Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Want to smack your kids?

When I published the blog post about spanking there was a comment on about how paradigms and views are handed down from one generation to another. In this comment, a guy had had a debate with someone in a coffee shop about spanking. A man participating in the debate was pro spanking and became quite agitated through the discussion. After some time he was so outraged that he got to his feet and almost shouting announced that he had been spanked as a child and that it ‘hasn´t done me any harm!’

The reply to the angry fellow´s claim was just one sentence that stuck in my mind after reading it, because it really sums it up in a clear cut way. It went like this: ‘yeah, it did. It made you want to beat your kids...’

This is very much true! Your parents have put a mark on you, that will always follow you through life and this mark will influence what you do. This is not to say that if you were spanked as a kid, it´s inevitable that you spank yours. Not at all! The cycle can be broken, if you want to break it. I know, because I´ve been spanked as a kid myself and for many years I said just about the same thing as the before mentioned angry man.

What I learned by being spanked was that if there is something you want and you can´t get it by explaining why you need it and make a good argument for obtaining it, there´s always the last resort of dealing out some punches.

Not a very flattering thought, I know. Fortunately, I´ve never beat up my children and I feel confident, it´ll never happen. But I must admit to myself, that the urge to hit them, when they really misbehave, is there! I do feel that urge and the worst thing I can do is to deny it. Denying it would do me no good at all. Denying that this urge exist in me would only build it up inside of me and who knows, what would happen then?

So, however deflating this is to the positive image you may have of me, I admit it freely: I sometimes feel the urge to fling out a hand on my children! And you know what? If you have that urge yourself, try admitting it. It is one of the most relieving feelings to admit all the bad things going on inside of you. And even more importantly, admitting it to yourself is the first step to fighting that urge.

And one more thing I want you to understand is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, if you have this urge! It´s perfectly natural. In fact, all the people on this planet have thoughts about hurting someone. 

It´s been said, that most people have even thought of killing someone, though there is no way of knowing if this is true or not. What *is* true, however, is that the one thing separating perpetrators from other people is not their urges and thoughts. It´s how they respond to them. Keep this in mind every time you might feel guilty having the urge to hit someone: there is nothing wrong with having the urge and thinking about it. In fact, you have to admit the feeling to do something about it. And do something about is mandatory when dealing with people.

So, instead of soaking yourself in self loathing, be brave and fight that urge! It can be done! The cycle can be broken! But it is you who must break it. No one else can do it for you!

Let´s sum it up:

#1: The children raising methods are handed down generation by generation and if the methods you were raised by are bad, you need to break the cycle

#2: To break the cycle, you have to be honest with yourself and acknowledge the urge inside you

#3: Feeling bad about the urge to hit your kids doesn´t do anyone any good. Don´t soak yourself in self pity, but fight the urge you´ve already acknowledged

#4: Very important! THE CYCLE CAN BE BROKEN! You can brake it!