Black-ish: To Spank or Not to Spank…that is the Question?

Posted: July 27, 2014 in Resources
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spank

“Black-ish” is a new series about a black family in American, who is a has matriculated the finest universities and assimilated into a upper class neighborhood, but grew up in the culture of the inner city. They are now faced with choices within their new culture that collide with the culture they were exposed to while growing up. This dynamic has challenged them to create a new normal for them and their children. During the show, we are able to watch them discuss and ponder the effects of parenting based on what they know or adjusting to what they now feel is feel is the best. Last night the father (Dre) played by Anthony Anderson had to make a decision on whether or not to spank his youngest son for the practical jokes that they continuously told him to stop doing. Dre spent the entire episode being judged by his father who called him “soft” for not “whopping” his son, to his co-workers who were appalled at the very thought of “someone” else whopping their child…even though they thought it was ok to spank their own. Ultimately he decided to do what worked best for his son and his family, however, it was interesting to watch him and his wife Rainbow, played by Tracey Ellis Ross, consider the consequences “To Spank or Not To Spank”?

Spanking has always been a hot topic and has resurfaced, due to recent studies and the case against NFL superstar Adrien Petterson. The grand debate and academic study is centered around if it is really beneficial to spank your child(ren) or are they harmful by teaching that “the stronger person is right; hitting models hitting; hitting leads to abuse; spanking devalues the child; etc.”  

First of all, I did not get spankings, I got WHOPPINGS!!!  Although I got whoppings with a little blue patent leather belt and other times I had to go outside and pluck the leaves off the “tree branch” that I was going to be beaten with, I am now a very loving husband and father.  I was raised by a very young single mom, who always disciplined me in love. I was spanked and I turned out alright, so that means that it is alright for me to do the same to my son…right?

Truth is, my son is now 9 years old and besides an occasional thumb to the chest when he was younger, he has never ever had a whooping (spanking…whatever you call it).  However, if you were around when he was deserving of any form of discipline, the way he cowards when I approach (or a simple snap of my fingers) would make you think that I beat him on a regular basis. He has a respect for me and his mother that did not have to be obtained by spanking him every time he did something that we did not approve of.

I really believe in spanking (at least I think so). Although, as I said, I have never had to actually spank my son. I was not driven by the notion that just because “I turned out ok,” that spanking was the correct way to discipline him.  He is his own person and spanking him could have a drastically different impact on him than it had on me. Instead, we used positive reinforcement by rewarding the behavior we desired, explaining “why” certain behaviors were not acceptable, and by modeling the proper behavior. Besides, the undesirable behaviors all came with natural consequences. Helping him understand the principle of cause and effect prevented him from making the same mistakes twice (most of the time).

The societal norm seems to have shifted to the opinion that spanking is not acceptable and that parents should resort to other forms of discipline.  However, when a person is unruly, we accept it and even encourage it when law enforcement uses force to bring order.  I would much rather a parent spank a child, in love, to prevent them from having an encounter with the billy club of an officer.  I believe if the appropriate level of discipline is given at home we could minimize a number of encounters needed by police.

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24 (NIV).  I believe that parenting is intentional…thus being “careful.” Parents must be in tuned with the consistent forms of discipline required to cause their children to be obedient. As I stated, I was a child that received whoopings and even preferred them over loosing privileges.  When my mother gave me a choice between a spanking and not being able to play outside, I always chose the spanking.  Spankings were over in 5mins. Whereas a “punishment” lasted weeks.  Eventually she caught on, especially when she realized that whoopings did not even hurt me anymore. 

About a week ago, in New York, Appellate Division said there was insufficient evidence to uphold that charge, and gave him a pass on the spanking.

“The father’s open-handed spanking of the child as a form of discipline after he heard the child curse at an adult was a reasonable use of force and, under the circumstances presented here, did not constitute excessive corporal punishment,” the four-judge panel ruled in a unanimous decision.  Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/court-parents-spank-kids-article-1.1874088#ixzz38hvJMwx0

I am happy to see that the court left the power of parenting in the rightful hands of the parents.  Although, I do understand that regulations are required to ensure that parents do not cross the lines to abuse.  For this reason, I believe that parents and politicians will continuously debate what is to be appropriate, by generally imposing their own parenting style on others, instead of objectively evaluating each situation to determine what was a reasonable use of force.

What do you think?  Is spanking good or bad? 

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Comments
  1. icookandcode says:

    Interesting read 🙂

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