Originally Posted by momtojande
I think if you looked at my 5 years and however many posts of posting history, I've probably been wildly inconsistent. I've gone back & forth quite a bit over it.
Well, not in one sense. I've never thought that spanking is necessarily evil. I was spanked and certainly never feared or resented my parents. So I've never been on that extreme end of the topic. But as to whether we should in our house, I've wavered.
This has been my experience of the one place spanking has in our house. DS, particularly around age 3-4, just seemed to need, like you said, for us to MAKE him follow the rules. Specifically, that he is to be quiet and hold reasonably still in time out. He would go into an absolute rage at being in time out. I could tell him not to, but couldn't make him listen. And yes, I had bent over backwards trying to make him see it as a positive "cooling off" time. I even recall using the phrase "time in". I first tried redirecting him before even doing a time out. I tried reasoning with him, teaching him to express his feelings in healthy ways, was mildly obsessed with making sure he slept adequately and ate healthily, tried to model positive ways of dealing with stress, etc., etc., etc. I did those things. And they certainly all have their effect and I still believe wholeheartedly in all of that. And for my daughter, that is enough. She doesn't have any extra...I can't think of the right word. Defiance? Challenge? For DS though, he just refused to respond in the textbook manner. (It's like he didn't even bother to read those parenting books! Or even attend any lectures.)
The one thing that worked was, telling him that if he kicked the walls & doors during time out he would get spanked. One spank for every kick. Open hand, on a clothed bottom. He tested that limit maybe the first 2-3 times I tried it, and occasionally afterwards, and learned that it was absolute. It was what he needed. Once he knew he had to calm down and control himself, he suddenly acquired that skill.
And I think he was much better off for it! Because he got spanked a few times, he learned how to have a quiet, short time out to calm himself down and change his behavior. Before that, if he got a time out, it turned into extended rage, misery, drama.
If my daughter was an only child, I could probably post here about how spanking is never necessary, and how there are always better ways. If my son was an only child, I might think I'm an idiot who can't get those lovely gentle parenting techniques to work.