When I was a kid, my parents rarely conformed to the saying "Spare the rod, spoil the child". It wasn't that we were well behaved (not hoodlums though). It was just that mom had a hard time catching us with the fly swatter that was scatter with the decaying wings and legs of its victims, and I actually think that my father was afraid he would hurt us if he applied the rod (he is a strong man).
My husband and I do not adhere to this same method of parenting. Now before you go calling social services, let me explain our methods. We do not spank our children religiously. We have many different methods that are utilized first before making the decision to use the "rod" (our hands), i.e. talking, timeout, removal of privileges... However, there comes a time when a child needs a good spanking in order to get the message across. These times include those of immediate danger (running out in front of a car or sticking finger into an electrical socket) or those times when you have repeatedly told your child not to do something and have talked yourself blue in the face and the timeout step has been worn out.
The time to not "spare the rod" came to our household a couple of days ago. Our oldest child got in trouble, again, for putting her hands on someone or in this case two someones. She kicked one boy in the "booty" and hit another boy with her elbow. Now these boys could have very well deserved this treatment, however, we have discussed and timed out over and over again because of her love of putting her hands on other people be it in love, playing, annoyance, or anger.
Since there were two offenses, I decided the time had come for two spankings. I can only imagine the feeling of dread that filled her cute little stomach (she has the cutest little belly button) all afternoon waiting for her punishment. Finally the time arrived right after bath time, and I bent her over my knee (something I still giggle about until it happens) and applied 3 spanks with my hand to her naked booty. The moment she started crying my heart broke, but I knew this was a lesson that needed to be taught so I persevered. She was over it in less than 1 minute.
When Brian got home, I informed him that he now had to spank her for the second offense. This would be the first time he had actually spanked her and he was quite uncertain. Alas, he did his duty and got in a good spank. He thought he was done until he caught my disapproving look. At this point he applied one more, be it a much softer, lick which brought on the tears.
The crazy thing was that the tears were not just from her. At the point of the second spank, my youngest ran into the room screaming at the top of her lungs, "Leave my sissy awone!" She then threw herself between my husband and the culprit. Then the dramatic crying ensued. Not from the victim, but from her protector. They gripped each other and howled with tears. It was the sweetest and funniest thing I have ever seen. You would have thought they both had been beaten with an inch of their existence. If I had been quick enough to get my Flip video camera, there is no doubt we would be rich. The youngest one's crying continued long after the actual victim was over it. I guess now I can truly appreciate the phrase, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you."