My last post got me thinking about the whole punishment thing, especially now I see my own children trying to bring up theirs.
First, I'll come clean. I did smack mine, when I felt they deserved it. I don't necessarily think this is ideal, but it worked. When mother and child have reached a certain stage, sometimes a smack breaks the tension, tells the child exactly where they stand, and the whole thing is over. I'm not talking beating about the head, or adminstering the belt. Just a smack on the bottom. I would never, ever smack anyone else'se child, because I think that a smack is the other side of the warm, affectionate physical relationship a parent has with his/her children. After all, some animals (the cat family, for example) smack their offsping!
Those who are anti-smacking say that violence breeds violence, but I simply don't agree. My children are four of the nicest, kindest, least violent people I know. They are my best friends, and I hope I am theirs. But they were smacked. Not often, but occasionally. I did try the "no sweets" thing (sweets day was Friday), but by the time Friday came, everyone had forgotten what the punishment was for. As for the naughty step, that hadn't been invented, and my youngest would never have stayed there. I didn't have the time that Supernanny (well-rested after a good night's sleep) has for putting a child in his "time out" place 22 times until he stays there, or making colourful graphs and charts. I had a job, and besides the children, a busy husband and an elderly father to look after.
I admire people who manage to discpline thier kids without smacking. That's great. But I think smacking, carried out in extremis, is OK, and I don't regret doing it. What do you think?