Spanking is not a Black thing…got it?

I believe that sometimes stereotypes are based in reality and sometimes….well they are stupid. It’s been a long day for me, turns out trying to get out of debt is going to be more of a process than I assumed, so I am not much in the mood to write. That said I stumbled across this little gem, which I insist you read. For a writer fortunate enough to get a piece in the New York Times to actually write that spanking is part of black culture is ignorant. Let me guess we all like fried chicken, we all dance, and guess what we don’t ever live in places like Maine?

The reality is spanking happens across all socioeconomic stations, people on the lower end of that spectrum and some people of color may be more vocal about it but I have met non-Black people of means who had no problem laying hands on their kids. Granted they may hide it more but the fact is spanking happens.

I think a big part of why spanking happens is actually that most parents have no idea what is appropriate behavior for their kids, so what seems like the kid is trying to fuck with you and piss you off is that the kid is actually engaging in behavior appropriate for their age. It took me a while to learn that and that was the biggest reason I chose not to spank mini me despite the fact that I did spank college boy. Looking back I still feel guilty for spanking my son, but at 19 he assures me he is fine. That said, I won’t lie there are times when my daughter is pushing my buttons and all I want to do is tap that damn ass. Generally when I feel that, it means I need to walk away and ask what is it I need? I generally find when I am stressed, not rested, not getting laid, etc. that her behavior sets me off. The key though is it’s not about her, it’s about me.

I grew up being spanked but I also unlearned spanking, yet I am still black…hell, I am blacker than black. So to LaShaun Williams I say spanking does not have to be a part of our culture any more than consuming high fatty pork foods that kill us off. This is a new day with a new generation and many of today’s black folks are unlearning bad habits.

7 thoughts on “Spanking is not a Black thing…got it?

  1. All I can say is that where I am, where I live (predominantly African American), I am seen as a lax parent because I do not spank and I try very hard not to yell. I work very hard to be disciplined and to discipline my kids while giving them freedom to be but I don’t think that counts. So I dothink it is a part of the child-rearing culture (African American, Caribbean, African–Black) to spank and those of us who don’t are often seen as “new-age” and spoiling our children. I totally agree that it’s because people don’t understand developmentally appropriate behavior, don’t know alternatives and maybe don’t want to know: it was what was done to me and I’m fine so I’ll do it for my kids.

    Personally, I was spanked as a child and I feel it was ineffective as a disciplinary tool: I learned how to not get caught. Half the spanking I received, I don’t even remember what I did to deserve them. I just remember the fear and intense sadness. I’m not interested in raising my kids that way even if it merits the authenticity of my “Black card” being questioned. I’ve gotten really used to that anyway.

  2. I do think that many people parented the way they were parented not really examining if it was effective. I was spanked/WHOOPED as a child and I agree with Chi Chi that it just made me more creative,lol. I will admit that I struggle with spanking with my son. Sometimes it’s just when I’m at my wits end. Does it make it right, no. But I also don’t think my son will be scarred for life *fingers crossed*

  3. I absolutely believe we parent the way we were parented, that is why my son was spanked. At that stage in my life I had no other tools in my chest yet I know every time I spanked him it didn’t sit right.

    Looking back I can honestly say he was a easy kid who I probably didn’t need to spank, my girl on the other hand??? I admit she pushes my every button and there are times in my head I go back to that place where I think she needs to be tamed. The only reason I don’t is because I know that as a kid spanking made me a tentative child and I spent my early adult years being tentative.

    I look at her and don’t ever want her to fear me like i feared my Dad, like Laila I didn’t get spanked my ass got whupped. Yet so many of things I was spanked for were normal childhood things.

    In the end I believe we all do the best we can, Laila, if I recall you are a single Mom. I was a single Mom with my son and I know its hard. Currently I can walk away and tell my ole man to deal with her…you and your son will be fine.

  4. I agree with other commentators that people approach raising children the way they were raised. I was spanked; it made me learn to fear and hate my father (hate that later created a lot of guilt and soul searching to get beyond).

    I knew I didn’t want to raise my children like that, so I borrowed or bought all the parenting books I could get my hands on. If I spent ten dollars on a book and got one good tool, it was worth it. I wish there were more avenues for parents to learn to be parents. Our society seems to think people, especially women, were born “just knowing” how to raise children.

    I find it so frustrating when any qualities that people have are generalized by race or sex or religion. You find all behaviors across the spectrum.

  5. I’m new to your blog…and I so needed to hear this tonight. Going through a hell of a time with my soon-to-be-7-year-old daughter. I had sworn I wouldn’t spank my children, having grown up with a lot of spanking and yelling. (And, for the record, I am from a white upper-middle-class background.) Yet, during the last week in my home spanking has happened more than half of the days. And I yell all the time.

    Bucking cultural norms is worth the effort…and ridding myself of the disciplinary norm I experienced as a child is taking more effort than I expected. I agree that the spankings are my fault, not my daughter’s. They happen when I’m stressed, hungry, angry, lonely and tired. All because I didn’t take care of myself so I’d be in fit shape to mother my kids.

    Also, hearing that you spanked one kid and not the other helps me forgive myself and move on. Thanks for that.

  6. Most parents are trying to do better than how they were raised. It takes a lot of courage to depart from a family culture or social culture around us. I’m here to tell you white working, mid, and upper-class parents do all sorts of twisted shit. Seen it, lived it. There was a lot of pressure to make sure you kept your worst behavior in the privacy of your own home. Hit a child in public? Heck no.

    Thanks for adding this to the @SpankOutCar. It’s a good piece.

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