*A few months ago our family had the privilege of being invited to R & L’s house* for dinner. R & L are a warm and wonderful couple who we met at church. L is a “supermom” (not just one that is good at mothering, but I think she might literally wear a cape). She keeps an immaculately organized home, she homeschools (my dream), teaches piano, and she fosters ultra-healthful eating by grinding her own wheat, making bread that will help you poop and superfancy healthful (yet delicious) cookies that are suppose to actually help you lose weight (though I ate about 10 and didn’t lose anything). We love L.
L graciously shared* some resources on parenting and discipline, which I gobbled right up. Since I wasn’t disciplined as a child, I am always interested in learning how others go about shaping the will of their children (particularly when they have fantastically well-mannered children, like L & R do!). The topic of discipline* is actually an area that I had read up on early in my Christian walk, because by the time I got saved, I was already a parent of a “terrible two-year old” who was extremely strong willed. I dove right into James Dobson’s “Strong Willed Child” and some others by Swindoll and Tripp.
L showed me* a 12 inch glue stick with the words “use with love” written on it, that she used* to train her daughter. When her little one was willfully defiant, L would swat her hand with the stick*. After I expressed my difficulty with Maya’s temperament, L generously gave a glue stick of my own to take home.
I explained to L that although I knew from my reading that I should use something besides my hand to spank (so that the child would associate the pain with the “thing” and not me), I always opted to use my hand. I had never been spanked as a child, so when I began disciplining my kids, I felt that I needed to use my hand to help me gage the pain I was inflicting on their little bottoms. (Dirt laughs at my early attempts at spanking which essentially amounted to me tapping Avery’s butt with his diaper padding on.)
I accepted the glue stick*, but asked L to show me*, how she would use it*. She smiled awkwardly, hesitated, and asked me if I was sure. I was. I held out my hand and she turned it palm-side up and gently grasped my fingertips. Then she took her little “use with love” glue stick and slapped my* fingers with it*. My eyes got real big and I bit my lip, but before I knew it, she was going back for more! Two more strikes! Holy cow! I didn’t know it was a three-part deal! I tried to remain composed, “Yes, I see how that would be an effective deterrent” I managed to mutter out while I was assessing the throbbing pain in my left hand*. Then she shared with me that discipline is always done as an act of love and she always spends time holding her children afterward. I wanted to cry and be held, but I thought it would’ve been awkward, so I just bit my lip.
The reason why this blog is coming so many months later is because to this day whenever I think of L or the spanking incident I get tingling in the left side of my brain down to my hand. I am serious. In fact, as I starting typing this post I put an asterisk (*) every time I got the sensation so you could see how effective* the glue stick spanking methodology is! For a while I thought that maybe I had some neurological damage, but then Dirt laughed and told me that it was because I had never been spanked before. Then I acknowledged that not only had I never been spanked, but I had never been punished (no time outs, no groundings, nothing, nada, no consequences for actions).
…And you definitely don’t want to raise a child like me.
Editor's note: Though I haven’t actually used the glue stick to swat my kids, I did find that showing it to them and explaining the pain that it can cause and letting them know that I’m not afraid to use it on them, has been a wonderful deterrent.