Hi friends! Here we are – mid-January. Christmas is over. New Year’s celebrations and New Year, New Me proclamations have come and gone. Next up? Lent! Easter! The season of “giving up,” making amends, and another chance to start again.
The staples of Lenten sacrifice.
How about something different? Something hopeful? Something positive?
What if, this year, for this season, we gave up spanking? Not forever, just for forty days. A cleanse. A fast, if you will, just to test the waters and see where a non-spanking lifestyle could take us.
I bet lots of us celebrate (and by celebrate, I mean endure) the season of Lent. A time in our journey toward Easter or spring to give up French fries, cursing, social media, or any number of things that interfere with a healthy life. Whether we are talking about being physically, spiritually, or mentally healthy, the things we give up for Lent are intended to make us more receptive, more open, and more inspired.
Too long, you say? Well then, how about a week? Can you do a week? One week in which you do not spank? One day? One hour? Can you give up spanking for any period of time to see if it makes a difference?
What if I told you that spanking our children puts them at greater risk for aggressive behaviors, delinquency, depression, feelings of alienation, future violent tendencies, and lower professional and economic achievement than their non-spanked peers?
Have we considered the ACE scores of our kids and the impact spanking has on said scores and future life implications?
When we spank our children, it might work in the short term, but it absolutely does not work in the long term and actually puts our children at risk for future problems including a host of psychological, physical, and societal issues.
Spanking actually sets our children up for a perpetual loop of bad behavior. Corporal punishment instills fear rather than understanding. Most of us will stop doing something if we are hit for doing it. That doesn’t mean we understand why we shouldn’t do it.
Spanking sets a bad example, teaching children that violence is a solution to problems and that love and violence are inextricably connected. Is that really what we are trying to teach them?
What if you could, for a time limit of your choosing – a day, a week, a month, take a step back? Take a deep breath? Listen and connect? Put some space between your child’s action and your reaction? Just for one day? One week? One Lenten season?
What if you could channel that negative energy into something better? Something positive? What if you could approach each opportunity for discipline for just one day with calm, peaceful tactics? Would you?
Give it a try. Give up spanking for one month, one week, one day, one hour if that’s what suits you, and see where it could take us. The possibilities just might astound you. And maybe, just maybe, you will discover a path to peaceful parenting and a positive change in your little world and the world around you in the process. Peace.
Editor, Ask Lala