White people, new age black people, scientists, journalists, and otherwise no parenting folks in general are always jumping up talking about it’s bad to spank your kids. Let me tell you something: some of you wouldn’t even be alive if your mom, dad, pawpaw or gran didn’t smack the dog mess out of you from time to time. You know why? Because kids DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING.
Yea, I said it. Kids are built that way specifically so that you can raise them up the way that your culture dictates. I mean, it’s the ultimate tabula rasa…you know, train up a child, and all that. Your job as a parent is to make sure that they get the appropriate information necessary to navigate whatever situation they find themselves in—from the corner to the corner office.
But your kid is not a computer. You can’t download all that info at one time—hell, you can’t even REMEMBER all that at one time to do it. So in the meantime, while you are allegedly educating them along the way (notice that allegedly, I’ma come back to that SOME OTHER time) sometimes situations arise that require an immediate response rather than an teachable moment. THIS is where spanking comes in—this is when you need to stop or deter a behavior in a child that you can’t talk them out of.
Case in point: When my oldest daughter was almost 3 years old and her sister was a baby, we went to the park across the street. After a full on, nonstop 2 hours the time came for us to go home for dinner. My eldest daughter had a fit. As I strapped her sister into the stroller, that little heifer ran off—literally walked off with an attitude the sized of Texas because we had to go home. She ignored me as I called her to come back, stalking off like a grown woman towards our house. I was frantic; I could not leave the baby sitting there, but I had to stop her too. Y’all know them expensive strollers are hard to work, right? I was literally fumbling with it, while all the while yelling at Haleigh to come back.
And then she got really close to the street. I was running, baby half strapped in.
And then she stepped off the curb. Baby was left half strapped into her seat crying.
I snatched Haleigh’s behind back so hard I thought I had torn her shirt. I then proceeded to spank her little behind. Because did I mention that cars were coming?
She never ran into the street like that again. See how that works? I spanked her and she never ran out into the street again like that again. Now, did she understand WHY she wasn’t supposed to do it? No! Even in explaining it to her, she was only like 30 months old (or something like that). No 2-almost-3-year-old can internalize the danger of walking out into the street where cars are moving. And as intelligent as my baby was (and still is—she was reading books THEN with no help from me), she did not understand that danger.
But she very clearly understood that butt whooping: walk off from me again—step off the curb again and I will light your little butt up. And that alone kept her from hurt, harm, and danger until she was old enough to internalize death and injury by car, the rules of crossing the street, and the importance of responding to her name when called.
So, for those of you out there scared to whoop your kids: don’t be! Use the force—just don’t abuse it (another post coming soon). It can mean the difference between a beautifully well behaved (if spoiled) child and a dead one.