I wasn't always a non-spanking parent. After all, if it was good enough for me it should be good enough for my kids, right? Hmm, maybe not. For us, there were a number of problems. Number one, I just plain never felt good about it. It never felt right to me. It went against everything intuitive in me that told me to protect my kids. Number two, it felt lazy to me. When I spanked it was because it was the easy way to make my point. I sacrificed creativity and truly teachable moments because it was just plain faster to hit them and be done with it. Number three, I had one child who took spanking very hard and internalized it deeply. It harmed our relationship every time. And I had another child who only became more difficult when I spanked her. It harmed that relationship too, as we became adversaries.
Finally, after a series of events, I began looking to the bible on my own for how God "parents" us. I came to the conclusion that God lets us take responsiblity for our actions and suffer the consequences, both positive and negative, for our actions here on earth. But He doesn't punish us. In fact, He has taken our punishment on Himself. I wanted to show my children consequences, but also the grace and mercy that we are shown. In my house that takes many different forms. My parenting "toolbox" has lot's of tools in it. My favorite set of tools has been 1-2-3 Magic which I've found a very common sense method of discipline. And, believe me, we do discipline. I'd lose my everlivin' mind without discipline!
I have found unexpected benefits of not spanking. I can't imagine how I might have hurt Ciaran had I spanked him, not realizing that he wasn't ignoring me because he was disobedient, but because he has Autism. Instead I took the time to keep working with him and teaching him, and that created a strong bond between us that has gone a long way in helping him learn. He has no reason not to feel safe with those who care for and teach him.
Good parenting for me requires a great deal of trust in God to make up for my shortcomings, and a lot of prayer and reason, too. I am not by nature a patient woman. And to continue to set limits and boundaries consistently has forced me to learn lessons I never would have learned otherwise. Yeah, I think these two days go hand in hand pretty well.
1 Corinthians 4:21