No-one ever spanks a child because of something that that child has done, even though that’s what appears to be happening! Beneath the surface something quite different is happening:

One of the main reasons why we, as parents and teachers, spank children is because we’re legitimately concerned that WE’LL be ostracized because of how THEY’RE behaving or because of something that THEY’VE done. Their actions make us look bad and that makes us vulnerable. Another common reason for spanking children is because rejected aspects of our own psyches are being mirrored through their actions and WE find this too painful to tolerate. Sometimes their tantrums and whining reminds us of how WE felt when we were children and no-one responded to OUR tears and OUR shrieking cries.

We need to always keep in mind that punishment is never about the child’s behaviour. It always has to do with the feelings that their behaviour brings up for US, so please try to be compassionate with children who seem to be ‘misbehaving’. They have a need that’s not getting met and they’re struggling to communicate their unmet need.

If you have used force to control a child, that doesn’t mean that you’re a terrible person. It simply points to your own wounding being very close to the surface. Take care not to ignore your pain. Instead, dissolve it by re-patterning your behavioural loops.