highchairtimes

Bethenny Frankel: “Is it Ever OK to Smack Your Kid?”

Bethenny FrankelThanks to my cool new gig as Mumtastic's Editor-at-Large I got to spend the morning with Bethenny Frankel. James Blunt stopped by and performed "Bonfire Heart" from his new CD. Daisy Fuentes popped in to chat beauty and fashion. Not a bad way to spend the morning, right?

Bethenny Talk Show

I met this colourful crew while sitting in the front row of a taping of Bethenny's talk show (sadly it wasn't just us lingering over lattes). It was the first time I'd seen the show (normally I'm at work), and I was pretty psyched to discover that the same Bethenny that I loved watching on the original Real Housewives of New York and Bethenny Ever After was the same woman hanging out with me (and a few other editors) after the show. She was completely authentic, the kind of woman I'd like to drink a cocktail (or three) with during happy hour.

I also enjoyed the show–perhaps because I'm pretty passionate about the topic she covered during the parenting segment: Is it ever OK to smack your kid? There was a spirited debate among audience members but Bethenny and I happen to share the same opinion on this one: NO. I have a three-year-old son and I can't justify telling him not to hit someone…and then turning around and swatting him on the rear because he does something wrong. To me, its sending him a confusing message.

Don't get me wrong: I have a strong-willed, super independent three-year-old son, not a Saint Toddler (as if those even exist). There are times when I'm so frustrated with him I feel like pulling my hair out. So I totally get how kids can push you to the edge. But, for Mason, a calm countdown to three gets him back on track. I don't yell and I only occasionally have to give him a timeout. I just don't see how getting all worked up and smacking him would get the same results. I stay calm and he calms down.

Here's the other thing: I don't buy it when people say smacking works. I was spanked when I was a little kid and it wasn't effective. Seeing one of my parents lose control like that just made me take that parent less seriously. Yes, I was slightly afraid of my spanking-happy parent, but it's not like that fear made me behave differently. It just made me smarter about hiding things that I had done wrong to avoid getting a swatting.

What do you think? Is it ever OK to smack your kid?