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18 September 2007


Amie R

OH KOHANA! If you ONLY knew how much I relate to your post, and my boy is not even 2 yet!


Hey girl.
I RELATE too! LIfe is hard and our kids can push our buttons like no one else. They know what gets to us.

I understand!!!!!!

I have a question for you though ... I'm curious why you say that spanking should be considered with special care in the case of adoption? Just wondering if you think that if you have both bio and adopted children ... should you only spank the bio ones? Just curious as to your opinion.




First of all, I think that whether or not you spank any child has a lot to do with their personality and temperment and what types of discipline are effective in guiding their behavior. For some children a time out or removing a privilege is MORE than enough to get their attention. For others, sometimes a spank may be beneficial. So in general I don't think that all children respond well to physical discipline, and not all children should be spanked.

To take it into adoption, I think it is important to remember that our children, even those who are adopted as infants, have life history. So I'd look at factors like:

1)Was violence or abuse a factor in the child's first family
2)Has the child experienced abuse
3)What role does physical discipline play in the child's birth culture (some cultures absolutely do not spank, some give beatings...)

And really, even if those other things weren't factors, I don't know if I'd consider it appropriate to spank any child that hasn't fully bonded and integrated into the family yet. I have friends who feel differently and feel that all the children in their family should be disciplined the same and that extending the same love through discipline to a new child in the family is important. Personally, I think most kids being adopted (not as infants - obviously we're not talking about spanking babies) need strong stucture and LOTS of love. I would hold off on introducing spanking for a long time. I think I'd stick to redirection, time outs, lots and lots of praise for appropriate behavior and the like. A new child might not have any kind of understanding or context for a spanking and might receive it as abuse. I wouldn't want to risk that with a child I'm trying to bond with. But that's just my opinion this side of the experience. Ask me again in a couple years after we've adopted a toddler/preschooler. ;)


I totally see what you are saying. I guess in my own mind I was thinking of my family wiht one bio child, one adopted (as a newborn) and wondering why we would change our discipline just because D is adopted.

Each child does respond different to spankings. Our oldest FREAKS out at the word and will imediately obey. OUr youngest (who happens to be our adopted child) could care less if he gets in time out and responds better to a spanking.

Our family doesn't spank often, but we do if it is a severe enough behavior or direct disobedience. We try to do time outs more.

I COMPLETELY understand about examining the situation from which you child came from before entering you family. When I think about Dowensky (the child we are adoptiong from Haiti that is 2) I can't even phathom spanking him. I want him to feel loved and accepted in our home and know that will take lots of time.

For some reason when I read your post I was only thinking infant adoption and it never occured to me that some children are joined into families well into their toddler and preschool age. DUH how could I forget since we are adopting a toddler!!!!

Thanks for your honesty.


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