I do not quite know how to start this thread. Lookng for some advice from parents with differing ideas on child discipline/punishment and how they worked it out. That is, one parent that spanks and one that does not.
My wife grew up in a family, greater family, general environment and society where it was the norm to immediately go on a verbal offensive when even very mildly rebuked, contradicted or otherwise made defensive. Get loud and in the face immediately. Automatically escalate something very minor into a knock down drag out argument. This is the norm in China and a by-product of just too many people, the cultural revolution, truly mind boggling competition for just about everything, etc. etc. I got whacked as a kid. The vice principal at my elementary school kept a ping pong paddle with holes he drilled through them for administering whacks. I do not think it is a real effective method myself.
The two of us have reached a working accommodation regarding each other. Can not say I enjoy the outbursts, but they are greatly toned down in both vitrol and frequency from when we first met 8 years ago. It has helped me learn to pick my battles, when to keep my mouth shut, control my temper and generally be a more patient person. That is fine, and I have no major issues.
We now have a 21 month old daughter. She is either teething or entering the terrible twos or both. China Wife will often yell at China bambina for doing something. It is an automatic response. The volume ratchets up. I very calmly ask her to please not yell or be so loud. Usual response but not every time is to be loud at me. I like to think that China wifes outbursts are lessening in both frequency and volume.
The Chinese use stock phrases when a child has earned displeasure. One such phrase, “I do not like you” was uttered very loudly and repeatedly not 10 minutes ago. I gently suggested that China wife change it to “I do not like what you did.” I got a very even handed and icy “I do not want your suggestion.” Okay, well, that is progress, she did not yell at me to shut up.
China wife also believes that some child behavior should be punished with a literal slap on the wrist, or several. She knows I do not like this. I am trying to cope. I suggested, and this was agreed to, that if a spanking does occur, then it is quick, clear cut for the reason, done without anger, over once the punishment is finished, and never ever a game. And never a game means it has to hurt. It can not be misconstrued as anything but punishment.
I have seen literally dozens of cases where some poor child here in China is misbehaving, parent(s) warn the kid, maybe a few very light slaps on the wrist that make it a game, and then when the child is really hitting his stride and having a great time, parent then hauls off and whacks them really hard (to what the child must imagine comes out of the blue during a joyous game). I will give an example I saw. Mom was carrying her daughter, maybe 2 or so. Daughter kept grabbing Moms glasses. Mom shouted “no” a few times. Daughter kept grabbing glasses. Mommy slapped the wrist a few times, and daughter just giggled and kept grabbing the glasses. Mommy hauled off and whacked daughter hard, put her down in the grocery store, and told daughter she “did not like her, and was going to leave her.” Poor girl just howled with tears and fell to the ground.
Like I said I do not believe in spanking. But if you are going to spank, at least make sure it is something the child understands on her level. That means simple cause and effect. The child did some sort of cause (whether they understand, can control it, reflects bad parenting is a seperate issue) and the parent came back with an effect. It stings, and most clearly not a game.
Again, any parents out there where one believed in spanking and one did not? How did you work it out? How did you keep it from wreaking havoc on your own relationship? Did you get the other to meet you part way and if so how? Did you just accept it? Please note I am not asking for someone to take sides either for or against me. I am very much interested in other parents in a similar situation worked things out. Thank you.