The Swat Team
When Sweet Babou and I brought forth from our gametes the miracle of a cute daughter, we were glad we had decided not to spank. Corporal punishment has proven repeatedly to be no more effective than other punishments and there are scary articles all over the place saying you suck if you do it. We thought, “There is no compelling reason to spank, especially when it is easy to lose your temper and smack their tushies a little too hard, so let us eschew it.”
This has worked out fine for Lilo and Spock 100% of the time. They have a privilege taken away or time-out and they correct their behavior/apologize and all is well.
Then there is Stitch. Our middle daughter is the sweetest, cutest, most charming, lovable, angelic, good-hearted child in the world … 95% of the time. The other 5% she spends destroying cities and stealing everyone’s left shoe. Her temper tantrums must be seen to be believed. Upon occasion, not often by any means but more than once, to put her in time out we have had to carry her kicking and screaming, and one of us had to stand guard at the time-out corner to make sure she didn’t leave it.
Her shit-fits seem almost more painful to us because they are so markedly different from her “normal” behavior. It’s like being mauled by a Care Bare. Or trampled by Fluttershy from My Little Pony.
Stitch’s tantrums come from the fact she wants to be Alpha. She can see no REASON why we should get to make all the rules. As far as she is concerned her parents are the evil Empire and she is the brave rebel, Princess Leia.
That’s definitely how we want her to roll with it when she is a grown-up, but for now we would just like her to go put her damn pajamas on and brush her teeth even if she DOES want to finish watching one more episode of The Magic School Bus.
Last week was her therapy appointment for her OCD/anxiety (which she is doing well with yay!) and I talked to her psychologist about it. She has only seen a tiny hint of what Stitch can do and she is amazed at Stitch’s profound stubbornness when she is in the mood to be stubborn. We discussed how Babou and I are at our wit’s end because Stitch is willing to do the time if it means she got to do the crime. Then there is the fact that the temper tantrums start with her stomping one foot, setting her jaw in the most mulish expression in all of Christendom, and saying “No.” to whatever she has been instructed to do. She doesn’t even yell. She just gives us the flat look of a gunslinger who is ready to take it to the next step if we don’t back down and leave town.
So the therapist told me we should give a gentle spank a try. It turns out spanking does not de facto fokk a kid up. It’s only harmful “when it was the primary disciplinary method or was too severe (such as beating up a child or striking the face or head).” In all other studies reasonable spanking did no better and no worse than other punishment and there was even “one study in which spanking reduced drug abuse more than nonphysical punishment.”
It wasn’t long thereafter when Stitch pulled another power play. I told her not to climb on the arms of the couch. She turned around, gave me The Look, and said “no”.
Long story short, I bent her over my knee while I sat on the couch and smacked one butt cheek one time with the back of a hairbrush. It didn’t even leave a mark on her cream-cheese skin. I have hit her harder killing a mosquito on her arm. But to hear her squall you would assume a cat-o-nine-tails had been employed. Dear Holy Jesus, the screams of rage and despair and chagrin. For 30 minutes she had a complete conniption over her ‘beating’.
She has been good as gold ever since. It is all kinds of sunshine here. We’re back to where we were last year before she moved to Defiance to open up a Resistance camp.
Imma count it as a parenting win, and I really hope I never have to do it again because I didn’t like it at all.