Were you spanked as a young child by your parents as a way to discipline you? Did it reform your behavior? Did it make you a better person or did it bring about feelings of resentment and anger?
These days, there remains a great divide among parents on whether parents should spank their kids. Here in the U.S. for example, even though spanking has become less popular over time, most polls still show parents favor and approve of spanking their children.
An ABC poll found that:
Sixty-five percent of Americans approve of spanking children, a rate that has been steady since 1990 … Among parents with minor children at home, 50 percent report that they sometimes spank their child, while 45 percent do not.
I happen to have grown-up in an age where spanking a child was okay. Yup, I was spanked and I hated it. I swore that my child would never have to go through such an unfortunate experience. Now in her teens, she has turned out to be a loving, well-behaved, responsible, and happy kid — a product of a no spanking household policy.
According to a study published in the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics, there are serious consequences to applying physical punishment to kids.
Harsh physical punishment was associated with increased odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, and several personality disorders in 2% to 7% of those observed.
Lina Acosta Sandaal, an expert in child and adolescent development and infant and early childhood mental health, has this to say about spanking:
The statistics and multiple negative outcomes of children that are disciplined with corporal punishment are well known to those who work with children. Children’s Trends, a research group, found that corporal punishment increases negative outcomes in adolescence like low academic achievement, alcohol and drug use, and antisocial behavior. They also found that the older the age of the child, the greater the negative outcomes. Source: GoodMenProject.com
With that, here is the list of 8 vital reasons why you should not spank your child.
1. It is too easy for a frustrated parent to cross the line from spanking to abusing. Unfortunately, by the time the smoke clears, many parents have crossed the line from spanking to hitting, shaking, slapping and other forms of child abuse. Source: ActiveParenting.com
This is the reason why parents who advocate spanking suggest to NEVER spank your child when you are angry. Some parents suggest to calm down first and not spank when your emotions are high.
Of course, when you have calmed down, you probably have by then thought of a better approach to handle the situation than spanking.
We all want our child to build self-confidence. However, Spanking goes counter to helping your child build self-confidence.
2. Spanking makes a child feel helpless and damages self-esteem. It’s hard to feel like you have any control when you are told that if you don’t stop crying, you will be hit again. It makes a child ask, “What is wrong with me?” It’s hard to feel loved or have any self-worth when even your cries for help are demeaned by the person who is supposed to unconditionally love and protect you. It’s a betrayal. Source: SheKnows.com
When kids get very emotional, crying is their way of dealing with hurt and pain. Sometimes it takes time for a crying child (especially toddlers) to really calm down. However, some parents really go overboard with spanking, thinking that the threat of more spanking can stop all the crying.
Again, it is best for parents to calm down and try to work out the issue without further spanking.
Young children tend to model after their parents’ way of doing things … see next page.