Dianne's Story

I never thought it would end up happening to my kids.....spanking.

It never happened to me. Oh sure I got a good yelling at by my mom once and a while, and maybe a firm finger point to the shoulder, but never anything physical. I was scared of her because of how she could give you a good talking to. I was scared of her, and tried to avoid her getting mad at me at all.

I was never a Christian until just before I got married either. That pulls a whole other issue into the picture. What DOES the Bible say about it? Who is God? What does He expect from parents and children? It was all very new and I was learning to be a good wife to a husband with a completely different upbringing. We viewed children in completely different ways, so naturally our approach was different also.

When they started to be toddlers, the advice started rolling in, and what had been taught to us as individuals started surfacing. I did not agree with sleep training and thankfully my husband agreed. When the kids were about 2, my husband was so upset with one of them because he felt they knew better and were trying to be disobedient. One of the kids had been spanked a few times and it made me so furious. My blood would be boiling, I'd be sweating with anger, and not in the room. We all have ideas as to how things should go, but none of us know for sure in the beginning, so I tried to be a good wife and expressed my hatred towards it and me not agreeing to it. 

A lot happened in between then and why we stopped, but I can say how terribly sad it has been for him to see that the kids are scared of him. The ones whom have been spanked. Scared to say how they feel, what they want, scared just to talk to him. He loves them, and it broke his heart. To see the kids break down crying because he asked them a question, or too afraid to answer...

It took us years to get on the same page. Many. 5yrs. The kids didn't get spanked much. Just the odd time, but many threats of it which keeps them in fear of it. My husband wanted to believe it was the wrong thing, and listened to my explanations. A few times he agreed and said we wouldn't. However, because it was me convincing him, not a real understanding of why or a heart conviction...he'd resort back to it when he felt he had no control over them. 

I am ashamed to say I had also done it a couple times because I just didn't know what else to do and I needed them to stop what they were doing. I hated myself, feelings of anger washed over me because I knew I had done wrong. That is the only time I have ever hated being a parent and wished I wasn't. The feeling like you know you're messing up and don't know what TO do.

God showed my husband in his own heart that we are to be representatives of Him to the children. That they should feel towards us, how they should feel about God.

I have certainly made mistakes and I regret every yelling tone and cold response in times of extreme fatigue and stress. Sometimes, you are actually a good mom, but you've swayed a little. Rationalizing it, because there are many kids, and much stress, and I am human and in the past little while, just not able to handle much. Not like when I was first a mom. Do I love my kids? YES! Am I good mom? YES! 

Here's the good part.....We sat down with our kids and appologized. We explained that we are human and were mistaken about God, and therefore mistaken about our behaviour towards them. We said sorry for the bad choices in behaviour we had made. We told them God is not like that. We have learned about mens rhea. Which is a child's inability to make decisions based on outcome.

Why did we stop? The kids were scared, acting out, lack of empathy, general fear issues, and most of all... a disconnection from us. The final straw for me was my 4 yr old saying how stupid he is, that he's bad and nobody likes him.

So, we stopped. It's not as easy as that, because you have to have a plan as to what you will do and you have to know rewards and punishment is still the same mentality, so we are trying to cultivate a home of honoring one another and listening because we love each other. Not because of what we will get, just because we love one another.