Nothing really shocks me anymore, or so I presumed. This week , news outlets are reporting a proposed bill that would again let teachers and child caregivers the right to hit children “until they leave a mark.” While I have always thought of politicians as little more than sharp dressed mongrels, I am astounded by the motivation of such a bill.
While I know Catholic Schools have been the bud of many jokes for using rulers as a method of discipline, and some states in America still do allow public school administrators the right to use corporal punishment, I just do not see the point in propagating any more hurt. We already have plenty to go around.
News flash. If you have to hit children “until they have a mark,” to discipline them, then you are not modelling the proper behavior for them to emulate. You also lack self control. And you also should not be a teacher or child caregiver in any way, shape, or form.
For a lot of children, their only source of stability comes from the person in the front of the classroom. Many have no one at home to make them feel secure, many are already being abused at home, and many more have no one at home. School should be a refuge and the one place where children are motivated to be their best selves.
In the amount of time and money it takes to propose such a preposterous “bill” we could actually make and enforce much-needed bills to protect children from parental abusers, sex offenders and predators. I am dismayed by the media’s attention to someone who should not have been elected into office.
Disciplining children is much like anything else. We first need, as parents, caregivers, to establish our own self control. If the only way we can maintain relationships with children or adults is by physical or emotional abuse, then we should refrain from relationships. If consistently putting down children or adults in your life is your method of control, get help. Educating oneself, counseling, and sheer common sense can help us keep anger, disorder, confusions and emotions in the right place, and express them correctly.
Discipline is NOT about subjugating another individual, it is about modelling the kind of behavior you want the child to follow. In relationships, leading is not about control and arguing is not about unleashing rage. It is about confronting differences and expressing emotion.
Know the difference, and if you do not, then either look into your soul and fix your shattered self, or move to a cabin underground. Do not work with kids.
When an adult hits children “until they have a mark,” it accomplishes nothing. I know that I am an advocate for abused children in the system. My experience as a survivor of abuse and the system gives me a different insight than most. I am not equating spanking ( which I do not do) with child abuse. I was burnt, sexually assaulted, and beaten until I could not walk. I later grew up with foster siblings who were very aggressive and violent. Some are in jail as we speak, still working out their anger. I know and have been the recipient of a lot of violence and marks.
Even in my new foster home, I watch unhealthy relationships closely. I saw how men treated women, I watched. All children watch. Luckily for me, through my life experiences I learned to separate healthy from unhealthy attachments as result of that experience. But it took time. It took failing as a young woman. It took walking away from a whole life and reinventing myself. It was not easy, it hurt, self-examination hurt, but I did the work so that I would not be a victim in my intimate relationships and so I could learn what healthy affection and meant.
Before I decided to be a parent, I worked on myself to ensure that I would be the best model for my beautiful girl. And I believe I am. I have worked with at-risk kids, teenagers who could test you until the brink, but disciplining those children takes a certain amount of self-worth in the heart of a mentor, teacher or caregiver.
When I feel emotion overcoming me, I deal with it like an adult, I do not hit mini me in the hopes that she will then respect me. I encourage stability, I find solutions in a safe way. Anger is a natural part of life, we get mad, we get over it. but in the process, we need to make sure we aren’t damaging others. We all feel anger, but hitting any child, especially until you leave a mark , is abusive. And it means something is wrong with the adult. Emotionally attacking them constantly is also abuse.
Constructive criticism will help them, placing them below you so you feel better will not. The same goes for any adult relationship. However , with children you are shaping who they become…watch what you show them!
If you want to hit children, or wound people..Get help.
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