First I will start off by explaining Chris' and my childhood.
Chris grew up in a broken home. His mom left when he was about 8 years old leaving his dad to provide for him and his brother on his own. Put the stress of your wife vanishing and the weight of being a single parent of 2 boys and you get a pretty strict household. His dad parented him and his brother the best way he knew how at the time, by hitting. Chris told me that he didn't go against his dads rules for FEAR of getting hit.
I grew up in a pretty lenient household. I was the only girl of 4 children and kind of felt like the odd ball out. I was able to get away with a lot. When I was entering highschool, my mom and dad divorced and they lost all control of me. I pretty much had no respect for my parents since they didn't seem to care what I did or where I went.
When I got pregnant with JonErik, Chris and I had many heated discussions on how we planned on raising him. I was completely against spanking and thought it was rediculous to even THINK about using some kind of object to inflict pain on my child. Chris on the other hand was convinced that using hitting as a form of punishment was the only way to create a well behaved child. Then Jon-Erik was born.
In no way am I a perfect mother but I do know how to parent my child. In using constructive parenting, I have been able to esablish this bond with Jon-Erik that is just wonderful. He's not scared of me. When he does something wrong, he apologises because he knows he upset me and has either hurt someone or could have hurt himself. He loves doing things the right way because it makes me happy. He knows the reason why he can't do something and what can happen if he does. Yes, it might take a little more time to correct his behavior, but it's completely worth it.
I don't disagree with spanking. I have actually spanked Jon-Erik on several occasions but for good reasons. If he purposly does something that he KNOWS [not just to see a reaction] is hurting someone, I will spank him. If he does something like play with an outlet KNOWING what can happen after me explaining several times, I will spank. However, I don't in any way agree with spanking as a first priority. I don't see how it teaches a child other than scaring them away. I don't understand why people spank their babies for doing what they are supposed to, exploring. I actually find it quite uncomfortable when I'm around people who spank for the most rediculous reasons. If you have to threaten your child with physical punishment several times a day and they aren't even a toddler yet, something is wrong.
Little children need their parents. They need to feel safe and comfortable. They want to explore everything around them and discover new things. They want to know why we have different reactions to their every move. You wouldn't believe how helpful it is to talk to your baby/toddler and explain things to them. Sure, it might take a few times but when they get it and understand, it not only makes your life easier but theirs too.
At the end of the day, I have a very peaceful household. I don't have to threaten Jon-Erik for him to listen to me and he loves to do things he knows will make me happy. Of course he is the typical 2 year old and he has his fair share of unruley moments. He wouldn't be normal if he didn't.