Posts Tagged ‘imitation’

I Was a Spanking Mother

Yes, that’s really Ian!

Yes, I spanked my son. It was almost twenty years ago but I still remember it vividly. Ian was six or seven and was stubbornly, defiantly ignoring me right to my face. (About what? Now that I cannot recall!) Something primitive inside me uncoiled and I was suddenly spanking him. I regretted it immediately and ever since — not just for the obvious reason of having been violent with him, but also for the sliver of his respect I lost in that moment.

We lose the admiration of our children when we “lose it.” It’s a mammalian thing: all animal behaviorists know that our ability to have authority over — and thus the ability to train — a dog or a horse is severely eroded if the animal sees or feels us get angry. Credible leaders don’t lose their composure, it’s as simple as that. Of course children aren’t dogs, but we can learn so much from understanding the mammalian similarities! Our children’s respect and admiration are among the most potent tools in our parenting toolbox, and if we do things to erode them, we set ourselves up for trouble down the line. (more…)