Actress Eva Mendes sparked a parenting debate on Instagram today when she shared her favorite parenting quote — about spanking children.
In a post on Instagram (second slide), Mendes shared her “favorite parenting quote,” which reads: “Spanking does for a child’s development what hitting a spouse does for a marriage.”
Comments — both agreeing and disagreeing — flowed in. Some claimed that getting spanked as a child was responsible for turning them into a respectful adult, while others pointed out the hypocrisy that hitting another adult would be considered assault but spanking a child is permissible.
Mendes handled the comments with great respect and graciousness. In response to one disagreeing comment, she wrote, “Thank you for your comment. So happy to agree to disagree. Want this page to offer that in a loving way. We all parent our own way and I have no idea what I’m doing most the time. This didn’t come with a manual, so when there’s something that resonates with me, I pass it on. Lotsa love.”
Mendes and partner Ryan Gosling have two daughters, 6-year-old Esmeralda and 4-year-old Amada.
As Eva Mendes probably realized, parenting styles are taken very personally by parents because, of course, we all think we're doing what's best to raise our kids right. And spanking is one of those nuanced choices that all parents have to wrestle with. Will the child understand it’s a consequence of their action or will they think they’re being hit? Am I spanking to relieve my own frustration or anger as the parent? Would spanking be effective for this particular child? Is it developmentally appropriate? Are there alternatives for enforcing consequences and teaching better behaviors? And the factors to consider go on.
Respectful conversations about parenting (about anything really) are a good thing, so props to Eva Mendes for engaging with her followers in such a respectful and kind way.
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