Spanking My Child
Yes or No?
Controversial topic to be sure. First of all, let’s acknowledge the obvious dynamic at work here. No one likes to be told how to parent their child. If parents seek help with parenting, they usually bring in the child and tell me all the horrible things that they do. Most of the time, it is not the child’s problem, it is the parenting skills of mom and dad that are.
When parents come into my office for parenting advice they normally are frustrated, worried, and sometimes angry that they have to seek help. On many occasions, when we begin work on parenting, the parents are resistant to changing how they parent. No shock there. If they agreed with me then they wouldn’t be in my office seeking help.
The Pro Spanking Arguments:
- “I was spanked and I turned out okay.” (This is my favorite).
- “A child should be seen and not heard and spanking teaches them discipline”
- “I knew when my dad got out the belt, that I was going to obey him no matter what”
- “The bible says spare the rod, spoil the child”
Lets look at the first one, I would argue that if you did turn out okay, that you did so in spite of the spanking. Discouraging poor behavior by means other than hitting the child, gives no incentive to him or her to be “good.” Reward works much better and having your child earn his or her “toys,” provides incentive to behave in a better manner.
Our next argument claims that spanking teaches discipline and respect. The fact is that spanking teaches violence and fear. To be clear, I am not talking about a little pat on the butt, I am referring to the paddle, switch, and belt method of inflicting pain on your child.
The third argument draws a conclusion that is incorrect. Children want to please their parents no matter what age, unless we as parents do things that interfere with that relationship. You may get your child to obey you but it is out of fear, and not because of their desire to please you, even when they act out.
The last argument is a fine example of taking things out of context. Parents can justify almost any behavior if they feel the need to do so. There are better ways to correct your child’s behavior than to hit them.
The Best Way
The Con Spanking Arguments:
- Spanking your child causes them to think that if you don’t get your way, just use aggression.
- It brings self esteem to a new low.
- It makes your child fear you.
- Why would you want to give your child pain?
As depicted in the above picture, this method does discipling the right way. You should get down to their level, make direct eye contact, and tell them what you will do if they disobey a rule. No yelling, no hitting, and no scars.
I’ve given a few very condensed arguments and facts to help you. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and not all children do well with either method. Ask for help if you find your child out of control.
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