Should You Spank Your Child?

should you spank your child?There seems to be a very fine line between smacking and abuse that is determined by individual circumstance and culture. What is a simple smack to one person could be considered abuse by another.

Do we trust all parents to know what is right for their own kids?

It is easy to sit back and say that no parent has the right to judge another parents’ way of disciplining their own child. Does that mean that parents can do whatever they like to their kids without any fear of consequence? I wonder if we would say the same thing when serious physical harm or sexual abuse is involved.

Where is the line?

The English word discipline comes from the Latin word to teach. Do we need to teach our kids using pain? The line seems to be drawn around whether or not the parent is in control of the situation. If the parent is in control it is described as discipline, if not, it is abuse.

I do believe that discipline and the setting of boundaries is extremely important in the raising of kids however I do not see the need to physically hurt them. That seems to me to be a complete betrayal of trust. Most of the time there appears to be no malice in the small childs’ behavior but plenty in the parental retribution.

The very small child is probably not even aware of the connection between their behavior and the physical punishment they are receiving and unfortunately toddlers are the ones who receive most of the physical discipline. They could only be wondering “why is this person who loves me hurting me?”

More often than not it is the parents who appear to be out of control when their kids annoy them so much that they have to retaliate with physical violence. You only have to watch and see the parents yelling, screaming and hitting in frustration to see why the kids do it.

It is quite hypocritical really. “How many times do I have to tell you Johnny, don’t hit your sister” Whack, whack, whack. Is this a confusing message or what?

Kids definitely need to be taught right from wrong and cannot be allowed to run riot. I’m not talking about a soft approach to these important matters.

What I am saying is that physical violence towards your kids can only teach them about physical violence. Studies show that a child who is hit by their parents is four times as likely to hit their siblings.

Physical violence can also create a silent rift between parent and child that can destroy trust and closeness in this very important relationship.

The other point worth noting is that kids really do become immune to spankings after a while. The parents then feel the need to spank harder and harder to get the message across and before you can say ‘catholic priest’ a light spanking has turned into serious abuse.

In this day and age with all the advancements in psychology and teaching techniques it seems ludicrous to me to still try to teach our kids using pain as a motivator.  We don’t even do that to animals anymore.

To teach a dog to do tricks we now use rewards and positive reinforcement not a whack with a stick. All modern studies have shown that this is a much more effective and respectful way to teach. Why should we treat our own children with less respect than that?

No pain but plenty of gain….

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One Response to Should You Spank Your Child?

  1. *SaNdY* says:

    NO!! Don’t spank! If you spank your child you have lost all control over the situation. As hard as it may be not to spank, spanking teaches the kids nothing good…it teaches them that you get your way by violence.
    Walk away, go to the bathroom, shut/lock the door, imagine a calming scene, tell yourself that you can handle this situation calmly and walk out again and speak to your child calmly. With practice, you will get much better with this. Good luck!
    And thanks Superdad for an awesome article and for shedding light on an important ( and difficult!) issue.

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