I do not believe in any form of corporal punishment in school. It seems to be such an intimate form of punishment. When it comes to the subject of spanking at home, however, I must admit that I'm very conflicted.
In theory, I don't believe in spanking, although, I have from time to time resorted to a swat on the butt. I am also ashamed to admit that I have had moments that I deeply regret where I lost control. But, there is a difference between using your hand and a paddle (or belt, which my mother resorted to two or three times). Consequently, I decided that I would never allow myself to use an inanimate object.
I don't know if you have children, but my own children are the ONLY people in my life that can provoke anger so fast you wouldn't believe. No one else has that power. I have been a mom for almost 19 years, and I still cannot figure out why this is.
I have resorted to spanking in raising my three daughters, but only as a last resort. Most of the time I can walk away. But, this is getting away from the original purpose for this e-mail. I wanted to relay a story from my own childhood regarding the damage done to “the spanker.”
When my brother was 10, my parents had concluded that spanking didn't work as a form of discipline. He was, in my mother’s words, "a very difficult child." Nowadays he might be diagnosed with severe ADHD. They had instructed his fourth grade teacher that under no circumstances was he to ever be spanked. My parents explained that it didn't work and, in fact, only made his behavior worse. March 7, 1962, his teacher called and spoke to my father (he was home for lunch, which he almost never did). The teacher was calling for permission to spank my brother, and my father exploded in anger and told her this was totally unacceptable and NO, she could not spank my brother. Immediately after her phone call, he told my mother he had to go out on the porch to "cool down" after that phone call. As he sat at the top of the steps, he collapsed on the ground with a fatal heart attack.
This took a terrible toll on my brother's teacher. She took a leave of absence almost immediately, and retired soon after. Even though my mother tried to comfort her by explaining that my dad had a history of heart problems, the teacher could not be convinced that she was not responsible for my father's death.
I'm not sure why I felt compelled to relate this story to you. As I said, I am conflicted when it comes to home spanking. I can only hope that as I have grown more than my mother in moving away from spanking, that my daughters will grow that much more than I did.