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
I don’t often read blogs anymore but I was curious when you posted on Instagram as I have followed you for a very long time (but not quite as far as The Riss Kiss Days). I was immediately attracted by the beautiful blog page with lots of seemingly interesting content to delve deeper into. I was immediately drawn to the whooping article based on my own trials in raising a toddler and was so grateful to have read this content. It truly allowed me to see things from a different perspective and highlighted a need for me to gain more knowledge in order to break the cycle of not so positive parenting that I witnessed growing up. I have followed the link for each and every book you have posted and will make a commitment to myself and my children to learn another way. Thank you for sharing things at just the right time in my life (literally to the day). God is doing amazing things through you. I am truly grateful x
I’m so glad someone that I look up to has the same mindset that I definitely want for my children. I’ve said this over and over again in the privacy of my space but 100% agree with EVERYTHING you have said. When I have children of my own, I definitely want to implement this type of discipline.
What a great read! Being a toddler mama is NOT easy… I try to take in as much information as possible when raising my son because I want to be the BEST mommy I can to him. Thank you for this insight! Much needed!
I only got spanked once growing up, but my brother got spanked alot, he tested my mom to the T. But my mom felt that since I was a girl that she didn’t want to hit me. But I learned fast by seeing my brother get spanked and I behaved myself, especially after my one and only spanking I ever got. But I do feel that spanking kids make them more violent, have more anger built up to the point they lash out at other kids as well. As a kid I always liked being heard and understood otherwise I got frustrated, but just listening made me calmer. Kids like to be respected, asked questions, ask why they feel a certain way and showing patience. Kids have feelings and so many parents are quick to jump to immediate anger, no words or conversation, just anger and violence. But since my mom didn’t want to spank me she would just take things I love away from me or tell me I can’t go out on the weekend if I misbehaved. My mom was a person that followed through, if she said it, she meant it. So I knew mom wasn’t playing no games and she had that tone of voice when she meant business that made your hairs on your arms stand up, lol. I feel it made me a nicer person because my defenses weren’t always up to hit people or act out in violence. More black families need to learn more patience and techniques to discipline so our kids don’t learn violence from the home.
I am glad to read this. I will say that i use whoopings as a last option approach and I don’t use it all the time because I feel if that I would be whooping them for everything. So I i include other ways for punishment like taking away privileges, making my children do things they hate like stay still. Sometimes whooping them doesn’t always work.
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