Reasons why you shouldn’t Spank

Spanking a child is, quite frankly, an ineffective means of discipline. Proponents of spanking may argue that, at times, it is the only way to effectively teach a child right from wrong. Many parents claim that they only spank when a child has done something that will put him or her in danger, while others spank only after other methods of discipline have failed. Unfortunately, far too many parents use spanking as the only means of discipline, and spank their children when they are frustrated or angry with them. Whatever the case may be, spanking a child does little to promote healthy parent/child relationships.

The following are several reasons why you should not spank your child:

~ Spanking promotes fear in a child.

Parents who spank their children are, in essence, using the fear of physical pain to promote appropriate behavior. However, it is doubtful that this is an effective way to teach a child to behave. It is far more beneficial for a child to be taught what types of behavior are acceptable through methods that do not involve physical pain. For example, time-outs, the loss of privileges, and other firm but gentle forms of discipline often provide the desired results without the need to hurt the child. Further, while it may be true that children will remember how it feels to be spanked, and thereby want to avoid it happening in the future, they will still be left with a negative impression of the parent who administered the spanking. Physical pain by no means equals love, and children can become easily confused, and potentially damaged, when a parent utilizes pain as a means of discipline.

~ Spanking can cross the line into abuse.

As mentioned earlier, many parents spank their children out of anger and frustration, or even fear. However, anger is an extremely unpredictable emotion, and it can quickly turn to rage if not handled properly. Oftentimes, parents who are already angry when they spank their children inflict more pain on the child than they may have intended to. Basically, the angrier the parent is when the spanking occurs, the more likely it is that a light smack on the bottom will turn into repeated, and rather forceful, open-handed blows, or worse. Therefore, it is safer to avoid spanking altogether rather than risk the possibility of crossing the line into what may be considered child abuse.

~ Spanking causes emotional damage.

Children are adversely effected emotionally when they are spanked on a regular basis. Not only does it cause them to fear the parent who spanks them, but it also has an effect on their self-esteem and self-confidence, and can be a cause of embarrassment and shame for them. Perhaps worst of all is the fact that, as these children grow into adulthood, it is highly probable that they may discipline their children in the same manner, thereby perpetuating the cycle of ineffective discipline techniques over gentler methods.

All in all, with so many other beneficial and more effective forms of discipline, there is simply no reason why a parent must resort to spanking a child. It is interesting to note that parents often spank their sons or daughters because the children may have hit, bit, or shoved another child. The parents then punish their children by spanking them. However, you cannot teach non-violence through violence. It does little good to attempt to teach a child that hitting is wrong by engaging in the same behavior in order to discipline him or her. Rather, choose discipline methods that promote healthy and loving parent/child relationships.