Last week I went to Red Robin for lunch. Sitting in the booth next to us was a toddler girl, maybe 2 or 3 years, with her mom. The girl kept standing up and turning around to our table, like toddlers do, but it wasn’t what I would call particularly bad behavior. Believe me, I have seen bad table behavior.
The mom was in a bad mood and wanted the girl to sit in her seat and wait patiently for the food to come. After
asking demanding she sit down, the mom said very sternly:
“If you don’t sit down now, I will spank you right here in the middle of the restaurant and everyone will see!”
I wasn’t surprised that, to a toddler, the threat of being humiliated in public would have no effect. I mean, my toddler thinks nothing of skipping, dancing, or singing in public places. Or of being naked while doing those things.
We don’t spank our kids. It’s not so much because I am morally against it. I just don’t see how it actually works in disciplining kids. This mom could have had much better results if she had thought to bring some simple toys or snacks for her kid. Or maybe get up and walk around until the food was there.
Clearly, the spanking method she was using was not effective. I don’t have any problem with parents being allowed to spank their kids. As long as it doesn’t cross the line to abuse, they have the right. I just don’t see how it can work.