Friday, April 30, 2010

SpankOut Day: Hitting doesn't help

Gentle Parent - art by Erika Hastings at Carnival of Gentle Discipline at The Baby Dust Diaries is wrapping up today. You can see the full list of published essays at the end of my submission:

Assuming the best intentions

Paige at The Baby Dust Diaries has also put up a poll in her sidebar where you can vote on your favorite post of the week. Not saying you have to vote for me, but if you want to … . The winner receives a $25 gift certificate to Wild Mother Arts. Plus, you know, acclaim.

It's been a phenomenal carnival, offering practical alternatives to punishment, primers on what gentle discipline is, and philosophical looks at why and how we practice this method of parenting.

National Spank Out Day USA April 30 2010Since April 30 is SpankOut Day USA, I thought I'd also put in another plea to end the practice of spanking and other forms of child hitting.

If you're someone who has used spanking and other physical punishment, SpankOut Day is a day to try a different method. Remember to stop and breathe before responding to your children's behavior today, and try to figure out the reasons behind their actions. You might Parent With Gentle Love -- My World Edenwildtry Naomi Aldort's SALVE technique as you practice Silent self-inquiry before you react, shift your Attention to your child to understand your child's perspective, Listen to what your child is saying and then listen some more, Validate your child's feelings by repeating them back without dramatizing, and then Empower your child to resolve the situation by showing your trust.

If you are genuinely upset by your children's behavior today, try showing your frustration without blaming your children. Let them know that you're feeling bad about the situation, and work with them to resolve it.

Finally, try a time-in instead of a time-out. If you're having a particularly hard time today with your child, try scooping your child up and snuggling together in a comfy chair. Take the time to reconnect and show that your love continues, despite the circumstances. When you're both feeling calmer, then it's time to talk through the situation.

Remember, just because you were spanked as a child or just because you've used spanking on your children in the past doesn't mean you have to continue the tradition. Today is your chance to try something new and find a way of disciplining that honors both you and your children.

If you are someone who agrees that spanking should not be used on children, take this SpankOut Day as a call to action. Start a conversation about spanking with friends, post a link to SpankOut Day on Facebook, recommend some positive discipline books on your church's message board (done that!), or write to your legislators to encourage strengthening of child-abuse laws. The fact that acceptance levels of corporal punishment have changed so much over time (via Authentic Parenting) gives me hope that we can continue pushing the trend toward no physical punishment of children. Lend your voice to protect those who are vulnerable.


Lisa C said...

I just posted an article on this topic, and then I saw yours! So, much great information here, I had to link to it. Great idea about posting on facebook, too. I'm going to do that.

Julia Gabriel said...

Thanks for all the great links I am going to bookmark this post to share. Thanks for stopping in on my blog too.

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