Ang has a great blog about her life (family, house church, etc). The blog is witty and thought-provoking. She responded to my entry about spanking on her blog. It's interesting and you should read it.
I guess there were some things I left out of my spanking post. I was spanked, but not abused. My brother and I were spanked fairly often, but my parents learned gentler ways of disciplining as they got older and wiser and had more kids. My youngest brother was hardly ever spanked. Is it because of the lack of spanking that he has been the least rebellious of my parents' five children or is it just his personality? A combination of both things? I honestly don't know.
I don't think spanking your child makes you evil. Most of my friends who have children spank them and if they don't NOW, they plan to as they see the need.
And I reallylove my parents. I think they're great and will parent Miriam in much the same way they parented me (without the spanking).
Ang's blog also talked about a no bull shit diet. Being honest with each other in our house churches/close relationships, etc is so important for the groups'/relationships' health. I realised tonight that I am not doing that very well. Although people who know me well know that I can be confrontational, it's usually not a pretty thing. I don't enjoy telling people I disagree with them or am unhappy with them, so usually my frustration builds until I confront in anger instead of love.
I belong to a fantastic "house church" (we call it a Bible study, be we're just scared of labels). The people amaze me with their desire for community and growth. I've also been amazed at how people are upfront about the failings of the group as they seek to grow. However, a lot of these people have children and parent in ways that, at times, make me cringe. It makes me upset to hear a baby crying and see his/her mother refuse to pick him/her up. It breaks my heart to watch a child being spanked. It bothers me to see parents giving 2 year olds soda and chips and candy (I know these things are bad for me; I don't want Miriam to have them on a regular basis). And it makes my blood boil to have people threaten to feed my 7 month old foods behind my back.
This is what I decided. I don't want to be a constant criticizer. I won't comment on the spanking (although you'd better fucking believe I'll be taking my child out of the room), as the child is not mine. I won't comment on the soda/candy/chips thing. I won't comment on the child crying piteously (although I might pick him/her up). However, if anyone tries to give my child something that I don't want her to have or if anyone yells at her or punishes her in a way I find hurtful, I will most definitely speak up. My problem is remembering to do it right away and not 3 weeks of brooding later.