Last night I returned from class and got ready to do the reading that was required for my other class the following day. I had my book, hi-lighter, notebook, and was settled into the couch for some hardcore studying. My fiance started chatting about kids and somehow we got on the topic of disciplining. He thinks that giving the kid a smack on the butt if they do something wrong is fine, where I think that there are plenty of other options before resorting to any kind of violence.
This escalated into an argument, and I'm still confused as to how it happened. (Usually I'm the one that ends up getting emotional and upset about a topic and he fends for himself while I try not to get mad, but this time it was the other way around. It was weird being the calm one for once.) First of all, we don't have any children yet and I hope to wait until after we're married next year (and possibly after I graduate college) before we have our first child, so I didn't know why this was such a pressing issue... I never did find that answer out, but here's how it went:
At first he made it sound like if the child does something wrong, the first thing he would do is give them a smack, but that wasn't the case... he was more of the notion that once you had warned the child a few times, you follow thru with a "threat" of a spanking and that teaches the child (even as young as two) not to do that action.
I disagreed, saying that violence begets violence, and if you start putting a hand to the child whenever they do something wrong, that'll teach them that when someone does something wrong to them, they can in turn smack someone else. I understand that this isn't always the case, but it's a possibility, isn't it? I think that there are plenty of other disciplinary actions that can be taken before resorting to violence, whether that is a slap on the butt or a slap on the face.
My fiance and I are both very strong-willed, stubborn people, so it was difficult to come to any sort of compromise. We ended up just both apologizing and saying that when the time comes, we'll talk about it and see what our options are, but it's not worth arguing at this point.
Any insight from my fellow classmates that are parents would be helpful... what kind of disciplining do you do? Is a smack on the hinder appropriate sometimes, or should that never be an option? Does early exposure to this kind of physical violence resort to violent behavior later in life, or is it completely unrelated? These are questions I've heard discussed by psychologists and doctors for years and there's still controversy either way. Your opinions are welcome here.