I should spank my angry child, you say? A good old fashioned whoopin‘ would take that anger right out of him, right? Oh really, you think if I just reared him up right and taught him how to be respectful, all would be good in the world. Well, while I thank you all for your opinions on the best way to raise my child with emotional disabilities, I kindly disagree. I am sorry, I simply can’t spank the “angry child” out of my child! Believe me, I have tried.
First off, I want to say I had another post planned but I feel I need to get something off my chest. I need to clear the air.
You see, I have an ANGRY CHILD! I write about it often, and my post on ways to calm an angry child continues to spiral out of control. Every time I see a spike in pageviews, I also see a huge spike in comments.
I want to start by saying there are wonderful and heart warming comments and emails in large numbers. They tell me its so nice to not feel so alone. They tell me since reading my posts on my angry child, they have learned ways to help theirs. They tag friends, and they share by the thousands.
Then there’s the other side. The side that caused me to blame myself for so long as a parent. The side the makes me second guess my current strategies even when I know there is merit to them. Normally, the pages they comment on delete them. Sometimes they get responded to. This time, the comments were no different, so many people “helping” by providing their ideals on the best way to manage an angry child… “spank them”.
So many times when I see the mention of spanking and disciplining, I avoid the comment like the plague. You see, I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers. I am not trying to tell anyone how to parent. Heck, I barely have this thing figured out myself. Honestly, you parent your way and I’ll parent mine. However, I realized today that there is an even larger picture, something I think needs to be addressed.
Whether you are for or against spanking, I want my message to be heard. This post is not against spanking. That is for another day and another post. Maybe even a totally different site all together. Instead, I need you to know something about my child. My Angry Child!
I Can’t Spank the Angry Child Out of Him
My son is now 9 years old. That is 9 long years of lots of trying times. I love him dearly, I do but parenting him has been hard. From as long as I can remember, he has been challenging. I have spent countless hours reading the books, researching tips, going to education in-services, and trying new things. I have spent years blaming myself for his behavior and his attitudes. I can’t even count how many times I have uttered the words “What am I doing wrong?”
I have set limits.
I have set expectations.
I have been consistant.
I have tried whispering.
I have tried yelling.
I have tried screaming.
I have tried punishments.
I have tried rewards.
I have tried bribery.
I have tried groundings.
I have tried bedtime with no dinner.
I have taken away toys.
I have taken away electronics.
I have canceled playdates.
I have canceled birthday parties.
I have tried time outs.
I have tried spankings.
You see, I have tried it all! I have tried all my teacher tricks. I have tried all the parenting tricks. Nothing seemed to work. Nothing. No matter how many people told me “if you just…” things didn’t change. They didn’t change until I started to understand my angry child just a little more.
Why is My Angry Child So Angry?
About 1 year ago, I was at my wits end. I was done. We had tried it all. Our son was struggling everywhere. He was having a hard time at school. He was having a hard time at home. He was having a hard time everywhere! That’s when we started to dig a little deeper and think that this wasn’t just a phase or something we could spank out of him.
After tons of doctor’s appointments, neuropsych exams, charts, and surveys we learned that our son was suffering from a few things that were causing his outbursts. He has what is known as Sensory Processing Disorder . Because of this, he also struggles with Dysregulated Moods and Anxiety. No amount of spanking him is ever going to get him the help he needs.
That is why I am writing this post. It needs to be said. Often times when a child is exhibiting angry behavior, meltdowns or tantrums it is not because they are showing you who’s boss. It is not because they are being defiant. Often times there is a root cause. It could be a communication error, it could be a power struggle, it could be attention seeking, or it could be something more serious.
There it is, folks. That is my response to all of you that think I should just spank the angry out of my child. My short response… I can’t. My long response… maybe you shouldn’t either. Maybe I can help you find resources for the struggles you are having that might be more effective than spanking your child. Maybe not. At least I am trying to spread awareness.
Resources to Use Instead of Spanking Your Angry Child
So now what? I got you here. You are either nodding your head because you understand where I am coming from and you need more resources…
You are furious. You think I am stupid and have no right telling other people how to parent. You wouldn’t be the first to tell me this. You think what I am saying is for the birds and “sensory only happens when parents get involved”. If this is you, I want to leave you with a few more resources that might or might not give you a little more help with your angry child. (in case you are open to it)
Handling Meltdowns and Tantrums | Child Mind Institute
Tips to Staying Calm When Your Kids Are Not | Janet Lansbury
What is Spanking? | Not Just Cute
“Its How I Was Raised and Other Reasons People Spank| Not Just Cute
Why Spanking Doesn’t Work | Dr. Phil
Spanking the Grey Matter Out of Our Kids | CNN Health
No matter what side you are on, I hope the next time you see a post come across your feed about an angry child, or you are at the store and see a child losing their cool, that you pause for just a second before thinking “they just need a good spanking”. Disability or not, spanking just might not be the right answer.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! I am a tad nervous to hit the publish button and hope you will be kind and respectful as you share your thoughts with me and with others.