Spanking Your Child


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Do you believe in spanking your child?

Before having my own child, I would have said yes.

Now that I have a child and I’m reading articles, talking to other parents and talking with my husband I’ll tell you I don’t believe in it.

I remember being spanked as a child. It always felt humiliating and it didn’t keep me from doing whatever it was that got me spanked in the first place. I also felt angry and questioned my value as a human being. Of course I didn’t realize at the time that was that I was doing/feeling but looking back I can say it was with 100% certainty.

Personally, I have never understood how hitting someone teaches them not to do something. How does a negative action in response to bad behavior teach someone to act in a positive manner long term? For instance, if someone is spanked for hitting someone else how does that get interpreted?

I believe communicating is the best resource we have as parents. Teach that actions have consequences. Explain and lead by example. We always say that children see and understand more than we give them credit for, so why not give them credit? Instead of resorting to violence as punishment why not analyze the situation and truly decide what the best course of action could be for punishment.

I know that there are many parents that think not wanting to spank is some new fad but I grew up with many children who weren’t spanked. This isn’t a new idea. Their parents weren’t hippies or lazy, they simply found different ways of dealing with discipline and punishment.

There are now studies nearly every day that prove that spanking leads to more negative outcomes. I hear people all the time say that if parents spanked their kids they’d have more respect or be better behaved. Hell, before I had my daughter I used to say the same thing. But in reality 85% of kids have been spanked by the time they reach high school and we still see negative behavior. So what does that tell us?

It is my belief that if I can teach my child from an early age to correct her negative behavior without spanking. She will learn her social cues and interactions in the home before she learns them from others. I don’t want to teach her that anger and aggression are ways to show dominance and power. Using positive reinforcement and setting structured limits will teach her that actions have consequences. I’m not saying it will always work or that it will be easy but she’s a child, she’s supposed to learn lessons over and over. I’m an adult and I am still learning new lessons, sometimes the same one more than once.

My point is, that hitting my child is not an option. I’m not going to tell anyone else how to discipline their child. That isn’t my place and it’s none of my business. What I will do is write this post and have discussions with other parents. I will communicate and learn because that is what I expect of my child. I will use my actions and not just my words.

Predicting the future is nearly impossible. I can’t tell you how I will respond when it comes time to discipline my daughter, she’s only 9 months old at this point and learning the word “no”. I’m taking steps now to teach myself healthier approaches to discipline. I am the role model and it is my job to teach my daughter right from wrong. I will do that without using violence to solve the problem.

I’m going to post some articles I’ve read. Studies regarding spanking and the negative, long term effects. When raising a child you can never have too much information. You don’t have to take the advice from everything you read but learning something new never hurts.

American Psychological Association

The Atlantic

US National Library of Medicine

Forbes.com

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