Spare the Rod

When does corporal punishment become domestic violence? Spare the rod and spoil the child. Lord knows we have enough spoiled children in the world. I always said with my daughter I would be different I did not believe in corporal punishment. I wanted my child to respect not fear me. For years I was terrified of my mother voice and actions. I watched her tone, pitch, and hand movements as she talked when she was upset. They were a tell-tale sign trouble was up ahead.

I compare domestic violence and corporal punishment based on the premise that the enforcer wants to keep someone in line and demand their respect through physical dominance. Verbally commanding respect often falls on deaf ears. I raise this point because the other day my child was acting up and it upset me. I told her no and she kept pushing the envelope she would not back down so I laid the smack down. A few hours later I felt awful like did I really need to lay hands on her to get my message across or could I have just sent her in timeout. Her tremble scared me more than her. Was I becoming a monster? Was I striking in anger as my mother and others before me said never to do?

So many questions arose from that isolated spanking. Did she feel the way I felt when my ex jumped on me and had his hands firmly clasped around my neck forcing me fear to cloak me from his rage? Had he calmed down would he have acted out so maliciously? My mother applauded my reaction yet I felt it was a bit rash and could have been handled differently. Can’t tell her that she will think I am a new age mom who believes in allowing a child to run free and do as they wish. Granted I due want to extend certain freedoms to my daughter yet I also want to instill certain disciplines and remind her for every action there is a consequence whether good or bad.

Corporal punishment confuses a child they are taught not to use their hands to get their point across yet we use ours when talking to them seems to prove futile. It is that old saying “Do as I say, not as I do.” Makes one wonder whatever happened to lead by example. In my eyes corporal punishment is an innate form of discipline for many of us. Domestic violence is an egregious act that should never take the stage. Yet both conjure up fear and resentment against the enforcer. We do not understand that we were wrong we just understand we pissed you off. 

Through my words one can infer I harbor a lot of guilt within the belief of corporal punishment. Most of us do as we were taught and don’t question it. Never remembering how we felt and the fear that consumed us during those painful moments. How much fear our parents inflicted upon us? We just knew many before us endured it so we can do the same. Slaves felt worse when the master would lash them but still strong they stood. 

I guess I am centering on how beating breaks you down mentally long after the physical pain subsides. Why do you beat your child? Is it to correct their behavior or something you do at whim to satiate a temporary fix? They pissed you off and now they must pay. Share your thoughts below.


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