My husband and I usually disagree on this kind of issue. We always fight when I see him spanked my kids. Unfortunately, he’s the type of dad that uses spanking as a sign of discipline which for me is a big no no.
So I tried browsing the internet and saw this article from Nannypro.com. I hope this could help other parents out there.
While some subjects have a definite division between black and white, right and wrong. Spanking seems to have a lot of gray area. Is it truly a generational division? Do only older people feel that spanking is effective? Or is it how you were raised? You were spanked and you turned out okay so then, is it okay for you to spank your child? Is spanking a conscious decision? Or is it just a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that has made you angry? Many feel that this “newfangled” approach to discipline or lack thereof, is what’s wrong with our kids today. This is that gray area that I was talking about. Many parents who spank occasionally think that it is a necessary evil and they are actually trying to make their kids better, more responsible adults. Is this indeed the case though? Check out 8 reasons spankings are not effective.
1. Hitting promotes hitting: I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve read this reasoning. There is a reason that you see it a lot, it’s true! If you hit your child for misbehaving then they will hit when something doesn’t go their way. It you spank your child, even occasionally; watch how they interact with other children. Hitting will happen, especially with siblings, because they feel safer knowing that no other parent is going to get mad at them. However it will happen with their friends as well. If they don’t get their way when playing a game or if someone takes something that they want or that belongs to them they will hit first and ask questions later. This response does not happen when I child has never been spanked. The child has been taught other ways of conflict resolution. Whatever the parent does is probably how the children will go about solving their own conflicts.
2. Spanking is not effective: I can hear all of you who believe in spanking saying, “Yes it is.” But think about it, what does spanking really accomplish? It shocks and hurts the child. It often makes the child cry and scream. It makes the spanker feel better for a minute and then feel guilty. Do you find that the child never misbehaves again? Does it make the child afraid of you? Ask yourself if you want to create those results? Are there other ways that you can stop the behavior that you don’t like? Can you remove your child from the situation? Can you redirect the child in a more productive way? Many times these things will work and you do not have to resort to spanking. Often spanking is the lazy way of disciplining. Let’s face it, spanking is quick and doing other things like removing your child from the area and getting them started on another activity takes time and effort on your part.
3. Loss of trust: I’m sure you’ve heard Dr. Phil, or some authority equally as knowledgeable, say that you are your child’s soft place to fall. Everyone needs at least one person who will love him or her unconditionally and not judge him or her. Children and people for that matter, make mistakes. Making mistakes is human nature. If you are not making mistakes then you are not learning. Children are not born knowing everything. They have to learn and be taught how to resolve disputes nicely. They have to learn that playing with matches is a bad idea. They have to learn that kicking a soccer ball in the house can lead to breaking something. If a child cannot trust that they won’t be hit for making mistakes then they will stop trying. If they stop trying they will stop learning. I don’t think most parents want that to happen.
4. Spanking may lead to anger issues: Often times spanking is done with anger. You have lost your temper with your child and now you are hitting them. Why does that sound like a bad idea? If you are hitting while you are angry you will hit harder than you would if you were not angry. Back in the day, stay at home moms would say, “Just wait until your father comes home!” Yes, this would make the child worry, but at least they are not being hit in the heat of the moment. Dad was not involved so if he is the designated spanker he won’t be spanking in anger. Waiting to spank will often result in no spanking because now that you are calm and not angry you are better able to come up with a better solution. If you hit in anger your child may rebel and reflect that anger back at you or transfer it to someone or something else. No one wants an angry child or one that lashes out every time something doesn’t go his or her way. Or a child who doesn’t feel able to lash out will hold the anger in and become the stereotypical angry teenager.
5. Spanking may lead to violence: Children who are spanked, as a child will learn that violence will get them their own way. Being spanked may also lead to that child spanking or beating their own child. The cycle repeats generation after generation, but the scars are still there. When a child is spanked that child is more likely to lash out and hit a family pet. That pet may develop a distrust or dislike of children because of the treatment they received and bite an innocent child or the child that hit him. Violence begets violence with people, animals or whatever.
6. Lack of learning to cope: When a child misbehaves there may be a plethora of reasons why. Many of these reasons may not even be the child’s fault. If you don’t get enough sleep do you feel “out of sorts” the next day? The same can be said for a child. In this world of busyness many times children do not get enough sleep and can be walking around in a state of perpetual crankiness. Sometimes something as simple as an allergy can cause a child to misbehave. Now that we know why a child sometimes misbehaves we can see that it is important that child learn how to solve conflict in a good way. If we interrupt the learning by spanking the child then they will not learn how to properly cope with a difficult situation.
7. Sexual deviant behavior: It has even been linked that those children who were spanked regularly as a child may grow up to enjoy spanking as an adult in a sexual setting. Researchers have concluded that because the buttocks are a sexual part of the body the link between being spanked on the buttocks and sexual pleasure is made early on and could carry over into adulthood.
8. Spankings may result in future back pains: Some studies have suggested that even mild spankings that occur near the base of the spine can cause vibrations to shutter up the spine and can cause future back pain as an adult. There have even been reported cases where children were paralyzed or killed by spanking. While this is the exception and not the rule it has happened and I’m sure no one wants that to happen to his or her own child.