This is a response to an e-mail I received from someone who read my article on discipline. They wrote "Betty, I found your article on discipline very interesting. I too believe in spanking. I am a new parent, with a 1 year old child. I was wondering about your experiences using spanking, as I will use it myself in the future. Do you mind sharing? I would be happy if you were willing to share specific times when you have used spanking." Well, I don't mind sharing at all. That's why I included my e-mail, so people can contact me if they have any questions. Thank you for writing. That person included a list of questions about spanking.
"Are your children ever defiant when they are told they are going to get a spanking?": Yes, sometimes they are defiant. My children, like all children, hate getting spanked, so when I tell them they are to receive one, they are never happy. On average, I usually tell them they are getting a spanking, they cry and whine about how they don't want one, then they usually follow me to the spot and comply. Parents have to learn to deal with this, as it can be emotionally difficult to spank your child when you know they do not like it at all. But there are times when they resist. Recently my daughter Sasha disobeyed me and I told her she was going to get a spanking. She immediately screamed at me "NO!" and ran off. I followed her as she ran out the door. This is a scenario I fear, but really it was just my daughter being hysterical rather than my daughter actually running away. I walked out and stood by the door. She stopped running and turned to me. I calmly asked "Are you going to come inside, Sasha? I am not going to go chasing after you." She apologized to me, but did not budge. Neither did I. Finally, a neighbor broke up the "stand off" as she walked by, asking what was wrong. I told her that Sasha was going to get a spanking for disobeying me and she was avoiding me. My neighbor, who happened to be pro-spanking as well, told Sasha "Its best if you just go inside and get it over with." Good thing she was there, as I was not happy about having to go through this whole dramatic scene. Somehow she got through to Sasha and Sasha walked over to me. I brought her inside, to her to the couch, and quickly bent her over my knee. I gave my little lecture once she was in position over my lap because I was worried she would try running off again. She was crying the whole time, but actually was much calmer. I gave her the spanking, then told her not to run off like that again or she would get a much worse spanking. On the other spectrum, I've had times when my kids completely comply. I remember one time Paige earned a spanking and I told her so, and she walked right over to me. I was already sitting down, and instead of waiting for my lecture she laid across my lap waiting for the spanking. I was a bit shocked, but gave a quick lecture anyway.
"How do you children react during the spanking?": Well, for just using my hand I can produce a lot of pain. Typically after each spank, as I make contact with their bottom, they flinch or try to jump or. Usually they are very wiggly during the spanking, which is the reason why I think that using that over the lap position is the safest way to spank. You'd think that my youngest would react the worse to the spankings, but actually Sasha is the most dramatic (as I gave an example earlier). She cries, even screams, kicks her legs, tries to move around, tries to cover her bottom with her hand. These are things you need to expect if you choose to use spanking. Its hard, sometimes discouraging, but you have to tell yourself you are doing it for their good and that you are shaping their behavior (which you are).
"What do you think of spanking on the bare bottom?": I don't really spank that way. I don't do it mainly because it is not necessary. I am not opposed to it though. Once the spankings stop hurting as much, I may start pulling the pants down, although you have to be careful to respect their privacy. Now, I have spanked over their panties before, mainly when they wear skirts. With a skirt, it is difficult sometimes to see their bottom, especially with the fluffier skirts. So what I do is once they are over my knee I flip their skirt up and turn it against their shirt, then give the spanking as normal over their panties.
"Do you ever spank more than one child at the same time?": I assume you mean giving consecutive spankings if more than one of my children get in trouble for the same thing. In this case, yes. A couple months ago I had a babysitter over to take care of my kids while I was out for the evening. When I returned I found the house a mess and the babysitter almost in tears. She said that my girls weren't behaving, for whatever reason. I called my girls over and asked them why they were not behaving. They all were very guilty, none of them answering. The babysitter said that Sasha had gotten them all riled up and wild. So I said to the babysitter with my kids present "You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to give each of them a spanking then have them apologize to you." My kids were not happy overhearing this. I sat down on the couch and called them over. I asked my kids "Okay, who's first?" None of them answered so I asked the babysitter "Who was the worst behaved?" The babysitter said that Sasha had started it all so I called Sasha over. I asked the babysitter if she would be offended if I spanked my kids in front of her, because I wanted them to understand that they were getting spanked for disrespecting her, and having her present would send a stronger message. She said she didn't mind. So I had Sasha bend over my knee and gave her 10 hard spanks. I could tell the babysitter was a little uncomfortable seeing it, and Sasha was very uncomfortable getting it, but it seemed like the appropriate thing to do. I did the same with Paige and Michaela. After all three had been spanked I had them stand in front of the babysitter and apologize to her. That situation came to mind when you asked that question. But yes, there are lots of times when I have to spank two or all three of my kids. I simply go about it the same, only the other one is waiting for her turn. I think it is probably worse for the one going last because they have to anticipate, and seeing their sister crying as they get a spanking must be a little nerve-racking.
"Have you ever spanked your kids in public?": I have before, but more often when they were younger. I've done the quick one swat spank as they are standing, simply to stop them from their behavior. For example, when they are running around or being sassy in public and want them to shape up quickly without making a big deal out of it. But I don't recommend doing that, I am just saying that I have done that. I have given a couple over the knee spankings in public, most when they were younger. I remember sitting at a park bench spanking one of my daughters. I remember going into another room at a guests house and giving a spanking. The most recent one was a year ago. Sasha was being a brat at a clothing store when we were shopping. I kept warning her to calm down. She said something very sassy to me, I think it was something like "mom you're an idiot you can't pick out clothes!" I was embarrassed at my daughter's behavior, so I took her into the dressing room. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was going to spank her and she was shocked, not expecting it. It wasn't totally in public because I went into one of the clothing stalls and closed the door. But everyone in the dressing room could hear. I sat on the little makeshift seats they have in there and told Sasha to "bend over" several times. I'm sure by then everyone knew what was happening, so the actual spanking probably didn't come as too much of a shock. I don't advise spanking in public. Usually I wait until I get home to give one, if they get in trouble in public. But every once in a while they need to know that mom is not ashamed to let everyone know that she spanks.
"How do you put your child in position for the spanking? What if they resist?": This is referring to the over the knee position, I am assuming. I use it because it is safe, it is effective, it is memorable, and it creates an attitude of submission, one essential for proper discipline. Getting the child in position can be tricky at times, mainly if they do not want to be in that position (which no child wants to!). When your children are younger, it is fairly simple. You can pick them up and place them over your lap. Since they are so small in size, you can place them easily and hold them in place with just your arm. For older children, like my kids currently, it can seem like it would be difficult, but it is not very hard. Ideally, you want your child resting their pelvic region over your thigh closest to them, with their arms dangling on the opposite side. This causes the body to contort, with the bottom shaping and sticking out making a very easy target (it can be dangerous to slap other parts of the body, such as the back, and the legs tend to not be as effective). Plus, if your child kicks their legs at all, they will not be able to move themselves very much. Ideally, you want your child to bend over submissively into position without having to do anything. My kids tend to be obedient during a spanking. But if they are not (Sasha tends not to be at times, out of my 3 kids), then there are two options. One, you can threaten them with a worse spanking, usually in the form of more swats, if they don't comply. This works a lot of times. The other way is to force them over your knee. You have to be careful if you do the second way. You do not want to be violent, you need to remain calm at all times. With Sasha, I've used this method many times. First I grab her arm (usually I grab her left arm with my left hand) and pull her towards me. As her legs come into contact with my lap, the momentum causes her fall forward. As her stomach touches my lap I reach my left arm around her, beneath her right armpit, and hold her in place. Now she is in proper position and the spanking can begin.
"Do you ever spank other kids besides your own?": No, I don't. While I don't think it is wrong to, I, at the same time, feel it is the parent's job to. I have had my kids' friends over at our house many times. If they misbehave, I simply call their parents and they deal with them. But I suppose there would be nothing wrong with my spanking my friends' children, as long as they gave permission. But I feel they should be the ultimate authority figure, not me.
Well, I hope I answered all your questions. I know I went into a lot of detail because it sounded like that's what you wanted. My hopes is that anyone reading will know that although on the surface spanking may seem "cruel" or "barbaric," it is a good mother with good intentions trying to raise their child to be good adults giving the spanking. I don't enjoy spanking my kids and am not proud of it. But I am not scared to spank my kids and am not scared of it.