New Mama Musings

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pick on Someone Your Own Size

I recently read a supposedly humorous essay on spanking by a woman who writes a column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In it she explains that she spanked her one-year old for playing with the Christmas tree lights.

What she does not explain is why on earth she thought it was reasonable to expect a toddler to not play with the Christmas tree lights.

At best, that's lazy parenting; at worst, it's abuse. In my estimation it's both.

Why is it against the law to hit your dog, your elderly mother or your girlfriend, but not your child (sure, there are laws against child abuse, but society seems to condone hitting a child up to a certain point)? Is it because we assign the behavior cutesy terms like "a swat on the butt" or "a tap on the behind"?

If every parent who spanked their child instead had to say, "I physically assaulted someone one-fourth my size," well, maybe there would be a lot less of it.

I remember being spanked as a child and the way it made me feel humiliated, alone and powerless.

We owe our children guidance, understanding, patience and love. Spanking offers none of these. And joking about it doesn't let you off the hook.


  • Oh my God, that was a disgusting article. Did you write to her? I cannot believe what people think is okay. I'm with you completely on this one. MY Mom rarely spanked me, but when she did, it was as you said, humiliating and scary and I felt so afraid and lonely. Because the person who was supposed to provide me with comfort was hurting me, and I never understood why.

    I want to tell that woman how disgusting her article is and how appalling it is that she would hurt a defenseless baby. I just don't know how to do it in a constructive way. Everything that would come out of me is angry.

    By Anonymous chasmyn, at 10:42 PM  

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