We do not whoop our child. Yes, you read that right. We don’t physically discipline her and we certainly do not inflict pain on her to teach her a lesson. I’ll tell you why.
But first, let me ask you a question. How would you feel if someone hit you every time you did something you weren’t supposed to, got loud with someone, said a bad word, or threw a temper tantrum? You’d be ready to fight them back. I know because I would be too. Now, how do you think small children feel when they get hit for not being able to control their emotions or impulses, repeat a bad word that they probably heard you or someone you allow into their space say, or just act like a normal human being?
I imagine it makes them feel horrible and scared. I imagine it makes it hard for them to trust us and make them feel safe and protected. I imagine it hurts not only their little bodies, but their little egos that they need to grow into confident adults.
My parents whooped us when we were little girls. This is no shade to them. At all. They gave us (in my opinion) the best childhood a kid could ask for. Although we didn’t get whooped often, I remember the pain they inflicted on us and how it made us feel. My sisters and I would sit and talk after we got spanked and vent how we felt in the moment – and they weren’t good feelings. I made a promise to myself that once I started having children of my own, I would never, ever hit them. My daughter Elora is almost 2 and I’ve only popped her once. And honestly, I felt like the scum of the earth immediately afterwards. It hasn’t happened since.
We don’t follow the Positive Discipline model of teaching to a T, but I enjoy reading and researching the methods. Positive Discipline is a bunch of parenting techniques that teach, guide, and manage children’s behavior in a respectful, loving, realistic, and patient way. I said I don’t follow the model to a T because in full transparency, I’m not always respectful, loving, and patient with my toddler. No mom is. Don’t let these perfectly curated Instagram accounts fool you, girl. Our human response to hitting and throwing tantrums while we’re already tired and overstimulated ourselves is not automatically…patient. Or loving. Or respectful.
Since you’re here reading this, I’m gonna say something that might ruffle some feathers. Are you ready? Buckle up.
I think it’s wrong, immature, and lazy to hit a child for acting like…a child. Scientifically, it’s literally impossible for children to control their emotions and impulses up until a certain age. Their brains are extremely underdeveloped and the only accurate way for them to communicate with us is through their emotions. Bigggggg emotions. Children, especially toddlers, are some of the most mistreated and misunderstood groups of people in the world. And it’s because of us – the parents. We’d rather deal with their behavior based on what we want instead of what they need – which is the ability to self-regulate. They cannot do that without our help and guidance. We cannot help and guide them when we cannot navigate our own emotions with maturity, patience, and respect. It is such a hypocritical contradiction to expect things from a young underdeveloped child that we can’t even do ourselves.
If you got whooped as a child or if you don’t see anything wrong with physically inflicting pain on a child in the name of trying to correct them, you should probably change your thinking about the way you see discipline in the first place. We should practice correcting, instructing, and training our children in a loving, patient, merciful way because our heavenly Father does the same for us.
Here are some of my favorite Positive Discipline resources that has helped our family:
BLACK WOMEN POSITIVE DISCIPLINE EXPERTS
@destini.ann on TikTok
@SupernoveMomma on Twitter
I know I may be missing a TON of resources. Feel free to leave any that you may have in the comments and let’s continue this conversation! Do you whoop your children? Why or why not? This is a judgement free zone, here. My goal isn’t to persuade you either way (though it would be beneficial to take everything you just read into consideration). My goal is to simply let you know that you are not alone, mama. Because you’re not.
Xo – Riss