Mayra Estrada, LCSW I too was raised by grandparents, thankfully so. It was difficult for them, and for me. The acting out was intense because while you feel love and protection you are also angry about things that you as a child have no control over. This is exactly my point. There are emotions behind our behavior that if not explored can lead to parents punishing, sometimes harshly perhaps deservingly, emotions that should be processed and metabolized for a more adjusted life and better emotional functioning.
Mayra Estrada, LCSW I do not endorse parenting that is not authorative and in control. Children desperately need structure, guidance, discipline which is educative and corrective. A parent need not assert authority and control with spanking. That is established by being firm, consistent but also wise and kind. You can also see it as a style of government. Government still asserts authority with a clear set of rules that are enforced. If you violate rules, there is a process that is fair. Parents that govern in this fashion neednot live in fear that they will be reported. I do find your last sentence disturbing and worrisome.
Mayra Estrada, LCSW I deal with many parents that reward their children for doing absolutely nothing. we are living in a society where both parents and children are so centered in their own gratification. Ever seen the cable commercial where each member in the household has an electronic device and they are thrilled to be connected online at blazing speeds. But not to each other. We don't need to endorse spanking, an act of little or no self-control that eventually dilutes parental authority or worse instills such fear that while you may have compliance, the anxiety in the child is sky high! Parents need to be attentive. Structured. Teach children the meaning of their behavior by giving them positive and negative consequences for what they do. Doing this does not mean you are soft or permissive.
Mayra Estrada, LCSW Extremes are rarely needed but with spanking as a tool widely accepted to discipline, there is an unpredictability that makes it an extremely dnagerous practice. Parents like yours that responded to your crying are not every parent. But pause here and think. You were crying. You were hurt by the spanking. Is that a teaching moment? In your refections, in hindsight, you cry for putting them in that difficult spot but what I argue about is that no parent needs to loose that control. Parents can be firm, instill responsibility, accountability. You would still feel shame today about what you did without the added complication of guilt for what you did to your parents. This by the way is what children feel at a heightened level which in many cases impacts self-esteem and functioning.
Mayra Estrada, LCSW I confess myself pleased with the dialog that has ensued. At the same time it has been disconcerting to see the overwhelming, positive views towards spanking. Selma Fraiberg a child psychologist and expert in early childhood said it best. When parents justify spanking they do so in a very defensive manner to desperately protect themselves from the humiliation and helplessness that they themselves felt when they were children and were spanked. If you were hit as a child, you are almost obligated to find a positive outcome in this action. Not doing so may mean dealing with a hurt that our own mind protects against and that is the idea that the human being that you counted on for protection and safety really hurt you.