Using a Trauma-Informed ‘lens’ we can see quite clearly that the real reason behind most parents’ perceived-need to spank their children has little nothing to do with the child’s behaviour.
It has to do with:
- Concern about the child’s conformity to social norms
- Concern about the parent’s reputation and their own need to conform to social norms or risk social-isolation and the accompanying pain
As I describe in my writings and elsewhere: Far more of our behaviour is a response to our need to remain safely within cultural norms than one could ever imagine!
I’d take things even one step further by mentioning the strong correlation between secure CONNECTEDNESS / BELONGING, and diminished emotional-pain.
As our ‘connectedness’ and/or our ‘sense of belonging’ decrease, our emotional-pain increases proportionately.
The statement that follows can be backed-up with ease: Whenever a child is intentionally expressing themselves in a way that threatens acceptance by violating social norms (why else would one think of spanking them), what they’re really attempting to do is to communicate the intense inner-distress that they’re experiencing in relation to disconnection and/or belonging.
They are seeking reassurance, from you, that they are both connected and connection-worthy (lovable and worthy-of-love).
If there’s ever a time when you find yourself struggling with the temptation to physically discipline a child, try to put yourself in the child’s situation when answering the following questions from my BEnome map.
Any answers that lead toward the right side of the BEnome Map are providing information, from the child’s perspective about the breakdown in connectedness to you and to their social environment.
- Is the person upon whom I’m depending for connection, emotionally present?
- Is there anything preventing them from connecting fully with me?
- Am I being unconditionally Accepted?
- Light & Shadow aspects of personality & behaviour ( Light & Shadow aspects of personality & behaviour)
- Are my feelings, my needs and my perspectives being treated respectfully?
- Are we sustaining secure connection? Do I feel a sense of BELONGING?
- Do I consider myself worthy of Acceptance & Love?
- Am I feeling any embarrassment or shame?
Since I work with this model daily, I find it easy to apply the insights that I gain from the BEnome Mapping process to my own relationships.
If you’d like assistance applying what I’ve shared to your own situation (or to a situation involving people you care about), then I’d encourage you to schedule a session with me using the booking interface at www.b-loops.com/bookings.