To Spank or Not to Spank: What you didn’t see on today’s episode of “Bethenny”

Today, the episode of “Bethenny” that Kari from A Grace Full Life and I attended as part of the trip I won to NYC aired.  During the show, there was a discussion about whether or not you should spank your children.

Melissa Gorga mentioned that her grandmother used to chase her around with a wooden spoon.  It was something that immediately resonated with me.  Which is why I raised my hand and added my experience to the conversation.

To Spank or Not To Spank - My Contribution to today's "Bethenny" show (<a target=www.memyselfandjen.com)" width="819" height="631">

The only commentary you saw from me was my tweet on the screen while someone else was sharing their opinion.  What hit the cutting room floor was a conversation that Bethenny and I had regarding spanking and the use of a wooden spoon.

@3girlsmomma19 tweet to the Bethenny show regarding spanking, aired on November 18th (<a target=www.memyselfandjen.com)" width="533" height="288">Yes, I have spanked my 8-year-old with a wooden spoon.  Once – for lying.  Which is the only time I will ever need to do it because she has learned that lying is unacceptable and it is met with stronger consequences than the action that she is lying about.

Let me backtrack a little -

My grandmother had a wooden spoon.  Each one of the five grandchildren, I believe, only got it once.  Not hard.  Just once was all that was necessary to remind us that we were absolutely not to mess with her.  And we didn’t.  We all loved and revered her, and her wooden spoon.  So much so that when she passed, we all signed one and placed it in her casket with her.  The rest of them were distributed among us, and hers is the same spoon I used to spank my child with.

I wasn’t spanked by my parents, I was beaten.  More so by my mother than my father, although there are a few memorable occasions where his hand print remained on my backside for a few days.   My mother, on the other hand, was the primary disciplinarian and she didn’t know any other way.  She started with using her hand to spank – not swat – but full on paddle while angry and yelling.  Next came the belt – a wide one that didn’t really hurt (something she discovered when my brother and I actually laughed during a whipping once – WHOOPS!).  Next came the skinny belt.  That one hurt because she pulled back and really got some air in between the belt and my backside – the thin leather acting like a whip on my pre-teen skin.  I’ll never forget the day that she wasn’t around her belt and felt the need to come after me with the orange plastic Hot Wheels tracks.  If you were a child of the 70s, you know what I’m referring to – three-foot sections of construction zone orange plastic, about one inch wide, with a small, raised edge on either side so that the Hot Wheels cars would stay on them.  I can still hear the whistle they made as they whipped through the air towards my body.  My mother was also a fan of the open hand slap to the face – perfectly timed to when you were standing in front of a wall, door, or kitchen cabinet so that your head would bounce off of it when she slapped you and you’d get it from both sides.  There was rarely a conversation or explanation; just yelling, hitting and a lot of anger.

When I had children, I vowed to do it differently.  I tried time-outs, choices and consequences, and losing privileges.  I was consistent and firm, and it wasn’t getting through.  There was a respect level that was missing in my children that I feel is missing in most children towards adults today.  They aren’t afraid of anything.  In my opinion, a little fear is tied to respect of your parents, and that goes a long way in keeping your fanny out of trouble during those teen years (a point that was also expressed by Melissa Gorga on today’s “Bethenny” show).    While I lived with my father for most of my high school years (and he didn’t spank me as a teen), I feared and respected him because I knew that HE WOULD if he had to and felt that I deserved it.

My now eight year old had a big issue with lying.  I tried every consequence, tactic, Super-Nanny trick under the sun to get her to stop and it wasn’t working.  It was just escalating.  So I put my foot down, and told her the next time she lied to me, she’d be getting spanked with the spoon.

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