When To Spank
By: Dan Hodac
Growing up in a strict Vietnamese household, I was always spanked as a child and even into my early teen years. Thinking back, it was weird that I never resented or hated my parents for spanking me. This is mostly because of how my parents conducted each session of spankings. Unlike many other households, my parents used the traditional Vietnamese ways of disciplining a child. Whenever I was spanked, it would always be a formal "event" almost. They would make me lie down on the floor (in the carpet of course) and have me lie there until they were not as angry anymore from whatever transgression I had committed. After that, they would come to me and tell me what I had done wrong (with a calm and focused mind) and then spank me (It was always either on the hand or butt never anywhere else). They made sure that I knew exactly why I was spanked. I was never "grounded" and that was probably because my parents had never heard of "grounding" their kids. After recieving my punishment I was free to go, only after I apologized, of course.
This manner of disciplining me was very interesting, now that I look back on it, because they somehow did it a way that made me know that they still loved me and cared for me even as they are spanking me. As I got older and learned more about the different methods that other households have spanked their kids, this became more apparent. As said in the report When to Spank.doc by L Rosellini to the US News & World report, there is a right time to spank and a wrong way to spank. Beating a child senseless with a belt when the parent is in a deep state of anger is most likely the wrong way to discipline one's child, as seen in the picture below. Obviously, these kinds of senseless beatings will psychologically damage the child in the future.
When spanking, I believe that there are three things that are very important if you want the spanking to serve its purpose to the fullest.
1) Anger should not be the motivating force (or be involved at all) for spanking one's child. That would be venting one's anger, not disciplining.
2) The child must know why he/she is being spanked. This is another reason why parents should not spank their children when they are angry. The wrongdoings as well as the reasons as to why their actions are frowned upon must be clearly explained.
3) Make sure that the child knows that he/she is still loved. It is very easy to alienate children through senseless beatings/spankings.