Ann Romney has been front and center at the Republican National Committee's convention in Tampa this week with a mission: to talk up Mitt Romney the "husband" and Mitt Romney the "father" to humanize the candidate. But after Ann's Stepford Wife-style speech about motherhood the other day, she's continued to dig a hole for the former Massachusetts governor. The latest bit of questionable parenting involves the age-old spanking debate.
No surprise the Romneys are spankers. They seem like old school parents all the way. But it's the way Ann practically bragged about her husband "whacking" their five sons' "bums" that really gets me.
Talking about the time Mitt spent on the road doing business while she was at home with the kids, Ann related how her husband would comfort her over the phone:
It's OK, I'll be home soon, and I'll do whatever whacking I need to do with whatever bum needs whacking. Because they were something else.
Needless to say this bothers me because I'm not the spanking sort. I have always believed -- and science stands behind me -- that corporal punishment confuses kids. With words we teach them "don't hit," but a whack on the bum, as the Romneys call it, teaches them with actions that hitting is A-OK. And don't they say that actions speak louder than words?
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But what Ann Romney unwittingly relates in what she seems to think was a humorous anecdote (and to be fair, the crowd of GOP faithfuls provided her the yuks she was looking for) is that her husband is a "react now, ask questions later" type of guy. He hears his kids are misbehaving, and he automatically leaps to "let me beat their little asses." But whatever happened to studying the behaviors? Finding out what they did wrong and why?
Disciplining our kids shouldn't simply be about punishment. It's about correcting the behaviors so they don't happen again. In that sense, the punishment really needs to fit the crime.
This applies to much more than spanking. If you take your kid's Xbox away because they throw a fit when they're told it's time to turn off the game console, the punishment fits the crime. There's cause and effect, and a 5-year-old can see the correlation.
Come home five days later and beat your kid's butt for not setting the table, on the other hand, and you have to wonder what the heck you think they're going to learn.
Check out Ann Romney talking about her husband:
How do you make the punishment fit the crime so to speak?
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