Crime + Punishment

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To spank, or not to spank?...

That is the age old question.


Like many parenting topics, discipline is a sensitive subject to touch on. For some, discipline is physical and others verbal. There is really no one formula to effectively discipline children because we all know how every single child is different. 

Corporal punishment has long been a way of life for us African children, you'll hear people say they beat their children because they too were beaten. Religion is also used as a tool to justify physical punishment (spare the rod, spoil the child), but is it right? How do we decide where to draw the line between punishment and abuse? I recently read an article about spanking that seemed to be more of a joke, because quite honestly some of the reasons were a bit ridiculous in my opinion. Please understand I in no way am here to judge anyone's parenting skills, I merely aim to question traditions or habits that at times may be detrimental to our children's development. 

I was spanked as a child until about 9 years old when my mother decided it was best to try and talk to me and discover the root of my issue or my reason for misbehaving. I remember in doing so I had to take the time to THINK about why I did what I did. Instead of preparing for pain, I had to endure a conversation with my mother ( which if you knew my mother a beat down would be preferable, African moms can TALK.) Having to think about my actions even gave me the foresight to think before doing because I would have the root of the problem in a sense already figured out. Of course it didn't always work, and OF COURSE, my mother did give in and hit me at times, But I appreciate her efforts in hindsight.

I don't necessarily believe spanking should be omitted from anyone's parenting. I know there are times when it DEFINITELY calls for it, but I believe sometimes as parents we choose reaction rather than reflection.  We can be dealing with our own day to day stresses and are unable to take the moment to try and tackle the root of the problem. Bordem, lack of attention can sometimes cause our children to act out. I learned that my Sun doesn't enjoy me using the phone a lot, and he would slam it out of my hand if I would be on it for an extended time. Understanding that I need my phone for work I started talking to him and telling him to stop and would give him some personal time to blow off frustration.  Giving my Sun that attention gives me a break from my work and also a few minutes of bonding, he quickly gets bored of me and goes back to whatever he's doing lol. That is a far cry from me frustrated shouting at him to stop or even smacking his hand and so have been the results. 

Parenting is definitely a daily test that you never get to study for, but I know sometimes separating ourselves (feelings) from the equation can help.

What are some ways you discipline your child? Sound off in the comments muvas!