Spanking: Discipline versus Punishment

I’m from Mississippi where you can still give the school permission to paddle your kids and teachers have been known to brandish yardsticks at students not following protocol. Old people will still smack random kids in the mouth for getting smart; I have seen more than one Wal-Mart temper tantrum turn into a good ole fashioned butt whipping. I myself am the product of many, well deserved whoopings with “switches” (if you ain’t spent no time down south, ask somebody bout that braided switch) and the occasional karate chop to the neck. And, as a well educated, moderately successful productive citizen of the U.S. of A., I take high offense to all of these so called “studies” about the ill effects of spanking kids. I say it here, I say it without reservation, and I say it for any and everybody who feels the same way but is afraid to speak up: I WHOOP KIDS. Why, you ask? Because it WORKS—but only when you use it appropriately.

See, the problem is with y’all—you no sense having, impatience, uninvolved parents are out there hitting kids because YOU ARE SORRY EXCUSES FOR  PARENTS. Yeah, I said that. Your lazy, ineffective parenting makes the rest of us engaged, hardworking parents look bad.

See, your perception and understanding are jacked up. You don’t know the difference between this, that, or the other. So I want to HELP you understand spanking and its place in this world so that you will see how your jacked up parenting has all these psychologists, psychiatrists and scientists up in arms on some bull. Catch a revelation:

Discipline is all about corrective instruction used to alter old behaviors and/or create new ones by telling  and modeling said new behavior.

Punishment, on the other hand, is the application of a negative consequence in response to a negative action in an effort to deter or stop said behavior by making the actual punishment greater than the perceived reward.

Did you get that?

When you discipline a child, you are correcting their behavior and/or teaching new, appropriate behavior in its place. You know—this is how you should act. When you punish them, you are saying to them: you acted this way and the consequence is thus and such.

Do you understand that? This is KEY to your next revelation, which is this:

So for those of you who are slow to catch on, let’s review. Discipline is corrective instruction used to alter old behaviors and/or create new ones. Got it? Good. Punishment is the response to an inappropriate behavior. Still with me?

Spanking falls into the category of “hitting a child to stop a behavior”-which is a punish. You have used physical force to immediately stop a child from doing something he or she desires to do.  This works particularly well for small children who cannot truly  be reasoned with.

Now when you hit a child, the behavior may stop—but if you don’t also show Susie what she should do instead, then the behavior will return at some point.  Punishments only work as stop gap measures until you can apply discipline. Which leads to revelation 3.

Revelation 3: SPANKING IS ALWAYS The LAST RESORT.                                             The best way to keep a child from engaging in negative behaviors is to teach him positive ones.   Spanking should NEVER be your go-to punishment and it should not be your primary weapon in the arsenal of discipline.  Spanking is not a teaching method. Teaching involves instructions as well as well as modeling.

And then, let’s be honest.  Many of the behaviors kids engage in are not that bad–and certainly not bad enough to spank them.  Most of the time, parents spank out of anger, frustration, and embarrassment–not out of a true attempt to deter a behavior.

So to all the parents out there who use spanking as discipline: STOP! Understand the difference between the two and learn new ways of handling discipline in your home. You will find that you won’t even spank kids that much if at all.

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