On Children and Love

I have both experienced and witnessed a child showing affection and humility toward a parent who’s previously spanked (or punished) them. I wonder… Is this an act of genuine love? The child having come to terms with his parent’s behavior and chosen to forgive? Or… Is it an act of self-defense? An attempt by the child to curry favor with his parent in the hopes of preventing future spankings? The parent likely concludes it’s the former. “My kid always showed me love afterward, so I know it was the right thing to do,” they think. But what if he’s wrong? What if what looks like genuine love is actually self-defense, bottled around resentment? I wonder… And that’s today’s two cents.