To spank or not to spank your grandchild – Does force send the wrong message?
By: Dr. Lillian Carson
Reprinted with permission by GRAND Magazine
Q. Lately my 4-year old grandson refuses to do what I ask. I find myself losing my temper and giving him a good spanking. I spanked my kids, and they’ve grown up okay. His parents don’t like spanking. Who’s right? Spanking Nana
A. Your spanking probably subdues your grandson but misses an opportunity to help him learn self control, responsibility and the consequences of his actions. A child’s behavior is his language, the way he expresses himself. Ask yourself what he’s telling you. Are you expecting too much for his age, is he stressed by a maj9or change (family breakup, a new sibling or starting school), are you threatening him, or is he looking for attention? Spanking teaches that you are bigger and stronger and because children learn by example, that the way to handle problems is with force. Your children are probably against spanking because of their memories of the humiliation and anger it caused.
First, you musty regain control of your own anger. Take a deep breath and calm yourself. Then, help your grandson to use his words and either help him complete the requested task or give him a time-out so he can ”think about it” and regain his composure. This provides the opportunity to learn from mistakes, restores dignity and your precious relationship and breaks this negative cycle.