Monday, December 3, 2012

Spare the Child

In light of an image that's been circulating on facebook promoting spanking, I can't help but write a post on the subject. So, if you're looking for lighthearted news of Inara's latest and greatest, you might want to wait for the next post. 

The picture I mentioned suggests that a lack of spanking leads kids to become teenage delinquents. The reasoning behind this blows my mind; how does using violence on your children teach them not to use violence? Ok, I get that there is a difference between punching your kid in the throat and spanking, but a parent who punishes their child by using violence should not be surprised when the child uses violence in his or her daily interactions with others. Children who are spanked are not taught to use words to solve conflict and have to resort to the only method they know. 

I have also heard proponents of spanking say that this form of punishment should never be carried out in anger. This is probably a good idea, seeing that kids could get seriously hurt otherwise, but somehow I find it even more disturbing that a parent would in complete calm decide to start spanking. 

I was never spanked and I would never spank Inara. There are several reasons for this; I want our family to solve our problems by talking about them, I want her to know that nobody ever has the right to be violent (physically and emotionally) towards her, I feel that it's our obligation to collectively steer our children away from violence, and lastly, I could never freaking bring myself to hurt her. I feel that spanking would be a betrayal of trust between us and discourage us from forming the sort of relationship that I hope we will have. 

As a side note commenting on that particular image I've been mentioning, spanking has been banned in Sweden for over 30 years and in 2010 there were 12996 intentional homicides in the U.S. per 100 000 people, while that number was 91 per 100 000 people in Sweden the same year (numbers according to the U.N.). I realize this is highly unscientific and doesn't provide any evidence that spanking leads to homicides (the issues facing the U.S. are much more complex), but still sort of interesting.

Please feel free to offer up your thought on the subject, I'm always curious to hear other people's views on these things. 


  1. I don't know much about spanking other than I never felt it was very effective other than just scaring the kids into obeying. I'm not sure Jalee was ever spanked. BUT that Inara is just too stinking cute!

    1. Yeah, that's a good point. Spanking scares them, but doesn't explain anything to them. Thank you, I can only agree :).

  2. Jag håller med dig till 100%. Det känns verkligen som om man förråder sitt barn med ett sådant agerande och att göra henne illa finns inte på kartan. Kommunikation är verkligen A och O även i vår familj.
    I familjen jag jobbade som au pair var pappan svensk och mamman amerikan. Mamman berättade att hon hade daskat till äldsta sonen vid fem tillfällen (han var då fyra år) men att hon inte tyckte om det och uppmuntrade inte mig till att göra det om det inte var ABSOLUT nödvändigt.
    Jag kunde inte komma på någon situation när det skulle vara nödvändigt men tog honom jättehårt i armen vid ett tillfälle då han puttade kundvagnen med hans två yngre systrar rakt ut på en parkeringsplats när jag lastade in matvaror i bilen. Blev ju skiträdd att något allvarligt kunde ha hänt (nu gjorde det inte det, men ändå). Mådde riktigt dåligt efter det (fast det blev inga märken, men bara vetskapen om att jag hade gjort det...). Talade om det för föräldrarna men de blev bara upprörda över sonens agerande och hade ett långt samtal med honom den kvällen om hur man uppför sig på en parkeringsplats.

    Hur som helst. Att göra ett barn illa finns inte i min värld.

    Min sambo skaffade jobb efter att ha bott i Sverige i nästan fyra månader och har fortsatt att jobba sedan dess (dec 2009) vilket har gjort att han inte kunnat gå några vettiga kurser i svenska (då det var väntetid i tre månader när han kom) så hans språkkunskaper är fortfarande begränsade vilket gör att han inte kan söka de jobb han skulle vilja ha. Annars tycker han väl att det mesta är sig ganska likt med några få undantag.

    Hur har det gått för Andrew?

  3. agree 1000%! Whenever I hear someone trying to justify spanking all I can do is shake my head. It's not even worth trying to discuss an opposite viewpoint because they are so entrenched in backwards logic that they can't even see how ridiculous what they say is.

    1. Anna, I'm so glad to hear that you're on the same page and that your little darlings aren't being spanked. It's definitely very difficult to argue this with those who have already made up their mind. I still felt that I wanted to take the opportunity to offer up my two cents. Luckily, it does seem that more and more parents are moving away from it.