I wrote my self righteous post on Disciplining children.
In praise of smacks
A smack is instantaneous, focused, over in a flash, preemptive, and a completely understandable non verbal communication used by all animals for behaviour training.
NB – A smack is NOT a beating.
I remembered a day when I totally lost my mind when my son was very little. I can’t remember what he had done, but I stormed into his bedroom feeling very angry with him. On his bed was a long (extra long) translucent plastic ruler which I picked up. I lunged at him with it. But he hopped out of the way. So I lunged again. He hopped. I lunged. He hopped. I missed every time. He picked up a baby chair and held it over his head for protection. The legs stood up like the horns of a mini Ox. I whacked the “horns” with said ruler and a bit on the end snapped off. And so we proceeded around the room. One incensed adult and one small child under attack. At every thwack, bits of the ruler shot off round the room, until there was no ruler left and my smacking impulse had left me. And I collapsed on the bed in exhaustion, shock and horror at what I was doing.
Not once had the ruler actually landed on my son. But if his Ox “horns” hadn’t protected him, God knows what injuries he could have sustained at my hand. Strangely, my son does not remember this incident at all.
I completely understand how parents do actually injure or kill their children sometimes. It’s really easy.
There for the Grace of God, go I.