Just like many other people in the world, I used to get “whoopins” as a child. I didn’t get them a lot because my brother and I rarely did things to get one, BUT WHEN WE DID, we learned our lesson. For the most part, we probably didn’t do it again. There were also times when we didn’t learn our lesson. Either we gained a healthy fear for whoopins or became really clever at hiding the bad stuff we did growing up. *winks*
We mainly got whoopins for not cleaning up to my mother’s expectations. Occasionally, we got in trouble for misbehaving at school or fighting each other, but it did not happen too often. Needless to say we weren’t terrible kids who got in trouble all of the time, but we were kids, so we did get in trouble and we did get whoopins.
Mother made sure that we knew what we were in trouble for and actually gave us the opportunity to disagree with getting a whoopin, and give a reasonable explanation as to why she shouldn’t do it.
But I can’t recall either of us (my brother and I) having enough guts to disagree, or provide a reasonable explanation, mostly because we knew we were in the wrong and had no excuse for our behavior.
As I said, my mother was not one to up and just beat her kids for every little thing. She always told us that her mother was that way, and she refused to raise her children in the same way. Although she made the decision to still whoop us from time to time, she at least wanted us to know it was due to our actions and nothing else.
Kicking It Up A Notch
Just like the majority of the African American community and many other communities, I believed that parents, including myself, have the right to choose if we wanted to whoop our child as a form of discipline. I mean that in a non-abusive way. However, I still believe a parent has the right to choose how they discipline their children and it is their business.
My husband and I have chosen a different a route, but no, we don’t look down on or judge anyone else that does otherwise. There was a time when we did whoop our daughter, but then we had a discussion not to do it anymore.
First Comes The Thought
Even after we started disciplining Jordyn, something still didn’t feel right about the idea of inflicting pain on the one person I am supposed to protect. Nonetheless, I continued on with the conditioned behavior.
About a year and a half ago, I came across a man named Derrick Grace II. He is a self-made entrepreneur, life coach, mentor and more. Most of all he is a father. I came across one of his Instagram videos where he talked about why we should stop whooping our children.
I can’t find the video now of course, but the key things that stuck with me were:
· How many family and friends do we know that got plenty of whoopins in their day and still ended up going to jail or down another wrong path?
·Sometimes when we discipline our children, it is because they irritated or upset us. However, if we were to come across a stranger in the street who did the same thing or similar, we would restrain ourselves from putting our hands on them.
There was more in the talk, but I am drawing a blank right now.
These ideas are paraphrased, so I recommend following Derrick Grace on social media to learn directly from him.
In some cases, whooping may deter a child from repeating the same behaviour, but in our experience as parents, that was not the case most of the time. Like myself, my daughter is well behaved and does not get into any more trouble than an average child. This means she is going to make bad choices no matter what, and she may even piss me off in the process.
What We Are Teaching
When we were disciplining our daughter with that type of punishment, we were only reinforcing that physical violence is OK in the event that someone does something wrong to you. However, our words were saying that when someone does something to upset you, or doesn’t listen to you, etc., it is not OK to hit them.
If you are a parent and choose to whoop your child, then you have to be willing to own up to the fact that your child MAY have done something to “deserve” a whopping. However, it may be because you had a long day at work, the traffic was terrible, and other life stressors were getting to you and your patience is just not there today. Then suddenly, BAM, your child’s normal behavior is not tolerated and they are on the receiving end of everything that has happened to you that day.
Again, I am not talking about child abuse! However, there is a thin line between the two and if you are not careful, that line can be crossed. In some cases, that line is all the way crossed and there are children’s lives in danger because adults don’t know how to manage their emotions and discipline their child properly.
What We Do Now:
Our daughter no longer gets whoopins and yes, she still has a smart mouth, doesn’t clean up, occasionally has accidents, and cries way too much for my liking. However, those are all the things she did before we stopped, which tells me that those methods weren’t working to begin with.
As her parents, we have to stop and actually evaluate her behavior and decide on the best disciplinary action for her misbehavior. Depending on what it is, we sit down and talk to her about her actions and what led her to making those decisions. Other times when she just refuses to listen to anything we say, we take privileges away. Right now YouTube is her thing, so she will straighten up when we restrict her access to that.
We still don’t have this parenting thing down pat, and we are still learning and we do what we think is best for our daughter, just like every parent should. We have to learn to be patient, get our emotions together before disciplining our children and we have to stop resorting to the old way of doing things and get more creative.
My mother started breaking the cycle by allowing us the chance to understand why we were being disciplined and protest against it. Her decision allowed me to have a mindset to even allow myself to unlearn this way of disciplining our daughter and to try something different.
I can’t wait to see how this choice continues to have a positive impact on our daughter. I know she’d better not grow up and have kids, then choose to whoop them! Lol.
Question of The Week
Do you believe in spanking, whooping, hitting, whatever you want to call it, your child? Why or why not? (This a judgement freezone and open to all perspectives other than abuse of course)