Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I have never and will never spank my child.

You know why?  Well, it's because of something Dr. Phil said.

Let me clarify.  I do not think that everything that comes out of Dr. Phil McGraw's mouth is gospel.  Nor do I think he has all the answers for everyone out there - he's pretty savvy and a smart guy, but I am discerning.

There was one show where he said one thing that resonated with me.  He said that children need a safe place.  The world is hard enough out there, they need a safe person to be with and a safe place to land.  And I decided that my son's home would be that place.  And I would be that person (I can't make that call for my husband, but he's pretty much of the same opinion as I am).

And my son kept me in check as well.  He would completely freak out if I so much as flicked him on the head.  And he doesn't like raised voices.  So I don't even flick him on the head, and I try not to yell.  When I'm frustrated or concerned, we talk it out.  If I'm too frustrated, we talk it out later.  If I raise my voice, I calm down and apologize.  And I expect the same from him.  If he gets an attitude, he has consequences.  And he is, of his own accord, coming and apologizing for those times.  Perhaps because he had a good example?  Not sure, but it's nice when it happens.

Now, don't get me wrong, we have conflict.  All families do.  But physical punishment is not part of that conflict.

Dr. Phil said something else one time.  He said he told both of his boys how lucky he was to have them as his children.  And I do that regularly, too.  I tell my child how lucky I am to have him.  And I tell him I love him.  And I hug him and tell him he's the most important person in my life.  Because right now he is.

I had someone call me on that a while ago.  She told me that my husband should be the most important person in my life and that I should make it clear to him that he was.

Well, I have this to say - I love my husband.  I have committed to living my life with him and I am very happy with that decision.  He is a wonderful person, and in the course of my lifetime he will have been by far the most important person to me.  But right now, for these 12 or 15 years when my child wants to be the most important person in my life ... well, he gets to be.  Because I think he is that important.

What prompted this post?  This UNICEF USA PSA shared on UpWorthy:

I hesitate to say that no one ever needs to hit a child, because I know there are a lot of difficult situations out there and people react differently - and I try very hard not to judge.  But I'd like to suggest that it doesn't need to be a regular part of the parent's arsenal.  And just think for a moment before using physical violence - because that is what spanking is.  It is violence against a child.  Do you want your child to think of you as a source of violence or a source of love?

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