at all. My parents spank my niece ALL DAY LONG & she still acts up. If anything it's punishment for the adult because when you hit the kid you have to listen to them cry.

I prefer alternative methods like taking things away & this may seem crazy but TALKING to your kid about what they did wrong. I know if you praise kids for what they do right & talk to them, they are less likey to misbehave.

Good post!

UglyCleanBroke87 said...

LOL that was a good one. I was about to get mad as hell, like, "Who is coming on this blog starting shit?!" Lmao

I agree with you though, spanking seems to be more taxing for parents than it is for the kids. And some kids become immune to spanking eventually.

Anonymous said...

You know what? This is two thousand and muthaf*cking eleven. We need to stop all this spanking nonsense. It doesn't work. There are much more constructive ways of dealing with your kids.

Kam said...

umm...maybe it's being black and British, but I don't see that much wrong in spanking your kids, as long as it's used appropriately. Personally the idea of chasing a child round my own house to 'beat' them seems laughable, but I think it depends on the nature of their disobedience. If I gave my parents lip when I was young I'd get a smack, but I didn't do it again, mostly because I had the good foundations installed that I knew what I was doing was wrong. I think spanking should be the last resort, when it appears a child has lost their mind. I think it's abandoning some of the ways of the past that have invited the levels of anarchy we now see in the 21st century...

Reggie said...

I don't agree with you.

I have two children and I disciplined both of them in some of the ways that you described your family discipling you and your siblings and a few other ways too. I didn't want to spank my children, but I certainly did. I punished them other ways as well, but I don't regret tagging their asses with my belt.

When I saw the video on that trifling website, I must admit that I did initially laugh. I thought that the whole situation was both sad and ridiculous.

I'm happy to know that although his uncle was ghetto as hell, at least he did show that young man some love. Would I have done that.....probably not, but I understand why he did.

By the way, whether I agree with you or not this was a rather nice post.