I got hit with shoes, cords whatever was in reach when I misbehaved but is this the norm in the Black community. What does God really mean by sparing the rod? Is getting beat with a shoe overdoing it?

I had the opportunity to interview Asadah Kirkland the author of Beating Black Kids

1.) What inspired you to write this book? I had a stroke in 2008, and my daughter had to be watched by others during that time. A friend of mine helped by watching both of us once I came home. One day my daughter tore up some dollar bills and the friend and myself got into a conversation about the need to spank children sometimes. I was surprised that she had this viewpoint, and thought…”Hhhmmmm…maybe I need to write a book about this topic. What sealed the deal though was when I returned to work and shared the idea of the book with my other colleagues. When I mentioned the title of my book, they went on for 3 hours with stories of how they got spanked with belts, hot spatulas, trophies and the like. I thought, “Wow! look at us purging!” I saw how much we had sitting inside of us about this issue and immediately went out to buy a tape recorder to record some of the stories I wanted to share in the book.

2.) How can we as a black community use other measure than spanking? As a community, the first step we have to take is simply thinking about our children as more than property. I believe we spend more time expecting them to “get on our last nerve,” than we do admiring them for who they are. Instead of flowing them power, we flow them punishment. You don’t strike out at things you admire. We need to look at what we can admire about our children and encourage growth of their innate talents. At my job at “The Baby College,” we say “Out of control parents spank.” Spanking is a pretty low-based human behavior. It demonstrates brute force, and not wisdom. I always say that adults need to raise their skills and not their hands when the need to discipline may arise.

3.) Why is it important not to spank kids? Is it necessary in some instances? It is never necessary to beat children. Not even in some instances. When a child is hit by a parent, the real lesson is never taught or learned. The child may refrain from doing the infraction again, but that is because they fear getting hit again. Every time the body experiences pain, cells die away. Why would you create that effect in your child? The memories a child should have of their parents should not be of them striking them. Parents should think more about how they’d like their children to remember them and discipline them with teaching. Spanking them just leaves marks, both physical and emotional which stay with the child, sometimes for a lifetime.

 4.)I am sure you hear I got spanked as a child and I turned out fine does spanking in childhood affect adulthood? My book has stories in it that demonstrate the effects of spanking on adults. It ranges from dreams deferred to raising ones kids the same way they were raised and not liking the results. I liken turning out “F.I.N.E.” to “Failing Indefinitely, Never Emerging.” Our comfort we being mediocre is alarming to say the least. You notice these people never say, “I got spanked and I turned out Awesome!” or “I turned out Phenomenal…Excellent!” Is that what we as a people are aiming for…Fine? Look at our communities. They reflect that mindset of settling. We never quite get or aim for all we want as a people. It starts with the fact that we beat our offspring…our futures. So our children start off the game of life with fear, nervousness, confusion and a lack of ambition. Turning out fine is unacceptable if our people are to come out of the conditions we live in globally.

5.) Is there anything else that is not mentioned you would like to share? My Christian communities like to throw me the scripture, “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child.” I often ask, who wrote that? It wasn’t Jesus. It wasn’t God. It was Solomon…a man. Well, I don’t know him or his mother, so I can’t say where he got that from. All I know is that Jesus did not teach his Disciples how to beat children. Come to think of it, Disciple and Discipline have the same root. They come from the Latin word that means “to teach.” Furthermore, if one was referring to the rod of the shepherd, he did not beat the sheep with the rod, he guided them with it. This gets blurry because of the way slavery was used to distort our religion. Many inhumane acts were justified and told to be done “in the name of God.” Those hurtful acts were not FROM God though. We need to get clear on that.

6.) I see you have a daughter can you talk about how you discipline her? I simply communicate with my daughter when I have to discipline her. It is always a teachable moment. Yes she does things that cause my mouth to tighten up sometimes, but those are moments I have to get clever and figure out how I can get her to agree with what I am saying. If she doesn’t agree. then I have to figure out a way to help her see my side and do as I suggest. The key is for her to develop negotiation skills. If she can’t negotiate as a child, she will not have that skill as an adult. It’s the difference between being able to negotiate a high salary for oneself or just settle for a minimum wage job. I choose to infuse life and new experiences into her. She is 9 years old and has her own book series out. I taught her how to do photography and we used that skill to develop a book about her life in the city. She has her own bank account and her book sales go into it. It sets her up for the future and gives her a purpose for being here on earth. With this kind of activity, there is no place for spanking! I am her biggest fan! Why on earth would I strike her. She’d lose trust in me if I did. I don’t have time for her to lose trust in me. You generally don’t trust people who hit you. And if our children don’t trust us as parents, they will indeed find others who they can trust, outside of us.

7.) What’s next for Asadah? My concentration is to get this message out within the college circuit. I want to reach folks before they actually have children. And my daughter’s book is one of a series. My major future focus will be getting out the other books in the series and promoting the project to household word status!

check her out at



What are your thoughts?!

Love,
xoxo
Tamara