Friday, June 12, 2009

When Spanking Isn’t Spanking

It’s been too long since I’ve posted something new. When life happens, sometimes daily extras get pushed aside. Continuing on that mix of topics, let’s touch upon spanking. Not sure where your mind is, but we’re talking about discipline—no not *that* type of discipline—spanking.

We don’t spank our children. Growing up, I remember being hit once: for not eating my brussel sprouts. At five, I pushed them under the mashed potatoes, and even resorted to swallowing them whole like a humongous pill, until my mother had enough. Now as a mother, I have to think something else was going on with her. Seriously, to never spank and then break it out over food? It doesn’t compute. Anyhoo … the morale is: I remember it.

All other punishment came from being grounded and sent to my room. As an only child, being sent to my room wasn’t all that bad. I had my books, television, Barbie dolls, whatever distractions I needed.

A week ago we were at my in-law’s house, and Nicole, 6, started acting up. She’s gotten into this habit of baiting the younger one, waiting for her to get into trouble and then giving this evil smile. It totally gives her intentions away. I was in the kitchen cooking, and heard my husband tell Nicole to behave. About 10 minutes later she came to me and told me that she had been “spanked and made to sit on the bathroom floor.”

Instantly, I became livid. Spanked? Who had hit her? And, why?

As calmly as I possibly could, I invited my husband out to the garage to ask him what happened. Immediately, he called in Nicole.

“What does ‘spanking’ mean?” he asked her.

“It means being given a time-out, and having to sit inside,” she replied, quite innocently.

My husband and I smiled at each other, and I shook my head. My precious daughter has been so sheltered that she doesn’t even know what being spanked actually means. Can you imagine?

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