Monday, October 27, 2014

Blackish: Physical vs. Emotional Punishment

I really loved this week's episode of Blackish. Spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen the episode (go watch it! It's On Demand!).

It handled spanking in such an honest way, and the end result felt like it was right out of my own childhood. My mom spanked us kids once or twice with the dreaded "wooden spoon" (though the more common punishment was biting a bar of soap for a potty mouth), but the emotional punishment of disappointment was so much stronger and longer-lasting. I don't remember if Mom ever even really spanked me, or if I just watched my siblings once or twice, but I do remember - so keenly - each time she said she was disappointed in me. Disappointment really is the ultimate tool in the parental toolkit. Although just wait until Jack gets older and Dre can stop saying, "I'm disappointed in you," and start with, "I know you're disappointed in yourself." That's the one that sticks with you into adulthood and beyond. Forever ouch.

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