Who knew that saying you don’t believe in spanking your children — as Tia Mowry did — would be looked at as a negative thing?
While appearing on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club to discuss her new Netflix comedy Family Reunion, Mowry talked about parenting her two kids — Cree, 8, and Cairo, 1 — with husband Cory Hardrict. She said she has a non-traditional, “go with the flow” approach to parenthood — and feels strongly about not spanking, despite being spanked as a child growing up with twin sister Tamera Mowry.
“If you’re spanking your child, in my opinion, it’s because of you,” Mowry said. “It’s because of you and where you are in your headspace. You’re impatient. You just want to get [the discipline] done, over with.”
Whereas if you don’t spank, “Then it takes more time to [discipline],” she continued. “You have to talk to [the child] you have to explain [what they did wrong]. But I feel like, in my opinion, there is a better outcome. You’re explaining and saying why opposed to just hitting them.”
Mowry said one of the reasons she opts not to spank is because, “I don’t want my children being afraid of me,” she admitted. “I want them to come to me and tell me anything.”
During the conversation, Mowry revealed that her twin sister, with whom she remains as close as ever, is the opposite of her when it comes to parenting and is OK with spanking. She went on to say that their parents were very strict with them and spanked them as well.
“That was then and I feel like this is now,” she said of her parents style to her own. “So far, it’s just the way I parent — and so far it’s good.”
Mowry’s no-spanking approach is what is in line with experts. In November, the American Academy of Pediatrics said “spanking harms children.” It “increases aggression in young children in the long run and is ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control.” Further, evidence suggests that “it may cause harm to the child by affecting normal brain development.”
However, there are a very large number of people who seemingly disagree with Mowry over this. The Shade Room posted a clip from the interview asking for thoughts about Mowry not spanking her kids and there were many among the 20,000-plus comments from the predominantly African-American audience who think spanking is the way to go.
“Girl Bye...” wrote one person to Mowry. “If you don't spank them, then you have them growing up thinking they are privileged and everyone in the world is going to take time out to constantly explain to them what they doing wrong. I believe in spankings but not beatings as well as a conversation.”
Many others along the same lines:
“I get where she’s coming from but if I said sit down 10 times and you haven’t done it then I’m knocking you down.”
“You act up, you gone get smacked up, PERIOD.”
“Eh. Some kids don’t hear. They must feel.”
“I whoop and explain, girl bye!!!”
“Spanking mine period. If we reach the spanking point that’s because the talking didn’t work sus.”
“Y'all are not gonna sit here and tell me how to parent. Mind ya business before I get the belt.”
Within the comments, the cultural aspect of it was discussed. For instance:
“African parents be like ‘I brought you into this world, and I can take you out! Best believe my kids gon get those same lines...and the whoopings that followed thereafter.”
”Stop raising children in your idealistic views of society, be realistic & raise them to the society you live in which is getting harsher everyday. When they are grown & act a fool police ain’t gonna take time to explain b4 shooting them...”
And many connected it to slavery:
“All this spanking is just passing on the generational trauma we learned from slavery. We are treating our kids like the animals we were told we were don’t sleep on Tamera”
“All the black folk talking bout they gonna spank/beat their kids need to check history. Thats that slavemaster mentality.”
“Spanking is kind of like slave mentality. We do it because it was done to us. It’s all learned behaviors. Why put pain on someone to make them submit to you & follow direction.”
“Whoopings are residuals from slavery and colonialism.”
Of course, within the lively debate were those simply agreeing with Mowry — and experts! — and saying that non-violent measures work:
“Why do y’all wanna hit your kids so bad. I promise they’ll grow up to be happy, successful adults without you having to put your hands on them.”
“Never have laid a hand on my almost 12 year old and people constantly compliment him on how respectful and good he is.”
Also in there were suggestions of other non-violent punishments people could try:
“Just turn the wifi off it's worse than spanking,” wrote one.
“All I gotta do is take his phone or game system and he straighten up.”
“I don’t spank and my daughter is well mannered and respectful. If she gets in trouble I will take things away. Like cable, internet and books.”
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