A Spanking and the Consequences

I looked over my shoulder. My son was holding a paint roller. From where I stood, I could see grey paint on his face, in his hair and a fair amount on his bedroom door. He was laughing his evil laugh. His, I know I did something wrong and I want you to know about it too, laugh. The best way to describe the laugh is Will Ferrell imitating George W. Bush. Hee-heeee-heeeee.

I was painting the trim in our hallway with a brush and he snuck out of his bedroom (this all took place after bedtime) grabbed the roller and headed back into his room. After his little laughing spree, he said, “There’s mooooore!” and walked in to his room. There I saw a partially painted wall, some on the dog kennel and a little bit on the carpet. Truthfully, it wasn’t nearly as bad as It could have been.

I calmly took the roller from him, talked a little bit with him about how wrong it was to do that, and told him I was disappointed in what he did, blah, blah, blah. I also told him he would not get to keep his door cracked as a consequence. Well, that sent him over the edge. The next thing I know he is in his room pelting his door with Hot Wheels. My first section was, holy smokes that kid has a good arm, but then I got angry. I stormed into his room and I was mad. I did something I had not done in my previous 2430 days as a parent, I swatted him on his rear end, hard. One time. He was in complete shock. I felt like it was my last resort. Clearly, his goal out of all this was to get and keep my attention when he was supposed to be sleeping, and it worked.

All the spanking did was cause him to escalate his anger and I still spent the next hour battling to keep him in his bedroom until he finally fell asleep.

The entire rest of the night I felt terrible for what I had done. Why did I hit my kid? What point was I trying to prove? It didn’t have any positive effect on the situation. In fact, all it did was make matters worse. I just felt like a jerk. And a bad parent.

Around midnight after I finished painting and I turned on the TV for a bit before bed. ESPN was playing the controversial video of the Rutgers basketball coach. He was pushing his players, throwing basketballs as hard as he could at them, just generally treating them like garbage. It made me so mad to watch a grown man treat these college kids that way. Lets face it, they are in fact still kids.

That’s when it hit me, I treated my own kid the same way he treated his players. I know it’s different in some ways too, but to me, the principle of it all is the same.

Spanking my son, for me didn’t solve any problems. It didn’t teach him a lesson. It didn’t make his a better person. It just made me feel, like, well, it made me feel like shit.


I’m writing this at 6am on a Sunday morning. I’m the only one awake in the house. As I was about to finish writing this, my son, came down the stairs, with his blanket in his hand and his thumb in his mouth and asked if he could come sit and snuggle with me on the couch. So, I’m going to stop writing this and spend a little extra time snuggling with my son.


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