This comment was from CajunMick on the post “Does Spanking Kids Cause Mental Disorders?“
I was abused as a child, so I thought I would never spank my children.
When my son was was little, he might get a swat to the butt if he engaged in a behavior that was really over the top or dangerous. It happened very rarely, but he did know there was a ‘nuclear deterant.’ Most of the time, I could verbally redirect him, esp. if the redirection was laced with humor. It was pretty effective. As he has gotten older, I’ve been able to reason things out with him. I think the last time he got spanked, he was 6. He’s almost 17 now.
There was one time I thought I was going to hit him in anger. When my son was about 2-3, I was studying art in college. In my home studio, I had just completed one of the most intricate, time-consuming paintings I had ever attempted. I was really proud of it.
My son, in the past, had never touched one of my paintings. To this day, I don’t know why he did this, but he ran into the studio, ran his fingers through the still wet paint, and then proceeded to take his oil paint covered fingers and smearing them all over the walls. I considered the thought he had been possessed.
I really wanted to run over to him and beat the sh*t out of him. It was bad. I knew if I spanked him him, it wouldn’t been a swat and it wouldn’t have been just one.
Instead, I called a friend, who was another art student and a mother. She rushed over (based on the tone of my voice on the telephone), assessed the situation, and sent me for a walk. On my return, my son and the walls were clean. She was forlornly trying to salvage the painting. Later that evening, we ended up laughing about it.
I’m still grateful to her for that swift act of kindness. If she hadn’t got there as quickly as she did, this story might not have had such a cheerful ending. It was instructive for me to learn that, as much as I loved my son, that I was capable of hurting him. Soon afterwards, I talked to a therapist who told me that the situation was handled correctly, and I shouldn’t freak out about it.