Please scroll down to read the origional article before reading my response. It may make a little more sense.
Let me preface my comment by saying that I’m NOT a parent. Ironically, I have been writing a book on “how to be a good parent” through my own reflections and observations of other parents.
1st: This is a VERY well written post, organized, vivid and thought-pravoking.
2. My 2 cents is that most physical pain inflicted on kids is unjustified. Discounting child psychopaths (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thinking-about-kids/201205/psychopaths-children-and-evil), no child deserves to be hurt.
And HURT is the key word. Up to a point where rational, cognitive thinking develops, a light, quick spanking may be the only “reminder” that a child’s actions are inappropriate and will not be tolorated. As a kid, my brother and I had levels of punishment. Most disciplining resulted in a “time out,” cooling off in our rooms or standing in a corner until mom let us out. Then there was a “weak” spanking; mom swat us with her hand or, if she meant business, a thin, wooden spoon. If my brother and I STILL misbehaved, mom would alert my dad when he came home from work…..THEN WE WOULD GET IT! Dad’s hand spanking was waaay worse than mom’s with a big wooden spoon. Knowing this, I would fake cry and moan so mom would think her punishment was enough. The difference between the two types of spankings is that mom used them sparingly to remind us who had authority and deserved respect. The woman in the store seems to have lashed out of frustration from lack of control.
Pondering this article, her problem is something plaguing society. Fear. The woman hit her kid from fear of loosing control. She lost control out of fear of loosing her child’s respect; That she was a bad parent. In actuality, her fear was not for loosing control of her kids but control of her mental state in a stressful situation.
Like most reactions of anger and/or violence, the problem lies in our own self-perception. Assume the child was yelling, crying and acting up in the store; making a scene. Who cares? Why are we concerned with the possiblity that strangers may secretly think we are loosing control of our kids? (At least we are not hitting them!)
Assume we want to quickly shop and get on with our day and the kid is making the same scene. BE PATIENT. That’s the nature of raising a child….so plan your day accordingly. As someone who wears oxygen, I must plan my outings with 2-hour tank intervals. It takes more time to plan and carry but that’s the nature of life. No use wining about it.
Your post has lead me to write this response through stream of consciousness. Wooo…..thank you for the inspiration!