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Re: Too Old For Spanking Or . . . ? - June 18th 2011, 06:36 AM

Young children often cannot fully understand the consequences of their actions. You can tell a toddler that cars are dangerous, that they need to look both ways before crossing the street, etc. but what do toddlers do? They act without thinking things through. No matter how effectively you word something to a young child, they are still going to act without thinking. Their brains have not fully developed yet, so they are incapable of rational thinking (like a 16-year-old or an adult is capable of). That is why spanking is used on toddlers who fail to follow their parents' rules: because physical punishment is something they can readily understand and connect to their actions. When they run across the street without mommy or daddy's permission, they get a spanking! You can modify a young child's behavior by using crude punishments such as spanking.

There is a reason why spanking isn't used on teenagers or adults, however. As stated earlier, a young child's brain is not yet fully developed. Although you are still undergoing developmental changes (and will continue to do so until your mid-20s), you can understand the consequences of your actions. You can use logic and reason to determine what you stand to lose by failing to come home on time. For example, you could lose privileges or gain additional chores around the house. There is no need for spankings at your age because there are MORE EFFECTIVE means of communicating what is and is not appropriate behavior.

That is why your mother's method of punishment is unacceptable. I don't know if I would go so far as to say it's a sexual fetish, but it's certainly not age-appropriate. More importantly, it teaches you that when you make a mistake, you deserve to feel physical pain. That is not something you want to hold on to for the rest of your life. When you make a mistake, you should not seek out physical punishment from your superiors (such as your mom or your future boss), nor should you physically punish yourself (as individuals who practice self-harm do). Instead, you should use your highly-developed brain to put the pieces of the puzzle together, learn from your mistakes, accept the consequences of your actions, and move on.

I strongly encourage you to talk to your mother again - this time, eliminating spanking as an option. Traditions are important, but when they interfere with normal intellectual and moral development, they need to be set aside in favor of solutions that will allow you to mature into a functional teenager or adult in the years to come. Other members have mentioned the importance of communication, and I agree that your mother needs to vocalize her disapproval when you fail to follow her rules, vs. bending you over her knee and spanking your bare behind. When she feels you need to be punished, she should find an appropriate consequence, one that will more accurately reflect the "real-life" consequences you might face in the future. For example, if you show up late to work too many times, you may lose your job. If you show up late for your curfew, you may lose privileges. The punishments you receive now should represent the punishments you may experience as an adult. No one is going to spank you or physically humiliate you as an adult (at least, we would hope not!).

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