This is a touchy subject for brown mommys.  Most of us got some type of corporal punishment when we were growing up, at least I know I did. But, over the last decade there has been a growing movement among all parents and local governments to bring that ol’ thang back when it comes to spanking.  While experts say that spanking your children makes them more aggressive toward other children, can hamper communication with parents and can cause developmental delays, a California court ruled that spanking a child with a wooden spoon is not abuse and the American College of Pediatricians recently said it supports spanking in certain instances when it parted ways with the American Academy of Pediatrics over its views on same-sex couples and spanking.  In addition, the father of a 9-year-old who boarded a plane to Las Vegas from Minneapolis this week said in an interview that his son had “behavioral problems” and that he was afraid to spank him for fear of retaliation by local authorities.  So the subject is divisive at its best.

I think the overwhelming question is: Does spanking actually work?  I don’t claim to know the answer to this, but I do know that I got my a** whooped until I was about 15 and when I look at some of my peers that didn’t I’m overjoyed with my mother’s decision.  I don’t believe in spanking your kids everyday.  I’m in no way an advocate for moms that I see on the bus daily smacking, cursing and yelling at their children to prove every single point. I believe mothers in this day have to take on the role of a strategist when developing punishment tactics.  But, what I’m not going to do is repeat myself five times before the kid listens.

In my home, spanking is less about exerting my physical power over my children and more of a last resort to teach the lesson that a bad habit can only be repeated so many times before the behavior becomes a real error and the consequence becomes very harsh.

As a mother of three African-American sons, I understand that their mistakes must be fewer than their counterparts.  For a Black boy one error can mean jail time, death or becoming a permanent member of America’s underclass.  So, if it takes a spanking when the going gets rough to keep all three of mines on the up and up, then where the hell is my belt!

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Muffy MendozaAuthor posts

Muffy Mendoza is an author, speaker and founder of Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a support group for nearly 4,000 African-American moms in the Pittsburgh region. To further fill the void Muffy has created a line of educational products focused on helping Black moms be the best moms, too. Her first book, The Brown Mama Mindset: A Blueprint for Black Moms on Life, Love & Home, was featured at the 2018 Essence Festival and is currently sold in various cities across the U.S. Muffy champions the beauty of Black motherhood everywhere she goes, even on the TEDx stage. Find out more about Muffy on muffymendoza.com.

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