“I hope that by this point you begin to see how your simple, sweet words about raising children are actually harmful. Perhaps you’re wondering if I want to have a dialogue with you, and talk about what you really meant by your early book. Perhaps you’ve adopted a policy of grace, and now recommend that parents spank less and not on bare skin? The truth is, I don’t want to know. If I needed justification or reasoning for your teachings, I could use your book as a reference. What I’d like you to do is reconsider your position after carefully looking at how your teachings affected me. Would a loving parent really want to raise a child to fear people, to wear a cheerful and obedient shell, or to live with PTSD and other ailments? I hope the answer you come to is No. I hope that you realize that hitting a child for any reason is not loving. Then, I hope, you join the cause to end corporal punishment in the homes of children. I came into this world a happy, healthy baby. For no other reason than the Roy Lessin spankings, I now fight for my physical and mental health. Please help others and me so this doesn’t happen to any more children. Help end corporal punishment. Help end child abuse. If Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea,” (Mark 9:42), I can’t image that God would condone such behavior in people who claim to be loving parents.”

This is just the end of a letter that I highly suggest one read by clicking on the link: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/how-spanking-changed-my-life.html

I see the side effects that this gut-wrenching letter depicts on a regular basis. I understand why spanking exists. All negative behavior comes from a state of stress and unmet need (http://www.postinstitute.com/resources/the-stress-model.html). We only know what we know. It takes an instant to feel fear and if we have no memory of love in that specific instance, then we react with “fight”. There is tremendous brain research to support and explain this chemical process. Check out  http://www.wavetrust.org/ and http://www.childtrauma.org/index.php/articles

I understand how anyone who spanks is really doing the best they can with the resources they have and are aware of. We must consider the resources that were given (or beat in-) to them, and so on.  If we react with force and punishment, then we continue to strengthen the fear-based brain connections. We must find more resources to respond with love and reduce the stress for all humankind to transcend the grips of fear and violence.

Fortunately, the easiest and most effective tools are free to everyone: DEEP BREATHS and ears to LISTEN.