I came across this post shared by a member of a private group I belong to on Facebook. She was seeking our thoughts on the issue and I had to chime in. Spare the Kids is a blog run by Dr. Stacy Patton, dedicated to provided black parents and families alternatives to corporal punishment. A white man wrote in to seek advice about his black wife’s family over the issue of spanking. Their differences have led to heated discussions as her family is determined to do it no matter what he says.

My take was why in the world is her family in his family’s business anyway? He married a weak woman if she won’t stand up to her bully relatives about who’s children? Hers. If my family, babysitter, caretaker or anyone won’t respect how I raise my children and say that they will spank them regardless of what I say, they would not be around them. This should be a non issue. I see nothing wrong with a swat on the behind now and then, but I have softened over the years and tend to be against spanking overall. Taking away an iPad, or game box device can be worse than death for some kids. But each child is different and parents sometimes need to deal with different children in different ways. Whatever the manner of discipline, it is not the business of the in-laws to have any say in the matter. I liked Lisa, a commenter’s take.

“If the children are never left in the care of the in-laws, then what is the issue? They are simply baiting him into an argument with nothing more than a hypothetical. Let them spout off; in the end he and his wife are still in the driver’s seat. The in-laws clearly have issues that run much deeper than the discipline of a baby that isn’t even born yet. Bottom line…taking care of his son, is NOT an entitlement. Once they come to that realization, they will respect his and his wife’s wishes if they want any one on one time with him. Words aren’t even necessary…speak w/actions in drawing a line deep in the sand that’s impossible to cross by not leaving their son in the care of her family. Simple as that… Easy for me to suggest because it is what my husband and I did/continue to do. He should never again waste his energy with arguing about something he and his wife have total control of.”

What do you think?

Cross posted in Beyond Black and White.com