Why I Don’t Hit My Kids

I know, I know, we’re all disappointed by the lack of creative title but this particular post is written to forsake artistry for honesty, cleverness for clarity and I intend to be as straight forward as the title suggests.  (Now to see if my intentions prove themselves truthful).

I don’t hit my kids and when I say that I mean I do not: spank, swat, switch, tap, pop, smack or otherwise raise a hand nor any other instrument with the intention to cause them the sensation of physical pain.

(Now immediately I’m going to head off the objection that people who spank their children are not intending to cause them physical pain, but to correct behavior. The act of spanking is an attempt to correct behavior through the motivation of avoiding the repetition of physical pain.

That is what it is.

If you can not resolve yourself to this plain, technical fact of the matter you and I have something in common. The fact that I can not reconcile myself to hurt my children purposefully, even a little bit, is a main reason I don’t favor this form of parenting.)

My main reason, aside from the one addressed above is: hypocrisy.

Every single day, from the day they gain control of their limbs until they day that they fully grasp the concept I remind my boys, “We don’t hit.” or “Be gentle.” In my opinion the “Do as I say and not as I do” method of teaching is ineffective.  Children model their behavior after the adults they see around them – it’s the reason why my two year old likes to sweep for example.  Smacking Jimmy for whacking Suzy in the back of the head is only going to teach him that hitting another kid will get him hit- it doesn’t teach him that hitting is not okay.

Which of course comes to another point: hitting is not okay.

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It’s Such a Good Feeling

I was one of the millions of children who considered this man a neighbor. Everyday I would listen for the tinkling tune of piano keys so I could watch the camera slowly pan over the fascinating model buildings and cars of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  I adored the show, King Friday and Henrietta Pussycat, the chiming language of the trolley, the working stoplight that adorned the wall, the fish and the videos of things being made (brooms and crayons were my favorites), but mostly I just loved Mr. Rogers. I liked his sweaters, his strange and comforting accent, the way he seemed to speak directly to me.

However, I didn’t recognize the simple brilliance of the show until I had kids of my own.

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