When my oldest son was little I was married to different man.
Before we married he was kind and spiritual.
It wasn’t long after our son was born though, that my husband’s personality took a turn for the worse.
He started yelling a lot.
Then he began punching the walls and throwing things.
He was tough on our son.
He expected too much out of a two year old.
Even though my husband was abused as a child, he still thought our son should be spanked.
One day, my husband decided that we should go to counseling to help us sort out our differences and I agreed.
(The counselor agreed with me on the subject of spanking, by the way.)
When my husband came home from a private counseling session one day and and told me he had been punching pillows all day, pretending they were me, I decided I was not going to stick around and wait for him to really start punching me or worse, start punching our children.
(I was pregnant with our second son by this time.)
So, one morning I pretended I was dropping my son off at daycare, but instead I took him to work with me and my co-workers helped us disappear!
Shortly after my son and I made our getaway, I found out that my husband had died in a freak accident.
Now alone with my two sons I continued raising them without spankings.
Tragically however, that all changed when I became a Christian.
Despite my earlier near brush with domestic abuse, I caved in to the peer pressure of my new more knowledgeable Christian friends who convinced me that spanking was the right and good Christian way to discipline children.
I never did feel right or good when I spanked my boys, yet I continued to use spanking, shaming, and punishment as my primary forms of discipline for several years.
To be honest, when I look back, I realize that all the controlling, micro-managing, disrespecting, shaming, negativity and pain which I inflicted upon my kids did nothing but cause them to fear me and fear the spanks and punishments.
As a result, all they learned was to lie if they thought they’d get a spanking or be punished.
I had forced them to become sneaky and deceptive in order to avoid punishments.
Thanks goodness, somewhere along the line I returned to my senses.
When I remarried and had more children, I renewed my previous conviction that spanking, shaming, and punishing was a contradiction to loving and protecting them
I became conscious of the wrongness of physically and emotionally hurting the very same children that I professed to love more than anything.
I acknowledged that I never would have treated anyone else as hurtfully and disrespectfully as the way I had treated my older children.
I stopped spanking my children and began exploring and studying peaceful, positive, and respectful parenting alternatives.
The children whom I have treated respectfully, trusted and not spanked have never been disrespectful, rebellious, untrustworthy, sneaky, or felt forced to lie to avoid a punishment!
Thankfully my older children have forgiven me my mistakes.
Despite their early experiences with being spanked they have grown up into wonderful, socially conscious gentle, caring, and peaceful adults!
I have learned that we should not just blindly follow along with what we are told is gospel truth by others.
It is not anti-Christian, un-biblical, or wrong to choose peaceful, gentle, and positive parenting methods.
I like what Positive Parenting: Peace Begins at Home has to say about positive parenting.
Positive parenting is based on love, respect, compassion, empathy, kindness, and gentleness.
-All children have the right to be free from all forms of violence.
-All feelings are accepted as part of our emotional beings.
-Children need loving guidance, not punishment.
-Limits should be set and enforced with empathy and kindness.
-We do not use fear-based tactics, such as punishment and coercion, but rather teach our children through our example, guidance, relationship, play, and love.
-Parents and children should have a close connection, and from that connection, cooperation arises.
I’m sharing at the Mommy Monday Blog Hop
An interesting read on positive parenting- 10 Facts Every Parent Should Know
Time Magazine’s The Long Term Effects of Spanking
American Psychological Association’s The Case Against Spanking
For peaceful, gentle parenting resources pleas see my article, Peaceful, Positive Parenting