A Mama’s Journey

I recently found an old list of “important goals” that I wanted to achieve in parenting. The list was titled Baby Boot Camp and it included weaning my kids off their pacifier and bottle, teaching them to come immediately when called, potty training my oldest, teaching them to stop whatever they were doing when I told them to, and training them to sit still through a church service.At the time I wrote this list, my children were aged two and one. About six months after I made that list, when I was 8 months pregnant with our third, tired and overwhelmed and struggling with depression again, I realized that I was an abusive parent.******************************It was the evening of a long day, m … [Read more...]

National Spank Out Day

I felt so lost when I first decided not to spank. It seemed like there were just no resources for parents like me. After almost 2 years, I am continually surprised by the sheer amount of great information on why spanking is damaging, and tons of great resources on gentle parenting. The links to articles and websites that I have saved in my favorites continues to grow, and I am seriously considering starting a new resource page on my blog where I can continue to link information as I find it for anyone looking for that type of thing.Today is National Spank Out day, and I don't have a post of my own ready. So instead I am sharing a few of the posts I've written in the past, as … [Read more...]

Spanking and Trust

Recently Ms Drama had some dry skin patches on her lower back. One night I was rubbing some lotion on the dry spots for her and without warning she flopped onto my lap, lying over my knees, her body completely relaxed. My instant reaction was shock, and after a moment I realized why.**************I remember being 9 or 10 and asking my mom for help with my clothes. The zipper on the back of my dress was stuck and I couldn’t reach it with enough strength to pull it open. It proved difficult for my mom too, and when she couldn’t get it open she asked me to bend over so she could see what she was doing better. My body couldn’t do it. I heard what she was asking me to do, and my head told my … [Read more...]

I Quit Spanking

We stopped spanking a year ago this month. And I would never go back. I had read the Christian parenting books like "To train up a Child" and "Raising Godly Tomatoes" and tried to the best of my ability to follow what they taught. I spanked consistently. I tried to stay cool calm and collected, and to not spank in anger. I used a wooden spoon so my kids would not associate my hands with pain, and I was careful to limit my swats and never leave a mark on my children. It didn’t work. And looking back I can hardly believe that I fell for the reasoning for spanking when I grew up being spanked myself, and I remember how it made me feel. I can hardly believe the things that I u … [Read more...]

Sin and spanking

I had a commenter on this post that asked about what the Catholic church teaches about discipline and what they have to say about spanking. Here is the section of the catechism that directly addresses raising and disciplining children:The duties of parents2222 Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law. 2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. … [Read more...]

What to do when you don’t spank?

When I learned that discipline was not punishment, it was very difficult to reprogram my thinking. My first instinct is still to punish, and though I've been doing well in not spanking lately, I am still tempted to do the same thing I always did, just replacing the spanking with some other knee-jerk reactive punishment. I cannot believe what a habit this had become. So while "What do do when you don't spank" may seem like a silly question, it was a very perplexing one for me. These are the new ways I've discovered discipline in the last 6 months. Pardon me if some of them seem kind of obvious, I'm just trying to be honest about what I've learned. Also keep in mind that all my children are … [Read more...]